Friday, July 27, 2007

Spanish Rice

This is not very authentic, but sure tastes good. Tomato, green bell pepper and bacon make this one flavorful side dish. Fast to make, too.

Serves 3 to 4
25 minutes
-large saucepan
-medium pot with lid

2 c. cooked white long grain rice
1/2 of a medium white onion
1/2 of a large green bell pepper
4 to 6 slices thick-cut bacon* ----> reserve 1 to 2 tbsp. bacon drippings
3/4th of a can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes* (not petite diced), undrained
salt and pepper, to taste
*Oscar Mayer bacon is GF; DelMonte canned diced tomatoes are GF

1. Cook up rice according to directions on the package; you will need 2 cups cooked rice for this dish. Set cooked rice aside near range.
2. Veggies: Coarsely cut the onion into half inch squares. Also coarsely cut the green bell pepper into larger square pieces (inch). Place both onion and pepper pieces beside range.

3. Rinse off the bacon slices. Lay bacon into the large saucepan. Begin cooking bacon over medium heat, flipping and re-arranging frequently. Fry bacon until fully cooked, but not totally crispy-- about 5 minutes. Remove bacon pieces from pan and place on doubled paper towels to soak up some grease. Pour out all excess drippings from the pan except for 1 to 2 tbsp. bacon fat.
4. In the reserved bacon grease, saute up the onion and bell pepper over medium-high heat, until the onion is just translucent and pepper is tender (5 minutes).
5. Turn the heat back down to medium. Stir in the bacon and cooked white rice. Heat thoroughly for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently to keep rice from sticking.
6. Add in 3/4ths of the can of diced tomatoes, don't drain the can before adding to the saucepan... you want a little tomato juice. Mix the tomatoes in well with the bacon/rice.
7. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until the juice thickens, but before the tomatoes fall apart. Serve warm alongside your favorite Mexican dish.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


My favorite vegetable. The cooked bud becomes soft and edible-- dip in mayo, then remove the 'meat' from the inside of the leaves by scraping each leaf with your front teeth. It's totally fantastic.

Serves 1
55 minutes
-large pot
[-vegetable steamer- optional]
Quick and Easy

1 fresh globe artichoke

2 tbsp. mayonnaise*
2 tbsp. melted butter
*Hellman's mayo is GF

1. Wash off the artichoke. With a sharp knife (or pair of kitchen scissors), cut the first inch clean off the top of the thistle. You should see the yellow-ish leaves now revealed in the top opening, as shown above.
2. With same knife/scissors remove the thorns from the tough outside leaves by clipping off the tops of each leaf. Your artichoke should now look like my picture, top and outside leaf tips removed.
3. Shorten the stem if you desire, but I normally leave it long. Remove any small or discolored leaves from the bottom of the artichoke.
4. If you don't have a veggie steamer (I use a small strainer that sits on the rim of a pot), place the artichoke inside the pot and fill with water so the veggie is totally submerged. If you DO have a veggie steamer, fill pot halfway with water, then place artichoke in steamer so it sits slightly above the water level.
5. Bring water to a rapid boil over high heat (covered, IF you are steaming the artichoke). Turn down the heat slightly to medium-high once you reach full boil and cook for 30 to 45 minutes-- older 'chokes will take longer to cook. It's done when a middle petal pulls out easily.
6. Pour out the hot water and carefully (they are hot!) remove a petal, starting from the outside and working in. Dip the fleshy part of each leaf in mayo or melted butter before eating!! Amazing!

7. To eat: orient the leaf so that the inside part-- the side once facing the bud body-- points to the roof of your mouth. Place leaf halfway into your mouth. Gently grip the leaf with your front teeth, bite down slightly, and pull the leaf outward, scraping off the top flesh with your front teeth. Discard the remaining part of the leaf. The first couple of outside leaves will be tough, but the leaves will become softer and 'meaty' as you work your way inward.
8. To the heart!: Once you reach the innermost leaves (they look thin, wilted and purple-tipped) pull off those under-developed leaves with your fingers. Discard. You should now see a bunch of pale yellow-green strings. Scrape this choke out with a teaspoon or your fingers; discard this mess of fuzz. You have now uncovered the HEART-- when done properly, it looks like a shallow bowl with dimples (no more fuzzy strings) attached to the stem. Eat the entire heart. Groan with veggie pleasure.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sausage-Spinach Penne

A quick, hot, pasta dinner. The spinach/tomatoes make a grand combination. The sausage in this makes it a little on the greasy side, but it's not overpowering-- drain some if you wish before you add in the veggies. I like this spiced up with ample ground black pepper. Coat with cheese if you can handle dairy, but I leave it off and the dish doesn't lack too much.

