Seafood Cakes

Once at the Springtown Inn I had the most delicious seafood cakes, this was 8-9 years ago.  Well, to be honest, maybe twice I had them. Anyway, they were made with two or three different seafood proteins I think they had shrimp and crab but it was such a length of time that I can’t remember for sure.  Anyway, I had long wanted to create a similar dish.  Searched for a recipe and not finding one that was really close I took one from Food Network and modified it.  The recipe featured small sized cakes with a fresh salsa on top, made by Robert Irvine. I didn’t do the salsa and I made a few changes to the cakes.

I made them two different versions; lobster, shrimp and crab and one with flounder instead of the crab.  Both were easy to construct and delightful. The flavor is delicate and light. I didn’t make a sauce in the interest of that delicacy plus it was easier and included less calories. We agreed they were fine all alone but go right ahead and made a sauce of your choice. Mr. Irvine suggests a sauce of equal parts crème fresh and sour cream.  I might try that next time!

seafood cakes frying

Angie’s Seafood Cakes

¼ lb medium raw shrimp; peeled and no tails

a 4oz. lobster tail, removed from shell and still raw

1/3 lb raw flounder or crabmeat

2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots

2 tsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup gf bread crumbs, preferably panko plus more if desired for coating cakes

1 tsp. garlic powder

Half a lemon, zested

1/3 cup Mayonnaise, might need a tad more….

2 tbsp. finely grated parmesan cheese (I made one version without)

1-2 tbsp. mild olive oil

Directions:

Chop the raw lobster tail into chunks. Put the seafood in a food processor, process briefly until fairly small particles but not even close to a paste.  Dump in a big bowl, add the shallots, parsley, bread crumbs, garlic powder, zest, mayo and cheese, stir to blend well. Don’t overblend; stop as soon as it seems fairly even. If you like; before stirring add salt and pepper to taste; maybe ½ tsp. sea salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Form into 4 cakes. If you want them crunchy on the outside gently press into some more bread crumbs to crumb both sides.  Put on a large plate and chill an hour so they hold their shape.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet to hot and fry them about 3 minutes to a side; do not let burn!  I turned down the heat after a minute so they kept cooking but at a temperature less likely to turn them dark brown. But don’t use low temps or you will get a greasy cake!

seafood cake with risotto

Serve with some rice pilaf and your favorite vegetable; asparagus comes to mind! I made pea risotto which was divine.

Ravioli with Greens

After a busy day everyone wants a quick and tummy filling meal.  Mine has to be gluten free.  I was looking for a meal that would use up some plain frozen raviolis I bought at Wegmans. They are quite tasty but they needed a sauce, some veggies and a protein component.  I had some unopened flower shoots, tender stems and leaves from a second year collard plant. So I went for it.  T hen I made it another time; first with canned chopped clams added and next with freshly fried chunks of chicken breast.  Both were delicious and so simple to throw together.  I had the clam version with parmesan cheese freshly grated on top.  Perfect quick supper for one.

You could use broccoli rabe or broccolini for this recipe. I happened to have all these flower shoots on my collard plant just begging to be used in a creative and tasty way. This is a riff off my homemade gnocchi with clams and bitter greens recipe I love but heck of a lot quicker to make.

 

Angie’s Ravioli with Greens

Serves one

Ingredients

4-5 frozen cheese ravioli

A handful of broccoli rabe (1/4 to 1/3 of a pound) or collard bud stems or broccolini

1 tbsp. EVOL

1 garlic clove

½ small can chopped clams or ¼ lb chicken breast

2 tbsp rice flour if using chicken

A pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tsp. butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Directions

Put on a quart of salted water to boil. When boiling drop in the ravioli and cook them about 6 minutes; 1 minute less than the bag says is a good plan.  Drain well, set them aside to add later and try to save a ¼ cup of the liquid for later.

