Posts filed under ‘flour of the month’
photo by Jessamyn Harris
We’re a couple of busy lab techs over here at The Gluten Free Lab. Tomorrow we’re off to Camp Celiac to peddle our newly-arrived cookbook (which looks a-MAZ-ing, by the way. Seriously. You need this in your life.). But to send potato month out with a bang, we’re going to leave you with a very, VERY special recipe – from the cookbook – that is a treat for the tastebuds AND makes use of that leftover baked potato lurking in the back of your fridge. Turning a potato into a donut? That’s my kind of magic.
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These donuts have a rich golden exterior crust with a doughy, cakey interior, similar to an old-fashioned donut and ideal for dunking. You can freeze the cooked donuts in a zip-top bag and reheat them in the toaster oven for a snack. For variation, try coating the donuts with melted chocolate or butterscotch chips and sprinkle with sweetened, shredded coconut. Next time you bake potatoes, set aside half a potato for this recipe. Or better yet, set aside a whole potato and double the recipe.
makes 3 dozen donut holes
½ cup plus 1 cup sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cinnamon
3 cups brown rice flour
1 cup mashed potato, at room temperature (or 1 cup prepared instant potato flakes)
1 cup sugar
½ cup potato starch
5½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1½ cups whole milk
canola oil for frying
Combine ½ cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Line a baking sheet with paper towel or newspaper and set a wire rack on top.
Whisk brown rice flour, potato, remaining 1 cup sugar, potato starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, milk, and eggs in a medium bowl. The batter should be slightly stiffer than cake batter. Let stand for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, attach a deep-fat thermometer to the side of a deep-fryer or Dutch oven and heat at least 4 inches of oil to 375°F. Carefully drop batter by tablespoonfuls, a few at a time, into hot oil, turning often with chopsticks or a wooden spoon, until donuts are deep brown.
Drain donuts on prepared wire rack, then roll still-warm donuts in cinnamon-sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The following information is taken from America’s Test Kitchen’s e-newsletter, Notes From the Test Kitchen:
With annual sales topping $30 billion, potato chips beat out pretzels and tortilla chips as America’s favorite snack food. There are endless chip varieties and flavors, but which bag of plain chips should the purist reach for? We grabbed eight national brands and headed into the test kitchen to find out. Our favorite brand’s crunchy chips were the thickest ones we sampled and just salty enough to keep tasters coming back for seconds.
Cape Cod Potato Chips
Herr’s Crisp ‘N Tasty Potato Chips
Kettle Chips Lightly Salted
Lay’s Classic Potato Chips
Lay’s Kettle Cooked Original
Terra Golds Original Potato Chips
Utz Potato Chips
Wise All Natural Potato Chips
Potato chips are made with three basic ingredients—potatoes, oil, and salt. According to our tasters, starchy white russets and Idahos are the only way to go; products made from other varieties left tasters wondering if they were made from real potatoes.
The type of oil used for frying turned out to be very important. Three of the four bottom-ranking chips are fried in so-called “neutral” canola oil, which made the chips taste “fishy,” with a “stale aftertaste.” Why? Canola oil has a very high concentration (11 percent) of unsaturated fatty acids (called linoleic acids), which break down at high temperatures and take on a fishy flavor and odor. The other chips were fried in safflower, sunflower, corn, and cottonseed oils, which have much lower concentrations (3 percent or lower) of these fatty acids.
Kettle-style chips finished first and fourth in our tasting. These thick-cut chips are cooked in small batches and spend more time in the cooking oil. A thicker cut means more potato mass—and thus more potato flavor—and longer cooking times result in crunchier chips. Our favorite brand’s crunchy chips were the thickest ones we sampled and just salty enough to keep tasters coming back for seconds.
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Based on the information you just learned about now you can make your own potato chips at home.