Serves 3
20 minutes
-medium pot
-large saucepan or wok
Quick and simple

5 oz of uncooked Tinkyada brown rice Penne pasta (little less than half of a bag)

6 cloves garlic
3 cups fresh spinach
10 cherry tomatoes
5 Hillshire Farms Beef Smoked Sausage hotdogs (or half of the large Hillshire Farms sausage link)
[1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese-- optional]
Enough ground black pepper

1. Place pasta into the medium pot. Fill pot with water such that it covers the pasta by about an inch. Bring pasta to a rolling boil over high heat, then turn down to medium-high heat; boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When pasta is al dente (barely tender, not yet soggy), rinse and drain cooked pasta with cold water. Set aside.
2. While has begun cooking, prepare veggies: Wash and peel garlic. Dice into small pieces. Rinse off spinach leaves, removing long stems. Half cherry tomatoes down the center.
3. Now cut the sausage hot dogs into half inch slices (if using the larger sausage link, half each slice). Place cut sausage into the large wok or saucepan. Begin cooking over medium-high heat. 4. Cook sausage for 2 minutes, then add in diced garlic. Cook garlic and sausage for an additional 1 to 2 minutes-- you want the sausage the brown a little. Drain excess grease at this point, if you desire, leaving around 2 tbsp still in the pan.
5. Turn the heat down to medium. Throw in the spinach. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring and tossing frequently. The spinach will quickly wilt and 'shrink' in size (it looks like alot at first).
6. Now add in the cut cherry tomatoes. Cook for another 1 minute, then throw in the prepared cooked penne pasta. Heat tomatoes and pasta for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or just until the tomatoes begin to break down. DON'T overcook the tomatoes.. you want them whole, but tender, with their skins about to come off. The pasta will be warm enough.
7. When the tomatoes and pasta are soft, but not yet soggy, remove dish from heat. [Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss to coat.] Serve warm.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Anise Biscotti

"Biscotti" is Italian for "twice-baked". These cookies are baked once as a slab, cut into slices, then, returned to the oven to acquire a crispy exterior. Because they are dry, they are perfect for dunking into coffee. I'm not fond of black liquorice but enjoy these cookies, so don't be scared off by the anise!

The traditional method does not involve either oil or a leavening agent, but I experimented with both when adapting my mother's recipe to be gluten-free. I would leave in the baking powder, but exclude the butter-- turns out the oil makes these just a little too moist (never thought I would say that about GF flours!). Anyway, enjoy, soft or crunchy.

Makes 2 dozen long cookies
20 + 30 + 15 (65 minutes total)
Preheat oven: 350 F

-electric mixer
-large mixing bowl
-large cookie sheet

[¼ c. butter, softened—optional; makes the cookies softer/moister]
1 c. white granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract*
1 tsp. brandy*, or brandy flavoring
½ of a (1 oz) bottle anise extract*
2 c. leavened GF baking mix (I used Kinnikinnick All Purpose Mix—if you don’t have a pre-made mix, use this: 1.5 c. brown rice flour, ¼ c. potato starch, ¼ c. tapioca starch, 1 tsp. baking powder)
1 heaping tsp. xanthan gum
1 c. chopped walnuts

*All McCormick extracts are GF; Brandy is made without gluten-grains.

