Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Roasted Rosemary Turkey Legs

A single college student living alone wants turkey for thanksgiving, but a whole turkey is many lbs too big. Consider a celiac student meeting up with his or her family who cooks bread-stuffing inside the big bird. They can't just mooch off the gluten-tainted turkey. Find a solution that reasonably satisfies both conditions.
Turkey legs!!
Roast your own! Right at home in your own small pan, then take with you!
Easy easy easy! Two ingredients!

(Sorry my picture sucks.. I'm in a hurry)

Serves 2
1.5 to 2 hours
Preheat oven: 375 F
-cookie sheet, or other flat metal pan
-disposable Aluminum pan (I used a pie pan, but a square one would be better, I think)
-Aluminum foil sheet for baking

4 turkey drumsticks -or- 2 large turkey legs (the whole leg, like I have pictured above); fully defrosted
bundle of freshly cut rosemary-- about 8 to 10
'clippings'; each 5 " long

1. Place the flimsy, disposable Al baking tin on the sturdy cookie sheet. Always use the cookie sheet to move the baking tin, or else you will potentially have major problems.
2. Rinse off the freshly cut rosemary clippings. Lay a third of the twigs down on the bottom of the Al baking pan.
3. Rinse off the thawed turkey legs and arrange them inside the disposable Aluminum baking tin over the top of the rosemary.
4. Place remaining rosemary around and on top of the legs.
5. Cover pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, then slide the legs (via the cookie sheet) into the pre-heated 375 F degree oven.
6. Cook covered for an hour.
7. Remove the aluminum foil sheet after the first hour and pour out most of the grease into a scrap container. Continue cooking, uncovered, (still at 375 F) for another half hour to an hour. Watch the bird and take out when the skin is golden brown. When fully cooked, the turkey meat pulls easily away from the bone-- internal temperature of 180 F.
8. Turn off the oven and pour the rest of the drippings into a waiting saucepan and use to make gravy**. Crumble a bit of the roasted rosemary into the oil for extra gravy flavor.
9. Wrap turkey legs up and refrigerate or freeze for later, or serve hot with Spinach-Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Discard the disposable pan.

**I forgot this step and don't have any gravy to show. You can find gravy recipes online elsewhere, such as gluten-free girl. (Use drippings instead of the chicken broth in her recipe).
(*Note* Rice flour is actually better than wheat flour for gravy making.. gluten flours clump too much. My non-celiac mother now makes all gravy with rice flour!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Spinach-Garlic Potatoes

This doesn't have much color, but d*mn, these are soooo good... my all-time favorite way to make mashed potatoes. Super creamy and cheesy, bursting with garlic and peppered with butter-soaked spinach leaves. My mother used to use these spuds to trick me into eating greens when I was younger. It worked every time. A perfect, fast side dish to any meat.

Serves 2 to 3
35 minutes
-large pot, non-stick is best
-medium saucepan
-potato masher

6 to 8 medium small red potatoes
6 to 8 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh spinach
1 to 2 Tbsp. butter (or lactose-free alternative)
1/3 c. heavy cream -OR- 1/4 c. sour cream-- I used Tofutti better than sour cream
[~1/3 c. Parmesan cheese; optional... I used a little Galaxy Nutritional Foods mozzarella rice shreds]

1. Scrub, then cut potatoes into coarse,1 to 2 inch chunks (they don't have to be exact.. ). Don't bother peeling the potatoes unless you have russets and not red potatoes.
2. Peel the remove the 'bottom' part of each garlic clove. Don't bother dicing... like the potatoes, they will be mashed, too.
3. Place potato pieces and whole garlic cloves into a large pot. Fill with water until potatoes are well covered. Bring water to a rolling boil over high heat, then cook until potatoes are tender-- about 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Wash the spinach while the potatoes are boiling. Place spinach in the medium saucepan with the butter. If using heavy cream.. add in the heavy cream here. Heat over medium-low heat until the butter melts (shouldn't take more than 5 minutes); the spinach should also wilt. Don't scorch the heavy cream. Stir well, then turn off the heat.
5. Turn back to the potatoes: drain the cooked spuds, reserving a little bit of the cooking liquid. Place potatoes and garlic into another bowl (just make sure they are out of your non-stick pot) and mash coarsely by hand. Stir in the spinach and butter [and heavy cream] mixture. If using the sour cream, now is the time to stir in the sour cream.
6. Add in the Parmesan cheese and continue mashing until it's the consistency you want. If the spuds are too stiff, add in a little more of the reserved cooking liquid (or heavy cream.. whatever you feel comfortable doing!). Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm alongside turkey.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Autumn Fried Rice

It's finally starting to feel like fall around here. I keep waiting for it to drop below 40 degrees during the day, then I remember I am no longer in Illinois...
With the sweet butternut squash and nutty zucchini, this just
tastes like autumn. The garbanzo beans were a last minute addition and I must say they're a keeper. Makes alot... be sure to bust out your trusty wok.

