March 2012

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Well, it happened. Spring is here – and seemingly rather early for Saint Louis – and I have a backlog of winter food photos still left to blog. Let’s see if I can get them all in over these next few weeks… Part of the problem is that many of these dishes are things I make without referencing a recipe and my husband can attest to the fact that I’m terrible about writing down what I did. Come on, measuring and writing down what it is I’m measuring isn’t really my top priority when I’m trying to get dinner on the table for our family after the work day. I will get the amounts written down some day and I promise to come back and edit. If you’re feeling squidgy about cooking with relative amounts or just using this as a guide, I do apologize. My mom does the same thing to me whenever I ask her for one of her recipes and it really does drive me crazy. Anyhow, getting down to it, this next recipe is for Eggplant Parmesan. You totally could go all out and make your tomato sauce, but I usually use jarred sauce for the sake of time. Even if you think perhaps you or your spouse/children don’t like eggplant, this is worth a try because there’s no better way to eat it.

Eggplant Parmesan

1 Large Eggplant

2 Cups Flour (I usually use a GF blend and add about 1/4 cup extra corn starch)

3/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tsp. Dried Basil

2 tsp. Dried Oregano

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

2 Eggs

1/2 Cup Milk

Olive Oil

1 Jar Tomato Sauce

1 Pack of Mozzerella Cheese

1 Box Pasta

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Starting with your eggplant, cut off the top and the bottom. I like to then peel the skin off because I think it can sometimes taste bitter (I think this is why a lot of people avoid eating it). Slice into 1/4 inch discs. In a small bowl, mix your eggs and milk. In a larger bowl, mix the flour or GF flour mixture, parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Start a saute pan over medium heat with enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan. Start to dredge your eggplant by running it through the egg/milk and then through the flour/parm mix. You’ll know your oil is set to go when flick some of the flour mix off your fingers and it sizzles. When this happens, place your dredged eggplant slices in the hot oil carefully. Cook until browned to your liking and then flip to cook the other side.

Meanwhile, prepare your baking dish by pouring a little bit of sauce in to coat the bottom. When the eggplant slices are browned on both sides, start to line the sauced baking dish with them while you dredge and cook the remaining slices. Once you have a full layer, pour a little more sauce over the eggplant slices and then place a layer of sliced mozzerella cheese over them. Continue to build layers until you run out of eggplant. Finish with sauce and then cheese. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. (Note, the dish in my photos cooked a little past where I had planned. Our dinner guest that night was running late and I thought the oven had cooled down enough just to warm the eggplant, but instead it clearly kept on cooking, whoops!)

Cook your pasta. Serve the eggplant over the pasta.

 

Last month I was on Twitter. I tweet as @cleverhands, because I try to tweet for the stationery business I run with my sister. I must say I’m a total twitter failure. I don’t feel as though I can pop onto and off of Twitter – if I go on it’s an hours long event because once I’m on, I can’t manage to log off – what if I miss something interesting or a chance to connect with someone I follow?! Perhaps I’m too anxious and too high strung to tweet, but I keep trying. Anyhow, when I was on Twitter last I saw a tweet about amazing GF popovers with the hashtag of #gfreerally. I followed the link to see these amazing popovers and was wowed by the gorgeous results of a fellow GF baker’s hard work. I also discovered the Gluten Free Ratio Rally. The rally was started a year ago by Shauna James Ahern. It’s a group of GF cooks/baker-bloggers who have decided to create GF recipes based on the basic cooking and baking ratios in Michael Ruhlman’s book, “Ratio”. A chance to do some recipe development alongside some awesome GF bloggers with a hint of competition? I wanted in, immediately. After all, I’m convinced high strung people invented baking. And anyway, there’s no way one person has all of the time and resources necessary to uncover the secrets of truly fantastic GF food. The rally is genius and I’m excited to be part of it, even if I am a year late.