In a mini wok or sauté pan heat the EVOL, if you are making the chicken cut it in small chunks, dust in the flour until well coated, and fry 4-7 minutes until golden on more than one side and done.  If they are fat chunks they will take longer.  Sometimes I flatten chicken breast chunks a bit to help them fry faster.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add the minced garlic clove, stir. Add the broccoli rabe and the red pepper flakes, stir and cook about 4 minutes until well wilted. Add the drained cooked ravioli and clams or chicken chunks you cooked earlier.  Stir well, cook a minute or two.  Add the butter and toss once.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and serve.  Enjoy!

Spicy Chicken Tenders

There are a lot of commercial food items that I don’t get to eat anymore, specifically most fast food being a major no no.  I miss crispy chicken like I used to enjoy at Wendy’s.  When I saw this recipe referenced on facebook I immediately went to the site, read the recipe and decided I had to try it.  I had some chicken breast tenders and all the ingredients except the gf Bisquick.  I looked on Glutenfreeonashoestring and lucky me; she has a recipe for making your own gf Bisquick; it is attached to a recipe for mini breakfast pancake bite muffins. I had the flours needed; white rice, potato starch and tapioca flour plus the add ins of baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.  Easy peasy to put a double batch together; I will keep it in my freezer in a Ziplock freezer bag; sure have been wanting some of that Bisquick!

I lowered the hot sauce to half, ditto for the cayenne powder as I was pretty sure I didn’t want it so spicy; do as you wish. It was simple to do; mix the spices with the Bisquick, mix the hot sauce with the water, dip the chicken in the spices, then the hot water and back in the spiced flour and fry. The second time I made this I used a non stick stainless steel pan and 1/4 inch canola oil.  It was almost like deep frying but not quite.

I didn’t eat it as a sandwich the first time; had two juicy tenders with a baked potato and some summer squash.  It was very tasty and not too spicy for me.  I had it in a gf bun for a meal, complete with lettuce, tomato and mayo, and it was wonderful. You can also cut the chicken up into chunks, pound them briefly and you have lovely fingers that are somewhat smaller, great for kids. Fried chicken tenders are not something I would eat every week but it sure was yummy! I think this recipe is well worth trying even if you just buy some gf Bisquick.

Gluten-Free Spicy Chicken Sandwich (like Wendy’s)

 

2-3 Tbsp. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce  (the second time I made this I used another red hot sauce so it doesn’t have to be Franks to turn out great)

1/2 c Water

1/2 c Gluten-Free Bisquick

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

1-2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper (use 1/2 tsp. if you want it close to mild)

1/8 Tsp. Fine Ground Pepper

1/4 Tsp. Paprika

1/4 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 lb. Chicken Breast tenders – pound them a bit if they are very fat; you want it ½ inch or thinner.

Mix together the Gluten-Free Bisquick, Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Pepper, Paprika and Garlic Powder in a low bowl.  I used a wide soup bowl.

In a separate cereal bowl mix together Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and water. In a  high-sided sauté pan heat 1 cup of canola oil – it should come up about 1/2 inch the side of the pan depending on the size of your pan. I started it on medium heat and put in a candy thermometer to regulate the temperature; I got it pretty hot; 350 degrees before putting in the chicken.  Or use my frying pan method I described above; less oil for that and no thermometer needed. Take one chicken breast tender at a time and dredge it in the GF Bisquick mixture, then roll it in the hot sauce/water mixture and then put it back in the Bisquick mixture and roll it to coat.  This can get messy; try to keep one hand dry and one for the water/hot sauce part. I slid one into the hot oil and then a second one. Cook chicken for about 5 minutes, until they are golden brown and no longer pink in the center (I used a meat thermometer just to make sure).

Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels to blot any excess oil. If you have the oil hot enough they shouldn’t be greasy. If you want a sandwich, serve on a gf bun and top with mayonnaise, tomato and an additional piece of lettuce.

Go ahead, indulge in this delicious chicken and I promise you it will be a hit with your family!

Adapted from creativecookinggf.wordpress.com, February 2011.

Reblogged from a post in August 2015. Minor changes.