1. Place butter into a large mixing bowl. Let it sit and warm up until it’s soft enough to ‘stir’. Beat the soft butter with the white sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, around 2 minutes.
2. Add in the 3 whole eggs to the beaten sugar(&butter). Beat again with mixer until fully combined, around 1 minute. The egg/sugar mixture should be thick and soupy.
3. Add in vanilla, brandy and anise extracts, mixing by hand to fully incorporate.
4. Pour 1 cup GF baking mix into the large bowl; don’t yet stir in the flour. Sprinkle xanthan gum over the top of the flour (as it’s sitting on top of the eggs/sugar); swirl the gum and flour a little bit. Now, carefully mix flour/xanthan gum into the wet ingredients, first by hand, then again with the electric mixer. Dough will be very viscous.
5. Add in the second cup of GF baking mix. This dough is waaay too sticky and dense to mix with an electric beater, so use your arm muscles and ridged spoon. Stir mixture until flour and eggs are well combined.
6. Fold in the chopped walnuts. Dough will look like taffy.
7. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper (you will be very sorry if you don’t line the sheet!!). Spoon dough out onto the parchment paper, spreading it out to form two long ‘loaves’ down the length of the cookie sheet. Each flat loaf of dough should be about 4 inches wide and 1 inch thick.
8. Place cookie sheet into the preheated oven (350 F). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cookie loaves are slightly browned on top. Remove sheet from the oven and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes.
9. Cut cookies at a slight angle (makes them longer) across the width of each loaf, forming 1 inch thick ‘candy bar’ cookies. These biscotti are soft enough that you should have no real problems cutting them.
For soft, moist cookies:
Stop now and turn off the oven. Refrigerate the cookies. Serve warm or cold with coffee.
For crunchy-on-the-outside cookies (my favorite):
10. Turn cookies over on their side, displaying the ‘cut’ part up. Return cookies to the hot oven. Bake 10 more minutes on one side, flip, then bake another 5 minutes on the other side. These cookies will be an amber, toasted brown—nice crunchy exterior with a moist center.
11. Once cooled, remove from cookie sheet and refrigerate. Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and apply to the bottoms of cookies, if desired.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Breakfast Burrito

I remember these from summer lake trips, way back in high school. We'd all wake up around noon and eat breakfast burritos before heading back out to the dock. Terry made ones up for us with slices of honey ham, but I think sliced lunch meat is an okay (and cheaper!) alternative. Fast and easy and so versatile.. fill and top with your favorite veggies and sauces.

Serves 3
30 minutes
-large saucepan
Quick and simple

2 medium red potatoes
1 medium yellow or white onion
1/2 of a medium red bell pepper
1/2 of a medium green bell pepper
4 to 6 slices cold cut honey ham slices*
2 tbsp. peanut or olive oil

salt and pepper
1 to 2 eggs
[1/2 tsp. parsley-- optional]
3 large GF tortillas-- I used La Tortilla Factory's dark teff tortillas

1/2 c. cheddar cheese
top with favorite GF salsa, ketchup or sour cream
*Oscar Meyer ham lunch meat is GF

1. First cut up the veggies: Either cut scrubbed red potatoes into small, 1/4th inch cubes -OR- cut them into thin slices (depends on what you prefer, the cubes turn out more like hash browns); half the slices so they won't be too wide. Place potatoes into a bowl of cold water to take out excess starch.
2. Coarsely chop up onion and bell peppers into pieces not bigger than an inch (you want them to be bite sized). Place onion, red and green bell peppers beside range next to 'soaking' potatoes, but don't mix in with the spuds.
3. Cut ham slices into 1 inch squares. Place meat into large saucepan and add in the oil. Begin sauteing meat over medium heat. Cook meat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pieces start to slightly curl and toast.
4. Drain the potatoes well then add them into the saucepan; oil will spit a little. Mix potatoes in with the ham, spreading the spud pieces evenly out over the bottom of the saucepan. Cook potatoes and ham for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally-- you want the potatoes to cook evenly, yet toast a little in the oil.
5. Add in the rest of the veggies (onion, red and green bell peppers). Mix, then cook for another 5 minutes, again, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. When bell pepper bits are crisp tender, push the ham/veggie mixture to one side of the saucepan. Crack the eggs into the remaining 'empty' half of the pan (tilt a little to gather any left over oil). Quickly break the yolks by mixing, scrambling the eggs. [Mix some parsley into the scrambled eggs before they are fully cooked, if you have some.] Be sure to flip and mix the eggs; don't let them burn.
7. Cook the scrambled eggs until they are moist, but fully done (no longer runny), about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir scrambled eggs in with the rest of the ham/veggie mixture.
8. Spoon hot filling into warm GF tortillas (large rice or teff ones work best). Top with a generous helping of cheddar cheese. Spread with your favorite salsa or ketchup or sour cream, then roll up and eat. Be sure to eat these right off of the range, since the filling will cool quickly-- I suggest popping the filled, rolled tortilla into the microwave on "high" for 30 to 40 seconds to melt the cheese and warm up the eggs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Honey Garlic Chicken Drumsticks

This makes incredibly juicy and tender chicken legs smothered in a sweet-garlicky glaze. Make the simple sauce up while the legs are baking in the oven, then drizzle over the chicken for the last 15 minutes, letting the sauce caramelize over the meat. Easily doubled to feed a crowd of people.

