Sunday, April 12, 2015

Gluten Free Fresh Pasta

Gluten Free Fresh Pasta












Today I bring you an easy to make, two ingredient gluten free fresh pasta dough. 

This is big folks. 

Remember when making pasta was simple?  I remember those good old days when pasta dough used to be 100 grams of flour to each egg that was used.  Enter the gluten free diet to throw a monkey wrench into that well-oiled machine.   

Suddenly pasta making required multiple flours and xanthan gum with those eggs.  And if the correct ratios weren’t maintained, the whole thing could turn into an unusable mess.

So last year when I started using Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1  baking blend pretty frequently, I began to wonder if it might work as the substitute for the all-purpose flour in my old pasta recipe.  

Lo and behold it works nearly perfectly.  

The only real difference I found is that I needed 3 eggs with 200 grams of flour to form the ball of dough that eventually had an additional quarter cup or so of flour worked in.  You can see the details in the video tutorial below. 

So maybe the ratio of flour to eggs was a little different now, but the simplicity of a two ingredient pasta dough had definitely returned.  This is a game changer. 

Gluten Free Fresh Pasta
Prep time:  1 hour
Cook time: 2 min
Servings: 3

Ingredients:
  • 200 grams Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour blend (plus more to work into the dough as needed)
  • 3 eggs

Video Tutorial: 



Instructions
  1. Add the flour and eggs to a food processor and process until you have a slightly sticky dough.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured work surface and knead as you continue to work in enough flour to form a ball of dough that’s supple is no longer sticky.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic and set aside for a few minutes then cut the dough into four pieces.  
  4. Flatten down each section into a rectangle and roll it though the pasta roller at the widest setting.  If it doesn’t go through smoothly on the first pass, just gather the dough back together, flatten into another rectangle and pass it through again.
  5. I like to fold the pasta sheets onto themselves a few times as they pass through the widest setting to square up the edges.  And once the section looks like a pretty nice sheet change the roller to the next thinnest setting. 
  6. My machine has 6 settings but I never like to go below the third or fourth setting. (in the video I rolled it to the fouth setting).  If the pasta is rolled too thin, it could get mushy or even start to fall apart when it’s cooked.  
  7. When rolling the pasta it’s easiest to start rolling the sheet through the machine then grab it gently with the hand that’s not turning that crank and once the whole pasta sheet passes through the cutter, lay it down onto a lightly floured surface.
  8. To cut the pasta, start rolling the sheet through the machine then grab it gently with your free hand and when it all passes through the machine, slightly twist the bunch of pasta onto a floured cutting board or baking sheet.
  9. Once all the sections are cut, to cook the pasta, bring some heavily salted water up to a boil, drop in the pasta and cook for 2 minutes.  Be sure to have your heated sauce ready since the pasta cooks very quickly then toss the drained pasta with the sauce and serve.

Notes:  There is no salt added to fresh pasta dough.  Adding salt would attract the humidity in the air and cause the dough to get stickier as you work with it.  Be sure to cook the pasta in heavily salted water so that your final dish doesn’t taste flat.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Schar Gluten Free Pizza Crust - 3 Ways

Schar's Crusts Done 3 Ways
 Video Tutorial Below













If you read my blog post with the chocolate almond orange gluten free dessert pizza then today's post is no surprise. 

When Schar sent me a few boxes of their crusts to review I thought it might be a good idea to see just how far I could push their product to see how it performed.  

Each box of their gluten free pizza crust contains two individually wrapped which makes it conveniently easy to use  one crust at a time.  The shells measure between 9- 10 inches which is a pretty nice size as far as gluten free pizzas go.  Another nice feature is that instead of the crusts being totally flat like most brands, theirs has a raised border which works well to keep your ingredients from sliding off.

The crusts are actually made in Italy, the birthplace of pizza, so you’d expect them to be a cut above other gluten free crusts on the market.  Since I haven’t tried many other prefabricated crusts, it’s hard for me to make a comparison.  I can tell you that when you follow to package instructions they bake up crispy and delicious.

And their crust works well in both sweet and savory applications or for any meal of the day.  I got pretty creative with my toppings as you can see in my YouTube tutorial.  All the pizzas were delicious but I’d have to say that my favorite was the breakfast pizza.

What I like most about Schar’s gluten free pizza crusts is that they’re shelf-stable.  Freezer space is a valuable commodity at my house and I usually don’t have room for pizza crusts.  I’m not sure if anyone else is even making a shelf-stable gluten free crust at this point but I can see these crusts becoming a popular addition to gluten free pantries everywhere. 

Have you tried Schar’s gluten free crust?  What’s your most interesting way to top a pizza?

As far as my favorite pizza creations go, I didn't feel the need to type up actual recipes for today’s post.

It’s all covered in the video tutorial. 


Besides, making pizza is a highly personal experience.  So go forth and hunt down all of your favorite toppings then watch my tutorial for a few tips and create your own masterpiece. 

The Video Tutorial: 


And encase you missed my last post, the pizzas that are covered in the above tutorial are detailed below.

The Shrimp Pizza
After brushing the crust with a small amount of anchovy paste and garlic infused olive oil, this pizza was topped with lemon zest, baby spinach, shrimp, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, crushed red pepper flakes and small amounts of pecorino Romano cheese and mozzarella.