This month’s rally is hosted by T.R. of No One Likes Crumbley Cookies and the food is Crepes. Here’s a link to T.R.’s post: Brownie Crepes with Strawberry Wine sauce. You can find links to other rally contributors at the bottom of this post. Ruhlman’s ratio for crepes is 1:2:2 flour:liquid:egg. I followed this exactly. Sorry for those of you who don’t use a kitchen scale, my measurements are all in grams! Rather than writing off this recipe though, you should get a kitchen scale – true precision is quite satisfying. So here we go: my rally recipe for crepes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buckwheat Crepes

93 g. eggs*

46 g. Buckwheat Flour Mix (see below)

93 g. Milk

*Sooo when I made these I started with my eggs, because I figured I’d start with the weight of one or two whole eggs and then base the rest of the ingredients on that weight, per the ratio. This method just seemed simpler to me rather than beating an egg and trying to get twice of whatever arbitrary amount of flour I might have chosen to start with.

Just whisk the flour, egg and milk together and let the batter sit. Mine sat for about 30 – 45 minutes. The Ruhlman book suggests that as the batter sits, the flour absorbs the liquid. Before cooking with the batter I whisked it again as the flour had settled a bit in the bottom of my bowl. Now, I don’t have any fancy crepe tools and was glad the internet had lots of information on how to make crepes without anything fancy. I used a small (8-inch) stainless steel fry pan. Sprayed some oil in the pan and cooked over medium heat. I used a 1/3 cup measure to pour some batter in my pan once the pan was heated. Crepes cook fast, so you need to be ready to flip them. I made such a scene in our kitchen when I flipped my first crepe perfectly! It was much easier than I thought. I found out as I went along that if I didn’t have enough oil on the pan I had trouble and if I tried to flip the crepe before it was ready they gave me trouble and seemed sort of suctioned to the pan. Once you get the hang of it though it is tons of fun! Once both sides are cooked you can fill them with most anything.

We made a peanut butter + honey crepe, a cream cheese + sundried tomato + pesto crepe, a chocolate chip + powdered sugar crepe, a chocolate chip + peanut butter + mashed banana crepe, a smashed blueberry + powered sugar crepe and our favorite was the smashed blueberry + homemade lemon curd crepe. (If you read my blog, then you know that I {heart} Ina Garten – see her lemon curd recipe here.) Not only did my husband and kids get a kick out of my celebration over properly flipping a crepe, but they also enjoyed helping me think of what to put in them – and they were fabulous taste testers as well.

Buckwheat Flour Mix

(Based on all purpose flour from glutenfreegirl.com)

100 g. Buckwheat Flour

75 g. Sorghum Flour

25 g. Potato Flour

125 g. Sweet Rice Flour

75 g. Potato Starch

50 g. Tapioca Starch

50 g. Cornstarch

Other Rally Contributors

Adina ~ Gluten Free Travelette ~ Breakfast Crepes Three Ways
Caleigh ~ Gluten Free[k] ~ Banana Cinnamon Crepes
Claire ~ My Gluten Free Home ~ Victory Crepe Cake
Ginger  ~ Fresh Ginger ~ Sweet ‘n Savory
gretchen ~ kumquat ~ nutella crepe cake
Heather ~ Discovering the Extraordinary ~ “Southwestern” Crepes
Karen ~ Cooking Gluten-Free! ~ Gluten Free Crepes Savory or Sweet
Mary Fran ~ FrannyCakes ~ Gluten-free Peanut Butter Crepe Cake
Morri  ~  Meals with Morri ~ Russian Blini for Two
Pete and Kelli ~ No Gluten, No Problem ~ Key Lime Crepes
Shauna ~ gluten-free girl ~ Gluten Free Buckwheat Crepes
T.R. ~ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ Brownie Crepes with Strawberry Wine sauce
T.R. ~ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ Basil Tomato and Feta Crepes
T.R. ~ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ Fresh Fruit Crepe
Tara ~ A Baking Life ~ Breakfast Crepes with Eggs and Kale
Jonathan ~ The Canary Files ~ Vegan Crepes for Filipino Spring Rolls
Rachel ~ The Crispy Cook ~ Raspberries and Cream Crepes
~Mrs. R ~ Honey From Flinty Rocks ~ Crepes – Spinach & Dessert

 

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