Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sauteed Hakurei Turnips with Green Garlic

Have you ever heard of - or seen - a Hakurei Turnip before?

I had not. So when I opened my first box of farm share goodies from Siena Farms, I wasn't totally sure what they were, much less what to do with them. They don't look like the turnips I'm used to - these are tasty and crispy raw, with a subtle sweetness that is drawn out even more if you sprinkle a little salt over them. After tasting them raw, I was curious to see how they hold up under heat.

Deliciously, it turns out. They're sort of starchy, but with fewer calories than potatoes and a nice, light texture. And with the simple additions of green garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper, you won't go wrong!

Farm Share Experiment #1 = success.

Sauteed Hakurei Turnips with Green Garlic

1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 piece green garlic, chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
4 - 6 Hakurei turnips, sliced finely
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil and add the green garlic, garlic, oregano, and sliced turnips together. Sautee over medium heat for 4 - 7 minutes, or until the turnips are nicely browned and soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Maple Oat Bars

I feel like I've taken a bit of a sabbatical from my blog lately. I'm still in recovery from grad school, and something about having free time all of a sudden meant I needed to redefine how I spend free time. And when I bake and cook. In grad school, cooking was an acute thing (even though it was still something I loved). It was often about realizing it was Sunday night, and that I needed to cook something in bulk to have enough food to take with me for lunch at work and dinner in class. Or I'd get so stressed out that the only thing I could do was to bake a cake or produce dozens of cookies or create a recipe for donuts. It was almost always something I needed to do.

But now? Now I can cook when I want to. And what a lovely feeling that is.

Last week, I had a sudden hankering for maple. Happily, this hankering (and the time to act on it) happened to coincide with a marathon of Mad Men with one of my good friends Joanna. And so, a tray of maple oat bars kept us (and Don Draper) company. I remembered making something like this before, and so I found that old recipe, gave it a slight makeover, and voila! Delicious, moist, crumbly-but-not-falling-apart, wonderful, maple-y oat bars. The funny thing about these is that they taste much better once they've been chilled (even though they're nothing to scoff at right out of the oven), so I recommend making them ahead of time and keeping in the fridge until you're ready to serve them. But no matter what temperature, these bars are fantastic.

Maple Oat Bars
Makes one 9 x 13" pan

3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 tsp. more cinnamon
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. maple syrup
3 tsp. maple extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
5 tbsp. non-dairy milk + additional tablespoonfuls as needed to moisten the batter
1/2 cup crushed toasted pecans
1/2 cup crushed roasted cashews

For the maple drizzle:
1 - 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. maple extract
1 - 3 tsp. water (add only a tiny bit at a time until you've got the consistency you want)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease or spray a 9 x 13" glass or ceramic pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine all dry ingredients (except for the nuts) in a large bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients, and pour into the dry ingredients all at once. Stir to combine; add additional tablespoonfuls of non-dairy milk as needed until the batter is moistened enough. (It should have the consistency of very thick muffin batter.)

Spread the batter evenly into the greased pan. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. These are best when they are slightly underbaked, as the middle will be nice and gooey. If the edges are getting brown too quickly, you can make a little tin foil tent and put it over the top so it bakes more evenly. When a toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool.

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, maple extract, and just enough water to moisten the icing enough to be drizzled. When the oat bars are completely cooled, drizzle the icing over the entire pan.

These are best stored in the fridge, and in fact, taste much better once they've been chilled.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

German Vollkornbrot (Seeded Bread)

Many years ago, before I was diagnosed with celiac, I spent two years living in Germany. And in a way, I'm grateful for the fact that I wasn't yet diagnosed. Sure, I felt awful most of the time and struggled with all kinds of symptoms that come with undiagnosed gluten intolerance. But on the upside, if I had to be dealing with all of that, at least I was surrounded by some of the best glutenful food I've ever tasted. The softest pretzels, the most delicious and refreshing (and largest) wheat beers, Bavarian potato salad I could probably eat a vat of, and bread. Oh, the bread.

The bread in Germany is of a very different strand than it is here in the U.S. We tend to enjoy softer, more pliable breads here; breads that will soak up your peanut butter and jelly, and cushion your club sandwich. But not German bread. German bread is unapologetically solid. It packs a punch and is often the wholest of whole grain and has a dense texture studded with lots of seeds and nuts.

I love it. 