Makes enough to cover ~18 chicken legs. Feeds 4 people.
1 hour baking time
Preheat oven: 375 F
-9 x 12 inch baking dish
-medium pot

18 or so chicken legs (preferred skinless)
4+ garlic cloves
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. soy sauce*
1 tbsp. honey
3/4 c. water
*Argo cornstarch is GF; La Choy soy sauce and Eden Organic Tamari soy sauce in GF (purple-red wrapper)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Wash off the chicken legs. Lay the legs out in a single layer on your baking dish. Place chicken into the preheated oven and bake covered for 45 minutes.
--This doesn't take long at all, start making the sauce once 30 minutes has gone by.--
2. While the chicken legs are baking, wash and peel the garlic cloves. Either finely dice the garlic, or crush it into small pieces (I place the chopped cloves into doubled-up sandwich baggies, then whack with a hammer until they are crushed into pulp). Place garlic aside.
3. In a medium pot, without heat, add in the 1/2 c. pressed brown sugar and mix lightly with the cornstarch. Pour in the soy sauce and honey, stirring the slightly damp mixture until well combined and smooth.
4. Pour in the water and mix well. Also add in the diced/crushed garlic.
5. Begin cooking the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly. It will take less than two
minutes for the concoction to start boiling (small, rapid bubbles); keep stirring.
6. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the sauce mildly bubble for 2 to 3 minutes. It's done when slightly thickened and a darker brown.
--At this point the chicken should have cooked for 45 minutes.--
7. Pull the covered chicken legs out of the oven and pour out the drippings; discard grease. Spoon the sauce over the top (may reserve some for dipping). Return the chicken to the oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered. The chicken is done when fully cooked and the glaze clings to the meat. Eat warm, right out of the oven-- these don't taste very good cold.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cottage Pie

Kind of like chicken-pot-pie, but beef instead of chicken and mashed potatoes for the topping. I loaded this down with lots of veggies, since meat is more expensive. Moist rosemary/thyme meat filling topped with cheesy, garlic mashed potatoes. Not bad for a casserole.

Serves 3

25 + 15 + 30 minutes (meat, potatoes, baking; total: 1 hour 10 minutes)
-large saucepan
-9" round cake pan

1 medium white onion
3 carrots, peeled (~1/2 cup, chopped)
2 celery stalks

¼ c. frozen peas, defrosted
¼ lb to ½ lb ground beef

½ tsp. dried rosemary leaves
½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
Salt and black pepper
½ of a (14 oz.) can Swanson Beef Broth – about 1 cup broth
3 heaping tbsp. of GF flour— I used white sorghum
Spud Topping:
4 medium red potatoes (-OR- 2 large russets)
4 garlic cloves
¼ to ½ c. cheddar cheese
3 to 4 heaping tbsp. sour cream—I used Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream (try a bit of vegan butter if both soy and dairy intolerant)
[2 tsp. chopped fresh chives- optional]

