Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday Sandwich and Oven Fries

I made this sandwich with our favorite oven fries a couple of Sundays ago after church, hence the name.  The sandwiches were so good, however, we'll be happy to eat them any day of the week! We really, really ... really liked them.

I was reading through Ree Drummond's The Pioneer Woman Cooks and got the idea for these sandwiches from her "Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich" recipe. It reminded me of a sandwich I sometimes ordered at a restaurant we can no longer eat at since we are GF. We've tried eating there a couple of times since, but they didn't put their best effort into making sure our needs were met. I basically read over the one by Ree Drummond and then as I often do, did my own thing with prep, ingredients etc. and made it gluten-free. If you haven't checked out her website yet, or seen her cookbook, you are missing out.

Projected prep time: 30-45 minutes ; Projected cook time (including fries) approx. 1 hour

Note: This easily made four sandwiches
1 medium to large white onion, sliced into strips
1 green or red bell pepper, cut into strips (or use both colors, which is what I wanted to do but didn't see any red ones that impressed me in the store)
1 top round steak (didn't pay attention to the pounds)
Butter (or oil of preference)
Sea salt or kosher salt
Black pepper
Tony Chachere's
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce (U.S. only - Canada is not GF)
Watkins Meat Magic (can omit if you don't have)
Gluten-free buns (O'Dough's is what I used)

Oven Fries
10 small white potatoes (less if larger ones) or more fingerling potatoes
Grapeseed oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Start with your oven fries first, they take longer. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread some grapeseed oil around on it.

Scrub the potatoes ...

and then slice in half and quarter them.

Then cut the quarters in half, and ignore the angle of this photo that for some reason Google turned around and I don't have time to fix, again.

Put them in a large bowl.

Then drizzle enough grapeseed oil over them to thoroughly coat each one. Toss. Sprinkle kosher salt and a little black pepper over them, then a generous amount of paprika.

Toss well to coat each one equally, then pour onto sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle a tad more kosher salt.

Bake at 425 to 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes, then remove sheet to turn fries over and then bake again for 20-25 minutes longer until done.

Serve with your favorite condiments.

While your fries are in the oven, start on your sandwiches.

Melt one or two tablespoons of butter (or use oil of preference) in a large pan and sautee onion and bell pepper strips.

When they are starting to get soft, add a little salt and some Tony Chachere's and continue to cook.

While they are cooking, tenderize your top round steak on both sides.

Then cut into strips and place in a bowl. Add about two teaspoons of Watkins Meat Magic, if you have it, and several generous dashes of Lea & Perrins, some sprinkles of kosher salt and a little black pepper. Let it sit in this for several minutes while the onions and bell pepper finish cooking (you can add more butter to them if you need to).

When onions and bell peppers are soft and starting to brown, remove from the pan and set aside, then add the meat and a little more butter (or oil of your preference).

When meat is cooked through ...

add the onions and bell peppers back to the pan. Mix it all together over the heat and let the flavors blend together for a couple of minutes. Season with more Tony's and/or salt to taste if needed.

Now you're ready for sandwiches. Get your thawed sandwich buns or rolls ready (I like to toast the inside of mine) ...

and your oven fries should be about ready now as well.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chocolate Mint Black Bean Brownies

I stumbled upon this recipe when I was researching whether Hershey's mint truffle kisses were gluten-free. We received some at Christmas and I finally looked them up (from everything I could find, they are, and we didn't have any reactions). I wanted to try these, but decided to use Andes mints instead.

They started smelling great while they were baking, but I still took a very hesitant first bite. They were beyond good. You'd never know their secret ingredient. The girls devoured them, and the ultimate test -- my husband who doesn't care for chocolate all that much -- proved they were indeed good. He really enjoyed them. We are intrigued at what else we can use beans as dessert for, and will no doubt be trying out more variations in the future. (I'm thinking cherries, pecans, chili, orange, the possibilities are endless ...)

The texture is more like a really moist cake, but they definitely pass for brownies. I promise you can't taste beans at all. If you want to make this recipe soy-free and dairy-free, just don't use any additions (like the mints) that contain those ingredients. The rest of the recipe is naturally free of both.

Because I used the exact recipe at this link, minus the kisses, I won't type it all here (I'll just give photos). Just know I replaced the kisses with broken Andes mints and projected time for prep is 10 minutes with a projected bake time of 30-35 minutes. Make sure to use gluten-free, aluminum-free baking powder and pure vanilla. I also used organic sugar.

Just try them. You won't be sorry.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Product I can't live without of the week

Have you been craving hamburgers (or veggie burgers) but just can't get the taste you've missed because you don't have good buns to use? These are what you need. We had tried several burger buns but were left very disappointed. They fell apart, dissolved, tasted terrible ... until we found O'Dough's. These are good. Very good. They even have sesame seeds on top (but I think they also make some without). If your local stores don't carry them, ask if they are able.