Serves 4
25 (rice) + 40 minutes
-large, sharp cutting knife
-stainless steel wok

2 cups pre-cooked brown rice (slightly undercooked)

1/2 of a large butternut squash
1 large stripped zucchini (I don't know the name.. it's a green zucchini squash with prominent ridges and a 'marbled' greenish-white coloring.. check out the picture; I found mine at the farmer's market)
1 medium white onion
5 cloves garlic
2 + 1 Tbsp. peanut oil
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
sea salt
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes (-or- a small bundle of fresh parsley, chopped)
1 (14 oz.) can garbanzo beans*
1 to 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
*S&W Fine foods garbanzo beans are GF; Bush's and DelMonte garbanzo beans should also be GF.

0. Prepare brown rice as directed on package to make 2 cups cooked rice. However, use slightly less water and shave about 5 minutes off of the regular cooking time. This will help the rice to not become mushy when stir-fried. Place rice aside once done (in the fridge is best).
1. Wash off the butternut squash. I found my squash very very hard to cut (I didn't even try peeling with a normal peeler). Be sure to use a large, sharp knife and cut the squash in half right above the 'bowl' part (into two smaller 'cylinders'); place the top into the fridge for another day. 2. Scoop out the seeds and innards. Carefully slice off the outer skin while the vegetable is sitting upright like a bowl. Once the squash is crudely 'peeled' and gutted, cut squash into 1 inch cubes. Set cubes aside.
3. Wash and cut the striped, ridged zucchini squash into 1/2 inch slices. Half or quarter each slice. Place the zucchini with the butternut pieces. Coarsely cut up the white onion into about 1/2 inch squares. Set onion apart from the squash/zucchini. Peel and dice up the garlic cloves. Place garlic cloves directly into you seasoned wok.
4. Add 2 Tbsp. peanut oil to the wok. Stir the garlic cloves and begin cooking over medium-high heat. Once the garlic pieces begin to tan (should take between 3 to 5 minutes), add in the zucchini and butternut pieces. Stir to mix well. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Add in the white onion pieces. Stir well. Also season generously with white pepper, sea salt, thyme leaves and parsley. Stir well, again. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the butternut squash/zucchini pieces are tender (you might need a bit more time for the squash and zucchini). Toss and stir well while cooking. Add in a little more oil if you think it's necessary to keep things from sticking and burning.
6. Open and drain a can of garbanzo beans, add to contents of the wok. Stir well and heat through, an additional 3 minutes.
7. Once heated, spoon in the prepared rice. Pour an additional 1 Tbsp. peanut oil over the rice, then stir well, breaking up any rice clumps and incorporating it thoroughly with the veggies. Heat the rice through, slightly browning (stir-frying) the grains-- for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Don't let the rice burn, though, keep stirring.
8. When rice is golden and steamy, remove from the heat and splash with a little red wine vinegar (taste it to see how much you want.. it's good with the nutty zucchini and garbanzo beans). Serve warm.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Asparagus Pesto

Had leftover asparagus, wanted pesto with pasta, this was the result.
If I owned a food processor, I would have used that to whirl up the sauce till smooth.. dicing vegetables only goes so far. However, this was good despite it's inhomogeneity.

Serves 2, with a side dish
25 minutes
-medium saucepan
-medium pot (or pasta cooker)
-fine vegetable grater and good knife -OR- use a food processor

1.5 cups cooked pasta

10 to 12 asparagus stalks
1 medium zucchini
6 to 8 garlic cloves (you can't have too much garlic)
2 to 3 green onions
1 half of a (14 oz) can Swanson vegetable broth -or- can Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken broth
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. dried basil (or a bunch of the fresh stuff!)
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. onion powder
black pepper
sea salt
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese -OR- 1/4 cup cream cheese -OR- (as I used) 4 slices Galaxy Nutritional Foods Mozzarella flavored cheese slices

0. Prepare the pasta shells as directed on package to make about 1.5 cups cooked pasta. Don't let the pasta get soggy. Drain well and set aside.
1. Wash asparagus and (choose one from below):
a) mince each stalk into very fine pieces using a knife
b) carefully grate the stalks using a coarse cheese grater <--- my option c) toss in a food processor and dice Set asparagus mush aside. 2. Remove ends and grate the zucchini (or whirl in processor). Go ahead and add grated zucchini with the asparagus. Peel and mince up the garlic; place with zucchini and asparagus. Remove root ends, then dice up entire green onions (not too hard to do).
3. Place asparagus, zucchini and garlic in a saucepan. Pour one half (about 1 cup) of the can of broth over the veggies. (Store remaining half of broth in the fridge for another day.) Add olive oil. Stir well.
4. Begin cooking veggies and broth up over medium-high heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium. Add spices: basil, parsley, oregano, onion powder, black pepper and sea salt. Stir and continue cooking for 5 more minutes (taste sauce to make sure vegetables are tender-- it shouldn't take long to cook!).
5. Once mixture begins to thicken, turn heat down to medium low and add cheese. Stir well once cheese is added. The cheese should help further thicken the mixture into a sauce.
6. If you have a food processor, whirl the sauce for about 20 seconds, or until creamy enough for your taste. Warm up pasta and reheat sauce... Serve warm tossed with cooked pasta.