1. Chop up the white onion into small-ish pieces (1/4th inch; not too coarse). Peel and cut the carrots into small-ish pieces. Slice and chop up the celery into likewise small pieces. Defrost and drain the 1/2 c. frozen peas. Place veggies near the stove.
2. Rinse off ground beef and place in large saucepan. Start cooking the beef over medium heat, breaking the meat into small pieces (don't pulverize it). Cook beef for 5 minutes, until it's fully grey on the outside. At this point, drain out all but 1 to 2 tbsp. meat grease. Discard excess grease.
3. Add in all of the chopped veggies (onion, carrots, celery, peas). Also add in the rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Pour in half the can of beef broth to the saucepan. Stir. Boil/cook for another 5 minutes. At this point the meat should be fully cooked and the onions transparent. There will still be some broth pooled at the bottom of the saucepan.
5. Turn off the heat, and tilt the pan to one side to separate the broth and the solid beef/veggies. Sprinkle the GF flour over the MEAT portion (it will clump if you add it directly to the liquid). Stir carefully to coat the beef/veggies, then slowly in with the liquid to thicken the broth. You should now have a gravy covering you meat mixture. Add in a little more GF flour if need be-- you don't want it too runny, more like a sauce.
6. Spoon meat mixture into the 9" cake pan (baking dish); make sure to evenly distribute. Leave on the stove, or place temporarily into the fridge why you boil up the potatoes.
Spud Topping:
-Preheat oven to 400 F-
7. Scrub the red potatoes-- don't bother peeling them, unless you have russets and don't care for the thicker skins. Cut potatoes up into 2 inch cubes; these don't have to be pretty, since they are about to get mashed. Wash and peel the 4 garlic cloves. Leave the garlic whole.
8. Quickly wash out the saucepan you used for the meat and return it to the range. Throw the potato pieces and garlic cloves into the saucepan. Add enough water to the pan to mostly cover the potatoes.
9. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat. Make sure to stir the spuds a little to evenly cook. Once the potato water is boiling, turn heat down to medium-high and boil for 10 minutes.
10. Remove potatoes promptly from the heat and carefully drain the hot water. I was able to mash the potatoes in my non-stick saucepan without scraping it, but I had to be very careful. However you do it, mash the potatoes and garlic until they are as creamy as you want (they will be soft and kinda dry).
11. Once they are mashed, fold in the cheddar cheese; spuds should be cool enough now to not totally melt the cheese on first contact. Stir in the sour cream [and chives] . The potatoes should be creamy.. add in a bit more sour cream if still too dry/starchy.
12. Spoon the spuds evenly over the meat layer. Use a fork to 'rough up' the top a little, if you wish. Place the pie into the 400 F preheated oven. Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove when the potatoes develop a nice crispy top.
13. Let the pie sit for 10 minutes.. it tastes way better slightly cooled. Eat warm.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

A summer treat! This is perhaps one of my all-time FAVORITE recipes! These are much much easier than you would expect: pre-boil the cut ribs, make a quick sauce, then cook over a fire. Juicy, tender and exploding with flavor. This BBQ sauce is absolutely perfect for grilled pork ribs; don't buy a store-brand, this sauce is so wonderful and easy. If you are making these for a crowd, be sure to buy enough meat. Normally people consume 5 ribs, minimum.
From "Gooseberry Patch" Summer? Cookbook.

As you can see, I grill with gathered dried sticks and firewood.. heck with 'natural' store-bought charcoal.

**Most all 'regular' charcoals are bound with wheat. Beware!**

Sauce covers 16 ribs, give or take a few.
25 + 25 + 10 minutes (boil, sauce, grill: total 60 minutes)
-large large pot with lid
-long tongs suitable for grilling
-dried sticks or GF charcoal, for grilling

2 to 3 lbs uncooked pork ribs -- my 2.4 lb rack cut into 14 ribs. (That's about 6 ribs per pound).

1 medium white onion
2 large celery stalks
2 to 3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. ketchup*
1/4 c. red wine vinegar*
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce*
1 tbsp. mustard*
*Heinz ketchup is GF; Heinz gourmet Red Wine Vinegar is GF; Lea and Perkins worc. sauce is GF; French's original mustard is GF.

1. Cut apart the rib meat into 'singles' (separate between each rib bone). Place cut pork into a large large pot and add enough water to cover the ribs. Cover pot with lid and begin cooking over high heat.
2. When water finally comes to a rolling boil (this will take awhile, since Vwater is so large), turn heat down to medium-- the water should now simmer gently. Start timer from this point and cook covered for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure all meat is cooking.
--Start making sauce at this point in another pan such that everything will come out at once. I used the same pot for the sauce to save dishes.--
3. Once time has passed, carefully pour out the hot water. Line a small cookie sheet, or platter, with Aluminum foil. Place still-hot boiled ribs onto the foil. Let cook slightly, then place in fridge until sauce is done.
4. Wash and finely dice the white onion. Also thinly slice, then dice, the washed celery. Peel and wash the garlic, then equally dice. You want these piece as small as possible (I don't have a food processor).
5. Wash out the large pot. Pour in 1 tbsp. olive oil then stir in the small pieces of onion, celery and garlic. Mix well.
6. Saute veggies over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until onions become translucent. Stir frequently. Turn down heat slightly if pieces begin to burn on the bottom of the pot.
7. Add in packed 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar and 1 cup ketchup; stir well. Now definitely turn heat down to medium-low. Mix in the red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. This should already look 'sauce-like'.
8. Let the sauce lazily bubble on the stove for 10 minutes-- it will throw sauce around a little, since the mixture is so thick. Stir occasionally to re-mix in the vinegar; don't let the brown sugar caramelize. Sauce is done when it becomes a darker red and thickly coats your mixing spoon.
(--Could now temporarily remove sauce from the stove and run through a food-processor to really make it creamy.--)
9. Turn off the heat, then take out your cooked ribs. Place ribs into the sauce-filled large pot, three at a time. Stir ribs around in the sauce to thoroughly coat them, then remove and re-place back on Al-foil lined platter (no fear of contamination, since the meat is fully cooked!).
10. Take ribs outside and GRILL them over a fire... 5 minutes on each side. Done when ribs are heated through, slightly charred and sauce is caramelized and sizzling. Serve warm alongside beans; eat with fingers and make a big, wonderful mess.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Steak Risotto

