Corned Beef Hash

Need a quick supper with not too many ingredients that will please a hungry man and be gluten free? Got leftover corned beef in the fridge/freezer or just a can of corned beef in your pantry?  Go for the hash! You won’t be sorry and you will be full….of yummy satisfying hash.

 libbys corned beefLibby’s doesn’t say gluten free on the can but I took a chance and did not get sick both times I have made this hash.  I think it will be fine for others with celiac disease.

This is a happy food memory from my childhood; my mom made this once in a while.  Sometimes she even stuffed peppers with it, extra tasty that way.

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Mom’s Corned Beef Hash

1 can corned beef, I like Libby’s

4 medium russet potatoes

1 large onion chopped

½- 1 cup chopped pepper, any color (I used yellow in this batch)

1-2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

Microwave each potato until fairly done; different for every oven.  Let them cool a bit and peel.  Cut into ¾ inch cubes.

Heat the oil in a large pan. I used my large cast iron pan.  Love that sturdy pan, well seasoned so things don’t stick and you get a great browning as you fry, even with minimal oil. Add the onions, stir and cook 2-3 minutes, add the chopped pepper and cook another minute. Add the potato cubes, cook 5 minutes, then turn with a pancake turner.  Cook 3 more minutes and add the corned beef after you cut it into half inch cubes.  Cook 3-4 minutes, turn/stir with turner and cook 3-4 more.  Do not let burn but a crisp brown crust is great on the potatoes and the meat.  Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste; maybe ½-1 tsp. salt, and a quarter teaspoon pepper.  Serve hot.  I made a green salad to round out my hearty and satisfying meal.

Oopsie, I Just Made Some Cloud Bread!

Finding or baking decent gf bread can be problematic.  Poor texture, weird flavors, big holes the middle of the loaf, leaden brick like baked products, high prices and lots of ingredients which must be compiled exactly according to the recipe.  It adds up to a fair amount of stress as to just having a sandwich.

The other week I made some really interesting bread/rolls.  The name is “cloud bread” (also called oopsie bread) and it has no flour, no oats nor any grains.  I was intrigued when I kept seeing this cloud bread popping up in my support group messages and just had to try it. My recipe has five ingredients but three should be in your pantry already.  It was very easy, quick and yes; tasty.  So it made a super bread for a ham and cheese sandwich and a ham/turkey and cheese sandwich.  I ate one warm out of the oven, also enjoyable. Great with a little jam or jelly on top.

I added a couple toppings which add a lot to the flavor and look of it.  I recommend them but it sure can be made plain.   You have to use full fat cream cheese to make it work, only a few tablespoons so don’t get all freaked out over that issue!

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Cloud Bread/Rolls (makes six large ones)

3 eggs, room temperature and separated; in two separate mixing bowls

3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. honey

Pinch salt

Toppings; sesame seeds and a tbsp. of chopped fresh rosemary.

Directions

Beat the egg yolks with the cream cheese until it is very smooth, lemon yellow. Add the baking powder and honey, beat in.

Beat the egg whites until foamy, add a sprinkle of salt. Beat until stiff peaks form.  Fold together gently with the yolk mixture until mostly blended together.

While the egg whites were beating I lined a big baking sheet with parchment paper and sprayed it lightly with Pam.  Heat oven to 300 degrees. Some people heat the pan in the oven before spreading the dough; I didn’t bother but feel free to preheat your pan.

Using a big spoon spread the bread mixture on in six big circles spaced 1-2 inches apart.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and or finely chopped fresh rosemary. Bake until golden brown between 20 and 30 minutes.  I did just about 30 minutes for mine. Using a spatula separate them from the parchment paper right away. Let cool.  Store in a ziplock bag overnight; they will get soft and be ready for sandwiches.  Keep them in the fridge. I put slices of wax paper between them to avoid sticking. shoe fly pie, hash 012 They keep about 3 days there and a week in the freezer.  Wonderful flavor and texture for sandwiches: I used one for the top and a second one as the bottom of the sandwich. It did not fall apart and looked fantastic. shoe fly pie, hash 013 Did I mention they are no carbs in this bread? Yeap; this delightful bread is great for my low carbing friends!

GF Easter Meals…Hints and Ideas

Preparing for a gluten free Easter can be daunting but if you plan carefully you can be eating some great food and all of it safe and easy to prepare.  Let me give you a few baking hints and menu ideas to assist in creating the best Easter ever, even gluten free.

First off, don’t forget the basics, read labels, avoid spice mixes and don’t assume stuff is gluten free just because you think it should be.  I have been tripped up by roasts with built in marinades that contained gluten, by seasoning mixes, or by tasty country ham which had no warnings but turned out to be full of gluten.  Read the label. I no longer buy ham or bacon unless the label reads gluten free as I have been taken down by hidden sources of gluten; seasonings, marinades and curing mixes.  So be very careful selecting that ham or roast.  Take the time to read and be sure before spending a lot on a roast that you will end up giving away the leftovers because it ruined your day due to hidden gluten.

