Crispy Roasted Broccoli

Happy Friday! The weather has been horrible and life has been busy, but in exchange I am sharing with you one of the easiest and most rewarding veggie sides possible. It is sweet, it is salty, and it has excellent crunch. Without further ado, the yin to last week's honey mustard roasted chicken's yang: crispy roasted broccoli.

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This is a seriously simple side: you really just need to wash, dry and cut up the broccoli - extra points if you take the easy out and buy the pre-washed and pre-cut broccoli in the prepared foods section of Wegman's  - toss it with some olive oil and seasoning, and toss halfway through cooking time. One thing to keep in mind: this will really bake down. Make a lot more than you think necessary for your group unless you want to taste vegetable heaven then be taken back to earth way too quickly because you didn't make enough. As DJ Khaled says, don't play yourself.

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Keep in mind too that this is all to taste - I like my roasted veggies with a little char and crispy, if you like yours less on the roasted side, pull those suckers out as soon as you think they look appealing. Tasting as you go is the real key here.

Serves: 4

Total Time: 45 minutes (3-10 hands on, depending on if you bought pre-cut)

Ingredients

  • About 1 head of Broccoli per person - you can go stems and florets in a ratio of your choosing, but I went for mostly florets to the tune of about 2 pounds of pre-cut and it wasn't quite enough
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste (I did literally four red pepper flakes since we're weaklings)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
Seasoning in the corner pre-bag shaking (oil got away already!)

Seasoning in the corner pre-bag shaking (oil got away already!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 , although honestly you can adjust the time the broccoli spends in the oven based on the temperature the rest of your food needs to cook properly.
  2. Wash, thoroughly dry, and cut broccoli into smaller pieces, keeping in mind that they will shrivel up - so don't cut too tiny! 
  3. Pour all ingredients but broccoli into the corner of a storage sized resealable bag, starting with the oil. Add broccoli, seal tightly and shake shake shake (shake your booty).
  4. Pour broccoli onto a cookie sheet lined with foil (one less thing to wash!) and leave in oven for 25 minutes or desired doneness, tossing around about halfway through with a spatula. I like mine to look a little burnt, which gives it the best crunch and flavor, which takes me closer to the 30 minute mark.

Some people like to add gluten free soy sauce and sesame seeds or vinegar, but I think these are pretty perfect on their own. Enjoy!

Hands Off Dinner Party Decadence

Or, I'm-poor-but-want-to-eat-fancy, I'm-easily-distracted-but-I-hate-takeout or my personal favorite, I-hate-recipes-but-I-want-to-impress-friends. Whatever your reason, I have discovered the secret to perfection: this lemony, honey-mustardy roasted chicken, served here with rice and some insanely good roasted broccoli I'll share later this week.

With only about 10 minutes hands on time TOTAL (unless you move like a sloth then maybe 20), you will be able to go back to your main priorities: catching up with friends, pouring drinks, checking off the last 4 episodes of Downton Abbey you haven't watched because the series is ending and why!?

Backstory to this dinner: I decided I wanted chicken thighs, because they were so amazingly tender and delicious when I made the gluten free chicken pot pie a few weeks back. I also knew I hadn't touched the whole grain mustard I bought for that recipe, so I googled "whole grain mustard chicken thighs" and the first recipe up was from Martha Stewart's website, albeit not from the icon herself. I watched the cooking video, and was surprised that the recipe actually came from the author's son when he was playing around with what he had in his place during college. That settled it; if a guy in college was making this as an alternative to ordering wings, it had to be easy and delicious enough for me to try. I highly recommend clicking on that site, which I've hyperlinked again here, all I did was play around with the recipe a little bit below but the real credit obviously goes to him.

With the tiniest bit of planning ("How much time can I let the chicken marinade before it spends almost 40 minutes in the oven? At what point does the rice I've chosen play into this waiting game?" There, planning done) you are on your way to a relatively hands-off dinner that will impress everyone you serve it to - including, and most importantly, yourself.

An extra note: I bought the biggest chicken thighs I could find, bit they were still a bit small for dinner. Plan on an extra side or making more than one thigh per person if you have hungry guests! I'm making a special dessert tonight you'll hear about soon though, so it was almost better to make sure everyone saved a little room.

 

Total time: 2 hours (Hands on time ~10 minutes)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in (6-8 if you have a hungry bunch)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, no need to be fancy here
  • 1 large lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • ~1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • ~1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (yes again, shut up!)

 

 

 

Instructions

  1. In a storage sized resealable bag or large bowl (depending on cleanup preferences, I went bowl), pour in olive oil, zest of as much as you can of the lemon, and all of the juice. Salt and pepper to taste, then add chicken and seal/cover, storing in fridge for at least an hour (that's all I needed!).
  2. If making roasted broccoli, or any other veggie or side, start prepping! Otherwise watch your shows, pour a bev, chat with pals! At some point in this hour or so, preheat your oven to 400° and set up your rice so you don't make a mess pouring grains of rice all over the place in a rush like I always do. Honestly rice is the worst. Sure, it's a filling grain that's delicious especially with loads of butter and salt, but I alway manage to screw it up. Pretty sure this was my second successful rice-making experience in my life and it's only rice! Ugh. So do what you need to do here so your rice doesn't suck, takes more work than ya think.
  3. Line a large pan with foil, then pour a little bit of olive oil in (maybe a tablespoon? Gotta eyeball it) and tilt pan to spread. Use tongs to place chicken on pan skin side down - that way we can crisp it up at the very end! Throw that sucker in the oven for, if you'd like to get exact here, 23 minutes and 11 seconds.
  4. In those 23 minutes and 11 seconds, you can work on other sides or refilling drinks, then throw together the glaze: whisk mustard, honey, olive oil and s&p together in a small bowl, making sure to taste to make sure it's just the way you like it! Testing with chips isn't a bad idea...
  5. Flip the chicken skin side up and put back in the oven, turned up to 425°, for another 10 minutes. Work on finishing touches now or finding a less heart-rending show since you're going through too many boxes of tissues watching Downton.
  6. Add your glaze - and make it rain on all sides and any little crevices - then broil for 5 minutes; I really only needed 4. Reminder for those new to broiling: leave the oven door slightly open! Otherwise you'll be way past Nelly's "Hot in Herre" in your way to Pitbull's "Fireball" - but your house, not the drink.