Another mirage of veggies-- I was surprised how good this was. It had the distinct texture and flavor of vegetable-beef stew, captured in a creamy rice dish. Simple. Add a single small tomato (diced) at the very end, if you wish.. I didn't have one on hand.

Serves 2
35 minutes
-large saucepan
Quick and simple.

1/4 to 1/2 lb. thick-cut tender beef steak (-OR- lamb), uncooked
1 medium white onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. uncooked Aborio rice
1 (14 oz) can Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken (or veggie) broth
1/2 c. fresh snap peas
1 ear fresh corn, cut off the cob -OR-- 1/2 of a (15 oz) can Del Monte corn
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1 tsp. white pepper-- black would work, too

1. Wash off steak and place in large saucepan. Cut into 1 inch cubes and begin cooking over medium heat. Brown the meat.. takes ~5 minutes.
2. Quickly, while the meat is heating, coarsely chop up the white onion. When the steak is browned (outside no longer pink), add in the cut white onion. Also mix in the olive oil and Aborio rice. Stir well to coat the rice with oil.
3. Continue cooking the meat and 'tanning' the rice for another 5 minutes; stir frequently.. don't let the rice burn. When the rice forms a white 'dot' in the middle of each grain, it's time to add the broth (the onions should begin to be translucent).
4. Stir in 1/3rd of the broth when rice is ready. Mix well, but let the rice begin to simmer slowly. Continue stirring frequently.. the rice will soak up all the broth (takes another 5 minutes). Once there is no longer any 'liquid' broth in the pan, temporarily turn down the heat and quickly wash and remove the ends from the fresh snap peas.
5. Add in another 1/3rd can of broth along with your prepared snap peas. Return the heat to 'medium'. Simmer the rice/meat/pea mixture for another 5 minutes, or until the broth is soaked up.
6. Add in the remaining broth and fresh (or canned) corn. Sprinkle with sage and white pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, still gently simmering until the broth becomes a thicker sauce ~ 5 minutes. Rice should be tender, but not mushy. Snap peas should be crisp-tender. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Black Bean Wraps

Truly travel-friendly.. all you need is a can opener, cheese and tortilla. If you can't tell, I've been excited about wraps ever since I discovered teff tortillas (La Tortilla Factory)-- they actually hold together and taste great warm. Heat these up for a hot lunch or quick snack. I loved the black beans/cumin combo.

Serves 3
15 minutes
-can opener
-medium saucepan or pot (-OR- just a bowl if mixing cold)
Quick and simple

1 (15 oz) can Bush Black Beans
3/4th of one (15 oz) can DelMonte whole kernel corn
1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cumin
[1 tsp. chives-- optional]
3 GF tortillas (rice or corn or teff)
Enough cheese for topping-- cheddar or mozzarella

1. Open and drain the can of black beans. Rinse beans several times with cold water before placing in the saucepan.
2. Open and drain the can of corn. Pour 3/4th of the corn into the saucepan with the beans-- I think the whole can of corn would overbalance the beans.
3. Heat beans and corn over medium-low heat. Stir in ground cumin and washed, diced chives. Don't let the beans burn to the bottom of the pan; these don't need more than 10 minutes of heating.
4. Heat up GF tortillas until they are pliable; microwave will work: 20 seconds on 'high'. Fill with hot beans and corn. Sprinkle with cheese of choice. Roll up and eat warm or cold**.

** These freeze really well... make a couple wraps in advance, then roll up finished product in tin foil. Take frozen wraps with you on a trip and eat chilled when they finally defrost. I've had these keep cold for ~5 hours before when I covered the tin foil in a towel (or newspaper) to reduce the heat transfer.