Custardy Corn Pudding, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

corn pudding, gluten-free and dairy-free

This custardy corn pudding is gluten-free and dairy-free, a perfect Thanksgiving side.

I am continually impressed by the wealth of content at the Joy of Kosher site. So when they asked me to develop a corn pudding recipe for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, I was thrilled. I wanted to make a creamy corn pudding that was dairy-free, as well as gluten-free, so it could be served with a kosher Thanksgiving dinner.

While most corn puddings are rich with butter, cream and milk, and some are thickened with flour, this corn pudding is custardy and creamy without gluten or dairy. The light texture makes it a good complement to a hearty turkey dinner. (I only wish the photo had turned out better. I hate it when the sky is gray by 4pm in winter and there’s no natural light left for photos, leaving a glare from overhead lights.)

The creamy, custardy texture comes from coconut milk (the richer canned coconut milk, not the boxed, more watery coconut milk drink). The coconut flavor is subtle, with the standout taste being the taste of crisp corn. Fresh corn kernels cut off the cob work best, but since you’re not going to find fresh corn in November, frozen corn works too. I have to thank my mother for the idea for this recipe, and for the idea of adding coconut milk. (Thanks, Mom.)

The eggs give the pudding a light, soufflé-like consistency, studded with nuggets of golden corn. It may seem fussy to bake the pudding in a water bath, but I tried this recipe both with and without a water bath. I found that using a water bath (baking the dish set in a larger pan surrounded by hot water) is the way to go. It insulates the soufflé, cooks it evenly and gently, and prevents it from falling and deflating.

On this Thanksgiving, that’s something to be thankful for.

You can find my full corn pudding post on the Joy of Kosher site, along with the accompanying recipe.

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Thanksgivukkah Corn Pancakes

Thanksgivukkah corn pancakes

Thanksgivukkah corn pancakes, topped with sour cream, black beans and cilantro.

Because of a rare quirk in the calendars, this year Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap, giving rise to the once-in-a-lifetime holiday of “Thanksgivukkah.” The unusual occurrence has inspired riffs on the holiday like “menurkeys” (turkey-shaped menorahs), funny T-shirts (a turkey holding a sign that says, “Eat latkes”), pithy sayings (“Gobble tov!”) and of course fun food combos (latkes with cranberry applesauce and pecan pie rugelach).

Thanksgivukkah — now that’s meshugenah!

Not only is Thanksgivukkah fun to say, it’s fun to celebrate, as well. There is something to be said for enjoying both holidays with family and friends, honoring liberty and latkes at the same time. (Disclaimer, it may be more fun for me, because I am not hosting it at my house. Thanks, Josh and Jonna!) And with Hanukkah out of the way early, I’m looking forward to taking December easy, relaxing while others are stressing out about shopping, and— best of all — avoiding stores with cloying Christmas songs on a continuous loop.

Consider getting into the Thanksgivukkah spirit with meals that combine some traditions of each holiday. While nothing will take the place of potato latkes, try mixing it up with these gluten-free Thanksgivukkah corn pancakes. The corn pancakes are cooked in a little bit of oil, recalling the oil in the Hanukkah story, yet feature the Thanksgiving staple of corn.

Topped with sour cream and black beans — or for a non-dairy option, a mix of black beans, corn and salsa — the festive pancakes can be served as appetizers before a Thanksgivukkah meal, or for a Hanukkah lunch or brunch.

On this one-and-only Thanksgivukkah — baby’s only Thanksgivukkah! — have fun and be a little silly. In the words of the Dirty Sock Funtime Band, “Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, come light the menurkey. Let’s have a party, we’ll eat lots of turkey!”

The challenge for the Kosher Connection this month was to create a Thanksgivukkah mash-up recipe. Check out the many other creative Thanksgivukkah recipes, by clicking the frog icon below. (Please be aware that not all recipes are gluten-free.)