 

                       Serve and enjoy!

Should-I-Have-My-Vision-Checked? Cauliflower STEAKS

First off, no your vision is fine. Second, I do mean steak in that this is an insanely savory, meaty (gross, I know but applicable), decadent dinner. Even though it is made of cauliflower. Seriously check this puppy out:

This is not only a healthy dinner (ugh hate saying dinner two lines in a row but you know how I hate the word meal), but it has everything you want: crispy on the outside from searing, tender on the inside from roasting, tangy from balsamic vinegar, a little salt to since I need salt every meal and of course it's covered in CHEESE. So yeah minus real animal meat everything I want.

And to keep the health craze going add some limes! To gin and tonic water, that is.

And to keep the health craze going add some limes! To gin and tonic water, that is.

I found this recipe on a Tastemade snapchat video a few months ago, and remembered how amazing Katie made it look ever since. But I don't really go out of my way for cauliflower, and normally once purchased it has a specific use (veggies and dip, a side with dinner). Finally this weekend I noticed a head of cauliflower in the fridge that was purchased just because it looked good! Luckily for me I had just enjoyed a bagel sandwich for brunch and an ice cream sundae for a late lunch/dinner so I was on a hunt for something veggie-packed that I would make me feel a bit more balanced.

And shit was I surprised that all three foods I ate that day were equally delicious. One head of cauliflower will cook up two steaks and a whole bunch of extras little pieces of cauliflower to keep in a bag in the fridge to dip in dressing later.

Full (and also simple) directions are on the  Tastemade link (above and at the end), but to make the steaks, you'll cut down the middle of a cauliflower and make parallel cuts on either side of your main cut (thank god for her video right). After that it is an immensely simple recipe - sear for 2-3 minutes per side in olive oil, add salt and pepper, throw in the oven on parchment paper at 400° . I flipped them about 15 minutes in then added the balsamic vinegar with a spoon (a tablespoonful on each steak) and grated Parmesan cheese. Voila! Easiest, fanciest veggie main you could ever make. Even my steak-obsessed dad was impressed.

 

Just for fun, I washed and cut up a few heirloom cherry tomatoes then tossed them in a tiny amount of olive oil and s&p. This made for a sweet and borderline syrupy side that was an amazing compliment to the steaks, without making anything else dirty!

 

 

 

Katie outlined the other options you could dress the steaks with, but I highly recommend the balsamic vinegar/parm combo for your first rodeo. Enjoy! Just in case you missed the link before with Katie's name and Tastemade, here it is again: https://www.tastemade.com/videos/cauliflower-steak

All Time Fave Soup

I love soup. There's something so comforting about a big warm bowl of veggies to warm you up, from a noodle bowl to a tomato soup with (gluten free) grilled cheese. I can't have soup for dinner too often, since it seems like more of a lunch thing, but on the occasions I do there are few things that are so comforting while still being packed with foods that are good for you. Plus, it's one of the easiest things to put together! If you can manage to not murder someone cutting up a billion different types of vegetables (seriously though I've said it before all that cutting is a major bitch), you're setting yourself up for one excellent dinner and a bunch of work/school lunches. 

Although do people in school bring soup anymore? Somehow seeing a thermos of soup isn't something I remember seeing since elementary school. God I'm old.

My mom made this soup, and it was honestly one of the best soups we've had in our house ever (including canned soups from the store and hot soups from local places we've brought home). Sadly though that means I don't have an exact recipe, just a general idea of what was used and how it came together. As with all soups though, follow the basics: throw in your aromatics, add veggies then broth of choice, simmer and season until happy. And serve rice/g-free pastas or noodles on the side, otherwise as part of the soup pot they'll soak all the broth up. Sidebar: great job mom!

Serves: 4 for dinner (with a few lunches)

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours, more if you want some real simmering time

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 stocks celery
  • Half a small or one whole onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 medium turnips
  • 2 Yukon potatoes
  • 1 16oz can San Marzano/equivalent stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water (add more or less at your discretion)
  • A few bunches of kale, or 2 packed cups of spinach
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep veggies (the worst part! It'll be over soon.) - wash everything, then chop celery, peel and chop carrots, shred kale, dice turnips and potatoes (skins on the potatoes or peeled off is totally personal preference, but for yukons I say who cares?).
  2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until shining. Add chopped garlic (or, ideally, use a garlic press to get the garlic directly into the pot). Once garlic has begun to brown, add onions, carrots and celery, and stir as onions begin to sweat (aka everything will cook down a bit and start to smell great). 
  3. After about 7 minutes, add turnips and potatoes, letting brown for about two minutes before pouring in the tomatoes and as much stock/water as you need (I feel like my girl Ina Garten, with whom I have a v serious love/hate relationship for another day, but you will notice the difference using stock over water here). When I say you "need," * I should qualify how much broth you'd like in your soup - straight up veggies popping out of minimal broth or a big ol' soupy soup. 
  4. Bring the whole thing to a boil, then cover this bad boy up and reduce to a simmer (in my world, right around medium). Taste intermittently, say every 10-15 minutes, adding salt and pepper as necessary. 
  5. Let this go as long as you can - 40 minutes minimum in my book - but when you're ready to rumble (by that I mean your stomach is making gross hungry sounds), add in the kale 20 minutes early or spinach for another 5-10 and cook down, stirring and finalizing seasonings.

Serve with grated cheese - I used Parmesan for dinner and Cabot shredded cheddar for lunch - and add-ins like noodles or rice if you'd like! Personally with the potatoes I think this is filling enough. For food, that is. Wine is still strongly encouraged to aid with digestion...or something medical.

*Since this post is based on my moms recipe I had to include a piece on "need," because one of her favorite subjects to discuss is how I don't really "need" anything. For example, I don't really "need" ice cream, or I don't really "need" a glass of red since my sister opened a new bottle. Ha.

 

You're A SUPERSTAR Chicken Pot Pie

I hope your Pi day was full of the best of the best - whether for you that meant a traditional fruit-filled gluten free pastry or a more modern twist like a pizza pie (with my favorite Against the Grain premade pizza, peut-être?). My celebration started on Sunday, but after taking so much time to make my pie I had zero energy to write about it that night or in time to post it Monday. So here it is now! My very difficult but completely delicious and possibly worth it although I've sworn to never make it again gluten free Chicken Pot Pie!


