Category: Gluten-Free

Lemon Caper Chicken

lemon caper chicken

This recipe for Lemon Caper Chicken is a delightful lemony dish that will please everyone. It’s important to pound the chicken thin, which allows the chicken to cook quickly in a skillet. With a dusting of flour and a dip into beaten egg the coating browns nicely and absorbs the delicious lemon sauce.

The lemon sauce is ample enough to sauce about a half pound of  pasta or make our Israeli Couscous with Scallions and Peas as a side dish, which marries very well with the lemon sauce.

 

Gluten-free note: Use a gluten-free flour in lieu of all-purpose flour and follow the recipe as written.

Preparing the Chicken

This is a quick pan sear and the chicken needs to be think to cook through. For normal sized breasts, place them on a large baking sheet and leave enough space between each one for expansion when pounding thinner. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and use the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy-bottomed skillet to pound to about a ¼-inch thickness. Set aside the plastic wrap and use to recover the chicken after seasoning.

lemon caper chicken

if the chicken breasts are large and thick, pounding them to a 1/4-inch thickness is too much abuse. All that whacking smashes the meat and the structure is ruined. Thick pieces are best cut in half and then pounded, if necessary.

lemon caper chicken prep

Lay the chicken lengthwise on a cutting board.

lemon caper chicken slicing

Place the knife at halfway down the side and lay your palm flat on top of the chicken, a paper towel placed between your palm and the chicken prevents slipping, carefully slide the knife through the breast into two pieces.

lemon caper chicken butterflied

Separate and pound if necessary to 1/4-inch thickness.

Sprinkle both sides of each breast with salt and pepper, cover, and refrigerate for four hours or overnight. Seasoning the chicken in advance has similar effects to brining. It slightly denatures the protein and the salt is absorbed more deeply than salting and cooking immediately.

Cooking the Chicken

Crack the eggs into a container large enough to dip each chicken breast. Add a splash of water and beat until frothy.

Sprinkle the flour into a similar container.

lemon caper chicken

Dip each breast in the flour, turning to completely coat the chicken, and gently shake off the excess. Next dip into the egg, hold for a few seconds over the egg pan to allow the egg wash to drain. Set the chicken back onto the baking sheet. Don’t worry about reusing the pan, the chicken still has to be cooked; no cross-contamination worries.

lemon caper chicken

Heat the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken breasts in the hot pan, or cook in batches if he pan is too small to prevent crowding and steaming the chicken. Cook for 2 minutes, turn and cook for another 2 minutes. Set the cooked chicken on a clean platter and, if cooking in batches, cook the last two breasts as instructed above.

lemon caper chicken

Add the stock, lemon juice and slices, and capers to the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen and dissolve any brown tidbits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil and cook for 1 minute.

Note: If you use a non-stick skillet, you may not have any tidbits.

lemon caper chicken

Place the chicken back into the pan, cook at a simmer for 2-3 minutes and return to the platter.

lemon caper chicken

Whisk in the butter, taste sauce and adjust seasoning, then pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

lemon caper chicken

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Cook some pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and add to the lemon sauce after removing the chicken. Stir to coat the pasta, slide onto the platter, place the chicken breasts over with a lemon slice on top of each. Or, Make our Israeli Couscous with Peas and Tarragon as a delicious side.

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Lemon Caper Chicken

lemon caper chicken

This recipe for Lemon Caper Chicken is a delightful lemony dish that will please everyone. It’s important to pound the chicken thin, which allows the chicken to cook quickly in a skillet. With a dusting of flour and a dip into beaten egg the coating browns nicely and absorbs the delicious lemon sauce.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Category: Chicken

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
kosher salt
coarsely ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup olive oil, or 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 thin lemon slices
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

Place the chicken breasts on a large baking sheet and leave enough space between each one for expansion when pounding thinner. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and use the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy-bottomed skillet to pound to about a ¼-inch thickness. Set aside the plastic wrap and use to recover the chicken after seasoning.

This is a quick-cooking method and if the chicken breasts are large, pounding them to a 1/4-inch thickness is too much abuse and the meat loses its structure. For thick pieces, it’s best to cut them in half lengthwise first and then pound.

Lay the chicken lengthwise on a cutting board and place the knife at halfway down the side. Place your palm on top of the chicken and carefully pull the knife through the breast, as if you were going to butterfly it, but actually cut it through into two pieces. Separate and pound if necessary to 1/4-inch thickness.

Sprinkle both sides of each breast with salt and pepper, cover, and refrigerate for four hours or overnight. Seasoning the chicken in advance has similar effects to brining. It slightly denatures the protein and the salt is absorbed more deeply than salting and cooking immediately.