All you need is:
- 6 or more medium potatoes
- Oil for deep frying
Wash and peel the potatoes and slice very thin. A slicer or a sharp knife or food processor with a thin slicing blade can be used.Put the slices at once into a bowl of cold water and let stand for at least one hour, this removes the starches allowing them to get crispier. Ice water is best, but you can also set the whole bowl in the refrigerator if you wish. Remove them from the water and dry well by shaking them in a towel.
Fry them in a pan of hot oil at 390 degrees, until a light golden brown. Don’t try frying too many at once. Drain on paper towels, any kind of plain crumpled absorbent paper or a dish towel. Salt and season lightly while they are still warm so they absorb the flavors.
Your chips can be kept for some time if they are sealed into plastic bags or containers after they have cooled.
This post is a bit of a stretch for potato month but the ingredients list DOES include potato starch, so we’re going with it because we just can’t wait to tell you all about the new cookies we discovered…
The owner Liz states that her greatest love affair has always been with sugar. This same statement holds true of Aly. Since we spend all day together at the office, we often need what we call “sugar snack”. Not to be confused with “second breakfast” or “afternoon snack”. We take our snacking seriously. So on a recent mission in downtown Healdsburg for “sugar snack” we headed to Shelton’s Natural Food Market and decided to try something new. We chose these Liz Lovely cookies off the shelf for one reason alone…they are HUGE! Each package contains 2 giant cookies, perfect for our snacky design duo. And our purchase was confirmed at the checkout counter when the lovely girl ringing us up confessed that she’s not gluten free but she loves these cookies.
So here’s the facts about our new fave cookies:
The BRAND: Liz Lovely
The TEXTURE: They are chewy and moist with a good crumb. There is no weird sandy, grainy texture to distract you from the flavor of these cookies.
The GF FLAVORS: Ginger Molasses, Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Fudge, Coconut Lemon, Triple Chocolate Mint, German Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Chip. We’re working our way down the list but so far we’ve tasted the Ginger Molasses, Snickerdoodle and Chocolate Fudge cookies and they are all a pure delight.
The BONUSES: They are organic, gluten free AND vegan.
The owners have a solid mission statement that we can get behind that goes like this…
1. They make real food using real ingredients.
2. They create good jobs that promote healthy & balanced lifestyles.
3. They bring hope & joy to people living without dairy, eggs, and wheat.
4. They support sustainable agriculture by using organic ingredients.
5. They create opportunity for small family farms through fair trade.
6. They use green packaging alternatives as much as possible.
If all those bonuses don’t sell you on this product, just buy them because they. are. delish.
It can be daunting to have planned a fun summertime vacation and realize that while you’re on vacation you’ll have to eat. At a restaurant. In an unfamiliar town.
Here at The Lab we like to do a lot of research before we head to a new place. We look for blogs like our own that can point us to GF-friendly eateries, and we take advantage of online resources like Yelp to try and find GF-categorized restaurants.
Such is the case this week. One of us is here in South Lake Tahoe and had done absolutely no research on food (and if you know us, you know that that’s a complete rarity. Food ALWAYS comes first). Sunday was our first night in town. Starving. Road-weary. Need. Food. Now.
Enter a series of stunning reviews of Freshies Restaurant. The location, like many eateries in SLT, is a bit odd, situated on the rooftop of a stripmall, but the view of the lake — and, more importantly, the food — easily makes up for any deficiencies in ambiance.
First up? A bottle of Redbridge. And as soon as that arrived we immediately placed an order for My Tri Fries, which are a trio of yams, russet potatoes and sweet potatoes dusted with a Carribean spice blend (kind of sweet, kind of earthy, all kinds of delicious). While pondering the deliciousness of said fries, enjoying the ambiance of the lake view and the Barbie still-life (you’ll just have to go see for yourself), we perused the menu, which boasted any number of gluten-free-friendly options. It was especially gratifying to see a blurb at the bottom of the menu that ensured diners that wheat-free Tamari was always used in place of soy, and that all dishes made with tempura (the veggie tempura, the fish & chips, the fried fish tacos, for starters…) were GF-friendly, as the tempura batter is made from rice flour. My kind of place!