I had found this recipe earlier in the day from a tweet linking to a Jamie Oliver post. I ignored the warning label that the difficulty was "Showing Off" (at my own peril) and decided that I would make this recipe - with so few ingredients, how could it be hard? Ha. Ha. Ha. (Evil Kerry really reveled in Optimistic Kerry's pain).

The recipe itself seems straightforward, but you have to start off by converting British units to how we cook in the US (don't worry, I've done it below for you!). Then come the silly things - I have a mini food processor but not a full size one, so I could do a little work in that before I decided to transfer to my stand mixer to add the other ingredients that wouldn't fit - very messy when gluten free flour is involved. Since I didn't want to clean a pie pan (on top of every cooking utensil I have in the house, as I soon learned), I halved the pie recipe and just placed it on the top, using 9 inch foil pans with a bit of Crisco as the base. This worked really well! If you're feeling like a Cooking Queen/King/Royal though feel free to go all the way. 

I tried a bit of the pastry crust before it spent some time in the fridge, and I was disappointed. I really started to talk up how lousy that part would be, and became quite the Debbie Downer about the whole affair. Unfortunately (fortunately?), the crust tasted delicious when it came out of the oven, and this was one of the best things I've made. If only I hadn't promised I would never make it again...

The recipe mentions that you could use precooked chicken, but being a complete idiot I figured it couldn't take that much time/be that hard to follow the recipe exactly. I also didn't trust rotisserie chicken at the store to be gluten free, and what was the point of making a pot pie *gluten free* if it potentially wasn't? It was also insanely delicious chicken, so if you have an afternoon where you're snowed in, or realize you hate everyone you know, this is the full-day recipe that will make you a star chef to your family or those other people you've decided you hate but for some reason have decided to feed.

For the crust, I used about a cup of gluten free flour that I'd kept in an airtight container in the freezer from the America's Test Kitchen How Can It Be Gluten Free Volume 2. I'm sure any flour you have would be successful here!

 

Without further ado, my version of Jamie Oliver's blog's recipe. Strap on your running shoes and here we go!

Total Time: 4 hours

Serves: 5

Ingredients

For the Pie:

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 large leeks, saving and washing some of the green tops as well as the white bottoms
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 5 oz crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (recipe says cornflour but I didn't want to buy it when I knew cornstarch and water would thicken just as well!)
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

For the Pastry

  • 1 cup gluten free flour (I used ATK's All Purpose Flour Blend recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free xantham gum - I didn't have any and didn't realize until too late, so I omitted it and had no issues (there wasn't any in my flour blend either); as a bonus there was no gross xantham gum taste!
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded - use a bag of shredded or a food processor on a block of cheese, which was my method
  • 7/8 of a stick of butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs - one whole and one just yolk with water for glaze the crust
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

 

Instructions

  1. Prep the goods! Thoroughly wash and dry the leeks - I cut off the tip-tops of each, then worked with the still-green-but-not-as-dirty middle parts remaining before digging in separately to the white pieces. I recommend washing them by hand then cutting the green parts into large pieces then the white parts into tiny pieces and washing them separately in a salad spinner. Wash, peel and slice carrots, and start thawing frozen peas.
  2. In a large pot, add chicken and top with the green leek pieces, black peppercorns, and 3 sprigs of thyme. Cover with water about an inch above the chicken and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer (just below medium for me), and cover so there's just a little gap for air to escape for an hour.
  3. While your chicken is simmering, start in on your pastry crust. If you're a genius pull our your bag of shredded cheddar and skip to the next step, otherwise take a few pieces off a block and run them through a food processor (or mini processor if you felt like suffering Kerry-style). Put in a bowl to use next.
  4. To a food processor or well-covered stand mixer (seriously this shit will fly everywhere), blend together your flour, xantham gum and salt, then add in your cheddar and butter. Pulse or blend on high until everything is totally incorporated.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together one egg, mustard, crème fraîche and water with a fork until combined, then slowly pour into the flour mix while it's running on low. Continue to run until the mixture becomes a soft dough, then roll out onto a large piece of plastic wrap in a shape slightly larger than your pie cover (I used the pie cover as my guide), and shape plastic wrap tightly around dough. Place in fridge until firm.
  6. Right about now your chicken should be ready to strain, so pull out your leeks and thyme and place your chicken in a medium pot, then strain the broth into the pot. Bring the pot to medium heat and boil for about 30 minutes, when the broth will reduce by half and smell delish.
  7. Start washing your dishes! You've collected a whole bunch right about now and god only knows you don't want to save them for later.
  8. Take chicken pot off heat and leave to cool for a few minutes, until you can start pulling out the chicken and shredding it into a bowl. I used tongs to pull out the chicken, and it was so tender and delicious (tenderrr, if you ever watched "Recess" in the '90s, below) that the meat literally fell off the bone and I just used two forks to break it down a bit. Do whatever you need to to attain the same result.
  9. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in white leeks and the rest of your thyme, along with carrots and peas. Cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Add in shredded chicken, along with  crème fraîche and a cup of your stock. In a small cup, combine cornstarch and cold water, stirring with a fork until combined and all lumps are removed, the pour half into the pan. Heat through on medium low until the sauce thickens and everything is incorporated, about 5 minutes, adding more cornstarch mixture if necessary. Season with s&p to taste.
  11. Line 9 inch foil pan (or real pan if you're a glutton for punishment) with a bit of Crisco or other gluten free vegetable shortening. Pour in pie mixture, and top with pie crust from the fridge. Crimp edges of crust over the pan and cut some lines to let out steam, then mix egg yolk and cold water and brush some over the top of the crust.
  12. Preheat oven to 400, and place pie to rest in the fridge for 10 minutes. Add a bit more egg wash once your 10 minutes are up.
  13. Bake for 35 minutes, then let cool for 5 before serving.

For those of you deprived of a childhood...



Too much egg wash! Don't be like me (in this singular instance in time)!

Too much egg wash! Don't be like me (in this singular instance in time)!

 

 

CONGRATS! You've made it out alive. Pour a glass of white wine and celebrate your culinary skills. You're a real maverick.