Crack the eggs into a container large enough to dip each chicken breast. Add a splash of water and beat until frothy.

Sprinkle the flour into a similar container.

Dip each breast in the flour, turning to completely coat the chicken, and gently shake off the excess. Next dip into the egg, hold for a few seconds over the egg pan to allow the egg wash to drain. Set the chicken back onto the baking sheet. Don’t worry about reusing the pan, the chicken still has to be cooked; no cross-contamination worries.

Heat the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken breasts in the hot pan, or cook in batches if he pan is too small to prevent crowding and steaming the chicken. Cook for 2 minutes, turn and cook for another 2 minutes. Set the cooked chicken on a clean platter and, if cooking in batches, cook the last two breasts as instructed above.

Add the stock, lemon juice and slices, and capers to the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen and dissolve any brown tidbits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil and cook for 1 minute.

Note: If you use a non-stick skillet, you may not have any tidbits.

Place the chicken back into the pan, cook at a simmer for 2-3 minutes and return to the platter.

Whisk in the butter, taste sauce and adjust seasoning, then pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Notes

The lemon sauce is delicious with pasta or make our Israeli Couscous with Scallions and Peas as a side dish, which marries very well with the lemon sauce.

Gluten-free note: Use a gluten-free flour in lieu of all-purpose flour and follow the recipe as written.

Keywords: sautéed chicken, chicken entree, lemon sauce, lemon caper sauce, lemon chicken, dinner, chicken dinner dairy-free

Hummus

Hummus with celery

Hummus is a great party food. It’s got a lovely, smooth texture and great flavor from the tahini, garlic, lemon, and smoked paprika. It’s perfect any time of the year and is usually liked by all!

Recently I’ve been seeing some recipes that recommend peeling the chickpeas to make a very smooth hummus. After much experimentation, I find this a needless and tedious task. Simply let the food processor run a little longer and you achieve that same silken texture without the bother of peeling each individual chickpea.

Hummus with veggies

Hummus is perfect for a crudité platter or serve with toasted pita chips or mini pita cut in half. It also makes a great sandwich stuffed into a pita with some chopped parsley.

METHOD

Place the chickpeas, tahini, lemon zest and juice, oil, garlic, salt, and smoked paprika in a food processor and purée until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.

Once you think it’s perfectly smooth, scrape the sides again and puree for another 5 seconds.

Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and dash of smoked paprika.

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Hummus

Hummus with celery
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Appetizer

Ingredients

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drain, but don’t rinse
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large smashed clove garlic
generous ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Garnish
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of smoked paprika

Instructions

Place the chickpeas, tahini, lemon zest and juice, oil, garlic, salt, and smoked paprika in a food processor and purée until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.

Once you think it’s perfectly smooth, scrape the sides again and puree for another 5 seconds.

Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and dash of smoked paprika.

Notes

Recipe doubles well.

Keywords: dip, chickpeas, chickpea dip, snack, spread, Middle Eastern, appetizer

 

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup in a bowl

This recipe for Pepper Jack Squash Soup was on my mind for several days. I decided to make it on a Monday, which is typically a very busy, chore-filled day. It’s cleaning day, linen and towel laundry day, replenish the pantry and refrigerator day, and pay the bills day. Not always a good day to test a new recipe, but I was obsessed.

I decided to skip the sweat the vegetable step and just pile all the vegetables, salt, and stock into the pot and cook. Everything is pureed in the end, so the vegetables get a rough chop, though smaller pieces cook faster than large, so I sliced thinly and cut the squash into small cubes, which kept the cooking time to 45 minutes.

I also used my food processor to puree the soup and then switched to the shredder blade and shredded the cheese and stirred it into the soup. I saved having to clean another tool by having the food processor do double duty.

I was not disappointed. A butternut squash soup has a velvety texture that is only enhanced by adding the pepper jack cheese and the spices in the cheese give the soup some oomph!

Top the soup off with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro.

METHOD

Place the squash, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, and stock in a large saucepan.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup with stock

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook for 45 minutes or until the
until the squash is tender.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup ready for the blender

To test, push a couple of squash pieces against the side of the pan; once it easily squishes it’s done.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup soft vegetables

Let the soup cool for about 15 minutes before puréeing.

Scoop the vegetables and liquid in equal portions into the food processor, filling no more than halfway. You can also use a blender or an immersion blender. Be sure the soup is completely smooth.

See our blog/video on how to safely purée hot ingredients.

