Thursday, July 31, 2008

Airport feeding

I dislike flying, a lot. I do not like any part of it except stepping out of the airport in a new city. (This is a giant perk, hence why I continue to do it, occasionally.)

Airports are pretty notorious about having large quantities of junk food, but I don't think I really noticed how bad it was until having to fly gluten free. My efforts to avoid dairy have only confounded the problem.

I cannot say how excited I was to discover that the Legal Seafoods at Logan airport had a gluten free menu. (It is modified; an abbreviated version of their "wheat and gluten sensitive menu.") An order of the fried calamari later (I never said I was above indulging in fried foods), I was one fed and happy camper.

Suddenly, air travel doesn't seem so horrible.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Millet Millet

Still on the preserved lemon kick, I was in charge of making and brining a gluten-free, vegan dish for a group of 15. It has been really hot out and I had a hankering for a pasta-like salad, but I really haven't found a rice pasta that holds up when cold, so I thought about millet instead of couscous.

It cooks up a bit differently, it doesn't separate as cleanly as couscous. But like couscous, its a pretty neutral background flavor that really works as a salad.

Millet Millet
(I would half or quarter this recipe if I made it again. It made a ton of food.)

2 cups dried millet, rinsed (remove little stems)
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cups water
2 zucchini, sliced
2 summer squash sliced
1 large red onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large eggplant
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
2 tsp Aleppo pepper
1 tsp ground allspice
½-1 peel of preserved lemon, washed
¼ cup olive oil

1. Toast the cleaned millet in the bottom of a heavy stock pot in olive oil over medium heat, until the millet starts to brown.
2. Add water, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover.
3. Millet should cook in about 30-45 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and allow to steam.
Squash & onion
1. grill or pan-sear squash and onion
2. allow to cool and dice
3. add to cooked millet
Eggplant & Tomatoes
1. Pre-heat oven to 450F
2. slice, salt and press eggplant, then risen and cube
3. Mix spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, pepper and allspice) and coat eggplant
4. Place tomatoes and coated eggplant on parchment/silpat-lined sheet pan and roast in oven until fork tender. Eggplant should still hold its shape.
5. Remove from oven, allow to cool and add to millet and squash
Put it all together
1. add finely minced peel of preserved lemon, olive oil and salt to taste and toss millet, squash, onions, eggplant and tomatoes together
2. store in airtight containers overnight and enjoy.*

*Overnight is important because the spices from the eggplant become more incorporated with the salad, otherwise it’s a bit dry and you get a mouthful of dry spices on the eggplant, not throughout the dish.

Artic Char

A few months ago, I made preserved lemons. Typically used in Moroccan cuisine, preserved lemons are just salt, lemons and lemon juice. I found this recipe online and decided to give them a try.

They turned out well and were awesome in a chicken tagine recipes so I got to thinking that maybe they could work well with fish.

Artic Char was on sale and the fishmonger said it was similar in texture to salmon, both being oily fishes, I thought why not see if baking it with preserved lemons en papillote (in this case in parchment paper) would work.

Cleaned fish with half of the peel of a preserved lemon cut into strips layed on both sides of the fish, the other half of the lemon stuffed into the cavity:

(It is important to rinse off the lemon peel before using it so its not too salty.)

I then folded the parchment up and crimped it along the top, to form a pouch for the fish to steam in.
20 minutes later in a 375 degree oven...

The fish was very tender and fell off the bone, but was not dried out. I spooned a little bit of the juices from the bottom over the final fish and it was really delicious!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Common Crow

I was in Gloucester, Massachusetts checking out the downtown area and I found the Common Crow. Not only do they have a really wide selection of gluten free products, they carry gluten free oats!

I am really excited to cook with oats for the first time in over a year!

Here is the giant seagull that tried to eat my Kinnikinnick gluten free lemon cookies that I got:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pantry solutions - Ball jars

Gluten free flours, powders, gums and products are not the easiest thing to learn how to use, or how to store. I found myself buying too much of things I already had and decided to reorganize, using Ball jars and masking tape.

They are easy to clean, see and can be quickly relabeled. I am hoping they will spur some new creativity.