Let us know what you are doing to celebrate Thanksgivukkah by leaving a comment.

Gobble tov!

Click for Thanksgivukkah Corn Pancakes recipe

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Gluten-Free Products: Kind Bars, Trader Joe’s Cookies and Leo’s Pasta

I’ve come across some good gluten-free products lately and wanted to share some of them.

– I’ve tried a bunch of different gluten-free snack bars and it’s hard to find the elusive bar that is crunchy, but not hard; sweet but not sugary; soft but not crumbly. KIND has mastered that mix with bars full of nuts, fruit and not too much else. I like the texture — you can taste the various ingredients, instead of them being blended together.

My favorite KIND bar is the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew bar. I’m a chocoholic, so I love the combination of dark chocolate and moist cherries. It tastes like candy, but it’s healthier than a Snickers bar, so I feel justified in having one for a snack.

The kind folks at KIND sent me some bars to review a couple of months ago, but I haven’t managed to get the post up till now. In their “Nuts and Spices” line, two new bars (well “new” as of a couple months ago – sorry about that) have an intriguing salty, spicy, sweet mix, with nothing artificial and 5g of sugar or less per bar (qualifying them as low-glycemic).

kind-chocolate-chili

kindmaplepecan

In the Dark Chocolate Chili Almond bar, the dark chocolate provides a balance to the nuts, while the cascabel, ancho and habanero chilies provide a slightly spicy kick that lingers but is not too overwhelming. The Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt bar contains almonds, peanuts and pecans. The overall taste is of salted peanuts with a touch of maple syrup. Expect some new bars from KIND in the near future.

joe-joes

Trader Joe’s has some new gluten-free treats. I’ve read some raves about the gluten-free Joe-Joe’s, a gluten-free version of an Oreo cookie. While I do like the Joe-Joe’s (especially their low price and easy availability at Trader Joe’s), my favorite gluten-free Oreo-type cookie is still KinniKinnick’s KinniToos chocolate vanilla sandwich cookies.

tj choc chip cookies

My favorite new product at Trader Joe’s are the Gluten-Free Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies. These crisp cookies have a delicate, buttery homemade taste, like you pulled them out of your oven earlier that day. They are a knock-off of Tate’s Bake Shop Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, which also taste homemade but are much harder to find, at least in my neck of the woods.

lemon cookies

Also, I love Italian lemon knot cookies, so I was excited to see Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Iced Lemon Rounds. These are soft, slightly lemony cookies with a drizzle of icing and no grainy taste.

— Recently, I was walking on Taylor Street in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood and stopped at Conte Di Savoia, an Italian deli/grocery. I was excited to discover Leo’s Gluten-Free frozen ravioli, gnocchi, fettuccine and other gluten-free pasta. I was particularly excited about the gluten-free ravioli, because it’s hard to find. The butternut squash ravioli was fantastic, with a tender pasta pillow and tasty butternut squash filling. The ravioli also comes in four-cheese, spinach and cheese, and Portobello varieties. Their gluten-free stuffed gnocchi is filled with asiago cheese, spinach and cheese, or Portobello mushroom fillings. The folks at Leo’s Gluten Free spent two years perfecting their gluten-free pasta and just started selling it to stores and restaurants in April. The pasta is made in their dedicated gluten-free facility in Franklin Park, Ill.

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Lemon Pound Cake with Strawberry Compote, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

lemon pound cake

Lemon pound cake with strawberry compote, gluten-free and dairy-free

This year, I’ve been fortunate to participate in the Kosher Connection, a group of food bloggers who participate in monthly blog challenges. I’ve enjoyed having inspiration (and a kick in the pants) to come up with new, themed recipes. This month, in honor of the Kosher Connection’s first anniversary, we are having a blog swap. Participants were assigned another blog to cook from, and then we could choose to make any recipe on the assigned blog. There’s also a giveaway contest — info is at the end of this post.