Return to the stovetop, add the cheese and cook over medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and the soup is streak free.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup with cheese

Soup freezes well.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup in a bowl

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Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup in a bowl
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Soup

Ingredients

3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 large celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 cups vegetable stock, such as More Than Gourmet
8 ounces shredded jalapeño Monterrey Jack cheese

Garnish
Cilantro leaves

Instructions

Place the squash, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, and stock in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook for 45 minutes or until the
until the squash is tender. To test, push a couple of squash pieces against the side of the pan; once it easily squishes it’s done.

Let the soup cool for about 15 minutes before puréeing.

Scoop the vegetables and liquid in equal portions into the food processor, filling no more than halfway. You can also use a blender or an immersion blender. Be sure the soup is completely smooth.

See our blog/video on how to safely purée hot ingredients.

Return to the stovetop, add the cheese and cook over medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and the soup is streak free.

Soup freezes well.

Keywords: soup, butternut squash, pepper jack cheese, Monterrey jack cheese, cream soup

 

 

Cooking Bacon on the Stovetop

cooking bacon on the stovetop

The real secret to successfully cooking bacon on the stovetop is to start with a cold frypan, which prevents the bacon from sticking. Lay the strips of bacon in the bottom of the pan, a slight overlap is okay as the bacon shrinks, and place over high heat. Use a good frypan that distributes heat evenly, such as an iron or a Le Creuset frypan.

Cooking bacon on the stovetop is messier that cooking bacon in the microwave or in the oven. A frying spatter screen helps contain some of the mess, but the stove still requires requires a good wipe down.

cooking bacon on the stovetop

Once the bacon begins to sizzle and render some fat, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking. Lift the spatter guard and gently flip the bacon. Bacon spatters and to help prevent burning yourself, lift the end of the strip closet to you and turn toward the back of the pan. Hopefully any spattering occurs away from you!

cooking bacon on the stovetop

Return the spatter cover, and cook a minute or two more. The bacon cooks quickly at this point, so watch closely to remove the bacon at the floppy or crispy point.

Place the cooked bacon on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb some of the excess fat.

cooking bacon on the stovetop

As an alternative to a frypan, use a griddle. The rectangular shape and bigger size accommodates more strips. There’s quite a bit of spattering and unfortunately no spatter screen for a griddle, so a bigger cleanup job.

Whether you use a skillet or griddle, have a plate ready for the cooked bacon and place in a warm oven or warming draw to hold. Finish cooking the remainder of the bacon and your eggs or pancakes or waffles.

stovetop bacon

Cleanup requires some elbow grease. I use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which makes the job a little easier.

Watch our How to Cook Bacon on the Stovetop Video Here.
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Cooking Bacon on the Stovetop

stovetop bacon

Cook up a batch or two of bacon and hold in a warm (200-degrees F) oven while you finish cooking.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Total Time: -25845821.583333 minute
  • Yield: 2 slices per person
  • Category: Breakfast/Brunch

Ingredients

4-6 slices bacon

Instructions

Lay the strips of bacon in the bottom of the pan, a slight overlap is okay as the bacon shrinks, and place over high heat.

Once the bacon begins to sizzle and render some fat, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking.

As an alternative to a frypan, use a griddle. The rectangular shape and bigger size accommodates more strips. There’s quite a bit of spattering and unfortunately no spatter screen for a griddle, so a bigger cleanup job.

Lift the spatter guard and gently flip the bacon. Bacon spatters and to help prevent burning yourself, lift the end of the strip closet to you and turn toward the back of the pan. Hopefully any spattering occurs away from you!

Notes

Use a good frypan that distributes heat evenly, such as an iron or a Le Creuset frypan.

Keywords: bacon, panfrying bacon, frying bacon, cooking bacon, cooking bacon on the stovetop

Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted acorn squash makes a delicious side dish. For this recipe I served this with a pan-roasted pork tenderloin, seasoned solely with salt and pepper, seared in a skillet and finished in the oven to 145 degrees F. A slightly pink interior. Try our Rosemary Honey-Mustard sauce over the pork, it’s perfect for this dish.

I chose to leave the skin on for a different presentation. I’ve been told the skin is edible, but I find it to be tough, especially when roasted, it gets a little firmer. But, the skin on add a beautiful presentation to any dish and the sweet pulp is easily scrapped off with a fork.

This recipe is easily adaptable to any number of people. And, the squash can be cut in half or in quarters in lieu of slices. Add a few more minutes of cooking time. The squash is done when fork tender. One-half acorn squash is usually a perfect serving, unless you have many other sides, then figure ¼ squash per person.

chopped thyme

This recipe is a great example of using both dried and fresh herbs. The dried thyme is best when roasting – the flavor permeates the squash but doesn’t burn and there are no fussy twigs to get rid of. The fresh thyme is the perfect garnish; it brings a pure, fresh taste of the thyme to the dish, as well as a lovely contrasting color.

