Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe


It was mid-January and it might have been the coldest day of the entire year when we made this gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. While doing some reorganizing, we found our Cuisinart® Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker that had been painted shut in a kitchen bench. After liberating the ice cream maker, we made green apple sorbet a few times before making this gfcf vanilla ice cream which quickly became cookie dough ice cream. The ultimate thumbs up came from my eleven year old who announced "You got it, Mom!" while sampling the just-made soft serve ice cream. )My eleven year old eats dairy and usually will not even go near dairy free ice cream. So, it was a huge compliment that she liked it too.) The ice cream base tastes like Crème anglaise or egg nog and it is quite hard to resist.

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup butter or spectrum shortening
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoons ice cream batter
  • 1.5 cups gluten free free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Cream shortening and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and ice cream batter. Add dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Form into small balls using a small ice cream scooper or a tablespoon. Refrigerate until hard.

Ice Cream Base:

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 4 cups "milk" of choice (I use equal parts coconut milk, almond milk and rice milk)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped out
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat the milk with the vanilla until scalded--it should be steaming hot but not boiling.  Beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium speed with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. It will look like pancake batter. Lower speed and add cornstarch. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the scalded milk to the egg yolk/sugar mixture. Pour the custard into a saucepan and cook stirring constantly over low heat until thickened. It should coat the back of a spoon when done. The custard should be between 170 degrees and 180 degrees. At 180 degrees you have to quickly transfer the custard to a cool bowl and chill over ice. Pour through a strainer and add vanilla extract. Cover, refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or overnight

When cool, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened. About 35 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft creamy consistency. To make cookie dough ice cream fold the cookie dough into the soft ice cream before hardening in the freezer. For harder ice cream, transfer to a container and freeze for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving.


NOTE: The secret, I have found, to making a good dairy free ice cream is to use several different types of milk. Mixing almond, rice and coconut milk gives you a creamy milk that has subtle rich flavors. When I swap out the butter to make a recipe dairy free I do the same thing. Instead of just using shortening I use spectrum shortening with a little earth balance spread. I like the buttery flavor of the earth balance but too much can give the dish a fake taste. I have found that for a cup of butter you can start with 2 Tablespoons of earth balance then fill the rest of the cup with spectrum shortening (14 Tablespoons). So, for half a cup of butter I would use 1 Tablespoon of earth balance and 7 Tablespoons of spectrum shortening.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Easy Indian Chickpea Soup

I simplified this recipe for Black Chickpea Soup from Ismael Merchant's Passionate Meals cookbook and was shocked when my seven year old requested a bowl for dinner. Had I known that he was going to try it, I would have  only used 1/8 of a teaspoon of cayenne. This soup is a great dish that requires super simple easy to find ingredients--chick-peas, tomatoes, ginger, cilantro and lime--but the end result is a stunning, vibrant, satisfying soup. It is pretty easy to soak the chickpeas overnight in water. After soaking, I drain the chickpeas and use fresh water to cook them. If you don't have time for soaking, try to find Eden Organic Chickpeas, because use cans without BPA.

Adapted from: Ismail Merchant's Passionate meals

Serves 4
  • 1 cup organic chick-peas, soaked over night (2 cups soaked) or 1 can Eden Organic Chickpeas
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp chick-pea flour (or coconut flour)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1. Cook chick-peas with 1 tsp of salt and 4 cups of water until tender. About 20 mins. Do not drain.
2. In a saucepan, heat oil and fry cayenne for a minute or so.
3. Add cumin powder, mustard powder, garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.
4. Add ginger, tomatoes, 1 tsp salt and turmeric. Cook until tomatoes are well blended with the spices. I used a  spatula to gently press down on the tomatoes while cooking.
5. Add chick-pea flour or coconut flour and stir to mix well. Cook for another 5-6 mins.
6. Add this mixture to the chick-peas and the water it was cooked in. Stir well, add lime juice and cook for another 10 - 15 minutes on a slow simmer.
7. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.



Monday, January 14, 2013

Gluten Free Treats for 2013


We needed a little extra fun tonight--it was Monday. Who doesn't need a little pick me up on Monday? 

The festive and fun Little Cakes cake pops contain dairy so I set up an equally fun martini glass with Mahalo and SNAP! bars that were gluten and dairy free. In addition, I put a small NoGii sample bar in a mini martini glass for my husband who, I thought, also needed a Monday pick me up. Using champagne glasses and martini glasses to serve and display dessert is a great way to add a little sparkle to a meal.

To order these products, visit G-Free NYC.

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To see more information, ingredients and allergen information click on the links below...