Savory Goat Cheese Toast

So I'll preface with a bit of a warning: you will need your favorite gluten free bread for this. Specifically I'd recommend a crusty white, or as crusty gluten free white bread can be without just being crusty. Also! Although the picture itself isn't super exciting, I promise the snack is. It's like the upper-crust version of pizza - bread, cheese and tomatoes - but in a way that doesn't make you feel like you ate greasy unhealthy food (still love you, pizza!) or like you can't have a real pizza later in the day.

I like this particular combination so much I've had it for breakfast a few times, although each of those times I find myself a little grossed out by tomatoes at breakfast - sorry England, I love your scrambled eggs but hate the mushroom/beans/tomato part of your breakfast staple. This is seriously the most filling and feels-like-a-treat lunch dinner or snack you can have while doing almost no work. You could even have it with a glass of white wine for dinner, or cut it into tiny pieces and serve as an app for a party with people you're trying to impress. Stop trying to impress them, by the way! You're way cooler.

 

Serves: 1 

Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces of your favorite gluten free white bread that will hold well under toasting
  • About 1 tablespoon goat cheese
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt 
  • 2 grinds black pepper

Instructions

  1. Toast gluten free bread until slightly brown, when it will hold other toppings while retaining crisp but not hard - you'll know the best setting for the bread you choose. Rinse, dry, and cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. 
  2. Set small pan to medium-low heat, then add tomatoes. The center of the tomatoes will try to stick to the bottom of the pan; make sure to move them around. These little guys will cook fast, keep shifting them then let sit for a few minutes before taking them off heat. Original recipes I've read want you to broil them, but this is so time consuming when you can warm them up with a little char in a pan within a few minutes.
  3. Spread goat cheese across toast, and top with tomatoes. Pour olive oil in a spoon then distribute evenly over toast and tomatoes, repeating with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with s&p and serve!

 

I've also tried to reduce the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan before using it here. Sure, it's sweeter, but it takes a lot of vinegar to reduce it down and shit does it smell! Super sour and harsh and will make you hate vinegar for months. Just don't bother and use un-fucked-with balsamic - your future Dwight will thank you. 

Oh You Fancy Huh Salmon

I know I've mentioned before that my alma mater has one of the best college dining programs in the country (probably beyond too if we're being honest), so it should be no surprise that the first time I tried salmon was in one of their dining halls. And I was hooked (fishy pun unintentional)! It's pretty much a weekly staple at this point - and since it involves almost no prep and cleanup (if you do it right), why wouldn't it be?!

 

In this picture I made homemade French fries, a Brussels sprout salad I'm obsessed with, and a salad with homemade blue cheese dressing. I'm still tweaking the fry recipe, I'll share the Brussels sprout salad recipe in a future post since it is the perfect savory/salty/cheesy/vinegary accompaniment to any filling entree, especially with barbecue in the summer, and the blue cheese dressing will be brought up next time I make it! Always a work in progress with so many blue cheeses to play with. There are endless options for sides here - couscous, risotto, rice, or OreIda gluten free fries are all great starches, and steamed broccoli with lemon, the tomato salad from my barbecue sides post, or Caesar salad would be great for some fresh crunch.

 

Serves: 4

Total Time: 20 minutes (not including your sides! Probably want to prep those first)

Ingredients

  • 4 fillets salmon
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 grinds of black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Line a pan with aluminum foil,  or - even better! - use a disposable foil pan. I really should've bought stock in these a long time ago.
  3. Dry salmon with paper towels, then evenly space in pan and drizzle EVOO over, rubbing in to coat. This should be a super light layer, we're not trying to swim in oil right now kiddos. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over each fillet.
  4. Place salmon in middle setting of oven for 13-16 minutes until you can flake it easily with a fork and tell it's fully cooked through (not opaque).

Some people will add mustard or soy glazes before serving - the most exciting I'll probably ever get here is adding some full lemon slices on top first, but let me know if you've found a wonderful addition that takes this next-level. Don't forget your lemon wedges and tartar sauce!*

 

*This tartar sauce piece is much more divisive than I ever realized. To each his own, but I'll be using some a jar (or whipping together mayo relish and lemon juice if I'm all out) of it fo' sho.

British Eggs

These are a real doozy. But honestly here trying is believing. Looking at these you may think, "Eh, scrambled eggs. Whatever." But no! You'd be totally wrong. These are slow and low, perfectly cooked, life-changing scrambled eggs. You'll believe me when you make them.

I first tried these during a summer in Oxford in college. Friends of mine who studied there the summer before alerted me in advance to their magical powers, and told me that no matter how weird it sounded, my number one priority was to try the scrambled eggs at breakfast.

The first few days I was a bit too apprehensive. Now all I think about is how I wasted those perfectly good British-egg eating days. On some "brown" toast with s&p these are fantastic. Part of the initial appeal is that these aren't the big weird chunks of egg you get with regular scrambled eggs. I was also positive they put cream in them, but after checking back in and comparing to a billion recipes I think it's just one of the never-ending benefits of butter! And maybe creme fraiche if you're feeling wild.

After having these in Oxford, and again at the palatial wonder/Spice Girls mecca that is the London St. Pancras hotel, I needed to know how to make these at home. After endless google searches, I happened upon the recipe that outlined the basic process for me - with a little patience, Jamie Oliver taught me, happiness is a few minutes away. I've played around with it ever since, and even though my family are egg snobs and don't want try these, everyone else I've ever met who has is a convert. 

Serves: 1

Total Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 "knob" butter - I freaking love this phrase. Cut off a piece or two of butter a little more than what you'd put if you were buttering two pieces of toast
  • Crème fraîche (optional; and really only use it if you have it and want to be extra fun)
  • 2 pieces gluten free bread

Instructions

  1. To a small saucepan, add butter and break in two eggs. Add saucepan to burner once it's heated up to medium.
  2. Using a rubber spatula, continuously stir mixture, almost like you're whisking - small circular movements around the pan instead of big, pan-wide rotations. I watched a video where it was said this is the same constant stirring used to create a risotto (although pronounced with a beautiful British accent that gave made it sound so profound). Continue for about a minute and a half before taking saucepan off heat and continuing to stir.  Throw your bread in the toaster now before you forget!
  3. Continue the back-and-forth motion between medium heat and off heat, continuing to stir each way, until eggs begin to come together. I go about a minute on and a minute off for 5 or 6 minutes. You'll know your eggs are ready when they are a beautiful bright yellow and all moisture is absorbed into the eggs in small curdles (gross word but it's true! This is how it will look!).
  4. If using crème fraîche, add in now, then fold and stir to totally coat them - you shouldn't see any of the crème fraîche here!
  5. Butter up your toast if you're going all-in on the butter, otherwise add salt and pepper and plunk right on your toast! Pro Tip: Add some ketchup to the eggs and mix it around with a fork before topping the toast with them.  Serve with a glass of milk and a side of Kerry-is-so-right.