Roasting the Squash

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a Line a 13 by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Scrub the outside of the squash with a vegetable brush and dry.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Cut the squash in half lengthwise.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Scoop out the seeds and discard.

The acorn squash is ready to be seasoned and roasted in this form, or cut in half again for quarters, or cut each quarter into 2 or 3 more slices. The squash is very adaptable to cooking in any format.

Sliced Roasted Acorn Squash

If cooking the squash in half or quarters, trim a small piece off a center rib so the squash sits flat when place skin side down.

Combine the salt, dried thyme and pepper in a small bowl.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Brush the inside and outside of the squash with the oil. Sprinkle the squash with the spice mix.

Place the half or quartered acorn squash skin side down or strew the slices of squash across the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the squash is very soft when pierced with a fork.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Garnish with the fresh thyme and use the sprigs to garnish the serving platter.

Roasted Acorn Squash

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Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash

This recipe is easily adaptable to any number of people. One-half acorn squash is usually a perfect serving for one, unless you have many other sides, then figure ¼ squash per person.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 - 8 servings
  • Category: Vegan/Vegetarian
  • Method: Roasting

Ingredients

2 acorn squash
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Garnish
1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
Thyme sprigs

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a Line a 13 by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Scrub the outside of the squash with a vegetable brush and dry.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise.

Scoop out the seeds and discard.

The acorn squash is ready to be seasoned and roasted in this form, or cut in half again for quarters, or cut each quarter into 2 or 3 more slices. The squash is very adaptable to cooking in any format.

If cooking the squash in half or quarters, trim a small piece off a center rib so the squash sits flat when place skin side down.

Combine the salt, dried thyme and pepper in a small bowl.

Brush the inside and outside of the squash with the oil. Sprinkle the squash with the spice mix.

Place the half or quartered acorn squash skin side down or strew the slices of squash across the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the squash is very soft when pierced with a fork.

Garnish with the fresh thyme and use the sprigs to garnish the serving platter.

Keywords: squash, acorn squash, roasted squash, roasted acorn squash

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Looking for a quick and easy dinner? This Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew is a one-dish recipe and cooks quickly on the stovetop, about 1 ½ hours, or in a slow cooker, about 3 ½ hours. Simply prep the pancetta and aromatics, sauté, add the seasonings, canned tomatoes, stock, and chicken (no browning necessary), cover and cook. Add the kale and beans 10 minutes before finishing up and dinner is ready!

Slow Cookers

A quick note on slow cookers. Not all slow cookers are not the same. I personally think it is a waste of money not to own a programmable version. The ones with high/low settings are usually inaccurate and the low setting cooks at too high a temperature for a succulent braise or stew. The perfect temperature for slow cooking is 180 degrees F. Anything higher than that cooks at temperatures that denature and coagulate proteins quickly and there is a greater loss of natural juices and flavors.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

I also like the slow cookers that have a removable, oven-proof insert. This allows you to sauté, brown, etc. in one pan and then transition into the slow cooker with no added dishes to wash. Some slow cookers have many programs available and offer a sauté function and the entire recipe can be made start to finish in the vessel.

If you can’t find or are not a fan of kale, substitute other greens, such as chard, mustard greens for a little zing, or spinach, which only needs to be stirred into the hot stew last minute to wilt.

Putting the Stew Together

Pancetta is a great foundation for this delicious stew. It is, of course, optional for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt to compensate for the salt the pancetta adds to the dish.

sautéing pancetta

Place the pancetta in a cold large Dutch oven, skillet, or slow cooker that has a removable insert over medium heat and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

sautéing aromatics for Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, peppers, Italian seasoning mix, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat to release the water and soften the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat a bit if the vegetables are browning.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Stir in the tomatoes, reconstituted demi-glace.

Add the chicken, stir to separate the cubes and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours stovetop (no more that 180 degrees F – a very gentle simmer) or 3 1/2 hours on low in a slow cooker. The chicken is done when fork tender.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

This may not look like enough liquid, but don’t add more. The vegetables and chicken exude lots of flavorful juices and adding more liquid now only dilutes the flavor.

Here’s the difference in the amount of liquid, above before cooking and below after cooking.

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Recipe freezes well, cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze.

