Cauliflower Cheese Dinner Pie

If you have a nice head of cauliflower, you can put it to good use in this vegetarian entrée. I love the cheesy cauliflower flavor of it, pretty substantial served with a yam and a beet salad; a great meal. It isn’t that difficult to construct; the crust is shredded raw potatoes mixed with an egg and some salt and pressed into the pie pan. You bake it for about 45 minutes and then gently lay in some shredded cheese, then the cooked veggie filling, top it with more cheese, pour on the egg custard and sprinkle it with paprika before baking it to a crispy tender pie that should serve 6 unless you are piggish; then 5 large slices!

The no traditional pie crust makes this easy to create. Nothing tricky at all in this recipe. Just a few steps to put it together. It is pretty much naturally gluten free, just a bit of rice flour to dust the pan with; I dusted the excess right into the shredded potatoes. Just a bit of flour in the pie pan and in the crust.

Sauteed onions, herbs and garlic

Cauliflower Cheese Pie

Mixed together cauliflower filling

Ingredients:

Ready to bake; yes, that is a chunk of cheese on top! The end of the block; don’t want to grate my fingers; it will melt nicely into the pie.

POTATO CRUST: 1 tsp. sea salt

1 lg egg, beaten

1 -3 tsp. gf flour, divided

Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees.  4 large potatoes; washed. I left them unpeeled but you can peel if you prefer to do that. Grate each whole potato on coarse side of a box grater. I did it right into a large mixing bowl. I like to press a couple paper towels on top to soak up any excess liquid. Add rest of ingredients and stir well. Press into a pie tin sprayed with cooking spray and then dusted with rice flour. I used a big spoon to lay it around the pan and then a fork to press it into the shape of the pie tin. I left a bit above the glass/metal rim to form a nice rim of the crust. Spray the potatoes all over with the cooking spray.  Bake 40-45 minutes. Make the filling while it bakes.

CAULIFLOWER FILLING:

About 3 cups cut up flowerets of raw cauliflower

1-2 Tbsp. mild olive oil or sunflower oil

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ tsp dried thyme

¼ tsp. dried basil

Directions: Cut up the cauliflower; it was about ¾ of the head. Heat a ½ inch of water in a large sauté pan. Add the cauliflower, put a lid on and cook 5-6 minutes until just tender. Gently pour the pan into a large colander to drain well. Then heat the oil in the same pan. Add the chopped onion; sauté on low 5-6 minutes, I like to add a couple Tbsp of water to let it steam; then add the garlic, and then the dried herbs. Stir and let cook another minute. The onion should be soft, cook longer if needed.  When done, turn heat off; gently add the drained cauliflower and a quarter to a half tsp sea salt. Mix gently. While the crust is still baking make the custard.

CUSTARD:

3 large eggs

½ cup whole or 2% milk

1 2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese: I used mostly sharp cheddar with a bit of Monterey Jack cheese too.

Directions: beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl until fairly blended, add the milk.

When the crust comes out turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Pour half the grated cheese into the hot crust, distributing it evenly. Gently spoon the cauliflower filling on top. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Pour the custard in all over the top. Sprinkle well with paprika and bake 40 minutes; until the custard looks done. Let set 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

A slice straight from the fridge; just need to warm it up in my trusty microwave! Lunch is served.

It keeps 4-6 days in the fridge; well wrapped. I heat a slice at a time in the microwave. A lovely lunch indeed!

Turkey Posole Stew; Different yet Delish!

I am betting you have some roast turkey in the freezer, maybe a pint of gravy too?  Well, I have just the recipe for you, courtesy of Rachel Ray and foodnetwork.com.  It is nothing like most traditional turkey leftover recipes.  It is a slightly spicy Mexican stew; posole stew can easily be gluten free. Just use care choosing your chicken broth and your tortilla chips that accompany this savory soup. One of these years I will remember to buy an extra carton of gf turkey broth and use in instead of chicken broth; turkey broth disappears immediately after thanksgiving; a bit of a bummer….