The Pepperoni Green Olive Pizza
Since my daughter wanted nothing to do with the shrimp pizza, this creation is her brainchild.  It’s a classic pepperoni pizza with the addition of some salty green Spanish manzanilla olives.



























The Breakfast Pizza
This crust was brushed with the bacon fat that rendered while I fried the bacon.  Next I topped it with baby spinach, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, crispy bacon, eggs and cheddar.  Once the pizza was cooked I sprinkled over a little sriracha sauce and enjoyed what turned out to be my favorite pizza of all the savory varieties I did.  











Saturday, March 28, 2015

Schar Chocolate Almond Orange Gluten Free Dessert Pizza

Chocolate Almond Orange Dessert Pizza
 With 
Schar Gluten Free Pizza Crust













Being both a food blogger and YouTube video producer definitely has its perks.  Alright sometimes it sucks when I’m eating cold food because it took forever to photograph but there are benefits for sure. One such nicety is the fact that it’s not uncommon to receive food samples to review.  Recently I was lucky enough to have Schar send me several boxes of their new and improved pizza crusts and marble cake to try. 

Have you tried Schar’s new gluten free pizza crusts yet?  Since I hadn't tried their old crusts, I didn't have a frame of reference for comparison.   I have to admit that I’m not exactly sure where the differences might lie.

As far as the marble cake goes, it had a very nice flavor and texture but was just slightly on the drier side.  That led me to the thought that the cake would work well as an ingredient in petit fours if I didn't want to bake.  But since I didn't feel like the tedious work of decorating those little one inch cakes so instead I created the orange marmalade cake stacks demonstrated in the YouTube video below. 

They were incredibly good but just a little too sweet for my tastes.  I was also experimenting with several pizzas during this time.  You'll see the results of those experiments at the bottom of this post.  

But while I was dreaming up pizza combinations, I was drawn to the thought that the orange marmalade and ganache I had used in the cake stacks would make an awesome dessert pizza.

And so the Chocolate Almond Orange Dessert Pizza was born.

It was by far better than I could have ever imagined.  

Epic indeed!

Schar Chocolate Almond Orange Gluten Free Dessert Pizza
Prep time: 10 min
Bake time: 12-14 min
Servings:  12

Ingredients
  • 1 Schar gluten free pizza crust
  • 2 tbsp butter, very well softened
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup of orange marmalade, stirred to loosen
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 3 oz heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 1 oz of shaved almonds
Video Tutorial: 



Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to to 325°F (or 163°C) and prep a baking sheet with a piece of parchment sprayed with nonstick spray.
  2. Stir together the softened butter, sugar and cinnamon and brush it over the bottom of the crust. (the part that will be directly on the pan)
  3. Turn the crust right side up on the parchment and if there is any cinnamon butter left, brush it over the edges of the crust.
  4. Brush the orange marmalade over the entire top surface and the edges so that there is a very thin layer covering the crust.
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes then remove from the oven and allow to cool until the marmalade sets up a little.. (about 10 minutes)
  6. For the almond ganache, combine the chocolate, almond extract and heavy cream in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments stirring after each session until the cream and chocolate are smooth.
  7. Pour the ganache into the center of the pizza and spread to within ¼ inch of the edge.
  8. Scatter the shaved almonds over the top refrigerate until set, slice and serve.   
AND THESE ARE THE OTHER PIZZAS I MADE WITH THE SCHAR CRUSTS:
Consider the photos and short descriptions below just a tease until I have enough time edit a video where I’ll cover all three of these pizzas in greater detail. 


The Shrimp Pizza
After brushing the crust with a small amount of anchovy paste and garlic infused olive oil, this pizza was topped with lemon zest, baby spinach, shrimp, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, crushed red pepper flakes and small amounts of pecorino Romano cheese and mozzarella.













The Pepperoni Green Olive Pizza
Since my daughter wanted nothing to do with the shrimp pizza, this creation is her brainchild.  It’s a classic pepperoni pizza with the addition of some salty green Spanish manzanilla olives.
























The Breakfast Pizza
This crust was brushed with the bacon fat that rendered while I fried the bacon.  Next I topped it with baby spinach, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, crispy bacon, eggs and cheddar.  Once the pizza was cooked I sprinkled over a little sriracha sauce and enjoyed what turned out to be my favorite pizza of all the savory varieties I did.  














Both the Schar gluten free marble cake and ready made pizza crusts are great to have on hand.  Like all gluten free products they can be on the pricey side but like their other products, their worth the money.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing












Do you like cauliflower? 

If you answered no, you might want to try this recipe to see if your opinion changes.  When cauliflower is roasted, the natural sugars caramelize and it takes on a complex nutty flavor that can’t be achieved with boiling or steaming.

But beyond just roasting this veggie, we finish off this side dish with a bright lemony drizzle that’s perfect for spring.  I seriously urge you to try this one.  This might just become your new favorite veggie.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 -45 min
Servings: 4-8

Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower (leaves removed & core end trimmed)
  • 3-4 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • salt and pepper

Video Tutorial: 



Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F or 220°C and spray a foil lined baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Slice the head of cauliflower into 6- 8 wedges and place them onto the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Brush with garlic oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast for 20 minutes on the first side, flip the wedges and roast for 20-25 minutes on the second side while you mix the dressing.
  4. In a small bowl stir together 2 tablespoons of garlic oil with the red pepper flakes, parsley, the juice of the lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When the cauliflower is done place it on a serving plate and drizzle on the lemon dressing and serve.  

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