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Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew

This Chicken, Kale and White Bean Stew is a one-dish recipe that cooks quickly on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Lots of flavor and vegetables, too!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Stew/Braise
  • Method: Slow Cook

Ingredients

4 ounces diced pancetta
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
12 baby bell peppers, tops removed, sliced lengthwise, or one bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup vegetable demi-glace, such as More Than Gourmet
2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken (white meat, dark meat, or both), cut into 2-inch cubes

Instructions

Pancetta is a great foundation for this delicious stew. It is, of course, optional for those of you who don’t eat red meat. Add another ¼ teaspoon salt to compensate for the salt the pancetta adds to the dish.

Place the pancetta in a cold large Dutch oven, skillet, or slow cooker that has a removable insert over medium heat and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the onions, celery, garlic, peppers, Italian seasoning mix, salt, and pepper flakes. Cover and sweat to release the water and soften the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat a bit if the vegetables are browning.

Stir in the tomatoes, reconstituted demi-glace.

Add the chicken, stir to separate the cubes and cover with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours stovetop (no more that 180 degrees F – a very gentle simmer) or 3 1/2 hours on low in a slow cooker. The chicken is done when fork tender.

Notes

Recipe freezes well, cool completely, place in an airtight container and freeze.

Keywords: slow cook, crockpot, stew, braise, chicken stew, kale, white beans, one-pot dinner

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I have a few friends who either suffer from celiac disease or have a low tolerance for gluten, which led me to experiment with gluten-free flour. It was a challenge at first to learn the ins and outs of working without gluten, but I persevered. Here’s one of my recent “success stories,” Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies.

I made these especially for my friend Dennis, who is constantly commenting on the inferior quality and high cost of commercially made GF snacks. This is one of his favorite cookies and he requested cashews in lieu of the typical walnuts. These cookies are light, with a buttery, not too sweet flavor, and a hint of cinnamon. He stopped by on Saturday to pick them up and was delighted with the results and his goodie bag to go!

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Gluten-Free Flour

There are a wide variety of flours to choose from and most local grocery stores carry one or two brands, usually King Arthur Flour or Bob’s Red Mill. Both have blends that you can substitute all-purpose flour cup for cup for the gluten-free flour. I used King Arthur Flour’s Measure for Measure, which doesn’t require the addition of gums. Read the ingredient label to check if either guar gum and/or zanthan gum are included. My research shows that using half guar gum and half xanthan gum provides the best results. A 1/4 teaspoon each per cup of flour is sufficient. These are readily available from vendors such as Bob’s Red Mill and amazon.com and other vendors.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The cookies whip up exactly like any other drop cookie. Beat the butter until fluffy in a stand mixer or with a hand beater; scrape the sides and beater. Add the sugar and salt and beat until incorporated; scrape the sides and beater. Add the eggs and beat, scraping the sides and beater as needed until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract, raisins, and nuts. Add the flours, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, guar gum, and xanthan gum,* and beat on low, scraping the sides of the bowl and the beater as needed, until the flour is moist. Scrape the sides and beater again and mix on medium-high until the dough is smooth, about 10 seconds.

*Omit if using a gluten-free flour that includes these gums.

Drop the cookies by the spoonful onto the lined cookie sheet, or use a cookie scoop, which makes about a 2-inch cookie, not too big and not too small. I like to use the scoop for the uniformity in size and even cooking.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Pop the cookie sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookie is golden brown.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Cool the cookies for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

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Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies
  • Category: Cookies

Ingredients

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cups raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional, such as walnuts, pecans, or cashews
1 cup gluten-free flour
3/4 cup oat flour
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal, such Quaker Oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon guar gum*
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum*

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

Beat the butter until fluffy in a stand mixer or with a hand beater; scrape the sides and beater.

Add the sugar and salt and beat until incorporated; scrape the sides and beater.

Add the eggs and beat, scraping the sides and beater as needed until incorporated.

Mix in the vanilla extract, raisins, and nuts.

Add the flours, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, guar gum, and xanthan gum,* and beat on low, scraping the sides of the bowl and the beater as needed, until the flour is moist. Scrape the sides and beater again and mix on medium-high until the dough is smooth, about 10 seconds.

*Note: Omit if using a gluten-free flour that includes these gums.

Drop the cookies by the spoonful onto the lined cookie sheet, or use a cookie scoop, which makes about a 2-inch cookie, not too big and not too small. I like to use the scoop for the uniformity in size and even cooking.

Pop the cookie sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. The bottom of the cookie should be golden brown. The tops a darker beige.

Cool the cookies for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Notes

*Note: Omit if using a gluten-free flour that includes these gums.

Keywords: cookies, gluten-free, baked goods, dessert, snack

Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

I served this Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with a Sherry Wine Vinaigrette for dinner the other night and my girlfriend Lynn loved it. She had never had raw escarole before.

