Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gougeres, or Gluten Free Buns

I went to my friend Leah's house for lunch yesterday, and she served gougeres, which are cheese puffs made with Pate a Choux dough. Pate a Choux is what you use to make cream puffs. The little puffs were delicious, and I thought they reminded me, in texture, of the gluten free buns made by Against the Grain. Leah gave me the recipe so I could try them with gluten free flour. They turned out delicious! But they were small (Daniel made tiny sandwiches out of them).

I made them a second time today, much larger than the first time, to see how they would compare to the Against the Grain buns. They have a different consistency, and though they were really puffed to start with, they flattened as they cooled. I'll have to figure out how to stop that from happening. They taste good, though!

Here's what I did:

1 cup water
1 tsp salt
3 tsp sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, sifted (I used the "Jules" brand GF flour mix)
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated cheese
freshly ground pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In small saucepan over high heat, bring the water, salt, sugar, and butter to a boil, making sure the butter is completely melted. Off the heat, add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. Return to the heat and continue beating until the dough forms a solid, smooth mass and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan. Take off the heat and empty the dough into a clean mixing bowl. Little by little add the beaten eggs (I used a mixer), beating vigorously in between each addition, until the dough forms a smooth, supple mass. Mix in 1 cup grated cheese (the recipe calls for gruyere, but I didn't have that so I used a mix of mozzarella and asiago) and freshly ground black pepper.

The original recipe has you putting the dough into a pastry bag and piping it onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. I didn't have a pastry bag, so I just spooned the dough onto the parchment paper in large rounds and baked for 25 minutes. It made 6 rolls, at 21 carbs each.

The flavor was very good, but here are some changes I'd like to try:

Baking it for a bit longer.
Adding flax seed, or something else for fiber.
Actually using gruyere, which is so yummy.
Using a food processor instead of a mixer to see what that does to the consistency.

If you try this recipe and something works for you, let me know!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quinoa Salad

It all started when I came back from vacation and looked at my garden. The weeds were trying to take over, especially the terrible morning glory-ish vines that try to strangle everything. Rising triumphantly over the weeds, however, were my basil and parsley plants, which flourished in my absence. Maybe I should go away some more? In addition, Matt had gone to the farmer's market and picked up some luscious, weighty, ripe tomatoes. As lunchtime approached, I thought about quinoa salad.

Quinoa is a fabulous grain, and great for people with celiac because it is gluten free and for diabetics because the protein in the grain keeps it from spiking your blood sugar. Quinoa is a complete protein with lots of fiber. It is okay on its own, but I like to dress it up a little. Here's what I did:

1 cup red quinoa (I found this at my local health food store).
1 1/4 cup water
1 large, weighty, luscious, ripe tomato, diced
1/2 raw zucchini, diced
1/4 cup craisins
1 loose cup parsley
1/2 loose cup basil
juice of 1/2 juicy lemon
3 T balsamic vinegar
3 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup crumbed feta cheese

Boil the water in a medium sized pot. Pour in the quinoa and cover; simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, wait 5 minutes, then fluff & cool quinoa.

Put diced tomatoes, zucchini, and the craisins in a bowl. Finely chop the basil & parsley and put it into the tomato mizture. Toss in the cooled quinoa, and then toss in the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, and salt. Top with the feta cheese and serve.

This is a delicious power lunch, perfect for hot days!