Listen up local folks! If you haven’t been to an event where Gerard’s Paella is front & center (a Sonoma County local’s wedding, for example, or The Great Handcar Regatta), then you might not be quite as excited as us to learn that Relish Culinary Adventures in Healdsburg, Calif. has snagged him for a couple of paella cooking classes over the next couple of months. This weekend’s May 27 class is sold out, but act early for the upcoming June class to make sure you get a spot! The deets are these:
Sonoma County’s own “Paella Guy” chef Gerard Nebesky has carved time out of his busy schedule to lead an inspired Paella class in the beautiful al fresco kitchen at Lambert Bridge Winery. Chef Gerard will lead you as you make three delicious paellas, including his famous Paella Mixta that handily won the Throwdown with Bobby Flay. We’ll work together to prep and cook all the paellas as chef Gerard talks about traditional paella-making methods and shares stories of his international adventures. Guests will learn the process for perfect paella, especially socarrat, the crispy bottom crust that signifies authenticity. Take advantage of this unique experience to learn about Paella and savor a tremendous Spanish meal paired with specially-selected Lambert Bridge wines.
- Sautéed Shrimp with Garlic
- Gerard’s Paella Mixta
- Chicken and Chorizo Paella
- Veggie Paella
- Green Salad Española
- Fresh Fruit Dessert
This Relish class includes 10 ounces of wine per person served to all participants over 21 years of age. Additional wine is available for purchase by the bottle.
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This class is not-to-be-missed. In our humble opinion. Sign up on Relish Culinary Adventures’ website or call 707.431.9999.
One of The Lab’s male counterparts recently made a request for carrot cake. We’re not gonna lie: Gluten free baking can be an undertaking when working from scratch and sometimes even we want to just whip something up on the fly. So we searched for a quick and easy carrot cake online and found one on the Gluten Free Goddess‘s blog. We did not change anything in Karina’s original recipe beyond omitting raisins and coconut from the batter, and rather than making her coconut icing we topped it with a basic, barely-sweet cream cheese frosting. Then we ate if for dessert. And breakfast. And lunch. It’s got veggies in it! It’s healthy right?!
We especially love that this recipe calls for Pamela’s Baking Mix. Pamela’s makes such quality mixes that pulling together a little gluten-free something is a breeze. Pamela deserves some sort of a medal for the pioneering she’s done in the gluten-free mix world. If you’ve never used it, run — don’t walk — to the store and get some.
This carrot cake is light and spongy, but also very mild in spice and sweetness, which we happen to prefer. If you’re looking for something with a bit more kick or spice, consider adding a touch more cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, and a bit more sweetener. Without the addition of the pile of cream cheese frosting, the recipe almost seems more like a breakfast bread…that you can’t stop eating.
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from the Gluten Free Goddess
GF/CF Folks: Use canned pumpkin or applesauce in place of the yogurt, and your own leavened dairy-free gluten-free baking and pancake mix.Forgo the cream cheese icing and frost with a simple confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice frosting.For replacing Pamela’s Baking Mix, try another leavened mix such as Gluten-Free Pantry Pancake Mix or Arrowhead Mills Pancake Mix.Gluten free cakes dry out quickly. If you are not serving this cake the day you bake it, I’d advise chilling it to firm up the icing; wrap well and chill. For more than a day ahead, I would wrap and freeze it; thaw the day of serving (remove the wrap so the icing doesn’t stick!).
It’s funny how a few days of rain can put us right back into winter mode: wearing sweaters and cozy boots, sitting by the fire with a mug of hot tea, craving a piping hot bowl of soup. Our favorite springtime foods are everywhere to be found in markets, though, and so when we crave a hot bowl of soup, it’s bound to showcase some springtime flavors. This springtime potato soup is light and satisfying for a rainy spring supper. It can get dressed up pretty easily with a dollop of créme fraiche and a pile of pea shoots, or dressed down with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side (ours: 2 slices Rudi’s Original Gluten-Free Bread with Australian Cheddar cheese and caramelized onions). The next day? Simply served in a cup with a taste of the season’s final crop of citrus alongside. Despite the fact that the sun has come back out, we’re warmed to our core!
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Springtime potato soup
This soup is light and creamy. If you feel like splurging a little, use heavy cream in place of the milk. And be sure to use a good-quality chicken broth like Better Than Bouillon)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
7 small purple and/or red potatoes, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1/2 cup good quality dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
pinch of cayenne
1/4 x 2-inch piece of Parmasan rind
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup milk or milk alternative
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Heat butter and oil in large saucepan. Add onion and celery, cook , stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes. Add potato and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup water and white wine. Cook until potatoes are softened and beginning to break apart, about 15 minutes. Add remaining water and broth, Parmesan rind, and cayenne. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. If desired, pulse with an immersion blender to create a smoother soup (as pictured). Stir in grated Parmesan, milk, and parsley and serve.
Remember waffle weekends, when, as kids, our moms would pull out that monster of a kitchen appliance, the waffle iron, whip up some batter, and then we’d all wait with bated breath as the waffle iron worked its magic? Once on our plate, we’d fill each sunken square with a balanced ratio of butter, syrup, powdered sugar, yogurt, fruit (or all of the above), thus making a grid of perfect bites. So satisfying.
