Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Teriyaki Chicken with Pineapple Rice

I made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit with every single member of my family. Tyler was excited he even had some leftover for lunch tomorrow. This is definitely a keeper! I found the recipe here.

Teriyaki Chicken with Pineapple Rice
2 cups white rice
2 cups canned pineapple chunks, undrained (must be juice, not syrup)
2/3 cup chopped chives
6 tablespoons butter or oil
12 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon brown sugar
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

In a rice cooker, pour in 2 cups white rice. Use the pineapple juice from the can as part of the water you put in the rice cooker. Cook rice in rice cooker. When the rice is done cooking, stir in pineapple chunks, chives, and butter. Close the lid and keep it on warm.

In an electric skillet, whisk next 3 ingredients. Add chicken, cover and cook over medium, 8 minutes. Uncover, turn chicken and cook over medium-low, basting, until sauce thickens and chicken is firm and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Serve with rice.


After my brother taught me to make La Bandera, I began to seek out other Dominican dishes from the DR. I found this recipe here and I am so glad I made it! I served it with fried plantains. I found the recipe here.

2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2½ cups rice
1 tsp garlic paste
¼ tsp oregano powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tbsp adobo seasoning
¼ cups Mojo criollo  
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp tomato bouillon with chicken flavor 
1 tbsp tomato paste
2-3 sprigs of cilantro
2 tbsp olives and capers
3 cups water

Wash and dry your chicken. Put in a bowl. Stir in the garlic paste and the oregano. Add the adobo, mojo criollo, and the onion powder. Stir this all well and let it marinate for at least an hour (Overnight is better) in the refrigerator.

Take the chicken out of fridge and bring to room temperature. When ready, heat up your electric skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbs of oil. Add the tsp of sugar. We want the sugar to caramelize, it gives the chicken a nice golden color and won't leave a sweet taste on the chicken. When the sugar has caramelized immediately add the chicken. Put the chicken in 1 layer and don't move it around. Let the chicken fry and get browned. Flip the chicken over and allow the other side to brown. Add 3 tbsp of water, which will braise the chicken and bring out the flavors. When the water evaporates, add 3 more tbsp of water and wait for it to evaporate. You don't want the chicken to overcook and fall apart.

It is time to season the water. Add 1/2 cup water. Make sure you scrape down those sides. To the water add 1 tbsp of tomato paste and some cilantro. Add the chicken bouillon powder. Mix it in well, but do this gently.

Continue on now by adding the olives and capers. I don't like olives, so I just put in capers. Add the rest of the water (2 1/2 cups) bring the water to a full boil. While the water comes to a boil, take your rice and rinse it a few times under running water. Set the rice aside. When the water is boiling, then add the rice. Add the last tbsp of oil. Now it's the waiting game. We will wait for the rice to absorb all the liquid. Don't stir at all.

Once the water has been absorbed, lower the heat, and take a piece of foil and place it on top of the skillet. Continue by putting the cover. Let it cook slowly about 35-40 minutes. If the rice isn't cooked through, add some more water and repeat the steps. I had to do this once. Serve this arroz con pollo with some beans and a side of fried plantains.

Indiana Fair Corn Dogs

Ever since I switched to eating GF, I have missed just having a hot dog. You know? A hot dog in a bun with some ketchup, maybe a little shredded cheese. Yes! So good. But I haven't mastered a roll dough that would work for hotdogs. But, I now have an alternative: corndogs. And maaaaaaan, are they good! I found the recipe here.

Indiana Fair Corn Dogs
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 5 min./batch YIELD:12-16 servings
1 cup GF flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Dash of pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
Oil for deep-fat frying
12 to 16 wooden skewers
12 to 16 hot dogs

1. In a bowl, whisk the first eight ingredients. Whisk in egg and milk just until blended. I found that I  needed more than just one cup of evaporated milk to get the right consistency - think thinner pancake batter. Transfer batter to a tall drinking glass.
2. In an electric skillet, heat oil to 375°. Insert skewers into hot dogs. Dip hot dogs into batter; allow excess batter to drip off. Fry corn dogs, a few at a time, 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 to 16 corn dogs.
Nutritional Facts
1 corn dog equals 260 calories, 19 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 42 mg cholesterol, 704 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 8 g protein.

Millet Sorghum Flour Recipe

This is my current favorite flour recipe. I love the color and the texture that millet provides. I have used it to make cookies, waffles, and corndogs. So fun!