Italian Wedding Soup

 

It is bitterly cold out there, perfect weather for arctic foxes or penguins.  In here I feel soup is called for to warm from the inside out. This is American comfort food at it’s best; simple to make, flavorful and always comes out right. My dear friend Cathy made this a lot for her kids.  They used to call this “grass soup” when they were little because it is chock full of fresh spinach that melts into this healthy yet still meaty classic soup.  I make mine with ground chicken for the tiny meatballs.  You could use ground turkey, veal or beef.

You can make this soup with canned broth; but, be sure the package is marked gluten free if you have celiac disease like I do, my favorite choice is Kitchen Basic, and they have a low salt chicken broth broth which is perfect for cooking.  Homemade is going to make it more flavorful if you have some around but sometimes we just don’t have time to make fresh broth.  The recipe is modified slightly from one by Ina Garten, foodnetwork.com. Cathy, being Italian, just tosses it together so I had t0 find a source for a decent recipe and I am happy with my choice.

Don’t freak out if you only have one carrot or don’t want as much of any ingredient; make it your way.  Some versions have fresh dill chopped up and added at the end 2-3 tbsp. of it.

stir fry, pan dowdey and crocus 007

Angie’s Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken

1 large egg

About ½-2/3 cup gf bread crumbs

¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

½ tsp. sea salt

Soup

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium to large yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, unpeeled, sliced into quarter rounds

2 celery stalks diced including the leaves

1 or 2 garlic cloves

½ cup white wine

1 1/2 quarts of chicken broth

½ cup tiny gf pasta; I found some tiny ring shaped pasta

1 package fresh baby spinach, 12 oz. size

½ to 1 tsp. sea salt and some fresh black pepper

Directions: Dump the meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl, (beat the egg somewhat before dumping the rest in) stir up with your hands and form into 1 1/4 inch meatballs, 1 and ½ inches maximum.  Place them 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, bigger ones will need a few more minutes. If you feel perfectionistic, turn them half way though the baking, not really that necessary though.

While they bake, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan; I used a two quart one.  Add the diced onion, celery and carrots.  Cook them about 6-8 minutes until soft, add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the broth and white wine to the soup, stirring frequently; bring to a boil and add the meatballs, reheat, add the pasta, cook until nearly done, add the spinach, cook 1-2 minutes; taste and adjust the salt. Add fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Pour in a bowl.  I topped mine with some more fresh grated parmesan cheese. Perfect meal when you want to sooth a still slightly iffy tummy.

Eight Bean Storm Soup

Snowstorm today, time for a hearty stew.  This is my multi-bean soup with Italian sausage.  I started with a 1.3 lb bag of 4 bean mix and added two kinds of lentil and a bit of a few others.  The thing is, if you have celiac most 15 bean mixtures for soups contain barley which has gluten, a major no no. I found a four bean mix out at Echo Hill country store  in Berks County and added some French lentils; maybe ¼ a cup and some red lentils; another ¼ cup plus a ¼ cup of dried garbanzo beans and a sprinkling of dried limas.  You can use what ever blend you like but I like a good mix for a rich thick stew.   Update: Later on today, at the grocery store I found a bag of 15 beans for soup and no barley!! Giant Store here in town. Great score for more bean soup.

Mine has Italian sausage but you can leave that out if you want a vegetarian version. I personally love sausage in a bean stew. Gives you lots of meaty flavor and a healthy dose of protein. I am guessing you could use other things like smoky ham chunks or maybe a ham hock? I haven’t found any gf ham hocks yet; they all seem to have a touch of gluten so I am kinda discouraged over that.

I enjoyed a hot bowl of this potage with a slice of toasted multigrain gf bread.  It made a full meal without anything else being necessary.   A fresh crunchy salad would go well if you want to round your dining experience out with some greens!

Ten Bean Soup with Sausage

Soak 1- 1/12 pounds of dried beans in water to cover.  I set the lentils aside and added them after the soaking as they don’t need the same treatment the other beans need.  Either bring to a boil and let stand an hour or just let stand in the cold water overnight.  I did the quick version!  Drain them well and rinse before returning the swollen legumes to the rinsed pot.  Cover with fresh filtered water and add a bay leaf.  Cook 1 hour, pour in more water as needed and stir so it doesn’t stick or burn.  Then, add the lentils and cook another hour until the beans are nearly tender.  It is hard to say when beans get done, depends on a number of factors, taste often to check for tenderness. And stir that pot! As they approach that almost done spot start the rest of the dish.

