Friday, October 17, 2014

Gluten-free, Soy-free Ravioli!

Homemade Gluten-free Squash Ravioli (recipe #5)
My first genuine foodie moment was one of: garlic, cigarette smoke, glasses clinking, and more plated than I could eat.

That’s because my parents took me to Bove’s.

I remember parking in the adjacent lot was a big deal because there were no parking garages, and there was a cook in a white apron hand-rolling meatballs into a hotel pan just outside the side door.

Nearly everything on the menu was homemade.

Soon afterward, we relocated from South Burlington to Bakersfield, but would still make the pilgrimage to our favorite Italian restaurant every shopping holiday.

My sister would order a split of half meat and half cheese ravioli.

For me?

Mostaccioli with white wine/garlic sauce and lots of soft white bread for sopping it up.

My toddler brother ate spaghetti with red sauce, but I didn’t focus on his eating habits – except for that one time he smushed his own birthday cake on his head, because that was funny.

We kept that a family tradition until we were all married, and with so many of us eating garlic that we had to roll down the car windows on the way home.

Sometimes even on the next day as well.

I can’t eat at Bove’s any longer because of food issues, but I have a recipe for a gluten free/soy free pasta dough that works well for homemade ravioli.
Ricotta Spinach Ravioli (recipe #1 and #2 in the background)
This time of year I fill them with pureed squash, spinach and ricotta, or ground chicken – but, always with plenty of fresh garlic.  

JUICY Gluten-free Chicken-filled Ravioli (recipe #2, too many air pockets)

 Gluten-free Ravioli (aka, Recipe #5)

Based on a by King Arthur Flour
Makes about 30 raviolis

130g King Arthur GF Flour* (1 ¼ cups)
70g Quinoa Flour (1/2 cup)
2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1 tsp. Cornstarch
1 tsp. Sea Salt

2 Large Eggs
4 Egg Yolks (reserve whites)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.

Make a well in the center, add eggs. Slowly incorporate by stirring only the eggs until dough forms.

Knead a few times, then wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate overnight.  Don’t try to incorporate all the flour.  (Keeps 4 days.)

Cut dough in half, keep unused dough covered.

Dough can be rolled out by hand, but a good squish with a flat-bottomed pan or a tortilla press starts the process.

Chicken-filled Gluten-free Ravioli (recipe #4)
To make ravioli:

Use beaten egg whites to thinly coat the pasta sheet. 

Place 1 TB of filling** along the sheet – about an inch apart. 

Top with the other half sheet, and gently tamp between raviolis to seal.

Cut and shape.

These may be frozen on a cookie sheet, then transferred to a plastic bag  - or refrigerated if ready to cook right away.

Cook at a slow simmer, 16-20 minutes.  GF takes much longer than wheat flours to cook.

Ravioli #4 - better, but not perfected
I like to pan fry before serving.

*I highly recommend using gram measurments for best results

**Easy fillings: leftover mashed potato, ground beef or lamb, sausage – plus grated cheese.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Recent Cooks: Gluten-free!

Squash Ravioli fried in Bacon Fat!
 Handmade gluten-free rice/quinoa ravioli with Doe's Leap pancetta.  Buttercup squash, shallot and pecan filling.  Will have the recipe written down soon :)

Cup4Cup Pizza
Gluten-free pizza shell from the "box".  Works well using a cold cast iron pan (to reduce the incidence of overcooking).  Still haven't been able to perfect a "scratch" recipe to use in the wood-fired pizza oven.

Parmesan-crusted Halibut
Brilliant baked halibut with pan-fried purple (and white) potatoes.  Dan said the cheese crust overwhelmed the fish, but I thought the flavors were very complementary.

View from the tree stand...

Yearling Whitetail
This yearling hung around for about an hour before being joined by two older siblings.  Momma came along shortly thereafter and immediately took off.  Dan has been passing on all does with fawns this year.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hunter's Supper!

Smoked Grouse and Venison Loin
The grouse Dan bagged yesterday was brined with maple syrup for 18 hours, then given a shake of s&p and a slather of butter before going on to the Traeger smoker for 1 1/2 - 2 hours at 200f (I was peeking). Pulled it at 160f.

The venison loin was rolled in Penzey's Venison Spice, left to sit for an hour under refrigeration, then rolled in turbinado sugar before smoking.  I pulled it at 130f, covered it in foil and a heavy towel on the counter for 20 minutes to finish cooking.

Results: both moist, tender, and neither were gamey.  Success!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Forth Cut of Hay and Start of Corn Harvest (nearly done)!

Chopping Corn for Cattle Feed

Longshot of a corn harvest

Packing the harvest into horizontal bunkers

Working til past 10 in the evening

Doing it all over again

Mowing Alfalfa and Hay

Windrows of hay drying outback of my house

Tarte Road property grass and corn on Boucher Farm
And that's where we are, trying to get as much under cover before it rains tomorrow. Busy. Busy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Recent Cooks!

Gluten-free Ravioli
 Ravioli challenge to my sister - have you used the stamper you got for Christmas?

Beef Ribs
All of my grills do something better than the others.  Ribs are righteous on the Big Green Egg!

Chicken Ravioli
 We ate it all - ALL!

Beef Spiedini
 Very good - though it didn't need the breadcrumb coating, which burned up :(

Roasted Peppers
First cook in the wood-fired mobile oven.  EVERYONE should own one - the learning curve is so easy... and I know I posted this one before  -  I am proud of it :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Buttermilk Honey Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta

At Brigham Academy in Bakersfield (grades 4-8) we were served lunch on those swirly green melamine sectioned food trays. You know the ones?

Among the all the desserts offered, my least favorite was warm pudding.

The vanilla was bland, the butterscotch more sweet than anything else – and the chocolate…?

Not to malign the hardworking lunch ladies or chocolate in general, but after the one time I got one spoonful of acrid, burnt, squishy brownness I never ate pudding again.

Then, my soon-to-be husband introduced me to crème brulee. It’s his favorite dessert.  

Meh, how hard could it be to make?

I won’t bore you with that peanut butter/chocolate disaster – only to say that it was horrible enough to abandon all future attempts.

Cookies are much easier.  

Twenty-odd years later, I figured it was time to try again.

I began with a simple panna cotta.  No eggs! No baking! No smoke or flames!

I had the farm’s dairy products, local honey and fresh-picked yard apples.

What could go wrong?


The result was silky smooth, not overly rich - and a bonus – no pudding skin! (I am firmly against it.)

I dialed back the sweetness of the original recipe by half, and infused a small amount of honey instead. The vanilla flavor came forward and my first (ahem, second) try at panna cotta became a sophisticated treat.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta
 Buttermilk and Honey Panna Cotta
Adapted from Saveur magazine
Serves 6

1 ¼ Cups Heavy Cream
½ Vanilla Pod, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
3 TB Raw Honey

1 ½ tsp. Unflavored Gelatin
1 TB. Cold Water

1 ¾ Cups Buttermilk, with the chill off

6 - ½ cup ramekins (canning jars, wine glasses, small cups)

Place cream and vanilla in a saucepan.  Heat on low for 3-5 minutes – until simmering.  Turn off the burner.

Stir in honey until dissolved, cover pan for an hour to steep.

Soften gelatin in 1TB cold water for about 5 minutes.

Reheat cream to the simmer, turn off the heat.

Remove vanilla pod.

Add gelatin and stir until dissolved.

Slowly stir in buttermilk.

Divide into ramekins.  Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.