 

Extra Pro Tip: If you have the patience (I never do), cook on medium-low. This will take  little longer but the eggs will be even creamier and decadent. If you can imagine that.

 

Dying to go back to England so I don't have to make these for myself for once! And tell me how you like them if you've had them before, or once you've made them and come over to the British side!

Ready for the heat! Then off it.

Ready for the heat! Then off it.

Just a few minutes away!

Just a few minutes away!

Luxurious Winter Veggie Soup

 How a soup can be luxurious is less important than how luxurious a soup can be.  And if you don't understand, you never will.  But just for you, I'll add this:  This soup is sweet and savory, rich and flavorful. You'll feel full, but also healthy  - how can this fit so many criteria while being so easy to make?

I found this recipe on the New York Times Cooking App, which I've mentioned before but will mention again and again and again. I'm clearly a huge fan of this app. From teaching cooking basics in the "Learn to Cook" video section to outlining food and drinks ideas that will ease you in to more complicated recipes, their clean interface has it all - including the ability to save recipes to a home screen and add or read other viewer's notes while trying each recipe out.

Although there's a special place in my heart for each of the authors on the app, I keep coming back to Martha Rose Shulman's recipes. She always seems to find new ways to play with healthy foods so that the boring veggies you have at home seem appealing and fun, and to make you interested in other foods you never imagined would sound delicious. Everything just seems so comforting! Current recipes of hers I saved include: Endive Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing, Salmon Rillettes, Three-Greens Gratin, and Crispy Spiced Kale. 

I Now, back to what I actually made! Martha's Winter Vegetable Soup with Turnips, Carrots, Potatoes, and Leeks was super simple to put together; in fact I made it for the next day while my braised short ribs were in the oven for that night's dinner! Since everything goes in with the water you don't have to worry about making your house smell like garlic and onions by cooking those in oil first, and you don't need to cut the veggies into pretty shapes since they'll be pulverized soon enough. The most work you're doing is cleaning and cutting the veggies, and once the soup is ready you get to do the fun part - putting it in batches through the blender! Or an immersion blender if you're a fancy-pants.

The following is how I made Martha's soup at home, including the adjusted ingredients. Click on her link to compare if you're thinking of making it at home to decide what works best from you, or if you're thinking of planning on playing with the recipe at home. And let me know how it turns out!

Serves: 6 dinner portions, 10-12 appetizer portions

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 large leeks - white parts only

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 3 large carrots

  • 1 celery stalk

  • 1 large turnips

  • 1 pound russet potatoes (I used four large potatoes)

  • 1/2 quart beef stock

  • 1 quart water

  • A bay leaf and a few sprigs thyme (parsley is also recommended but I didn't have any at home!)

  •  Big pinch of salt and a few rotations of a black pepper grinder

  • ¼ cup crème fraîche, if desired (half of our group didn't even add it after trying the soup alone!)

Instructions

  1. Clean and chop vegetables into even sizes. Like I said above, this is the most work you'll have to do: peeling and chopping the carrots, turnip and potatoes, cutting the leeks and cleaning them thoroughly (I chopped the white part in half lengthwise, then cut into fine pieces before running through a salad spinner a few times to clean). But take out a big knife, turn on a jam, and chop away the week's frustrations and you'll be relaxed and done with the big job in a few minutes.
  2. Add chopped vegetables along with beef stock and water to a large pot. Martha recommended just water, but I thought it might be fun to add a little complexity and flavor from beef stock, plus I had it out for the short ribs at the time. Add salt, pepper, and bay leaf and thyme (parsley if you grabbed some, too!). 
  3. Bring the pot to a boil, then cover and leave at a simmer (I had it medium for about 20 minutes then since it was still pretty bubbly moved it to medium-low), stirring occasionally. I'm a weirdo about finding bay leaves in my food later so I leave it in a very obvious spot and stir around it, watching it like a hawk. Feel free to be a little less of a weirdo and let it disappear for a bit (but regret not heeding my warning when you're searching for it later)!
  4. Taste a few pieces - I go for the turnip with a little broth and a piece of leek - to make sure the veggies are fall-apart soft, then turn off heat and move pot to a cool burner. If you're Coolio you can use an immersion blender now, otherwise wait until the soup has cooled enough to handle and run it in batches through your blender. I ladled 3 or so cups in the blender at a time and pulsed manually for about 10 seconds before pouring in a big bowl. The first two batches I finely pulsed, and the last two I left some bigger pieces in since I was scared of making it too much of a baby food consistency. The combination really balanced out!
  5. Cover and serve later, or return to your soup pot and reheat. With the crème fraîche, I'd recommend letting each diner decide if they want it or not instead of adding it to the whole soup pot. When we ate it, each person ladled out their serving into a bowl and microwaved it, either with the crème fraîche spooned in and mixed before heating or not using it at all (no need to clean another pot!). This can be fun to play around with though, so do whatever makes you happy!

 

 

 What a fantastic way to make a relatively hands-off but super impressive winter warmer. Thanks again to Martha for her #FoodInspo !

Braised Short Ribs

Whew! I am a WILD WOMAN. Seriously. I was a powerhouse tonight, just cook, cook, cooking away! I had some absolutely amazing short ribs while eating out with my sister last week. This insanely flavorful, perfectly fall-apart meat was served with a super flavorful roasted carrot/turnip mix alongside some haricots verts. I came home talking about it and - of course - showing the picture of my food to everyone. It's 2016 people! We take pictures of our food and show them to each other! Get over it.