Blue cheese goes nicely with the bitterness of escarole, it adds a salty creaminess, the cranberries a little tartness, and the crunchy walnuts add more crunch. The tangy vinaigrette brings it all together. While there’s lots going on in this salad, it’s very simple to make.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this salad is an excellent way to start or accompany your menu. The refreshing crispy escarole with a coating of the zesty dressing is a great foil for all those rich and tasty traditional Thanksgiving sides.

Vinaigrette

A simple mix of olive oil, Sherry wine vinegar, Dijon, shallots, salt and pepper.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Use two tablespoons minced shallot  for this dressing. If the shallot is large, mince only half.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Place the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Salad

Thoroughly wash the escarole, it grows in a sandy soil.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Spin dry and stack the greens and slice across the leaves.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Place the sliced escarole in a salad bowl. Shake the vinaigrette and drizzle the greens with just enough dressing to coat the salad but not pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Sprinkle the top of the salad with the nuts, cheese, and cranberries. I like to add the toppings last because they always fall to the bottom of the bowl. Sitting on top of the dressed salad makes a lovely presentation.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

 

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Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

A tangy, crunchy salad that’s quick and easy to make.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Salad

Ingredients

Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 small minced shallot, about 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Salad
1 head escarole, chopped
1 cup whole toasted walnuts, chopped
¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

Vinaigrette

Two tablespoons minced shallot is enough for this dressing. If the shallot is large, mince only half.

Place the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Salad

Thoroughly wash the escarole, it grows in a sandy soil. Spin dry and stack the greens and slice across the leaves.

Place the sliced escarole in a salad bowl

Shake the vinaigrette and drizzle the greens with just enough dressing to coat the salad but not pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Sprinkle the top of the salad with the nuts, cheese, and cranberries.

I like to add the toppings last because they always fall to the bottom of the bowl. Sitting on top of the dressed salad makes a lovely presentation.

Keywords: salad, vinaigrette, escarole salad, escarole salad with blue cheese, escarole salad with blue cheese and walnuts, dried cranberries, sherry wine vinaigrette

Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

I like to tweak recipes. Sometimes it’s not a very noticeable change and other times I create a new version of something I’ve done in the past. This Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake is a remake of a traditional Italian Ricotta Cheese that I did a couple of years ago. I thought a pumpkin version for Thanksgiving was just what we needed this year!

This dessert whips up in a matter of minutes. Make it the day before and let it sit, refrigerated of course, which allows the flavors to meld. It also takes the pressure off on Thanksgiving day to have the dessert already done. Take it out of the refrigerator an hour before serving to warm up, and add a dollop of whipped cream for a delicious garnish.

Making the Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 300ºF and lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with a little unsalted butter. I use a small piece of wax paper and a dab of butter, about 1 teaspoon, and smear it over the bottom and sides of the pan.

greasing the pan for pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the bottom of the pan and turn on a slant to coat the sides too.

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

Line a 13 by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Sometimes a springform pan leaks and this keeps the bottom of your oven clean.

Place the ricotta cheese, sugar, pumpkin powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves in a mixing bowl.

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

Beat with a whisk attachment until combined, or in a bowl with a hand whisk. Make sure there are no lumps.

If you are mixing by hand, the eggs are best beaten first and then added to the batter. I use the empty ricotta cheese container to avoid using another bowl. Simply crack the eggs into the container, cover, and shake to scramble.

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

Add the eggs and vanilla to the batter and whisk until smooth.

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake batter

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. The cake is done when it’s set in the center and the sides are lightly golden brown.

Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Take a sharp knife and run the blade around the inside of the pan to make sure the cake isn’t sticking; then release the side panel. Once the cake is cool, refrigerate.

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

 

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Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake

pumpkin ricotta cheesecake

A quick and easy dessert that can be made a day in advance. Take the cake out of the refrigerator an hour before serving to warm up. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 80 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon more for the pan
1/2 cup pumpkin powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
5 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Garnish
whipped cream

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300ºF and lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with a little unsalted butter. I use a small piece of wax paper and a dab of butter, about 1 teaspoon, and smear it over the bottom and sides of the pan. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the bottom of the pan and turn on a slant to coat the sides too.

Line a 13 by-18-by-1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Sometimes a springform pan leaks and this keeps the bottom of your oven clean.

Place the ricotta cheese, sugar, pumpkin powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves in a mixing bowl and beat with a whisk attachment until combined, or in a bowl with a hand whisk. Make sure there are no lumps.

If you are mixing by hand, the eggs are best beaten first and then added to the batter. I use the empty ricotta cheese container to avoid using another bowl. Simply crack the eggs into the container, cover, and shake to scramble.