So when this month's Gluten-free Ratio Rally challenge for bread rolled around, I knew just what I wanted to make: a replica of my favorite German bread, Vollkornbrot ("fully seeded bread"). I relied mainly on dark whole grain flours like teff and buckwheat, added apple cider vinegar for a sourdough-like flavor, and dumped a full cup of seeds in there - pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds. And you don't have to stop there. Go wild. Add whatever you want. I'm pretty confident it will turn out to be delicious. 

A big thanks to Karen of Cooking Gluten Free for hosting this month's Rally!

Ruhlman's ratio for bread is 5 parts flour to 3 parts water, but I ended up needing to add a bit more water to mine, so that my ratio ended up more like 5 parts flour to 3.5 parts water. I made this in a bread machine, but you could certainly make it the traditional way and just let it rise for a good 30 - 45 minutes in a warm place before smoothing it into a bread pan and baking in a conventional oven.

This won't rise very much, but that's ok. That's the German way, at least for this particular style of bread. It's meant to be very dense and cut into thin slices. My German roommates and I used to sit around the breakfast table for hours, chatting away the late morning and cutting slice after slice. We would eat it with all kinds of wonderful jams, Nutella, slices of cheese with butter.... After this loaf came out of the breadmaker, I felt so nostalgic that I pulled out some of my homemade German Forest Berry jam to enjoy spread across a toasted piece.

I hope you enjoy as much as I did. Here's the recipe, and be sure to check below for the links to the rest of the fantastic bread creations that my fellow Ratio Rally friends came up with!

Breadmaker German Vollkornbrot (Seeded Bread)

100 g teff flour
75 g buckwheat flour
50 g sorghum flour
25 g potato starch
2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. salt
1.5 tsp. xanthan gum
175 g warm water
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. rapid rise yeast 
1 cup mixed seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.)

Bread machine directions:
Combine the wet ingredients and the yeast into the bread machine pan. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except for the mixed seeds (which you will add later in the bread machine cycle). Pour them over the wet ingredients and set the bread machine to the gluten-free cycle. After the first rise (during the second knead) or whenever your bread machine tells you to do it, add the cup of mixed seeds and stir to mix well. Make sure to spread the dough out evenly in the pan. Let bake for the rest of the bread machine cycle. Remove from pan when done and let cool on a wire rack.

For conventional ovens:
If you are making this in a conventional oven, no problem! If you go this route, you'll want to proof the yeast before you add it. To do this, stir together about 1/2 cup of the water, the tbsp. sugar, and the 3 tbsp. yeast and let sit in a warm place until it doubles. Combine the dry ingredients, including all of the seeds and nuts, and then add all of the wet ingredients at once and mix well. Place into a greased bread pan, cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 - 60 minutes, or until it's grown substantially in size (it may not double, but it should get marginally bigger). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to about 350 F. When the bread has risen, stick it into the oven and bake for 25 - 40 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom and the edges are golden brown.

More Recipes
Check out these other wonderful options for some gluten-free breads to try from my fellow Ratio Rally friends!

Adina | Gluten Free Travelette  Seedy Sandwich Bread
Angela | Angela’s Kitchen  Our Family’s Basic Gluten Free Dairy Free Bread
~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R) | Honey From Flinty Rocks  Chia Millet Bread
Brooke | B & the boy!  Buckwheat-Oat Bread
Charissa | Zest Bakery  Cherry Pecan Pot Bread, Gluten Free  
Claire | This Gluten-Free Life  German Vollkornbrot (Seeded Bread)
Erin | The Sensitive Epicure English Sandwich Bread (gluten-free & egg-free)   
Jenn | Jenn Cuisine  Gluten Free Boule
Jonathan | The Canary Files Gluten-Free, Vegan Mediterranean Soda Bread
Karen | Cooking Gluten Free!  Gluten Free Sandwich Bread/Gluten Free Naan
Meaghan | The Wicked Good Vegan  Vegan Gluten-Free Bread
Meg | Gluten-Free Boulangerie  Ciabatta (gluten-free, egg-free/vegan)
Monika | Chew on This!  amaranth skillet flatbreads, amaranth mini pita rounds
Morri | Meals with Morri No Knead Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Flatbread (yeast free/grain free) 
Pete & Kelli | No Gluten, No Problem  Gluten-Free Challah
Rachel / The Crispy Cook  Gluten Free Chickpea Sandwich Bread
TR | No One Likes Crumbley Cookies  Gluten Free White Bread
Tara | A Baking Life  Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread & Boule