Tuesday, July 10, 2018

oven roasted chick peas

This is a recipe that I forget where it came from. I think it happened after I "discovered" kale chips last year and decided to try to oven roast/fry nearly everything. These chick peas have become the single-most popular (and requested) party snack I make.

The recipe is really easy to modify or adapt to your particular tastes - I often omit the cayenne if I am bringing it to a group of unknown human mouths who might not love the warm kick. You really can't go wrong unless you put dried herbs in - those babies will burn and make your delicious fried orbs taste horrible - trust me. 

If you are going to make a big batch, it is worth it to buy dried chick peas and soak and boil them yourself. It  takes more time, but is so much cheaper. (if you do this, you will need to add more salt) That said, canned chick peas aren't that expensive and you are the boss of you, so do what feels right. 

oven roasted chick peas
2 cans of chick peas, drained and washed well
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/4 tsp smoked cinnamon
cayenne (you can substitute something more mild like aleppo, but hold off and add it half way through cooking)
sea salt (you are going to use this 2x)
1/2 tsp ground celery seed
1 tsp toasted onion powder or garlic powder -both if you are awesome
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin 

Pre-heat oven to 400F
1. Drain those chick peas really well
2. Spread them out on to a sheet pan or a baking dish - you don't want them doubled up
3. Generously coat the chick peas in olive oil - you should see extra puddling 
4. Sprinkle on the spices and salt. You will be tempted to roll the chick peas around to coat them DON'T. It will cause most of the deliciousness to fall off into the oil. 
5. Place the peas in the oven for 35-45 minutes - you are going to want to flip them at least 2x
6. Done = the chick peas shrinking to half their size, and darkening without burning. If you see some of them start to flake off their outer shell and crisp, you are there. 

So now you have a choice - take them out of the oven when they are crispy on the outside and a little soft in the middle, or keep on cooking for another ~10 minutes to get them to be more like the texture of spicy Indian snack mix. I prefer them the first way, but the second is also great

7. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan. 
8. If you manage to not devour them immediately, store in an air-tight container. If you make them a few days ahead of time, they will get a little soggy. You can pop them back in the oven, or a toaster oven, for a few minutes on 400 until you hear them start to sizzle, remove, cool, and serve. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

gluten free, dairy free hot cross buns

This is the closest I have come to a dairy-free brioche! I modified my brioche recipe to make a Greek Easter Bread and Hot Cross Buns. It worked well and my only complaint is that the buns/bread deflated a bit post-cooling. I would add a bit of psyllium husk next time and see if that helped create a more robust crumb. 

The buns were stellar, the Greek Bread had too much lemon oil, so I think it could work well if you just omitted that one pesky ingredient. This technique doesn't require an overnight proof, but I find it easier to work with dough that has rested and had the time to build it's yeasties, especially if it is cooler out. (The extra yeast also means more flavor, so if you can let this sticky mess rest!)

 dairy-free brioche dough
1 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 cup arrowroot
1 1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup millet flour
3/4 cup potato starch
2 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp xathan gum
2  3/4 cup almond milk cup water
1/2 cup honey
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil

1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, with the paddle attachment at the ready. 
When you are ready to bake your bread(s) preheat the oven to 350F

2. Combine all the wet ingredients into a separate bowl and mix them until they are incorporated. 
3. With the paddle attachment on the lowest setting, gently mix the dry ingredients. Slowly pour in the wet ingredients.
4. Once all of the wet ingredients have been added in, turn the mixer up to high and mix for at least 5 minutes, stopping at least 2x to scrape down the bowl. 
The dough is going to be very very sticky and look quite wet. 
5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

6. Punch down the dough, divide it into 2 bowls, add in your flavorings. 
7. Shape the dough - since the dough is so soft and sticky a disher is the best for this
8. Allow it to proof - this is going to take 20-60 minutes depending on size and temperature of your house. 
9. Bake at 350F until golden brown and cooked through (~30min)

Greek Easter Bread add-ins
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon oil (this was too much, should omit)
1 tbsp lemon juice

hot cross bun add-ins
1/4 cup chopped dried fruit
1 tbsp extract di sicily*
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp lemon juice
*I not so secretly tried to recreate the flavors of panettone, so not super traditional, but they tasted great!

Hot Cross Bun Icing - 1/2 cup powdered sugar, a few drops of vanilla extract, and a few drops of coconut milk until it just comes together. You want to squeeze it onto the buns while they are still warm. 


My 11 year gluten-free anniversary came and went without any fanfare. There is something pleasant about it being a non-event. I remember when everything felt, so ick. My body felt awful, going out to eat was not fun (Can't have wheat?! Just get the white bread instead!), gluten-free packaged replacement foods were very expensive and only available at specialty shops.

It is a lot easier now. Gluten-free became a fad, and while cross-contamination is a much bigger issue now, everything else is, for the most part, a lot easier.

There is a lot more awareness, more blogs, more books, more support groups, more doctors who don't think "it must be in your head", though plenty still don't listen to women.

One thing I still miss is beer. More than beer I miss the flexibility of spontaneity and not having to plan meals, but I digress.

There are lovely gluten-free beers, but it is not the same as being able to share a beer that a friend is excited about. Gluten-free beers still have significant hurdles:
-the finish is often sweet or soapy
-the texture is often thin
-for some reason hops are driven by the building, but never make it into the beer
-there are a lot more gluten-removed beers, which are not safe for people with celiac (this irks me more than I can say... but I guess "yay" for those folks who can drink them)

Ghostfish was a pleasant surprise! Dedicated gluten-free facility and beer that tastes like my memory of "real" beer. The Grapefruit IPA is definitely less bitter than Groundbreaker's #5, but the grapefruit comes through in a way that doesn't overpower the hops.

Shrouded Summer is not something I would normally pick up because juniper is an ingredient. (also big props to beer makers who go above and beyond the required labeling laws and list ALL ingredients)
I really dislike juniper, but it is not loud and in no way gin-like... and I like what it does in this beer, providing something in the background that is needed.

I am excited to try more in the line-up.