Okay, done with the scary but necessary lecture and on to more fun things.  Like rolls that are light and tender yet easy to make.  I posted them last March but have moved them up so if you click on my blog they should be right at the top.  I’ve made them several times and they are a fantastic option for a holiday meal.  Also great choices are the French bread recipe in my blog or my Italian fennel and orange bread.  Both are delicious and my non-celiac family requests them regularly when we get together to visit.boston trip 002

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Orange flourless cake we had last spring for a dessert, topped with candied lemon slices, raspberries and slivered almonds. Yum!

I myself this Easter am making a roast chicken, requested by my mom.  It will not be stuffed in the interest of saving time but I will make roasted root veggies in the pan as well as homemade mashed potatoes.  All naturally gluten free. For dessert we are going to enjoy a cherry sunrise pie; also homemade, easy and gluten free; recently posted on my blog. I am using ginger snaps this time to make my crust; got them on sale last week. You can buy a redi-made gf crust at Wegmans or health food stores like Fry’s here in Hellertown.  Such an easy and tasty pie, I find it hard to even look at any other dessert for Easter lunch.

Other foods I am making for company include shrimp cannelloni with saffron sauce (adapted by me to be gluten free) and an Indonesian chicken curry with a dozen toppings.  Getting all the toppings ready and arranged is the tricky part but it is worth the effort.

And, we will be having a few other desserts.  I am making a lemon buttermilk bundt cake from my Heritage Classics cookbook by Annalise Roberts (I have made several items from that cookbook and each has been fantastic and not too tricky either!) and a ricotta based cannoli pie – http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-cannoli-pie/ .  Both sound perfect and I can’t wait to taste them. I sure miss cannolis!

In summary, don’t get all worked up on it; stick to simple menu choices, avoid eating a lot of processed foods and make things that are naturally gluten free where ever possible. This will be my fourth gluten free Easter and the best ever!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix Review

A good friend gave me a gluten free bread mix for Christmas, Bob’s Red Mill Cinnamon Raisin Yeast Bread.  I haven’t done many mixes for bread so it was a new experience. I made it the other week, it turned out great.  Very simple to create, not that much to add, water, two eggs and oil and beat it well, let it rise and bake the loaf.  Mine went together in a few minutes and I poured it into my tall sided 8 ½ x 4 inch bread pan and smoothed the top with a wet spatula. I let it rise the maximum; one hour.  Baked it and it rose nicely.  Cooled and sliced…very tasty.  This is not a sweet bread; rather low in sugar which can’t hurt and not overly cinnamoned, just enough.  I froze most of it sliced so it won’t spoil. I like to toast it after defrosting (my toaster has a defrost setting) and butter the hot bread.  It makes a very satisfying snack and goes well with breakfast choices like scrambled eggs or an omelet.

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lemon velvet pie 010lemon velvet pie 011Warning, this is not a traditionally sweet cinnamon raisin bread: seriously lowered sugar so I was put off a bit at first bite but once I adjusted my expectations I was pretty darn happy with it.  I think it would be awesome for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Maybe I will try that for lunch tomorrow.

If you can’t find it in your store (try Wegmans) you can shop for it on line: http://www.bobsredmill.com/shop/mixes.html

Happy baking!

There Is Support Out There!

This is a brief post for anyone who hasn’t found a support group to help them deal with celiac disease.

If you are looking for help in adjusting to celiac disease and are active on facebook there are several national and international celiac support groups you can join.  I am in a few and find them helpful in a variety of ways: people post concerns and others respond with ideas or answers.  Recipes get posted, menu ideas shared as well as discussions on the safety of a wide variety of processed foods from rice mixes to chips to teas and a thousand foods in between.  You can put up pictures of tasty food you are serving, ask about places to dine out gf on vacation and share how your meals out went.  If you desire you can get personal; discuss your symptoms, treatments and test results in detail with others who suffer similarly. gluten free

Some of these are international and some more USA based. Just ask to be added, I have never been turned down by a group and you don’t have to post anything, just treat it as another good celiac resource.

The ones I know about are:

www.facebook.com/groups/glutenfreeconnections/

www.facebook.com/groups/community.glutenfree/

www.facebook.com/groups/Celiacdiseasesupport/

and one for low sugar types: www.facebook.com/groups/481501942001602/

Check them out. I doubt you will regret joining one and the wealth of support is a real boon when you feel “oh so alone” in your gluten free status.

There are also local chapters of national celiac organizations; just google and check them out.

Another site I like is glutenfreephilly.com.  gluten free phillyI used that site to find a great restaurant in Philadelphia last week for dinner after the flower show.  Had used it once before – works all over PA, NJ and Delaware.

It sure can’t hurt to have more  resources for help especially if you are new to being gluten free.

Cherry Sunrise Easter Pie

In two weeks it will Easter, the day of baked ham, chocolate candies and hardboiled eggs… We are skipping ham in favor of a plump roasted chicken with mashed potatoes; my sweet grandchildren live out of state so no egg hunts and minimal chocolate.  As for any holiday meal, I wanted the lunch dessert to be special yet not too heavy or fattening.  I wanted an attractive pie, with fruit, easy to construct and yummy: a tall bill to fill but doable.  I had no hesitation in choosing a family dessert I make many years for Easter.  Cherry sunrise pie.  No need to look further folks, this is it, the dessert of choice for Easter Sunday lunch.

