Have you ever come home from a long day at work tired, hungry and don't really feel like making anything? Yeah, that happens around our house...a lot. One weapon we rely on is our slow cooker. It's a magic time machine - you put stuff in it [usually frozen] before work and by the time you get home - POOF! Dinner! Good eats without a wholelotta work...I'm all over that like fur on a weasle...
This is crazy simple - takes about 5 - 10 minutes of prep work before you leave for work. Simple is what I need in the morning 'cos I'm usually half asleep when I'm putting this together.
Sliced large onion or 2 med. onions
Hand full of carrots
Stalk or two of celery
Chopped tomato (I've used tomato paste in the past, but we had fresh tomatoes to use)
Penzey's Granulated Garlic
Penzey's Granulated Onion
Penzey's Herbs de Provence
Salt & Pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup of water or gluten-free beef broth or red wine.
2 - 2 1/4 lb Chuck Roast
1 tablespoon of Sweet Rice Flour to thicken gravy
Place veggies on the bottom of the slow cooker. This gives the meat a bed of flavor to rest on.
Season both sides of the frozen meat with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, Herbs de Provence. Use whatever herbs/seasoning you like - be creative!
Place frozen meat on top of veggies.
Set slow-cooker to stun (low). For us, the cooking process is about 9 hours by the time someone gets home.
Walk out the door and return 8 - 9 hours later to some really great smells!
When I get home, I strain the veggies from the liquid. After 9 hours, they've given their little veggies lives to flavor the meat and the liquid for the gravy.
In a sauce pan heat up the liquid. Make slurry with the gluten-free flour and some water. Whisk the slurry into the pan. Allow to come to a boil and thicken. If it's not thick enough, make and whisk in a bit more slurry. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Season gravy to taste.
Homage to the Herbage
If you've ever wondered what type of herbs to use, my Facebook friend Jimmy Boswell [aka the Gluten-Free Chef] from New Zealand created this very handy chart. He suggest which herbs to use for selected meats or veggies.
A great tip from Jimmy -
The general rule for using dried is use ¼ dried herbs for what’s suggested for fresh amounts in a recipe. You can reverse this if dried is suggested and you have fresh.
I took the liberty of putting Jimmy's text chart into a table...
|Beef||Basil, Bay leaf, Caraway, Chervil, Lovage seed, Cumin, Garlic Fenugreek, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme and Peppermint.|
|Chicken||Thyme, Anise, Basil, Bay leaf, Borage, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Cumin, Dill, Fenugreek, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Lovage, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory and Tarragon.|
|Duck||Bay, Rosemary, Sage, Sweet Marjoram and Tarragon.|
|Fish||Anise, Basil, Borage, Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Fish - Baked or Grilled||Basil, Bay, Caraway, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme, Lovage, Marjoram, Mints, Parsley, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Fish - Oily||Fennel and Dill.|
|Fish Soups||Bay, Lovage, Sage, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Goose||Fennel, Sage and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Ham||Lovage, Marjoram, Mint, Mustard, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary and Savory.|
|Lamb||Basil, Bay leaf, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Chervil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Lovage seed, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Saffron, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme and Savory.|
|Liver||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Pork||Anise, Caraway, Cardamom, Coriander, Chervil, Dill, Garlic, Ginger, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Tarragon, Fennel, Lovage seed, Marjoram, Savory and Thyme.|
|Rabbit||Basil, Bay, Marjoram, Lovage seed, Rosemary and Sage.|
|Salmon||Dill seed and Rosemary.|
|Seafood||Basil, Bay, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Fennel Seed, Marjoram, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Turkey||Basil, Garlic, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Parsley and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Veal||Basil, Bay leaf, Chervil, Chives, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Venison||Bay, Lovage seed, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Sweet Marjoram.|
|Artichokes||Bay, Savory and Tarragon.|
|Asparagus||Chives, Lemon Balm, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Chervil, Dill and Tarragon.|
|Avocado||Dill, Marjoram and Tarragon.|
|Beans Dried||Savory, Cumin, Garlic, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, and Thyme.|
|Beans, Green||Savory, Basil, Caraway, Cloves, Dill, Marjoram, Mint, Sage and Thyme.|
|Broccoli||Basil, Dill, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Oregano, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Brussel Sprouts||Dill, Sage and Savory.|
|Cabbage||Basil, Caraway, Cayenne, Cumin, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Sage, Savory, Borage, Dill seed, Mint, Oregano and Savory.|
|Carrots||Anise, Basil, Chervil, Chives, Cinnamon, Clove, Cumin, Dill, Sage, Ginger, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme and Chervil.|
|Cauliflower||Basil, Caraway, Chives, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon and Fennel.|
|Corn||Chevil, Chives, Lemon Balm, Saffron, Sage and, Thyme.|
|Eggplant||Basil, Cinnamon, Dill, Garlic, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Savory and Thyme.|
|Lentils||Garlic, Mint , Parsley, Savory and Sorrel.|
|Mushrooms||Coriander, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Dill, Lemon Balm, Parsley, Rosemary and Savory.|
|Onions||Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Sage, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Parsnips||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Parsley, Savory and Thyme.|
|Peas||Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon, Thyme, Basil, Chervil, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley and Sage.|
|Potatoes||Parsley, Basil, Caraway, Chives, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Lovage, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Spinach||Anise, Basil, Caraway, Chevil, Chives, Cinnamon, Dill, Rosemary, Thyme, Borage, Marjoram, Mint, Sage, Sorrel and Tarragon.|
|Squash||Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory and Dill.|
|Tomatoes||Basil, Bay leaf, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Garlic, Lovage, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Savory, Tarragon and Thyme.|
|Turnips||Dill seed, Marjoram and Savory.|
|Zucchini||Basil, Dill, Marjoram, Rosemary and Tarragon.|
Until the next good eats...