Most everything on the menu was GF-friendly, and I was torn between the nori-wrap, the sweet potato & quinoa cakes and the fish & chips (seriously. I can’t remember the last time I had fish & chips in a restaurant!), but ultimately settled on the fish tacos. I ordered one grilled, one fried, and the platter came out looking fresh & gorgeous with a side of brown rice & black beans, sesame slaw and salsa. We’re in town for a short time only, but it’s a no-brainer. We’ll be back for another meal before long.
The question of what can be made with potatoes leaves our heads spinning because potatoes are a hardy little tuber that can be incorporated into virtually everything. But what we like about this recipe is that the addition of all sorts of varieties of potatoes can be tossed in. We used a combination of Yukon Gold, Purple-skinned and sweet potatoes. You’ll have to excuse the semi-blurry photo. With a bowl of that deliciousness in front of us we couldn’t hold still long enough to take a good shot.
Trust us. You want to eat this.
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Dominican Stew with Plantains and Potatoes
3 green plantains
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice or garam masala
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork spareribs or pork butt, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups low-salt chicken broth (we like Better Than Bouillon)
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 very large green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 pound potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, consider using a variety of sweet, red, new, purple potatoes
2 ears of corn, cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Trim off plantain ends and cut 4 vertical slits in skin of each (do not cut into fruit). Microwave 1 minute at 50 percent power then pull off peel.
Stir next six ingredients in large pot until paste forms. Mix in meats. Cook over high heat until meats are no longer pink outside, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add plantains, broth, tomatoes with juice, onion, pepper, and vinegar. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add potatoes and corn to pot. Cover; simmer 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cilantro.
(from Bon Appétit, May 2006)
Sometimes the instant potato flake is a boon to gluten-free cooking. It thickens, it creates volume, it adds a tender chew. And in bready foods, all of those qualities are a must. When The Lab is craving a carb-heavy, super tasty bready item, we find ourselves reaching for the potato flakes and whipping up egg whites for these savory waffles. The best part? You can easily doctor up these kid-friendly waffles with whatever the kids like best – bacon, sausage, a variety of cheeses, etc. These waffles are also great with dressed greens on the side as a light supper, or repurposed for panini-style sandwiches in the waffle iron.
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/3 tapioca or arrowroot starch
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup instant potato flakes
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated on microplane
2 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 three-ounce fully cooked sausage, finely diced
Preheat waffle iron.
In a medium bowl, combine brown rice flour, tapioca starch, quinoa flour, potato flakes, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, pepper, and Parmesan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks lightly, add milk and oil. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Fold in egg whites, then gently fold in sausage. Let batter rest 5 minutes.
Spray hot waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Pour approximately one-quarter of the batter onto the waffle iron, cook to desired crispness.
We’ve been seeing a lot of our editor lately on account of cranking out the last touches on the cookbook. She generally travels with lunch in hand, and it’s hard not to be jealous of her mini gourmet meal. Last week it was french-style grilled potato salad, which was riddled with with cornichon, capers and drizzled with a simple Dijon vinaigrette. This is a recipe so simple that it’s worth throwing together just before company arrives. Or to keep in the fridge as a side to your lunchtime turkey sandwich on Udi’s bread.
French style grilled potato salad
2 1/2 pounds small new potatoes (red and yellow), scrubbed
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
8 cornichon, finely diced
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh chervil, for garnish
Cover potatoes with water in a medium saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes and let cool and slice in half.
Heat the grill to medium.
In a large bowl toss the potatoes with 1/4 cup of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes on the grill, cut-side down and grill until lightly golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and continue grilling until just cooked through, about 4 minutes longer.
While the potatoes are grilling, whisk together the vinegar, mustards, and 1/4 cup oil in a large bowl, add the red onion, cornichon and capers and stir to combine.
Remove the potatoes from the grill and immediately add to the bowl with the other ingredients and gently stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped chervil.