I was excited to be assigned the Couldn’t Be Parve blog. Most of Shoshana’s recipes are for desserts, and I absolutely love to bake (and eat) desserts. Also, many of her recipes are gluten-free or have gluten-free substitutions, and all of her recipes are parve, which means they don’t contain dairy or meat.

As you know, my youngest daughter has celiac and is on a strict gluten-free diet. But my oldest daughter (11) has been having stomach problems on and off for the past year. She’s been tested for celiac and doesn’t have celiac. My hunch is that she has a lactose/dairy intolerance. (One doctor said IBS, which kind of ticks me off because that just means, “I have no idea and don’t want to deal with it.”) Anyway, we’ve been trying a dairy-free diet to see if that makes her feel any better. So I was thrilled to see all the great dairy-free recipes on the Couldn’t Be Parve blog.

Even though many of the recipes on the site are gluten-free, I have a perverse need to make things difficult for myself, so I picked a non-gluten-free recipe to make. Her Lemon Pound Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote looked so good that my daughters and my mother unanimously voted for it. We love all things lemon, like my sweet-tart Luscious Lemon Squares.

I subbed gluten-free flours and amped up the lemon. The cake turned out dense, rich and lemony, though my version did fall a little bit in the center. Since I didn’t have rhubarb, I made a strawberry-apple compote, which should be served on the side so it doesn’t soak into the cake too much. Thanks, Couldn’t Be Parve, for the lemony inspiration and great recipe!

Lemon Pound Cake with Strawberry Compote, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

By Gluten-Free Nosh
Print this recipe

Ingredients:

Lemon Pound Cake:

  • 1-1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend:
    1/2 cup brown rice flour
    1/2 cup sorghum flour
    1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • finely grated zest of one lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Strawberry compote:

  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated apple
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Method:

  1. Line an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Whisk together the gluten-free flours, baking powder and xanthan gum in medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer, beat eggs, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Decrease speed and beat in canola oil, then mix in lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon extract and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour mixture until combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the middle comes out with moist crumbs. Remove cake from oven and let cool completely on a rack before slicing. Serve with strawberry compote on the side.
  5. To make the compote, combine strawberries, grated apple and sugar in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, as juice begins to form. Cook until strawberries reduce down and sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove sauce from heat, cool and refrigerate. Serve on the side, with lemon pound cake.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Giveaway Details:

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Kosher Connection, we are giving away two prizes from Emile Henry, a Bread Cloche valued at $130 and a 4.2 qt Dutch Oven valued at $170! Two winners will be chosen at random. The contest winners will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond before other winners are chosen. This contest is open to United States residents over the age of 18. Click this link to enter: Rafflecopter giveaway.

Kosher Connection:

KOSHERCONNECTION5
The Kosher Connection, an informal group of creative kosher food bloggers from all around the world, proudly presents our monthly kosher recipe challenge. Each month we will present you with recipes on a different theme from kosher food bloggers.

This month in honor of our one-year anniversary we are celebrating with a blog swap and a giveaway!

Each participant was assigned another person’s blog to make a recipe from, see what everyone chose below. You can also enter to win the giveaway from any of our blog entries. Follow our recipes on Twitter with #KosherRecipes.

Somehow, I can’t get the photos of the participating recipes to show up, but please click the InLinkz link below for the rest of the “Great Blog Swap” recipes. (Please note that not all recipes are gluten-free.)

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Gluten-Free Birthday Parties

cupcakes 9th bday

Liven up homemade gluten-free cakes or cupcakes with cute cake toppers and candles.

gluten-free cupcakes

Pipe frosting with a pastry bag for a professional look.

A version of this post appears as a guest post on the Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery blog. Check it out!

Birthdays are a big deal in our house. Starting weeks beforehand, my kids carefully plan all the food and activities they want to have at their parties. When your child is gluten-free, the planning intensifies. How do you keep the birthday girl safe while entertaining all her friends at a gluten-free birthday party?