The second best choice to O'Dough's are made by Schar. They just aren't quite as good as these, but they don't fall apart as much as the other brands. The Schar also do really well for turkey sandwiches.

Udi's has announced they will be making hamburger and hot dog buns. I'm really excited to try these when they finally come out. We've been waiting for a decent hot dog bun to hit the stores -- I hope these will live up to our expectations!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

White Zucchini Pizza

If you're in need of a quick but delicious dinner, this is for you. Originally, before we were GF, I made a pizza very similar to this using Rachel Ray's 365: No Repeats cookbook recipe. Since going GF, however, I've changed it up some to be a little faster to make (for me, anyway), and of course, without the gluten.

Projected prep time: 15-20 minutes; Projected bake time: 20-25 minutes
2 O'Doughs flax pizza crusts
2 zucchini, washed and cut into sticks a few inches long
15 oz. ricotta
5-6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Shredded mozzarella or Colby-Jack cheese
Grapeseed oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

Sautee zucchini in some grapeseed oil until tender. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste halfway through the cooking, then taste again at the end.

While the zucchini is cooking, prebake your pizza crusts for 5 minutes. (And if you haven't discovered O'Doughs yet, you're missing out. They make the best hamburger buns, and I'm so pleased with the versatility and taste of these crusts!)

And mix your ricotta and pressed garlic together really well.

Spread onto heated crusts ...

Return to oven for about 5 minutes.

Now a note on the shredded cheese. I have always used mozzarella in this recipe. When I made this the other night, to my dismay, I was out of mozzarella (which I've now restocked in both shredded and fresh form!) but had plenty of Colby-Jack. Groaning, I looked at the clock. It was too late to go to the store and have supper on the table at a decent time. Mumbling to my husband that I'd have to use Colby-Jack and it wouldn't taste as good, I reluctantly sprinkled (you need to generously sprinkle your shredded cheese) the orange and white mixture over the ricotta/garlic.

Return to oven for about 5-10 minutes, until it's all melted well.

Top with the zucchinin and bake one more time, 5-10 minutes until it's all heated really well.

And the Colby-Jack cheese on top? I'm glad I was out of mozzarella. It was fabulous. But you choose the cheese you prefer.

Serve with salad


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bananatella Cream Bites

These mini-muffins are amazing!
 I had inspiration the other day when I was making banana bread. I love nutella and bananas together, especially when they are hot. Yum. I started thinking of a way to combine this with banana bread, and while I'm sure you could use this filling in the middle of banana bread (which I plan on trying!), I wanted it in something bite-sized. Like mini-muffins.

I just wasn't sure what to mix it with to get the right texture. Ricotta? Nutella and ricotta together is amazing, and I love desserts with this, but it's not the texture I wanted. Eggs? I wasn't sure if that would bake exactly how I wanted it to. Cream cheese? Hmmmm ...

Projected prep time: 10 minutes; Projected bake time: Approximately 18 minutes.
*Note: I actually can't remember the exact bake time because I was baking different things in the oven at the same time and forgot to write it down. I know I checked at 15 minutes and felt like they needed longer, so I turned them around and reset the timer. I was also doing this for the other items. I may have taken them out three minutes later, maybe five, maybe more. I wish I could tell you. Next time I make them, I'll keep a better record and come back and edit this.
This is the same list of ingredients for my banana bread, minus the Salba seed. My banana bread is dairy-free, soy-free but these aren't because of the nutella, but feel free to make your own chocolate hazelnut spread and try these!
1/4 c. expeller-pressed extra-virgin coconut oil (see this recipe on why)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 c. organic sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c. white rice flour
3/4 c. brown rice flour
1/4 tsp. gluten-free, aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda (see this recipe on how I measure baking soda)
4 bananas (very ripe), beaten creamy
3 heaping tsp. milled flax seed (optional, but why not?)
1/3 c. nutella
1/3 c. cream cheese

Add salt to oil and gradually add sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour together with soda, baking powder and milled flax seed. Mash bananas and add alternately with dry ingredients until all is well-mixed.

Mix nutella and cream cheese together.

Very well ...

And then take a little spoonful of it to taste it. Oh my yum.

Have ready a mini-muffin tin (or you could do big muffins, might need to adjust filling amount) lined with baking cups and put a dollop of batter into each cup.

Add a little nutella/cream cheese filling

And another dollop of batter

Bake at 350 degrees the appropriate amount of time (see note above). They are done when they bounce back after lightly pressing on them. To be sure, insert a toothpick into the muffin on the side where the filling isn't and see if it comes out clean.

Move to wire rack to cool

Serve them while they are still warm.

Enjoy every bite!


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