So anyway, I think I really drove my "this was the best thing I've ever had" home since my mom suggested this morning that we try making short ribs at home. After googling a hundred thousand recipes (maybe 10), I felt like I'd learned enough about the basic process to choose my own adventure. Those were seriously the best books.


The result was a relatively easy, mostly hands-off recipe that was restaurant quality for a fraction of the price! More money to spend on some vino with dinner. While my short ribs were in the oven and before I had to start in on the mashed potatoes, I started in on a winter vegetable soup that I'll share later on. Can you see why I said I'm a wild woman now?

All in all, both recipes are pretty simple. There's always a little anxiety making a completely new recipe, never mind two, but really you spend most of your hands on time for each just cleaning and cutting veggies, so there's nothing actually difficult here.


And on we go! Get wild with me.

Serves: 4

Total Time: 3 1/2 hours


Ingredients

  • 4 short ribs (bone in or out, Wegman's had good looking bone out ones in two-packs for just under $10 each so I went for those!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pre-minced if you don't have a garlic press/mincer/whatever it's called
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cups dry red wine (I used Lab since we had a bottle opened)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to rub on short ribs

 

 

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Dice onion and wash, peel and finely chop carrots and celery. Rub salt and pepper onto largest sides of each short rib and rub in gently.
  2. Heat large high-rimmed pot to medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and swirl around pot until bottom is coated and a hand an inch or two above the oil can feel heat.
  3. Add short ribs, with plenty of space between. Let sit for a few minutes until deep brown on each side, turning and letting sit on each side to fully sear. This will take about 10-15 minutes. I found that using tongs to turn the meat as I lift it up is the cleanest way to remove it from the pot, otherwise it'll tend to stick. And once you place the meat down, don't touch it! You want a perfect sear instead of a messy-looking side. As meat is searing, prepare a large high-rimmed pan with a few layers of aluminum foil.
  4. Once all sides are browned, add carrots, celery, and onion, and use a garlic press to mince garlic over. Adjust heat to medium and stir veggies in until onions are translucent, about five minutes.
  5. When onions are translucent, pour in wine and beef stock. Bring pot to a boil and cover for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove cover, turn stove off, and use tongs to move each short rib into foil-lined pan. Ladle sauce over meat and add to pan, then cover the pan tightly with a piece of aluminum foil (alternately, if you have a large oven-safe dish with a cover, use it here! Although the foil-on-foil concept really minimizes cleanup) and add to lower third of oven. Set timer for two hours.
  7. Now you have some free time! Start a load of laundry, read a new book, make some soup! Or, okay, fine, go watch Netflix. Just one episode of New Girl. Or four.
  8. With a half hour left on your timer, start in on those mashed potatoes or whatever side you're planning on. I used two russet potatoes per person, just covering peeled and chopped potatoes in a pot with water and boiling at medium/medium-high until a fork goes cleanly through (about 20 minutes). Drain potatoes, mash with a potato masher - a great way to release some tension - and add what you need! We go for some s&p with milk and butter melted in a mug in the microwave for a few seconds, but you can go totally crazy with cream, cream cheese, sour cream, or whatever else you wacky lactose-loving people use (trust me I would join your ranks if not for lactose intolerance in our house).
  9. Remove covered short ribs from oven and let sit on stove for twenty minutes. I know! You're hungry! But the mashed potatoes are covered and ready and you have some time to set the table or microwave some frozen haricots verts. Or watch the last few minutes of that episode you were watching - Winston is the BEST. Plus, I'm letting you off easy: a lot of recipes recommend leaving this in the fridge overnight or putting back in the oven again after shredding the short ribs.
  10. Open the foil (or top) and carefully skim the fat off the sauce. Pour sauce over each short rib, then serve over mashed potatoes and nom away (sounds like when they say on my way do doo do do doo): 

Have you tried making short ribs at home? Any special secrets you want to share?

Fast and Easy Chili

I'm sure there have been lots of people in your life who have promised something then reneged on it, but I'm going to deliver on my title's promise. So tell those people to go screw and come hang out with me! We're having chili.

Before we went gluten-free for shared meals (and important sidebar: I know my family's all in agreement but can the rest of us agree that "meal" is a gross word? Like, just the sound of it is gross. Say what you mean instead: dinner [NEVER supper unless you're my grandmother in which case it's cool and also pronounced  "suppah" so totally different], lunch,  breakfast or a snack. You are what makes America great. Thank you, PSA over), I did a lot of at-home chili experimentation. I'd pull up a long list of recipes that looked good and try to combine what seemed like the best elements for my own recipe. So basically every time I've made chili it's totally different. Some of the standbys are a basic spice mix, chilis in adobo sauce, and beer.

Since the Celiac diagnosis though we haven't had any chili at home. It's also been surprisingly warm for winter in New England and chili's really only a once-a-month deal, so a few days ago was our first venture into the gluten-free chili world.

A word of advice here: my lovely mother does not like things spicy. At all. Normally when I make chili I throw in a few red pepper flakes, some cracks of black pepper, and as previously mentioned, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. The amount of chipotle peppers you actually put in is totally negotiable and based on your ability to manage heat, but a few spoonfuls of the adobo sauce that they hang out in is an absolute must. My ideal chili is basically just meat and cheese, served with tortilla chips or - better yet!  - nachos with salsa, sour cream and guac on the side. This particular chili though is a bit more, how should I say? Worldly? It has more vegetables, more life, and won't leave you feeling completely bloated and bed-ridden as you recover from the epic amounts of salt you just inhaled. Normally tortilla chips are a must for me, but here we went for the Trader Joe's cornbread mix I posted about yesterday and it was delish. We considered adding a gluten free lager, but with everything we had we decided it wasn't necessary in the end. Let me know if you've added gluten free beers and had any success so I can test them out next time!