Chop into dice:

3 sizable carrots

1 large onion

Mince: 2 big garlic cloves

Add the veggies, stir and cook 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add water if needed.  I like the soup thick but it can’t be solid so add water.

As that cooks start the sausage.  Sauté one lb Italian sausage: brown in a Teflon pan with a touch of olive oil until top and bottom are browned and sausage is mostly done. Let cool a bit and slice into rounds or chunks, set aside.

Add to the soup:

½ a 14 ounce can of spicy diced tomatoes

½ tsp. dried oregano

Sprinkle dried basil

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp smoked paprika

1 beef bullion cube

½ bunch of kale leaves cut into big shreds; I cut off the bigger stems as they can be tough.

1-2 tsp sea salt

Some fresh ground black pepper

Cook ten minutes, add more water if it gets too thick. Stir occasionally.  Taste and add more spice if you think the soup needs more. Add the sliced sausage and cook five minutes more.  Taste and add more salt/pepper as you see necessary.  Let stand 5-10 minutes before ladling out.  Now that is comfort food that is good for you too! Enjoy.

Alternate cooking method that I used this week (2-17).  Cook soaked beans in a separate pot until nearly tender. Meanwhile, saute veggies for about 5 minutes in a big pot in about 2 tbsp. EVOL, add 6 sausage links; cook 8 to ten minutes; add canned tomatoes, then broth and all seasonings.  Cook 5 minutes, add the beans that are about done and cook 10 minutes, remove the sausage and let cook five minutes, slice into rounds and add back in, cook 5-15 more minutes until beans taste done.  Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Originally posted two years ago in January 2015. Minor revisions; recipe remains the same.

Zingy Chicken Coconut Stew

Cold winter, sniffles, chilly fingers: all great reasons to make soup, especially chicken soup.  But I found myself wanting something more, a big bowl of soup with a ton of flavor and some zip in it. So I threw together a quick soup using some broth I made the other day in my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker; to make the broth I put in the roasted chicken carcass and a bit of celery and carrot plus lots of water on for 30 minutes on high pressure and after straining I had a nice container full of rich chicken broth.  I added lots and lots of veggies as well as some great aromatics: slivered fresh ginger and a big clove of garlic. To pull the flavors together I poured in half a can of light coconut milk and added a handful of broken up raw rice noodles (any brand of wide rice noodles will work). Added some cubed roasted chicken and in no time at all I was slurping down this excellently flavored chicken coconut stew. It was like I was eating at a beach soup shack in the islands feeling the warm sea breeze through my hair…  Light zingy flavor and tender chicken with lots of fresh vegetables.  Man, was it yummy and healthy!  Totally guilt free and naturally gluten free if you are careful in choosing your broth.

chicken-coconut-soup

Not the greatest picture but you can see it is chock full of rice noodles and veggies.

Angie’s Chicken Coconut Stew

2 medium sized carrots cut on diagonal into thin coins

2 celery stalks, cut on thin diagonal slices

1 onion cut down the top to bottoms, peeled and cut into long strips

1 tbsp. mild olive oil

1 large garlic clove minced

½ cup chopped green cabbage

2 baby bok choy cut into one inch lengths, bases cut in quarters or eighths

1 quart chicken broth; preferably homemade

4 rounds of thinly sliced fresh ginger cut into narrow strips

½ a can of light coconut milk

1 cup pea pods

½ cup crushed rice noodles

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1-2 cups cubed cooked chicken (I used leftover roasted chicken breast)

Directions: Sauté carrots, celery and onion in large soup pot in the hot oil on medium heat: about 4-5 minutes, do not brown, add garlic; cook 1 minute, add bok choy and then the broth.  Heat to nearly boiling and add the ginger and cabbage, cook 1-2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, rice noodles, red pepper flakes and pea pods.  Turn heat down to very low and cook 7 to 9 minutes until noodles are cooked through.

