Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GF Cooking Forays

My life has settled into a regular pattern of experimenting with food, trying new recipes, and all in all becoming far more adventurous (and in many ways, I think, more skilled) in the kitchen than I ever used to be.

Some of my newest attempts (and some brief reviews) are below:
  • Kefir is my new found love in the dairy food line. For those unfamiliar with what Kefir actually is, check out these explanations here and here. In general, it tastes like yoghurt (though is much runnier - definitely a drink). It makes fantastic smoothies (it's what I use for all of our smoothies now), and is really easy to make (once you have the starter). Of all the things I've been introduced to in the last year, this is definitely on the list of top three good ones!
  • For my birthday, Hillery bought me a waffle maker. I've never had a waffle maker before. She seemed to feel this was a great deprivation I was living under, and so very kindly procured me one. As she is also on a GF quest in her life, and I like to share birthday presents when possible, last week, she and I got together and we made waffles. Three kinds of waffles: Belgian Waffles, Quinoa Waffles, and Gingerbread Waffles. The first recipe for the Belgian Waffles came from The Gluten-Free Homemaker. Sad to say, we were not impressed with this recipe. The other two recipes came from Bette Hagman's The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods. Both were excellent; although, the Gingerbread Waffles were very much more of a desert than a breakfast item--I felt. Excellent when smothered in cream cheese and strawberries!
  • Shrimp Frittata was my latest attempt of last night. This one came from my faithful Susan O'Brien cookbook. It was....okay. Not bad. Not great. I won't make it again because there are enough other good recipes out there that I truly love, that it's not worth it for me to remake an "eh" sort of one.
  • Another new attempt though, also from Susan's book, was Creamy Pesto Pasta. Sort of an Alfredo. Really good! Definitely a keeper for future meals.

Soups: I've been trying to expand my repertoire of soups lately. I've discovered soups to be something I find quite challenging. Logically, they shouldn't be that hard. But for some reason, finding a recipe for a truly delicious soup, has proved to be surprisingly hard. Below are some of my attempts in this category:

  • Butternut Squash Soup. Not a good result. Perhaps if I liked squash more this one would have tasted better? It's like oatmeal. I want to like squash, I really do. I think they look good, smell amazing, and then I eat them and my stomach turns. It's very sad. I do like spaghetti squash and zucchini, though. So at least squash is not a total loss.
  • White Bean Stew - This one I liked. Chris said he could eat it once he added chicken. Not a bean person. Which is very sad because they're cheap and good for you, but if you have to add in meat to make them palatable--you take away the whole cheap side! (Susan O'Brien strikes again)
  • French Onion Soup: This was my most recent attempt. And it turned out good. Really good. Good enough that I will double the recipe the next time I make this because it was that tasty!

Fish has also been a newer area for me to explore. I've tried fish in the past, and I found one recipe that both Chris and I liked tolerably well. And then we got food poisoning, and since then, making fish has been disastrous. However, over Christmas we had some fish which we both enjoyed and didn't feel ill from (totally psychological that part!), so I decided to start attempting more fish recipes again. And I've had a couple of successes (although I can't remember the technical name of either recipe; they do both come from Susan O'Brien--sensing a theme here?).

  • The first one I tried was basically a grilled fish smothered in a pesto sauce. I love pesto. I'm beginning to make a lot of things with pesto!
  • The second one I've attempted is roasted salmon baked with red onions. Delectable! (although it does not mix well with Greek lettuce wraps!).

I'm going to attempt a new recipe tonight. Basically I've realized that most of my Thai curry pastes are not, at the very least, soy free and are often not gluten free. And so I'm embarking on the challenge of learning to cook Thai food entirely from scratch and not cheating with a pre-packaged paste. And since I'm all about diving headlong into these things, I'm going to attempt a potentially hard dish (in terms of Thai food): Tom Khai Gai - a creamy, coconut chicken soup. One of my favorite Thai dishes ever.


Mercutio said...

Update: The soup was as good as the original.

Amber said...


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