Serves: 4 with leftovers

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound 85% ground beef
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 carrot (untraditional and not my favorite! Feel free to skip. My mom insisted)
  • 2 14.5 oz cans of Diced, Fire Roasted Tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 turns of a black pepper shaker
  • 1 can Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce using at least the sauce if not 1-4 peppers (depending on how much heat you want/can manage)
  • 2 15oz cans beans - I go for kidney and usually like one can red and one can white
  • Cornbread or tortilla chips and shredded cheese for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat large pot with cover to medium heat. Add olive oil, and when sizzling add diced garlic (or run through a garlic press). Dice onions and chop carrots into fine pieces.
  2. Once garlic is fragrant, add ground beef, breaking up and cooking through. As beef starts to brown add in onions and carrots, stirring until beef is entirely browned. Dice chipotle peppers if using.
  3. Once beef is fully cooked add in both cans of tomatoes, diced chipotle peppers, and at least 3 tablespoons of adobo sauce (or as much as you can get out of the can) with cinnamon, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cover for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir chili, and add both cans of kidney beans. Here I've found that breaking down about half the beans, either with clean hands while adding them in or with the back of a spatula or potato masher while they're in the chili, results in a thicker and more substantial chili. Cook for at least 20 minutes on medium-low.
  5. Taste chili and add additional spices, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, or gluten free beer as you'd like. I'd recommend letting this come together on a low setting for as long as you can, but if you're in a rush bring it back up to medium heat for 5 minutes and serve! It'll still be delicious, especially with lots of cheese on top and salty or savory sides!

How do you make gluten free chili at home? Do you have a favorite gluten free beer to cook with?

Gluten Free PF Changs Chicken Lettuce Wraps

The hardest part of planning for Christmas is avoiding repetition. There are work parties, school parties, friend and family parties, and you're probably bringing some kind of food to every event. I am always psyched about this time of year because FOOD. So much food, and everything you could want - salty, savory, sweet, tangy, just the whole nine yards. 

The only problem with this is that you're probably experiencing a lot of repetition. A few chip and dips, some salads (fruit or veggie or lettuce variety), brownies and cakes. Whether your friends are bringing the same thing or you're making the same thing, here's your chance to switch it up.

 

I made Chungah's PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps copycat recipe for dinner, but this would be a really fun and pretty easy party snack as well! It's sweet and savory but can carry a little heat with sriracha or even some red pepper flakes. Everyone loves to serve themselves, and making semi-tacos with lettuce makes you feel a bit healthy! Or at least makes you feel like you deserve a few more chips with buffalo chicken dip.

 

Rice noodles in boiling water - easy to make but they're slimy little guys!

Rice noodles in boiling water - easy to make but they're slimy little guys!

Chungah's recipe is pretty spot on, so this is essentially how I cooked it using her recipe as a guide for what to purchase, with a few riffs to make it gluten free and based on personal preference. 

 

Serves: 4

Total Time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce (Boston or butter lettuce is great too! Probably want 2 heads though)
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons gluten free hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/3 pack gluten free rice noodles (optional)


Instructions

At the intersection of needs more cooking and time for everything else!

At the intersection of needs more cooking and time for everything else!

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry lettuce, cutting off bottom and carefully peeling to make lettuce shells. Mince garlic, dice onion and water chestnuts. If using rice noodles, set a pot of water to boil, then cover noodles with boiling water in a bowl and let sit.
  2. Heat wok or large pan on medium-high heat with olive oil. Once oil is hot, add garlic and toast until fragrant, then add chicken. Use a rubber spatula to stir and break down chicken into small pieces.
  3. Once chicken has started to brown, add onions, water chestnuts, soy, hoisin, oyster, vinegar, sriracha and sugar. Stir to coat and let sit for about five minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. While mixture is cooking, clean and cut green onions and drain rice noodles, cutting into smaller pieces. 
  5. Taste mixture again and top with green onions, then serve with lettuce and rice noodles.


Have you tried this copycat recipe? Any other gluten free recommendations to take it to the next level, like frying the rice noodles or adding extra ingredients? Thanks Chungah for doing the legwork on this copycat!

Chicken Tacos

Today we hit two of my favorite categories at once: lazy food and Tex-Mex. These extremely easy tacos involve minimal work and even less cleanup, so you can focus on what's really important in life: what to eat or drink next. We went on the lighter side with our toppings, trying regular and pineapple salsa, sliced avocado, and Cabot shredded cheddar. You could always walk on the wild side and add jalapeños, or stick with classics like lettuce or sour cream to add a little something.

Without further ado:

The unidentifiable thing is a tea light! Just FYI since I know you care 

The unidentifiable thing is a tea light! Just FYI since I know you care 

Total time: 1 hour

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

image.jpeg
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers - red and orange look great here!
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 pack Taco shells - Trader Joe's or Old El Paso have great gluten free ones
  • Toppings: avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, lettuce

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Trim and cut chicken into bite sized pieces, then cut onions and peppers into long slices.
  2. Add peppers, onions, and chicken to foil pan along with olive oil, salt, pepper and chili powder. Stir to combine and add to oven for 40 minutes, shaking and rotating halfway through.
  3. Heat taco shells ton foil sheet in oven according to directions.
  4. Serve tacos with chicken and veggies with added toppings. If tacos split in half, enjoy as Mexican-style pizzas!

Beef Stir Fry

One of the things I recently discussed in my Stir Fry Sauces Review in the Shopping section here was the difficulty in finding a nice place to have a delicious Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean etc. dinner. Not that any other restaurant is totally easier; it's definitely give and take with each individual establishment. But so many Asian ingredients rely on soy or wheat or other things our precious Celiac friends/family/selves can't have. And there is nothing more frustrating than thinking you've found a restaurant that can safely serve you something good and find out you have two options, both of which are chicken with a vegetable.

So to satisfy our iron-deficient friends (and really why take an iron pill when there's so much delicious red meat out there? Oh it's really bad anemia? Sorry definitely take that pill too), I've outlined exactly what I make for our family stir fry.

In college - okay first of all I need to acknowledge that my university had the BEST. Seriously BEST. Dining locations of all time. Sorry Kanye but I have to overrule you on this one. It's continuously rated at the top of the college dining lists, and because I was so spoiled there I was able to try so many things I never ate before (salmon! sushi!) and make at home on the reg now (not the sushi that's way too much work for me when I can buy it).

Do I have a picture on my phone of my recent college stir fry visit? Of course I do.

Do I have a picture on my phone of my recent college stir fry visit? Of course I do.