Notes: The amounts of veggies are as fluid as you want to be; leave out something you dislike or don’t have or use more/less of any veggie. I used frozen snow peas as I couldn’t find fresh in the store.  My coconut milk was organic, thin and wasn’t too strongly coconuty. Perfect for this stew. lt-coconut-milkI used baby bok choy but a couple stalks of regular will work just as well; might need to cook slightly longer than the baby choy. If you use store broth: Kitchen Basics has really good gf chicken broth; one 32 ounce box container should do it.  I used home roasted chicken breast but you could use a rotisserie bird, although I suggest you check for gluten free before choosing that route as some stores make their birds with ingredients that make it not gluten free so not safe for those with celiac disease.

Enjoy!

Vietnamese Sour Shrimp Soup

Soup, beautiful soup.  When it’s cold I like a big bowl of steamy hot soup. So does my mom whom I regularly cook a meal for.  In the search for new things to try, I purchased a packet of Vietnamese sour soup.  No idea where but possibly the Asian grocery store on Stefko Blvd. in Bethlehem.  The packet was in my cupboard for a while and the other day I pulled it out, read the recipe, the ingredients and decided to give it a chance.  This was slightly risky as there was no mention of gluten free status regardless of the ingredients.  Celiacs like me have to be so careful; just a touch of cross contamination from shared processing equipment and I feel terrible.  So I try  harder these days not to buy things anymore that don’t say gf. Case in point: I got sick 2 weeks ago from some Korean red pepper flakes I used to make homemade kimchi.  I had to give the entire batch away.  Everyone said it was delicious.  I tasted it and agreed but that taste was enough to ruin my day due to probably cross contamination.

vietnamese-sour-soup-packet

Anyway…I have to say this Vietnamese soup was fantastic.  I sautéed briefly some onion; one small one cut vertically into long threads, some diagonally slice celery and carrots; one carrot and one big stalk of celery plus some of the greens.  In about three minutes I added the packet and water per the directions and after that got hot I added the baby bok choy cut into 1 inch lengths including the green parts and a handful of snap peas, which I cut in half after trimming the ends. After 10 minutes I added a handful of small shrimp which I shelled first, maybe 18-20 shrimps and about a quarter cup of bamboo shoots. Cooked it five more minutes and Bamm I had me a pot of zingy delightful soup.  A major ingredient in this soup base is tamarind juice. I have bought and used tamarind paste, sure adds the tangy sour that is a delight.  Honestly I burnt my mouth the first two times I ate this soup; do darn good I ate it a bit too hot for comfort.  Try to let yours cool a few minutes….if you can!  The spicing is not too hot, just refreshing and infuses the vegetables with it’s zing.  Not weird or off flavored if you were worried about trying a packet from a very different food culture than that of most Americans; just light and delightful.  If you are not a fan of shrimp sub in your favorite protein.  I am sure most anything even tofu will work.

vietnamese-sour-soupThis picture is from pinterest.  I was too hungry to take a picture. Sorry; next time I promise to stop and shoot before I slurp! This soup snap is sort of similar although I didn’t have the thai basil leaves that they put on top nor did I use big pale green pepper slices or tomatoes. Well, I Thought it was kinda similar…  I just ordered my seeds and did choose some thai basil so I can be even more authentic this summer when I make this soup again. It sure is a keeper.  Maybe I will try to make it from scratch in the coming weeks.  I will let you know how that experiment goes.

Vietnamese Sour Shrimp Soup:

1 packet Vietnamese sour soup

1 tbsp. mild olive oil

1 medium onion

1 large stalk celery

1 large carrot

1 large baby bok choy or one stalk of regular bok choy

1/2 cup snap peas

1/3 lb (about 20) medium or small shrimp

1/4 cup bamboo shoots

Directions: Saute the veggies (onion, carrot and celery) in oil; 1 1/2 quart sauce pan.  Add water according to the packet and the packet.  Let get hot, add the  bok choy and snap peas.  After ten minutes add the peeled shrimps and bamboo shoots.  Cook five more minutes.  Can put long diagonal slices of scallion on top.