Peg ran across a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine showing all the variations of a yeast-dough. This set off a firestorm of ideas. She woke up early Saturday in anticipation of making this coffee cake.
Of course it was a wheat-based recipe, so it'd have to be converted.
She thought a pre-existing recipe might work well as a starting point. The recipe she used was that of my favorite flat bread [bread that I use for making sandwiches & buns]
1/4 cup GF brown rice flour (Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 cup GF Sorghum (Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup Sweet Rice Flour
1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 c. water
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 Tablespoons sweet rice flour (for dusting pan/hands)
Streusel Topping Ingredients
1/2 cup Jules GF Flour
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter
3/4 cup of nuts
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup powered sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons of milk
Recipe makes 2 - 8" round pans
Mix together all dry ingredients except sweet rice flour (brown rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, xanthan gum, yeast and salt).
In a heavy mixer, combine wet ingredients (water, vinegar, oil, and eggs).
Slowly add dry ingredients to well blended wet ingredients.
Beat on medium/medium high speed for 4 minutes.
Dust two 8" round cake pans with flour (or oil bottom of pan and lightly dust oiled pan).
Place dough in a warm spot, allow to rest/rise for 35-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Mix streusel ingredients in a bowl until crumbly.
Sprinkle on top of dough
Bake for 12-18 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.
Mix Glaze ingredients in a bowl. Add milk slowly as needed - mixing until the desired consistency.
Allow to cool before drizzling the glaze.
You could sub-out the flours with your favorite flour blend if you like.
with Certified Gluten-Free Oats
Peg converted this non-gluten-free granola recipe. She mixes this into her yogurt in the morning for breakfast.
Note: Oats have been controversial for over 20 years. Are they acceptable on a GF diet or not? Some celiacs will react to the protein found in oats [avenin], just as they react to the proteins in wheat, barely, rye and oats.
Most medical professionals say gluten-free oats can be tolerated in limited amounts [1/2 to 3/4 cup per day for adults]. They also suggest restricting oats for one year for those newly diagnosed.
Should you decide to add GF oats to your diet, please consult your medical professional.
For a general overview on oats see: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/theglutenfreediet/a/OatsForCeliacs.htm
5 cups certified gluten-free oats (GF Harvest Oats used here)
2 cups chopped pecans or 1 cup chopped pecans and 1 cup almonds & sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup ground flax seed
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (Penzey's)
1/2 teaspoon salt (use less if desired)
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses or sorghum syrup
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a sauce pan
Place over medium heat and cook - stirring often - until the sugar dissolves.
Pour hot mixture over the dry mixture. Stir until thoroughly blended. Mixture will appear wet.
Spread evenly in a large jelly roll pan or a shallow pan with sides.
Bake at 300 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Cool and store in an air tight container
Yield: 9 1/2 cups
It's a great mix of basil, oregano, red bell pepper, garlic, thyme, fennel, black pepper and anise.
We only purchased a small .5 oz bottle that day, but we will getting a larger bag of it. Sadly, I used it all tonight.
At the checkout, we found a recipe for Tuscan Veggie & Chicken Pasta Salad. I decided tweak how the ingredients were put together. This is my version...
Tuscan Chicken with Veggies
1 Package boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in thin strips.
1 package gluten-free pasta (shown here: Jovial GF Brown Rice Penne Rigate)
1 Red bell pepper, thinly julienned
1 Green pepper, thinly julienned
1 Medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
1 - 2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Teaspoons Penzey's Tuscan Sunset
Salt & Pepper
2 Tablespoons Penzey's Tuscan Sunset
2 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
In a bowl large enough to hold all the pasta, mix Tuscan Sunset and water, let stand 1 minute, then whisk in oil and red wine vinegar.
Prepare GF pasta per directions on package. Leave it slightly al dente because it will be returned to the pan at the end. Place cooked pasta in to bowl with dressing and gently mix until pasta is coated. Let stand.
Using medium heat and large deep pan saute' peppers and onion with small amount of olive oil for several minutes or until peppers have softened. Sprinkle in 1 tsp Tuscan Sunset. Salt and Pepper to taste. Remove from pan.
Return pan to stove, increase heat to medium-high and allow pan to heat up without smoking. Add small amount of olive oil to pan and add chicken strips. Allow chicken to turn golden brown. Reduce heat to simmer. Sprinkle in 1 tsp Tuscan Sunset. Salt & Pepper to taste. Add lemon juice.
Add in saute'ed veggies and dressed pasta. Make sure to get all the pasta dressing into the pan.
Gently stir a few times until all ingredients are fully heated - about 2 - 3 minutes. Be careful not to damage the pasta.
The original recipe called for asparagus tips. This is a great addition, unfortunately I did not have any handy this time. Options I want to try in the future: mushrooms and/or artichoke hearts.
If you like more tanginess, add more red wine vinegar or lemon juice.
Until next time...