My entire family always forks it down as they are cherry lovers.  I share it so you can make it anytime you want an easy company dessert.   You could make it the night before or early in the morning so it is chilled enough to eat by 1 pm.

It has to have a gluten free crust for me but if you are making it for the wheat eating public there are redi-made crusts out there that will make this so simple yet so delightful.

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Cherry Sunrise Pie

One pie crust: I made mine from an 8 oz box of gluten free graham crackers crushed and mixed with 1/3 cup melted butter and pressed gently into a 9 inch pie pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9 or 10 minutes.  Let cool completely before filling. I made mine the night before.

Ingredients for filling

18 or 19 oz can of crushed pineapple in own juice

1 21 oz can of cherry pie filling

1 8 oz pkg light cream cheese, room temp.

½ tsp vanilla

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

Directions

Drain the pineapple for 20 min; save the juice!  I used my microwave to gently warm the cream cheese. I unwrapped it and placed the cold slab on a small plate and warmed it on a very low heat until supple and smooth.  Dump in a mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp pineapple juice, the vanilla, 1/3 cup crushed pineapple, ½ cup cherry pie filling.  If you are smart you will mostly use the goopy stuff and not too many cherries.  Save them for on top! Next, stir this all together really well.

Then whip the chilled heavy cream in a separate bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, add powdered sugar and mix well with the mixer; be careful not to over beat it.  If it gets clumpy you went too far.  Fold this into the cream cheese mix until it isn’t streaky with white areas.

Gently spoon the filling into the pie shell, spread it out to fill the entire bottom.  I used a spoonula (blend of spoon and spatula) and smooth the top with a flat cake spatula.  I like to leave a sort of tiny ridge on the outer edge to keep the pineapple from spilling out onto the crust.  Then carefully pour the rest of the cherry pie filling in the center spreading it to cover ¾ of the top from the center out.  Finally, use a spoon to put clumps of pineapple around the outer rim of the cherry filling.  Chill at least 2 hours, preferably 4.  Cut and slice. No adornments are needed. It has a light fluffy consistency and it isn’t that sweet.  Great to top off a big meal; not too filling and the fresh fruity taste is a spring treat.  Try it soon and you will be giving the recipe out afterwards!

I have no pictures of construction; maybe this Easter I will take the time to snap a few and add them to this post at a later date.

Spring Italian Wedding Soup

My dear friend Cathy’s kids used to call this grass soup when they were little because it is chock full of fresh spinach that melts into this healthy and tasty soup.  I make mine with ground chicken for the tiny meatballs.  You could use ground turkey, veal or beef.  You can make this soup with canned broth; be sure it is gluten free if you have celiac disease like I do, for some odd reason many manufacturers add some (wheat) flour to their broth.  My favorite broth choice is Kitchen Basic, and they also have a low salt broth.  Homemade chicken broth is going to make it more flavorful if you have some around but sometimes we just don’t have time to make fresh broth.  The recipe is my modifications of a soup by Ina Garten, which can be found on foodnetwork.com.

I discovered a new bread crumb by Alieas Love of Artisan Food; gluten free Italian bread crumbs; and it worked perfectly for this recipe. I found them in my local Giant grocery store. They do have dairy and egg in them if you want to know. The store also had panko bread crumbs by this same company; next time I need panko I know what I am getting.

Don’t freak out if you only have one carrot or don’t want as much of any ingredient; relax and make it your way.  Some versions have fresh dill chopped up and added at the end 2-3 tbsp. of it. Next time! stir fry, pan dowdey and crocus 007

Angie’s Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken

1 large egg

About ½-2/3 cup gf bread crumbs

¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp. sea salt

Soup

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium to large yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, unpeeled, sliced into quarter rounds

2 celery stalks diced including the leaves

1 or 2 garlic cloves

½ cup white wine

1 1/2 quarts of gluten free chicken broth

½ cup tiny gf pasta; I found some tiny ring shaped pasta

1 package fresh baby spinach, standard size

½ to 1 tsp. sea salt and some fresh black pepper

Directions: Crack the egg and mix it up well before you dump the rest of your meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl, stir up with your hands and form into 1 1/4 inch diameter meatballs, 1 and ½ inches maximum.  Place them 1-2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, bigger ones will need a few more minutes. If you feel perfectionistic, turn them half way though the baking, not really that necessary though.

While they bake, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan; I used a two quart one.  Add the diced onion, celery and carrots.  Cook them about 6-8 minutes until soft, add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the broth and white wine to the soup, stirring frequently; bring to a boil and add the meatballs, reheat, add the pasta, cook until nearly done, add the spinach, cook 1-2 minutes; taste and adjust the salt. Add fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Pour in a bowl.  I topped mine with some more fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Perfect meal when you want to sooth a still slightly iffy tummy.