The Little Cakes Cake Pops - sweet, fun cake pops. Contain dairy. They don't keep for more than 2 to 3 days.

Mahalo*-a gluten free and vegan almond joy candy bar. May contain traces (see below.)

SNAP! Crisped Rice Bar* - a gluten free and vegan chocolate bar with crispy rice similar to a Nestle's crunch. May contain traces (see below.)

Dauphin Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookie -gluten free, dairy free and egg free made in an allergy free bakery. A little too savory for us. "It was too salty" my 7 year old said.

NoGii - gluten free but contains dairy. All NoGii Products are being manufactured in a facility approved and certified by the stringent testing of the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)

*While I really love the taste of The Mahalo and SNAP! bars, upon a closer inspection of the label I realized although these G-Max-Go products are labeled vegan and gluten free they also contain the disclaimer "This product is manufactured in a facility that produces products containing dairy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, and other tree nuts." This might be an issue for many people who are sensitive to these allergens. While they might be suitable for someone who is vegan, those with a dairy allergy should note that they were actually recalled in Canada. To read about the recall in Canada see Go Max Go Foods says it's chocolate bars are still vegan despite it's recall


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In Memory of William Boncher - Part 2

This video is not a "how to" cooking video but a memory of my father making "messy sandwiches" in May 2011. The truth was, it seemed like breakfast would take him hours to make and eat. One day, instead of getting annoyed at his long, drawn out way of doing things, I decided to join him. I asked him to make me breakfast too--and I video taped it. Three months after this video was taken he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and fourteen months later, the weekend before Thanksgiving on November 17, 2012,  he died from a glioblastoma brain tumor. I can not continue with my blog without acknowledging, in some way, his death and the profound affect it has had on me. I know that when you put things on the internet they never go away and I hope in some way, by posting this, he will always be there, in my kitchen, making me a messy sandwiches and making me laugh.

In memory of William Boncher - Part 1

My father, like everyone, had a unique way of doing things.  We will never know what caused his pancreatic cancer and the glioblastoma brain cancer that took his life. Was it the aspartame in the Kool-aid he drank for 30 years? The dried milk powder? His inability to drink plain water? (Yes, he had a dislike of plain water and always drank flavored beverages.) Radiation exposure? The chemicals he came in contact with when he built his two dream houses? The vitamin supplements he religiously took to stay healthy? Or some something else entirely that he had no control over? Reading The Emporer of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer made me realize it is incredibly complicated--and there is no simple explanation--no smoking gun that we know of today.

Like all of us, he had healthy and unhealthy habits--but he was, in a way, at 70, the picture of health. Before he was diagnosed with cancer, he was not on a single prescription medication and he had been retired for over 20 years. The whole thing has turned my world upside down. My confidence has been replaced by uncertainty and a realization of our powerlessness. My grandmother who drank martinis and ate cheetos lived until 95. My father who looked so young, with such a youthful spirit, died from cancer at 71. It doesn't seem fair or reasonable. But, sadly, that is life. Unpredictable. Uncertain. Tragic. I can only remember and treasure the time we had together. And his unique way of doing things.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Easy Curried Chicken with Coconut Rice


This easy one pot chicken curry dish was a big hit. I simplified Martha Stewart's Curried Chicken with Coconut Rice to make it more palatable for kids who have never tried curry.  Martha Stewart uses whole chicken pieces, but I used chicken breasts because that is what I had. To save time, I also  minced the garlic ginger and onion in the Cuisinart mini prep. And, because I didn't go to the store to buy any of the ingredients and just used what I had on hand, I swapped tomato sauce for pasta for the tomato paste. The final dish seemed a little bland to me but everyone ate it and even my 7 year old remarked that "everyone is eating the same thing!" Which is actually a small miracle since more often than not we are all eating different things when we sit down for a meal. Since the chicken curry was such a success, I thought I would post my recipe for parents whose kids had never tried curry. 

1# chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt
vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fresh garlic - minced
2 teaspoon fresh ginger - minced
1 tablespoon onion - minced
3 tablespoons tomato sauce or 2 tablepoons tomato paste
2 cups basmati rice (Lundberg Farms is the best!)
1 can light coconut milk
2.5 cups water
fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Toss chicken with curry powder, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan. Fry chicken pieces on both sides until browned on all sides in 2 batches. Put aside on a plate.
3. Reduce heat, add garlic, ginger and onion. Fry until onion is translucent but not brown. Add tomato sauce, rice, coconut milk and 2 cups water. Stir until combined. Add chicken pieces. Cover. Transfer to oven and cook 20-25 minutes. Test to make sure rice is cooked. Serve with cilantro.