I have been making it every fall after Thanksgiving and always look forward to a few bowls of it.  Spicy, crunchy, tangy; unlike any other soup I make.  Posole stew can be made with roasted pork and I have done so but I like it far better created with leftover roast turkey, especially the dark meat.  I have served this stew to many people, and it is always well received and enjoyed, even by my elderly mother.  I made a batch yesterday and it was so delish! You can cut this recipe in half easily which I did this time; didn’t have enough turkey for a whole recipe and my fridge is pretty full anyway; my posole turned out great and I am thrilled to be enjoying it again. 

Ingredients

2 tbsp mild olive oil or canola oil

2 medium onions chopped

4 cloves garlic chopped fine

1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped fine –use two if you like it spicy, I use one!

1 tbsp. ground cumin

1 GF beer (can use 1 cup water if you want but it gives more flavor)

Coarse salt and pepper

12-16 tomatillos; about 2 lbs, take off the paper cover, rinse and chop up.  Can coarsely chop in food processor

5-6 sprigs fresh thyme; chop it up off the stems.

2   15 ounce cans hominy

1.5 qt chicken stock (can be part gravy)

1 ½ to 2 lbs chopped turkey meat; can be mixture of light and dark

1 lime juiced

Chopped cilantro leaves to garnish (optional)

Tortilla chips; the ones with lime go particularly well with this.

tomatillos

Cook first six ingredients about 5 min in a large stock pot.  Add beer or water, cook one minute.  Add chopped tomatillos and cook 5-6 minutes until softened.  Add hominy, thyme and stock and cook 15 minutes.  Add chopped turkey and limb juice, stir. Taste and add salt and pepper, stir well.  I never use cilantro; something I just don’t like, but feel free to add it as the original recipe uses a bunch of it.turkey posole soup

Then ladle the posole into bowls and serve lots of white tortilla chips to crunch over the top of the hot soup.  As the soup disappears from my bowl I like to add more chips to keep the crunch going.

Notes:  I halved the garlic and tomatillos this time. Used most of a good sized jalapeno pepper and one 20 ounce can of hominy. I used a cup and a quarter of water for the beer and a carton of gf chicken broth. About a tablespoon of homemade turkey gravy this time: ate the rest on hot sandwiches. Anyway, it was delish!

tomatillos

The more jalapeno pepper you add the hotter it will be. I have tried canned tomatillos and they are not really a good substitute.  You can get them fresh (found near the fresh tomatoes) in many stores including Giant.  They are used in Hispanic and Mexican cooking and add a lot of flavor and tartness to the soup. I have heard that some folks use salsa verde instead of tomatillos but it really isn’t hard to chop them up so I recommend the real deal.

Hominy is a corn product; whole kernels soaked in lye to swell and soften.  The kernels have a mild corn flavor plus they soak up other flavors quickly and add a certain texture and body to the stew.

The wild turkey is native to North America and one turkey species is originally from Mexico.  So turkey is a natural component in this stew.  The Aztecs revered corn and liked to cook it with meat.  Tomatillos are native to Mexico, related to cape gooseberries.  They are used in salsa verde and other Mexican dishes. So this compilation of turkey, corn, tomatillos and lime is a natural combination that will be easy to make and fun to eat. Go on, be adventurous and enjoy a steaming hot bowl of delicious posole and use up that turkey in a totally different way!

Homemade Pumpkin Pie: Easy and Delish

Pie is traditional at Thanksgiving in the USA. So you might be planning to make a GF pie for the holidays.  I think pumpkin is a perfect choice because it is really easy to make: has only a few steps.  Make a crust, mix up and dump in the filling, bake it, chill it and yumm it up!! And it sure is traditional for this holiday. When I ask my guy what pie he wanted, he alternates between pumpkin and my deep dish apple crumb pie.  My dad particularly loved this recipe; he felt it had a perfect texture and just right sweetness.