Ahhh, summertime. We’re smack in the middle of the best of what the season has to offer — Fourth of July barbeques, lazy afternoon picnics, trips to the beach — and here at The Lab, all of that all-American dining makes us think of potato salad. Lots of creamy, white, studded-with-celery-and-black-olives potato salad. But let’s move beyond the obvious. The potato is one impressive tuber when you examine it through the lens of gluten-free baking. Pretty soon you’ll be able to see how we incorporate freshly mashed taters into our donut recipe (you’ll be glad to know the cookbook is due out later this month so you don’t have to hear us say “…when the cookbook is out…” any more), how potato flakes beef up savory waffles, how potato flour and starch create a reliable bind in baked goods, how cakes develop a degree of tenderness when potato flour or starch are just one small component of the recipe.
To start us off right, let’s spend this first post of potato month looking at the difference between potato flour and potato starch. Unlike tapioca flour and tapioca starch, they are not interchangeable ingredients. Rather:
Ground from cooked, dehydrated potatoes. This flour should not be confused with potato starch flour. Potato flour has a strong potato flavor and is a heavy flour that produces a dense, moist crumb. Most commonly used in combination with other flours, like rice flour. When it is called for in a recipe it can often be replaced with potato buds or mashed potatoes. Bulk buying is not recommended as it does not have a long shelf life.
Potato Starch Flour
This is a fine, white flour made from potato starch, and has a light potato flavor which is undetectable when used in recipes. It’s one of the few alternative flours that keeps very well, provided it is stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Great as a thickening agent in gravies, puddings and sauces and soups. Mix it with water before adding to a recipe and use about half the amount you would use of wheat flour.
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So stay tuned. Apart from the goodies you’ll find in our pending cookbook, we’ll have lots of yummy tips to share with you this month about the potato. In the meantime, go finish off that leftover potato salad from your Fourth of July party.
We don’t know very much about how Glenn, the pastry chef over at ZIX Cookies, is able to achieve the tender and short crumb in his uniquely delicious gluten-free ravioli cookies, but we do know this: he uses millet flour. And what better way to send off millet month than to draw attention to such a unique product. It’s a cookie! It’s a tiny pie! It’s a ravioli cookie!
ZIX Cookies creates unique and richly flavored pint-size cookies. They are located in West Sonoma County, north of California’s Bay Area. Many ingredients are grown and processed within miles of the bakery; such as the fruits, butter, eggs, and cream. Most of the fruit jellies and fruit fillings are hand made in ZIX’s kitchen. Attention to flavors, freshness and ingredient quality, to mixing and baking techniques and sensitive hands create these high quality artisan cookies.
In The Lab’s very official taste-tests, we appreciated the differences among all four flavors. I mean, you might tend to think that a ravioli cookie is a ravioli cookie is a ravioli cookie, but these flavors had distinct properties that we enjoyed for different reasons. Try for yourself! The gluten-free ravioli cookies are available in almond raspberry, fig walnut, apple walnut, and ricotta cheese. Buy online or in select northern California gourmet grocers.
Goodness I love epicurious. I mean, how else would I have discovered this ancient recipe dated nineteen-ninety-EIGHT featuring a millet crust on a veggie cassoulet?! Just one easy substitution: use Udi’s in place of the French bread crumbs.
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White bean & vegetable cassoulet with millet crust.
1 tablespoon plus 3 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped red bell peppers
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
8 ounces yellow crookneck squash, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ounces green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons purchased harissa paste or 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup millet
2 cups water
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from Udi’s whole grain bread
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bell peppers, onions, carrot and garlic and sauté until tender, about 15 minutes. Add squash, green beans, cumin and harissa paste and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Mix in cannellini and 1/4 cup basil. Transfer mixture to 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add millet and stir until light golden, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until millet is tender and liquid is almost absorbed, about 20 minutes. Drain millet. Transfer to bowl and cool. Mix in breadcrumbs and remaining 2 teaspoons oil.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle millet mixture evenly over vegetables in baking dish. Bake until vegetables are heated through and topping begins to crisp, about 35 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup basil around edges and serve.
Photo by Gluten-Free Goddess