Thursday, May 29, 2014

Zucchini Soufflé (gluten-free)


Why zucchini?  Because zucchini was in abundance and cheap ($1.50/lb) at the farmers market.  Guaranteed fresh and tasty.  This souffle/casserole is easy to make and will compliment any meal.  You can make it ahead, even serve it cold or at room temperature.

Zucchini Souffle
Ingredients:
  • 4 cups shredded zucchini (I used 4 medium sized zucchini)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 5 large eggs, scrambled
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper (black pepper is you don't have it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pezney's Greek Seasoning or oregano
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander over a bowl to contain the water from the zucchini.  Toss in the salt and mix in thoroughly.
  3. In a medium/large mixing bowl, scramble the eggs. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients from the seasonings to the cheeses, to the cornstarch.
  4. Press the zucchini against the walls of the colander to remove excess water using a silicone spatula or your clean hands.  Add to the egg mix and stir thoroughly.
  5. Turn into a greased medium casserole dish and baked until the top is evenly and lightly browned, about 35 minutes.
-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

This is part of Food Network's Sensational Sides Feast. Check out The FN Dish.  This week we're focusing on summer casseroles.  On twitter, we're tagging #SummerSoiree.  Here are other amazing summer casserole recipes to try out from our other friends:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Easy Cheesy Puffs (Gluten-Free)


These easy cheesy puffs are one of my favorites that I make for my family and friends, and they always beg for me.  The technique to make these are different, but don't let that discourage you from making these.  This "paste" of a dough is cooked on the stove top, cooled, and the eggs are slowly mixed in before baking off.  Yes, it requires some elbow grease incorporating the eggs, but the reward is high.  These puffs have a crisp exterior, a spongy almost custard like interior with a great aroma of cheese and aromatics.  Sweet rice flour is the perfect flour for these puffs, even better than regular all-purpose (wheat) flour.  Sweet rice flour is also know as "glutinous" rice flour even though it is gluten-free, and can be found in the Asian section, sometimes called mochi flour.  Nothing else is needed - no xanthan or guar gums, not even baking powder.  I added other aromatics to these such as garlic powder, nutmeg, and fresh chives.  This is your opportunity to personalize these to your tastes.  These are other great add-ins: parsley, rosemary, oregano, truffle salt, cayenne (with a very light hand), dried shallots or onions....  Oh yeah, another thing about this recipe - I have the measures in grams.  You know how I feel about the ridiculous measurement error in volumetric measurements, ie, cups.... up to 200% error.  If you don't own a scale, pick up a cheapy for under $20 just about at any major store.  The only features you need are a tare/zero button, weighs in grams with a +/- 1 gram increments, and weighs in ounces (not fluid).  Don't waste your money for a scale that claims is does it all, it doesn't.

Easy Cheesy Puffs (Gluten-Free)
Ingredients:
  • Butter, 85 grams
  • Milk, water, or chicken broth, 165 grams
  • Salt, 2 grams (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Optional: your choice of aromatics: pinches of granulated garlic, nutmeg, cayenne, mustard powder, white pepper, dried toasted onions or shallots, etc.
  • Sweet rice flour, 130 grams
  • Eggs, about 200 grams, 4 large (standardized at 50 grams/1 large egg), lightly scrambled
  • Cheese, 150 grams shredded (Any cheese will work! I used Gruyere. Others that would work: cheddar, manchango, etc.... anything that shreds.)
  • Optional: Your choice of finely chopped herbs: chives, parsley, rosemary, oregano...
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425F, use convection if you have it.
  2. Combine the liquid, butter, aromatics and salt in a heavy saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sweet rice flour all at once.  Stir quickly using a strong utensil.
  4. Return the pan to moderate heat and stir vigorously until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides, about 5 minutes.  Remove form heat.  Allow to cool slightly.
  5. With vigorous and thorough stirring, beat in the eggs a little at a time.  Add no more than one-quarter of the eggs at once, and wait until they are completely worked in before adding more.  When all the eggs are incorporated, add in the cheese and fresh herbs.  Now it's ready to use.
  6. Using a small scooper (1/2-3/4 oz), portion out the paste onto parchment lined baking sheets.  Sprinkle lightly with salt, and get in the oven ASAP, all at once.  You don't want to open the oven once these guys are in until they're risen and browned.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes until beautifully browned.  Remove and allow to cool on wire racks.
These store perfectly in the freezer.  Just pop in the oven or toaster oven to warm up before serving.  Makes about  30 cheesy puffs.

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

This is part of Food Network's Sensational Sides Feast. Check out The FN Dish.  This week we're focusing on cheesy side.  On twitter, we're tagging #SensationalSides.  Here are other amazing cheesy recipes to try out from our other friends:


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Strawberry Spring Salad with Cilantro Flowers




I always say I should eat more salads.  I like them, seriously.  Usually, they seem like too much work just to make for myself.  When I do, I like to keep them simple yet full of flavor and different textures.  To be honest, I went to the farmer's market with no preconceived notion of what kind of salad to make; whatever looked good to me.  The strawberries right now are so aromatic and cheap ($5 for 3 baskets), simply irresistible.  Then I came across something that looked like dill with pretty tiny flowers, but knew it was not dill.  When I asked the farmer what it was, he told me they were cilantro flowers.  Ah, the frilly stuff that grows from my cilantro when it goes to seed.  I never thought about using it, but at $1 I figured it'd be a cheap gamble.  The smell of them were so light and fresh, seemed like a perfect pairing for the strawberries.  And I'm a sucker for flowers on salads.  For this salad I used feta, but I'd imagine soft goat cheese/chevre would work as well, too.  I also added in some fresh spring onions and a vinaigrette for dressing.

Strawberry Spring Salad with Cilantro Flowers
Ingredients:
  • red leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into small strips (chiffonaded)
  • spring green onions, washed, dried, chopped fine
  • strawberries, quartered lengthwise
  • cilantro flowers,  washed, dried, chopped fine keeping the flowers intact to sprinkle on top
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • olive oil, first cold press
  • vinegar of your choice (I like fig infused white balsamic vinegar)
  • salt, pepper, seasonings (I love Penzey's French country vinaigrette seasoning)

Directions:
Compose salad with the lettuce on bottom, followed by the green onions, then the crumbled cheese, the strawberries (make them look pretty), and the flurry of cilantro flowers.

In a cup, mix up a 1:1/oil:vinegar with seasonings and taste.  Lightly pour over the salad and enjoy.

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

This is part of Food Network's Sensational Sides Feast. Check out The FN Dish.  This week we're focusing on something green.  On twitter, we're tagging #SensationalSides.  Here are other amazing green recipes to try out from our other friends:


The Lemon Bowl: Caribbean Salad with Bananas and Red Onions
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Power Berry Avocado Almond Chia Seed Salad
Weelicious: DIY Salad Buffet
Dishin & Dishes: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Two Dipping Sauces
Taste With The Eyes: Scallop, Micro Lettuce, Farro and Lemon Basil Sauce
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Salad Greens with Balsamic Mushrooms and Roasted Asparagus
Red or Green: Green Salad with Grilled Salmon, Avocado and Tortilla Chips
The Sensitive Epicure: Strawberry Spring Salad with Cilantro Flowers
Virtually Homemade: Thai Beef Salad
Domesticate Me: Vegetable Fajita Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette
FN Dish: Get Your Leafy Greens