If you want to change things up, add a tsp. of maple flavoring to the filling for a sweet treat.  I did that that for my Thanksgiving pie the other year.

This GF crust will work for any pie you should want to make including pecan pie.  This particular filling recipe is adapted from my 1970s Betty Crocker and is one I have made for years; perfect custard texture.  If you like it really sweet add another quarter cup sugar.  I use evaporated milk; less fattening than the cream many recipes use.

My mom always said that eating a slice of pumpkin pie is like having an extra vegetable serving.  I like to cook up a butternut squash and run it through a food mill to make it silky smooth for the pie but you can just buy a can of pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling which has other stuff; just plain pumpkin please.

Go ahead, bake as easy a gf pie as is humanly possible and enjoy a tasty yet kinda healthy pie for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

pumpkin pie 2

Angie’s GF Pumpkin Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 2 Tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 Tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you make the filling. I actually roll mine out in an OXO pie bag which I love!

Filling:

2 large eggs

2 cups cooked pumpkin or butternut squash puree (canned is okay)

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. cloves

Sprinkle of nutmeg

1 3/4 c evaporated milk (1 can)

Beat eggs well and add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together with a mixer at low speed until blended.

Put It Together:

Roll out pie crust – see above directions: my sister Karen gave me a pie bag a few years ago and I love it for an even thin crust.  You can get one on line from King Arthur Flours.  Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Fill with pumpkin pie mixture.  Sometimes I sprinkle the top with more cinnamon and nutmeg.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, lower temperature setting to 350 and bake for 45 minutes until just set and the crust is light brown.  Cool and chill at least 2 to 4 hours before serving at or close to room temperature.

Note: I bake all my pies on the bottom rack of my gas oven on a rack set just above the oven bottom so it really cooks every pie crusts to perfection.  If you oven isn’t similarly equipped you might want to prebake your gf pie crust ten minutes before you pour in the filling and bake it.  Take ten minutes off the total time unless it seems to need a few more minutes.

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Brown Rice Flour Mix (same as King Arthur GF Flour Mix)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published on this blog November 2014.  Minor changes in the text since then.

Zucchini and Tomato Quiche in a Potato Crust

Sometimes you just don’t feel like making a traditional crust. This was one of those times. I had a homegrown zucchini, some cherry tomatoes, cheese, eggs, and 2 potatoes. Quiche for supper! This is a different filling recipe than my usual one; it is more eggs, half and half instead of milk and no cottage cheese; cubed mozzarella cheese. It was a delicious change of pace especially with the julienned fresh basil leaves sprinkled all over the top. You could use other veggies; I went with what I had. The garden’s bounty and it didn’t fail me.

Just baked, still pretty hot.

Angie’s Zucchini and Tomato Quiche

Ingredients

2 large russet potatoes, washed well and sliced very thin: about 1/8 inch thick.

cooking spray

5 large eggs

1/3 cup half and half

about 4-5 ounces cubed mozzarellla cheese

about 1/3 cup sliced onion; I used one small onion

2 Tsp EVOL

approximately 1 to 1-1/2 cups sliced zucchini

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup or so cherry tomatoes, halved

6-7 large basil leaves Jullianned

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 8.5-9 inch metal pie pan with olive oil cooking spray. Line it with potato slues on the bottom and half way up the sides. Spray again all over with the olive oil cooking spray. Bake 20 min; don’t let it get really brown. Turn oven down to 350 after removing pie shell.

Mix eggs and half and half in blender; 10 seconds or so.

Sautee the onion rings in some EVOL; maybe 2 tsp of it. Add squash after 2-3 minutes. Cook until softening; maybe 5 minutes. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Pour into warm potato crust. Sprinkle with tomato halves and cheese cubes. Pour egg mixture gently over it Sprinkle with basil leaves.

Bake in 350 degree oven 30-35 minutes; if it looks like it is browning too much turn heat back to 335 degrees.