One of the biggest stations at the multiple dining halls is the stir fry. At one of the closest dining halls to me my junior and senior years I was always impressed by the workflow at these stations. Huge woks over these giant flames, sitting in the middle of these sort of trays of running water that would be added to woks to clean them between customers. You'd line up at the little salad-style bar and add your veggies to your bowl. At the front of the line, you'd hand over your plate and tell the chefs what you'd like for your protein (usually steak and chicken, sometimes shrimp instead of one of the two) and what sauces you want. Most people say "everything and (how much "spicy" you want)." The spicy part is the tricky piece. For years I said no spicy, always ensuring a joking conversation with whichever chef was manning my wok as they'd pretend they misunderstood. Once they had added your protein and cooked it up, with huge flames for extra excitement, they'd add your veggies and hand you your bowl. You would take that bowl to the rice (white or brown), add it to your bowl, and by the time you came back your stir fry was hot as hell and covered in sauce, which the chefs would pour over your rice.

Whew. So now you know how to order like a regular.

During and right after college I started to make this at home - HUGE hit. Like you cannot overdo the success this dish has in our house. And really the most work is cleaning and cutting the veggies and cutting up the protein you've selected. I always vote steak. One its steak so it's delicious, and two I think it absorbs the flavors a bit better than chicken does. But do whatever you want, it's your party and I'm not behind you acting like a backseat cook (what a weird image).

And the version you can make at home! (Almost) just as easy

And the version you can make at home! (Almost) just as easy

So here we go! Head over to that Sauce Review to get the skinny on the sauce prep, and once you have those and literally any veggies and protein you like you're in business! In terms of veggies, I look for different colors, and then within those varying textures (broccoli vs peppers, for instance) and for things that will absorb sauce well (broccoli again, a real winner here). That being said there have been many many days where I just use whatever veggies we have in the house. Minute rice is not only acceptable but encouraged! Do what you can to eat quickly. There are a few dishes to clean, but I promise it's worth it.

And who really cares? The rule in our house is that if you cook you don't do the dishes. If that's not a rule at your house it will be after you cook this. And no one will mind - promise. If you just realized you're starving (which no one is according to my mother; "you can be hungry but not starving") and are making this for one good news: basically no dishes for you since you're using so much less!

God this will be a long post. TIME FOR THE GOOD STUFF IF YOU'RE SCROLLING:

Serves: 5 large servings (which you deserve)

Total Time: 1 hour (unless you are a veggie cleaning and cutting champ then probably 30)

Ingredients:

The OCD in me is so relaxed right now

The OCD in me is so relaxed right now

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for sauteeing
  • 2 lb sirloin tips (or whatever lightly marbled steak tips you find, don't waste time on the cheap "stir fry" steaks available they're just not as good!)
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 clove garlic (2 if you want to go wild since you're smelling up the house anyway)
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 2 heads broccoli (I cheated here! For the first time! Wegmans precut broccoli slayed, I just cut them a little bit smaller)
  • 1 large carrot
  • Any other veggies you have hanging around! I go for different colors but zucchini, frozen peas, cauliflower, or anything else you have around would be excellent. 
  • 3 cups white rice - let's be real and just go with the Minute Rice kiddos
  • 4 tablespoons gluten free Oyster Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons gluten free Hoisin Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons gluten free Teriyaki Sauce (or local Stir Fry sauce that's light and sweet)
  • 1 cup gluten free beef stock (or beef bouillon in 1 cup microwaved water)

Instructions

  1. Wash and cut the veggies. I go for small, bite sized pieces. Think about how these will fry up and how long different pieces will take - I usually cut carrots into thin strips - and how they will best absorb the sauce (i.e. cutting the broccoli into tiny florets). Make sure the veggies are thoroughly dried with paper towels, to make sure they cook properly in your oil.
  2. Cut your steak into bite sized pieces. I've found kitchen scissors do the best job. 
  3. In a wok or large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat, adding half of your minced garlic (a garlic press works wonders here). This is the point that you want to run around and close the doors to all the rooms you don't want to stink up, and maybe/definitely open your kitchen window a bit.
  4. As soon as the oil is hot (and I mean put your hand an inch or two away from the pan to feel the heat hot), add in your beef, stirring continuously. As soon as the beef is mostly brown, add 2 tablespoons each of the Teriyaki (or Stir Fry sauce), Oyster and Hoisin. Continue to stir, adding a half a cup of your stock to ensure there is extra sauce for later!
  5. Once all beef is cooked and coated in sauce, take a sample. Make sure the flavors are right - real chefs do it all the time! Add whatever you need as appropriate - maybe a few red pepper flakes, maybe some extra salt in the form of gluten free soy sauce - then pour your steak from your wok to a ceramic dish with a cover until it's veggie sisters are ready to hang.
  6. In between batches is the time to start on your rice. Add the appropriate amount of water for your servings and put on high heat.
  7. Clean out your wok a bit with a few dry paper towels, then add the rest of your olive oil and garlic to the wok and let them heat up. This should only take a second since it's already super hot!
  8. Add veggies, starting with the ones that will take the longest to cook. For me, those are the onions, peppers, snow peas, and carrots. The broccoli can take a backseat for a minute since it's going to fill up the pan anyway.
  9. Around this time your water should be boiling for the rice - add in your rice, pull off the burner and cover so it'll be ready in time with your stir fry!
  10. For the starter veggies, I like to give them a few minutes - let's say 5 - to start to cook. Toss them around a lot with a rubber spatula to try to give everyone a chance at the hottest part of the pan.
  11. Once the others have had a little attention add whatever's left, just broccoli in my case. Add the rest of the Teriyaki/stir fry sauce, Oyster and Hoisin, and stir to coat. Pour over the remaining stock, and cover. Let the mixture cook with the extra liquid for about 10 minutes, opening to toss around every 2 or 3 minutes.
  12. Season again! Make sure your veggies have the appropriate taste and texture you want for your stir fry, trying a few different types of vegetables to be thorough.  Then add your veggies to your beef in the serving dish, or vice versa and throw your beef in the wok with the veggies. Just get those two best friends together and give them a big stir to incorporate.
  13. Fluff up the rice and serve! Some people do rice on the side, some do right on top. I am of the latter party that enjoys a big party of flavors melded together, but do your thing.

Happy eating! 
 

Do you have a standby stir fry dish or variations you think I should try? Any thoughts on noodles vs. rice for this stir fry?