Add the eggs and vanilla to the batter and whisk until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. The cake is done when it’s set in the center and the sides are lightly golden brown.

Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Take a sharp knife and run the blade around the side of the pan; then release the side panel. Once the cake is cool, refrigerate.

Keywords: Ricotta cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, cheesecake, Italian cheesecake, pumpkin,

Apple-Pear Sauce

apple and pear varieties

Here’s a little twist on traditional applesauce, Apple-Pear Sauce.

Fall is upon us and apples and pears are in season and in abundance. To create a complex flavor and varying textures I like to use three varieties of pears and apples. I used Bartlett and Starkrimson, which are sweet and juicy pears with a softer pulp, and Bosc, which is less sweet and firm in texture. The apples, which I sourced from The Whittier Fruit Farm during my recent trip to Rochester, included SweeTango, crisp with good acidity, Jonagold with a sweet honey flavor, and a Macoun, with a firmer texture. To highlight the vanilla undertone of the pears, I add a vanilla bean and a little lemon zest for acidity.

The recipe comes together easily and with few ingredients. Simply peel and core 6 pears and 6 apples and cut into about 1-inch cubes, the smaller the size the shorter the cooking time.

To core apples, use a melon baller. The stems of the pear extend down to the core. Quarter the pear and use a paring knife to slice top to bottom to remove inner stem and core.

coring pears

To get to the seeds of the vanilla, make a slit at the end of the bean, but don’t cut through to the bottom. Slide the knife between the pod and run the knife down the bean to split it in half lengthwise.

splitting a vanilla bean

Scrape out the seeds with the edge of a paring knife.

scraped vanilla bean

Add 1/4 cup cold water, the vanilla bean seeds and the lemon zest. Cover and cook over a very low flame. Low and slow is the way to go – high heat only scorches the fruit and that flavor permeates the entire sauce.

chopped pears and apple in saucepan

Stir every 3 minutes or so to move the fruit on top to the bottom. Once the fruit starts to break down, raise the heat a bit, just a little bit, and leave the cover askew. These are juicy fruits and it’s good to let a little of the liquid evaporate. A loose apple-pear sauce isn’t as tasty or pleasing to the palette.

The sauce is usually done in 30 to 40 minutes, again this depends on the size of the fruit. An unripe, extra-firm fruit can also take a little longer to cook. To test, push a few fruit cubes against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. The sauce is ready when easily smashed.

Mash with a potato masher. I like my apple-pear sauce to have a little texture and leave some small chunky pieces. Don’t use a blender, food processor or immersion blender, however, the harsh processing destroys cell structure and the sauce becomes a soup.

Cool, place in jars, cover and refrigerate or freeze.

apple-pear sauce in jars

Serve warm or at room temperature.

apple-pear sauce in a bowl

Recipe doubles easily and freezes well.

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Apple-Pear Sauce

apple-pear sauce in a bowl

Here’s a little twist on traditional applesauce, Apple-Pear Sauce. Use a variety of pears and apples for complex flavor and texture.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups; 10-12 servings
  • Category: Side Dish

Ingredients

6 assorted pears
6 assorted apples
1 vanilla bean, seeds only
zest of one lemon

Instructions

The recipe comes together easily and with few ingredients. Simply peel and core 6 pears and 6 apples and cut into about 1-inch cubes, the smaller the size the shorter the cooking time.

To core apples, use a melon baller. The stems of the pear extend down to the core. Quarter the pear and use a paring knife to slice top to bottom to remove inner stem and core.

To get to the seeds of the vanilla, split it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the sharp edge of a paring knife.

Add 1/4 cup cold water, the vanilla bean seeds and the lemon zest. Cover and cook over a very low flame. Low and slow is the way to go – high heat only scorches the fruit and that flavor permeates the entire sauce.

Stir every 3 minutes or so to move the fruit on top to the bottom. Once the fruit starts to break down, raise the heat a bit, just a little bit, and leave the cover askew. These are juicy fruits and it’s good to let a little of the liquid evaporate. A loose apple-pear sauce isn’t as tasty or pleasing to the palette.

The sauce is usually done in 30 to 40 minutes, again this depends on the size of the fruit. An unripe, extra-firm fruit can also take a little longer to cook. To test, push a few fruit cubes against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. The sauce is ready when easily smashed.

Mash with a potato masher. I like my apple-pear sauce to have a little texture and leave some small chunky pieces. Don’t use a blender, food processor or immersion blender, however, the harsh processing destroys cell structure and the sauce becomes a soup.