Millet Sorghum Flour Recipe
2 cups sorghum flour
2 cups tapioca flour
1 cup millet flour
4 tsp xanthan gum

Mix together and store in an airtight container.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

My favorite store-bought ice cream is Blue Bell Cherry Vanilla. It is super tasty. But as you may know, Blue Bell has pulled their ice cream off the shelves. And we are rapidly approaching summer, people. SO! I decided to alter my fruit ice cream recipe from my mother-in-law, and make my own Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream. And let me tell you - it is delicious!

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 pint whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 jar maraschino cherries, undrained
Whole milk
Rock salt

Pour the maraschino cherry juice into the ice cream maker. Stir in whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk. Add vanilla. 

On a cutting board, slice cherries in half and stir in the ice cream maker. Fill milk to fill line. 

Put in paddle and put on lid. Put the can inside the bucket. Put motor on top of ice cream and secure in place. Sprinkle rock salt along the bottom of the bucket around the can. Top salt with ice cubes. Repeat layers until the ice is almost the same height as the lid of the bucket. Plug in the freezer and wait around 20-40 minutes or until the motor stops. Take off lid and enjoy.

One of the great things about this recipe - as compared to other ice cream recipes that I have made - is that it is easier to scoop out after you refreeze it in your freezer.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Coconut Tres Leches Cake Trifle

I was looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year with some Tres Leches Cake. While perusing Pinterest, I found this recipe. I knew I had to try it out. I was concerned that this would have too much coconut, but it was just right. This recipe is work, but worth it.

Coconut Tres Leches Cake Trifle

These are my own photos.

Coconut Pastry Cream:
1 can (14-ounces) coconut milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
pinch salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup white sugar, divided
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup flour (I used this recipe)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Whipped Cream Ingredients & Extras:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups toasted coconut for assembly and topping

Tres Leches Mixture:
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup coconut milk

First up, make the pastry cream so it can chill in the refrigerator. In a medium saucepan combine the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla. Heat the mixture over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch. When the coconut milk mixture comes to a simmer, slowly ladle about 1/2 a cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking vigorously and constantly so the eggs don't scramble and form hard, cooked bits. Add the entire egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and whisk constantly while the mixture cooks over medium heat for 3-4 minutes; it will thicken considerably. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and coconut extract. Pour the pastry cream into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface, and refrigerate until completely chilled, 3-4 hours (you can speed up this process by placing the bottom of the bowl in an ice water bath and stirring the pastry cream constantly until cool). Once the pastry cream has cooled completely, beat the 1/2 cup whipping cream until thick and creamy. Fold it gently into the pastry cream until combined. Refrigerate the pastry cream until ready to assemble the trifle.

While the pastry cream is chilling (before folding in the whipped cream), make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease two round cake pans. Measure your trifle dish to determine what size is needed. My trifle dish would only fit an 8-inch round cake layer so I baked mine in 8-inch layers but some trifle dishes are larger and could work with 9-inch cake layers.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the 3/4 cup granulated sugar until they are light and thick, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the coconut milk, vanilla extract, coconut extract, flour, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl whip the egg whites until foamy. While beating, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 12-14 minutes (watch closely!) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn the cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the whipped cream, combine the cream and sugar together in a medium bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.

To assemble, whisk together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and coconut milk (or be like me and shake it all up in a canning jar with a lid). Place one cake layer in the bottom of the trifle dish, flattest side up. Poke holes all over the cake with a fork. Pour 3/4 cup of the milk mixture over the cake gradually, swirling the trifle dish back and forth to cover the cake with the milk mixture and adding the rest of the milk as the first layer soaks in. You can refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the milk soak in or just keep swirling and poking the cake until the mixture settles in. Top with 1/2 of the coconut pastry cream, 1/3 of the toasted coconut and 1/2 of the whipped cream.

Poke holes all over the flattest side of the 2nd cake layer (before you put it in the trifle dish). Set the cake layer over the whipped cream layer (with the flattest side up; the side you poked all over) and pour 3/4 cup of the milk mixture over the cake, again, pouring it on gradually and swirling to distribute the milk mixture. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes if needed to help the milk mixture absorb into the cake. Top with the rest of the coconut pastry cream, 1/3 of the toasted coconut, the remainder of the whipped cream and sprinkle with the last of the coconut. YIELD: SERVES 10

Refrigerate for at least 12 hours (or up to 24 hours) before serving. Serve chilled.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ham Loaf

Ham Loaf:
1lb ground ham
½ lb ground stew beef
½ lb pork sausage
2 eggs
½ cup tomato juice
½ cup milk
1 cup gluten free bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and place in large greased loaf pan.

¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
½ cup tomato juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp prepared mustard
In a saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Pour half of sauce over loaf. Bake for 2 hours (Yes TWO hours). After 1 hour, I take it out and pour the juice off the loaf and then pour the rest of the sauce over the loaf and bake it another hour.

German Spaghetti

I got this recipe from my college roommate, Kristina. I've never seen another recipe like it since - quite different and quite tasty!

German Spaghetti:
1 pkg brown rice gluten free spaghetti
Bacon (use as much or as little as you like)
Eggs (I use 6-8)
1-2 cups shredded cheese
Parmesan cheese
Soy sauce

Boil the spaghetti, while it’s boiling, fry the bacon. Drain most of the grease. Leave bacon in the pan. Whisk eggs in a bowl and stir in cheese. Add egg/cheese mixture to bacon. Cook until eggs are almost cooked. Drain the spaghetti. Add noodles to the pan with eggs. Fry all together until the eggs are fully cooked. Add some parmesan cheese and soy sauce to taste.

Moroccan Garbanzo Bean Stew

I found this recipe in this book. It was very satisfying! In fact, I have loved every recipe that I have made from this book. I highly recommend it!

Moroccan Garbanzo Bean Stew
2 cups dried garbanzo beans
3 tbsp oil
2 large onions
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth

Rinse beans in a colander and place them in a mixing bowl covered with cold water. Allow beans to soak for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Or place beans in to a sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and soak beans for 1 hour. With either soaking method, drain beans, discard soaking water, and begin cooking as soon as possible.

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Reduce the heat to low, and stir in cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Scrape mixture into the slow cooker.

Place drained beans in the slow cooker. Add tomatoes and stock, and stir well. Cook on Low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3 1/2-4 hours, or until garbanzo beans are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper for the last hour of cooking time.

Note: the dish can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. Reheat it, covered, over low heat until hot, stirring occasionally.

Sausage Blinchiki

In my quest to try out more Russian dishes, I decided to try something I ate in Ukraine while I was adopting my twins. Sausage Blinchiki is making Russian crepes with cooked sausage and onions inside. This simple dish is very satisfying and my children quickly scarfed them down! I found the recipe here, but I altered it a bit to my liking. I believe that the difference between crepes and blinchiki is that the Russian version has more eggs in it. 

We ate them with roasted potatoes. And ketchup - because the Russians LOVE ketchup!

Sausage Blinchiki
Ingredients for Filling
2 lb ground sausage
1-2 onions, diced

Ingredients for Blinchiki
2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour (I used this recipe)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp powdered sugar

Saute the onions and add the ground sausage. Salt and pepper the meat to your liking.

The blinchiki are extremely easy to make. Beat the milk, eggs, flour, salt, and powdered sugar together until a uniform mixture.

Lightly butter or use some oil spray to grease an electric skillet (medium heat). Ladle in the batter into the center of the pan and spread it out evenly over the bottom to form a very thin layer. Similar to the way you would prepare crepes.

As soon as the batter on top no longer flows, flip the blinchik and cook for an additional 30 seconds. You don’t want to burn the dough, it shouldn’t take longer than 1-2 minutes to prepare one blinchik.

Once you have a stack you can start wrapping the blinchiki. Place one table spoon of the filling slightly off center of the blinchik and wrap it tightly to make sure it doesn't fall apart.

Place them in a pot or a covered bowl and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Right before serving, lightly fry the blinchiki on some vegetable oil on both sides until golden brown. I fried them in the electric skillet where I browned the sausage and onions. 

Chicken Paprikash

I am venturing out and trying some new meals from around the world. This dish is Hungarian! Now, I didn't make Nokedli, which traditionally goes with Paprikash. Instead, I made mashed potatoes. And it was a sumptuous meal! I found the recipe here. The second day I used the leftovers and pour it over rice. Super tasty - my husband was thrilled to take it in to work for lunch.

My photo.

Over rice. Yummy!

Chicken Paprikash 
(serves 6-8 people)
2 lbs chicken drumsticks
1 onion, diced
2-3 tbsp Hungarian paprika
salt and pepper
6 cups water/chicken broth (I did half water and half chicken broth)
1/4 cup flour (I used this recipe)
1/2 cup sour cream
Mashed potatoes

To make the chicken paprikash, season (generously) the chicken with salt, pepper, and the paprika.