It’s been a while since we’ve had the opportunity to really indulge in waffle weekends, so when we were recently informed by a reader that Howard Station Café in Occidental, Calif. now has gluten-free waffles on their menu there was a bit of a waffle dance party here at The Lab. Our first order of business: call and make sure it’s really true (it is.). Second: to confirm that a separate waffle iron is used to make the gluten-free waffles (there is.). Third: to get an ingredients list, which consists mainly of rice flour and potato flour (no corn!).
With our orders of business out of the way, and our gluten-conscious minds put at ease, we joined the ranks Saturday morning and waited for a table to open up. Meanwhile, we conducted a careful menu scan. Here’s the deal: Howard’s has about 6 topping options for the waffles, and all of them are available in a gluten-free option. The Double Decker was super tempting — two waffles with peanut butter and banana sandwiched between them — but we opted to keep it simple and went for the standard blueberries and whipped cream combo so we could really judge the waffle’s authenticity. This is important research we’re conducting after all.
The waffle did NOT disappoint in looks or in taste. Upon delivery to the table we commenced the requisite staring and poking, and, in all honesty, they looked a little too good to be true: They weren’t half the size of a normal waffle! They were just as fluffy as the regular wheat waffles other diners were eating! And after asking the waitress just one last time “are these really gluten-free?” we dug in. After doctoring them with syrup and butter and other preferred accoutrement, we were delighted to find the waffles were absolutely heavenly. Not too dry. Not too hearty. Crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. We noticed a tad more chew than a regular wheat-based waffle, but that’s to be expected considering the properties of GF flours. Overall, these waffles knocked our striped socks off. Our non-gf partner-in-crime dining companion also deemed them delicious, even going so far as to say that he would not have know they were GF if we had not mentioned it. A non-GFer stamp of approval is pretty legit folks. These waffles are for reals!
Nice work Howard Station, keep that waffle iron fired up because we’ll be back soon.
Howard Station Café
3811 Bohemian Highway
Occidental, CA 95465
707 874 2838
And stay tuned for The Lab’s next field trip! We’re heading out, armed with notebooks & cameras & appetites to check out the gluten-free naan at Sizzling Tandor and the gluten-free fried chicken at Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar.
Last night’s dinner was a real winner, and, as per usual for our simple weeknight dinners, we found it via epicurious.com by clicking on the “fast dinners” quick link. Since this recipe for Chicken Gabriella calls for not much more than chicken, onions, herbs and wine (hey! we’ve got all that!) it was a no-brainer. And going by that photo above? It almost looks more delicious in its uncooked state (left)! All those onions, hunks of bone-in chicken and rosemary needles worked themselves into a right tasty mess (right), which, in our opinion, needed some oven-browned potato coins to help soak up the herby broth. Both recipes are below for your easy weeknight dining pleasure!
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Roasted potato coins
6 medium-sized Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 tablespoon salted cajun seasoning, such as Morton & Bassett Cajun Spice Blend
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat two baking sheets with 1/8 cup olive oil each. Spread with fingertips to coat completely, then set aside. Slice scrubbed potatoes into 1/4-inch thick “coins.” Place on prepared baking sheet, turn once to coat with oil, and then sprinkle evenly with cajun seasoning. Bake in preheated oven until bottom of potato slices are golden brown and tops are just beginning to crisp, about 30 minutes.
via Epicurious, by by Anna Boiardi and Stephanie Lyness
1 (3 1/2-to 4-pound) chicken, skinned and cut into small (about 3-inch) pieces, with bone, thighs, and wings left whole (ask your butcher to do this for you or use kitchen shears)
2 onions, chopped
Needles from 4 sprigs fresh rosemary (about 1/4 cup), finely chopped
5 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
About 1.4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
Put the chicken pieces in a 12-inch skillet (preferably nonstick) with a lid, along with the chopped onions, rosemary, and sage. Stir well to coat the chicken with the onion and herbs. Add enough olive oil to coat all of the chicken pieces, but not so much that it pools in the skillet. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Set the skillet over medium heat. Cook until the onions are very soft and the chicken and onions have turned golden brown, about 20 minutes. If the onion begins to brown too fast, turn down the heat. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer gently until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes. Squeeze the lemon over, taste for salt and pepper, and serve.
The only parameter for this recipe contest is to use at least one ingredient from glutenfree.com (easy-peasy in our opinion!). To enter: submit a photograph of your final recipe and the ingredients & method for the recipe to contest (at) glutenfree.com by Tuesday, May 24, 2011. The grand prize is a $100 gift card to glutenfree.com (with second and third places winning $75 and $50 gift cards respectively. Plus, all three winners will be showcased in the May 31, 2011 newsletter AND on the glutenfree.com recipe page!
Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery
Send Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery your Unbelievably Good gluten-free recipe for a chance to star in your own online cooking show and win other prizes. Three finalists will receive a trip for two to Boulder, Colo. for the final recipe cook-off (trip includes round-trip transportation for two, three nights of lodging, and a culinary tour of Boulder). Plus, you’ll be automatically entered to win the Rudi’s Daily Giveaway, where each day one person from the participant pool (including both contest entrants and voters) will be chosen to win the Daily Giveaway (prizes will vary). Recipes are due by May 20, 2011 and are submitted via Facebook. Log on to submit your recipe (now through May 20) or to vote on recipe submissions (now through June 6).