Gluten-free Dairy-free White Sauce

I’m happy to report that the basic chemistry of traditional white sauce works without wheat flour or dairy products. Wuu Huu!!

I was craving my Turkey Mushroom & Rice Casserole, but the original recipe required 3-4 cups of milk-based white sauce. I tried just serving the turkey-mushroom sauté over rice with a little gravy, but it just didn’t have that comfort-food feeling. [I also learned the hard way that potato starch is NOT a substitute for Wondra flour in making gravy . . . thickened turkey gelatin is what I got . . . yuk!!]

I decided to just try a small batch of very basic white sauce: 2 Tbls fat, 2 Tbls “flour”, 1 cup “milk”, but used Spectrum® Organics Shortening (made from palm oil), the Food Philosopher’s® Brown Rice Flour Blend for the flour and Edensoy® Unsweetened Soymilk (which is just soybeans and water) for the milk. And Voilá ! Nice, thick (though admittedly rather tasteless) white sauce. Adding salt, pepper, and thyme perked it up just right.

So, for the record, you melt the fat, stir in the “flour,” cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then gradually add the “milk” stirring until thickened.

I have yet to try the complete Turkey Mushroom & Rice Casserole recipe (I just fixed a small lunch-sized portion of the rice, turkey-mushroom sauté, and white sauce), but I’m thrilled by the result so far!   Ah (*sigh*), Thanksgiving leftovers become gluten-free, dairy-free comfort food.

Vegetable Samosa Cakes

Vegetable Samosa Cakes

adapted from the ingredient list at Seward Coop
Vegetable Samosa Cakes
Samosas are a vegetable- (or meat-) filled pastry usually served as an appetizer at Indian restaurants. Now that I’m mostly gluten-free, I was interested in a version without the pastry.  Ate several from the Hot Bar at Seward Coop and they were so good I went back later to get the list of ingredients.  Then I made my own modifications.  The first attempt turned out amazingly well.

Makes 12 hamburger-size patties, or 18 smaller appetizer-size patties

The complete recipe can be found here.

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies, the gluten-free, corn-free, dairy-free edition

Converting this old favorite to gluten-free wasn’t too difficult (it doesn’t contain much flour).  Getting rid of dairy and corn is a bit trickier . . . Baking without butter really isn’t the same, but today I tried palm oil shortening.  [In case you didn’t know, Crisco, which used to be just soybean and cottonseed oils, now contains citric acid from corn and a chemical preservative derived from butane!]  Corn also hides in vanilla extract and (possibly) xanthan gum; guar gum is a non-corn substitute thickener for the xanthan gum.  So technically, I haven’t yet made this entirely corn-free, because the Penzey’s Vanilla, which I LOVE, is made with corn-based alcohol.  I’ll be trying out homemade vanilla recipes soon!  Please let me know if you know of a source for reasonably-priced guaranteed corn-free vanilla.

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies

redux:the gluten-free, corn-free, dairy-free edition

I learned of this recipe in Laurie Colwin’s lovely literary cookbook More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen and have used and adapted it for years. Now that I’ve tried a version without gluten, corn, or dairy products, I figure I’ve altered it enough to post here. BTW, technically there’s a bit of corn in the alcohol & sugar in the vanilla extract (but I’m already researching recipes for homemade vanilla to get around that in the future!).

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or shortening [I used Spectrum’s Organic Shortening which is made from palm oil]
  • 2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract [corn-free if you can find it or make it]
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour or gluten-free substitute [I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour]
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum [if using GF flour]
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) [I left these out]

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Grease and flour the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan. [For easier brownie removal, especially when making gluten-free brownies, grease the pan and then line with parchment paper wide enough to cover the bottom of the pan and long enough to come up above two sides of the pan. Once the brownies are cool, you can just lift by the paper handles and remove the whole thing to a board for cutting.]

In the top of a double-boiler (or over very low heat) melt together the butter/shortening and the chocolate. Once both are completely melted, remove the pan from the heat.

Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Mix well.

Stir in the eggs. Mix well.

Stir in the flour and salt. Mix well. [If you are using gluten-free flour add 1/4 tsp of guar gum or xanthan gum.]

Add nuts if using.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing, cutting and eating.

Enjoy!

Copyright © 2011, Lucinda DeWitt

Gluten-Free Pear-Apple Crumble

Anyone who knows me knows that I prefer desserts with lots of butter, flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream and/or cream cheese.  I also tend not to like ingredients that seek to “mimic” these traditional dessert ingredients (no tofu or quar gum or applesauce or tapioca in my baked goods).  Which means I’m fairly certain that a “vegan dessert” will never come out of my kitchen.  And certainly my own intolerance for “artificial sweeteners” (in all of their guises; they give me migraines) will keep plain old white and brown sugar in my pantry indefinitely.

On the other hand, when a recipe requires only minor variation to go from “traditional” to “restricted diet,” I’m willing to give it a try.  Just as I was getting ready for Autumn Apple Crisp season, I stumbled on several recipes for “Gluten-Free Fruit Crumbles”  that use ground quinoa in place of flour.  I’m a fairly recent, but enthusiastic, convert to quinoa, so I keep a supply of it in the pantry (well actually in the refrigerator).  Once I figured out that my mini-chopper would not grind quinoa but my spare (and well-cleaned) coffee grinder would, I was all set to give “gluten-free dessert” a try.

Here’s what I came up with:

Pear-Apple Crumble with Gluten-Free Oat-Quinoa-Pecan Topping Recipe

Pear-Apple Crumble