In an electric skillet, brown the chicken over medium heat on all sides, and cover with diced onions.

Allow the onions to soften.

Pour water (you could use half chicken broth if you wanted) over the top until the chicken and onions are covered.  Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low.  Allow the mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is fall-off-the-bone delicious.  Remove the chicken and allow to cool.  Put the 1/4 C flour in a medium bowl and slowly add small amounts of the broth until you form a thick paste.  Keep mixing and adding more broth until the “roux” (not really a roux, but close) is thin enough to add directly back to the pot.

Once the chicken has cooled a bit, remove the bones and other stuff you don’t want to eat, and return the chicken to the pot.

Once the paprikash is cooled enough, add the sour cream.

Top mashed potatoes with the chicken paprikash.  Sprinkle with paprika and enjoy!

Orange Chicken

I was craving some Chinese food a few months ago and saw this recipe on Pinterest. I tweaked it a bit, to make it my own. I have made this twice and it never looks as pretty as the picture from where I got it, but it tastes fantastic! To go with the chicken, I cook some rice in my rice cooker. I substitute out some of the water with orange juice and I add some orange peel, too. I like to mix frozen peas into the rice, as well.

Picture found here.

Orange Chicken
2 cup chicken broth
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup gluten free soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp orange peel
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water

For the chicken:
3 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 1" chunks
1 1/2 c. cornstarch
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 c. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, lightly spray two 9x13 inch glass pans, set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl (or a 4 c. measuring cup), whisk together the chicken broth, orange juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, orange zest, ginger, and black pepper, set aside.

Place the cubes of chicken into a bowl with the whisked eggs, toss the chicken (taking care to let the egg drip off it) into a large ziplock bag full of the cornstarch. Zip and shake until evenly coated.

Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Working in batches (3-4), add the chicken and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

Add the fried chicken to the prepared 9x13 pans. Whisk together a slurry of 2 tbsp. of cornstarch and 2 tbsp. of water, add to the sauce and then pour over the chicken. Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Remove and serve immediately.

-This dish is best baked to help develop the flavor of the sauce, to thicken it and to make the chicken nice and tender. If you're in a time crunch, you can fry the chicken and heat the sauce (with the cornstarch and water) in a small saucepan until thick, then pour over the chicken and eat immediately.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Chicken Briyani

This was the most tricky recipe I have attempted thus far. One reason is because the original recipe, found here, was most likely written by a native Indian and they left out certain instructions and ingredient amounts, so I had to just wing it and hope that the recipe would turn out. And it was delicious! My children all had seconds AND thirds. We will definitely be making this again. So here is what I did in making this recipe.

My photo. Oh, and this makes great leftovers, too.

Chicken Briyani
Serves 8
1 cup plain yogurt (I used greek plain yogurt)
1 cup mint leaves, stems removed
1 cup cilantro leaves, stems removed
2 pounds boneless chicken, cut in small pieces
4 tablespoon garlic paste
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tablespoons garam masala powder
4 cups basmati white rice
2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)*
1 large onion, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoon ground coriander seed
2 tablespoon garam masala
1 cup coconut milk
6 cups chicken broth
Electric skillet with lid
Food processor

1. In a food processor, put in yogurt, mint leaves, and cilantro. Process until mixed well.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together chicken with yogurt mixture. Stir in garlic paste, ground ginger, and 2 tbsp garam masala. Cover with a lid or saran wrap. Let it rest in the refrigerator for for 4-6  hours or overnight. 
3. In a medium bowl, pour in basmati rice and cover with water. Cover bowl with lid or saran wrap. Soak the basmati rice for 2-4 hours. Once done, drain and set aside.
4. Heat ghee / butter in a large electric skillet and cook minced onion until they are brown in color, about 10-12 minutes. 
5. Sprinkle turmeric, chili powder, ground coriander seed and 2 tbsp garam masala and saute for 3-5 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
6. Add the chicken/yogurt mixture and let it cook for 15 minutes with the lid on, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Cook on medium temperature.
7. Once the chicken is almost done cooking, add coconut milk and chicken broth and bring it to a boil.
8. Once you see the sauce bubbling, reduce the flame to low. Add the drained rice and cook covered for 15 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it rest for another 15 minutes - I followed these directions, but my rice still wasn't cooked through, so I added more water and raised the temperature and repeated this step and it worked beautifully. 
9. Using a fork, gently fluff out the rice and transfer to a fresh bowl. Gently mix to combine the rice and chicken. 

*I couldn't find ghee, so I used salted butter and it worked nicely.