Cool, place in jars, cover and refrigerate or freeze.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Recipe doubles easily and freezes well.

Keywords: apple sauce, pear sauce, condiment, Thanksgiving dinner,

Quick and Easy Hollandaise Sauce

quick and easy hollandaise sauce

Hollandaise sauce is a delicious topping for poached eggs, fish, like salmon or arctic char, sautéed chicken, pork tenderloin, or potatoes. This Quick and Easy Hollandaise Sauce is made in the blender and comes together in minutes.

Simply combine the eggs, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, and cayenne in the blender. Then slowly drizzle in the melted butter through the cap opening to emulsify.

To keep warm, place the sauce in a bowl in a tray or pot of very warm water; hot water may break the emulsion.

Poached Eggs

Watch the video here.
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Quick and Easy Hollandaise Sauce

quick and easy hollandaise sauce

Delicious hollandaise sauce in minutes. use with eggs, fish, chicken, pork, or potatoes.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3/4 cup
  • Category: Sauces

Ingredients

3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon coarse salt
pinch cayenne
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

Place the eggs, lemon juice, tarragon, salt, and cayenne in the base of blender or a small container for immersion blender and puree.

Slowly drizzle the hot melted butter through opening in top to create an emulsion.

To keep, place the sauce in a warm bowl in a tray of very warm water.

Notes

Holding in hot water may break the emulsion.

Keywords: Easy hollandaise sauce, quick and easy hollandaise sauce, hollandaise sauce

Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs

I know many are intimidated by the thought making Poached Eggs, but it really is quite simple. The key is to poach the egg until the white is set and the egg yolk is runny, which means temperature control and timing. If you prefer a firm yolk, a little more time at the controlled temperature is all that is required.

Farm fresh eggs are the best for poaching. The egg whites are nice and tight so there’s less spread in the pan. For an older egg, a dash of white vinegar in the cooking water helps coagulate the egg white. There are also egg poaching machines and lots of little cups, etc that claim to make pretty poached eggs. I don’t see the point myself and they would only take up more space in my already full kitchen.

Poached Eggs

How to Poach Eggs

To make them the old-fashioned way, fill a low rimmed saucepan or a straight-sided skillet with cold water, high enough to cover the tops of the eggs. Add almost a capful of white vinegar and bring to a full boil.

Place a couple of folded paper towels by the side of the stove to briefly drain the cooked eggs on before plating.

Crack up to 4 eggs in a small bowl, slide the eggs into the hot water and immediately lower the heat to the gentlest of simmers. Cook for 2 minutes 30 seconds for a runny yolk or 3 minutes for a firm yolk. The key to success here is the gentle simmer, a rapid boil is harsh, and the eggs are easily ruined by the turbulent water.

Poached Eggs

Use a mesh skimmer spoon and gently scoop up all the eggs together. Rest the bottom of the skimmer spoon on the paper towels to drain for a couple of seconds and then slide onto your plate.

Sprinkle a wee bit of kosher salt and ground pepper over the eggs and dig in. Hollandaise sauce recipe coming next week.

Watch our video here. Note: Since making the video, I prefer to crack my eggs in a bowl and slide them into the water vs. cracking them individually into the pan. They keep better shape and cooking time is even for all.

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Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs

Farm fresh eggs are the best for poaching. The egg whites are nice and tight so there’s less spread in the pan. For an older egg, a dash of white vinegar in the cooking water helps coagulate the egg white.

The key is to poach the egg until the white is set and the egg yolk is runny, which means temperature control and timing. If you prefer a firm yolk, a little more time at the controlled temperature is all that is required.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: Eggs

Ingredients

1 to 4 large eggs
white vinegar

Instructions

Fill a low rimmed saucepan or a straight-sided skillet with cold water, high enough to cover the tops of the eggs. Add almost a capful of white vinegar and bring to a full boil.

Place a couple of folded paper towels by the side of the stove to briefly drain the cooked eggs on before plating.

Crack up to 4 eggs in a small bowl, slide the eggs into the hot water and immediately lower the heat to the gentlest of simmers. Cook for 2 minutes 30 seconds for a runny yolk or 3 minutes for a firm yolk. The key to success here is the gentle simmer, a rapid boil is harsh, and the eggs are easily ruined by the turbulent water.

Use a mesh skimmer spoon and gently scoop up all the eggs together. Rest the bottom of the skimmer spoon on the paper towels to drain for a couple of seconds and then slide onto your plate.

Sprinkle a wee bit of kosher salt and ground pepper over the eggs and dig in.

Keywords: poached eggs, eggs, poaching

1 to 4 large eggs
white vinegar