Cool to lukewarm before cutting. Enjoy!

Thai Chicken Coconut Lime Curry

I was looking for a simple Thai curry without using curry pastes to flavor it. I was thinking some coconut milk for great flavor and I found a few recipes. I blended two or three together to make the best Thai chicken curry I have ever created. I loaded it with fresh vegetables and love it’s clean fresh flavor. And I hope you will too. You can use different vegetables – what you have and what you like. I found the amount of sauce to be perfect, actually ate it with a big spoon so I could get every soupy bit!

Notes: Please use full fat coconut milk for the correct consistency and flavor. I used boneless chicken thighs. It could be easily made with boneless split chicken breasts. I let Joe eat most of the hot pepper rings, to each his own. I do like how it makes it sing with a bit of controlled heat. Do not leave the fish sauce out; you won’t even know it is in there, but it really enhances the flavor. Enjoy!

Not a great picture at all but I wanted to post this recipe so here it is! Trust me it is delicious.

Thai Chicken Coconut Lime Curry

Ingredients

2 Tbsp mild olive oil

1.5-2 lbs. boneless and skinless chicken thighs

1/2-2/3 cup chopped onion

1 large carrot peeled and sliced thin on the diagonal: 1/4 inch width

1 large red pepper cut in long strips and then cut the strips in half

2 cloves of garlic pressed

1 Tbsp. fresh ginger grated (I freeze mine and it grates well that way)

1/3 of a jalapeno pepper or a red chili pepper of the heat you prefer, slice in narrow rings, remove seeds

1 can full fat coconut soup, shake it up before opening

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

Zest a lime and then juice it (need 2 Tbsp lime juice)

1 cup asparagus stems snapped into 1.5-inch lengths. If it won’t snap; pitch the rest of each stalk.

2 cups of baby spinach washed and drained

More lime – wedges to squeeze over each dish

Instructions: Prep work of cutting up all veggies into small pieces as described and similar lengths other than chopped onions which will be smaller. Prep work of cutting boneless thighs into halves or thirds depending on size. I would leave breasts the half size, so they don’t overcook. A whole breast would be too big. Split in half is perfect I am thinking.

I used a 15-inch-wide paella pan, mine is nonstick and gives me the room for all the veggies in this dish. Just use a large sauté pan that will hold everything. Heat it a few minutes, add 1 tbsp of the mild oil. When it is hot add the chicken. Brown it for 3 minutes on each side and then use tongs to remove them to a plate. Add the other tbsp. oil and then the onion when the pan is fairly hot. Turn the heat to medium low and cook until starting to get soft 4 minutes (stir it as it cooks so no burnt onion bits). Add carrot slices and red pepper strips; cook another 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, grated ginger, garlic, stir well, add the coconut milk, stir well as it gets hot, stop just before a boil ensues. Return the chicken thighs to the pan and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over, cook 5 minutes, nestle the asparagus spears into the sauce and cover it again. Add the lime juice and zest and the spinach leaves after 5 more minutes, keep covered. By now the asparagus should be soft enough to stick in a fork. If not, cook another minute. The spinach just needs to wilt; it will continue to do that even after you turn off the heat.

If you like cilantro throw on a third of a cup of chopped fresh cilantro at the end, we don’t so I didn’t. If you can get Thai basil, use that instead! I can only find it if I grow it myself. So summer is the season for Thai basil. Great hot basil taste which is perfect in Thai curries.

Serve this curry over hot Jasmine rice. I make mine in a sauce pan that I cut a brown paper bag circle to fit between the pot and the tight-fitting lid, it should overhang by an inch or so; the paper liner keeps liquid from escaping and drying out the rice before it is done. Or make it in your Instant Pot. I made a full cup of uncooked rice, and it was just about the perfect amount of rice. Enjoy!

Another less than stellar photograph. Not sure why but I think I was so eager to dig in I didn’t bother to tidy up the plate. I will take a new one next time I make it.