My youngest daughter, who has celiac disease, just turned 9. Over the past seven years, we’ve hosted many fun birthday parties for her, filled with games, crafts and amazing gluten-free birthday cakes.

Here are some of our tips for making gluten-free birthday parties a success:

— Make an awesome gluten-free cake. Let’s face it, the cake is usually the centerpiece for the birthday (though I am amazed that my kids have friends who “don’t like cake” — heresy!). Bake a trial cake beforehand to make sure the recipe tastes great. I love King Arthur’s gluten-free chocolate cake mix. The rich, fudgy cake is delicious, and kids always ask for seconds (and sometimes for thirds). For frosting, I use the “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting recipe on the side of the Hershey’s cocoa box.

—If you don’t feel comfortable baking gluten-free cake or cupcakes, try making an ice cream cake or offer a make-your-own ice cream sundae bar and have a multitude of toppings including sprinkles (or “jimmies,” as we say in Philadelphia), chocolate chips, M&Ms, chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

— If you make a gluten-free cake or dessert, whatever you do, don’t advertise the treats as gluten-free. For some reason, if people (especially adults) hear the word “gluten-free,” they tend to avoid it like the plague. Teach your kid to be proud of being GF, but if you want people to eat your treats, don’t advertise them as such. (Or as I like to say, “I spent an hour baking that dessert, they better darn well eat it.”)

— Take a cake decorating class before the big birthday bash. A kid’s birthday cake must look good as well as taste good. If you can’t take a cake decorating class, toss on some colorful sprinkles and buy a couple of cute cake toppers or small plastic figurines to put on top of the cake. For cupcakes, experiment to learn how to pipe frosting using a pastry bag.

— Plan the birthday party at a time that does not involve lunch, like from 10 am to noon, or 3 to 5 pm. Kids do not need pizza at every birthday party. Not only will this save you money, but you won’t have to decide whether to serve gluten-free pizza to everyone (if so, it better taste good), or to have both GF and non-GF pizza and then worry about kids running around with greasy-pizza-gluten hands.

— For gluten-free snacks, think about Pirate’s Booty, Skinny Pop popcorn, Pop Chips and grapes or other fruit. For healthy options, try make-your-own fruit kebabs or a make-your-own smoothie bar.

— Advocate for your school to adopt a policy of no edible birthday treats. Honestly, most kids do not need another cupcake. Instead, kids can bring in a non-edible treat to share with their classmates (pencils, erasers, party favors). Other ideas: Schools can announce the names of the birthday kids over the school’s P.A. system, or schools can invite birthday kids to pick out a special book from a stash purchased by the PTA. This avoids allergens in the classroom and helps to combat excessive sweets and childhood obesity. If your school makes it a rule (not just an optional choice), you’ll be surprised at how quickly it will become an accepted part of school culture.

— If your son or daughter is going to a friend’s birthday party, ask the host in advance what food they will be serving. Send your kid with a cupcake (in a cupcake carrier that will keep it from getting smushed), an individual-sized gluten-free pizza (or the GF equivalent of whatever food they are serving), appropriate safe snacks and hand wipes. Stay at the party to serve your kid her special food, or ask a non-busy adult to make sure your child gets her food on a clean plate, served with clean hands.

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Super-Moist Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Cake

Secret-ingredient Chocolate Cake

You’d never guess the secret ingredient in this moist gluten-free chocolate cake with pink buttercream frosting.

Can you keep a secret? This gluten-free chocolate cake has a top-secret ingredient that keeps it rich and moist. No crumbly, dry cake here.

The only catch is that you can’t reveal the secret ingredient to your guests, at least not until after they’ve devoured a piece of this delectable chocolate cake topped with a delicate pink buttercream frosting.

Ready? Promise you’ll keep reading? The secret ingredient is … borscht. That’s right, pureed beet borscht gives the cake extra moisture and richness, without any noticeable beet taste. (Note: Do not use “Russian style” borscht, which contains garlic. That would be bad.)

Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of beets (too “earthy”), so trust me on this one: You simply cannot taste the beets in this recipe, yet they lend moistness, structure and depth to the cake. Similarly, sometimes I add applesauce to my gluten-free cakes: The applesauce makes the cake tender, and the fruit pectin keeps it from falling apart — especially important for gluten-free baking.

When I was asked to develop two recipes for the Joy of Kosher Gold’s Foods campaign, I decided to make two very different recipes: a chocolate beet cake with Gold’s borscht and wild salmon with dinosaur kale and yogurt-horseradish sauce, using Gold’s white horseradish.

For the Super-Moist Secret-Ingredient Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake, you’ll need to puree the borscht in a blender, to thoroughly incorporate any bits of beet. Borscht — beet soup — is liquidy. Adding 1 1/2 cups of borscht to the batter seems strange, but it makes the cake tender, with a light and airy crumb.

chocolate cake ingredients

The surprising secret ingredient to moist gluten-free chocolate cake is … borscht.

I frosted the cake with a pink buttercream frosting, tinted pink by a few tablespoons of pureed borscht. Again, trust me — there is so much sugar in the icing, you will never taste the beets. Using the beet juice is actually a great way to color the frosting without using artificial food colorings.

For the full recipe for Super-Moist Secret-Ingredient Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake, please click through to the Joy of Kosher site.

For the salmon, I came up with a more traditional recipe of Salmon with Dinosaur Kale and Yogurt-Horseradish Sauce. I like lacinato (dinosaur) kale, because it is more tender and quicker cooking than curly kale. My youngest daughter eats up the kale (leaving the salmon), asking for more of “the green stuff.”

Salmon with kale and yogurt-horseradish sauce

Salmon with dinosaur kale and yogurt-horseradish sauce

kale

Lacinato kale is also called dinosaur kale and Tuscan kale.

horseradish sauce

For a sauce, try this combination of Greek yogurt, white horseradish and fresh dill.

Start by sautéing the chopped kale with diced shallots in a large skillet, adding a cup of vegetable broth. Then place the salmon on top of the kale, cover the skillet and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. The salmon (feel free to use other types of fish) comes out silky and tender, which is good because I tend to overcook fish. For the yogurt-horseradish sauce, mix together 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons white horseradish and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, and serve on the side.

With a powerhouse combination of wild salmon, kale and Greek yogurt, this dish is both delicious and nutritious.

For the full recipe for Salmon with Dinosaur Kale and Yogurt-Horseradish Sauce, please click through to the Joy of Kosher site.

This post is sponsored by Gold’s and Joy of Kosher.

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Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken and Gluten-Free Croutons

caesar salad

Caesar salad tossed with grilled chicken, homemade croutons, hardboiled egg and dressing.

gluten-free croutons

Homemade gluten-free croutons are toasted in a skillet with olive oil and garlic.

For a light spring supper, here’s a good choice: grilled chicken Caesar salad with gluten-free croutons. I’ve never been a huge crouton fan. Dried-out cubes of tasteless bread never did a lot for me. But these fresh, homemade croutons — made from gluten-free crusty hot dog rolls toasted in a skillet with olive oil and garlic — are tasty and tender.

Making the chicken Caesar salad took more time (and more pots) than I had anticipated. I needed to toast the croutons, blend the dressing, boil the eggs, grill the chicken and assemble the salad. Thankfully, my hero husband stepped in to help with the prep and to wash the multitude of pots. With some advance planning (not my forte), it would be easy to prepare most of the recipe in advance next time.

Caesar salad dressing usually is made with raw egg yolk. But I get skittish about that, so I made a dressing without raw eggs. I also did not use parmesan cheese to make the Caesar salad dairy-free.

My 11-year-old daughter recently had been asking me to make croutons (I’m totally serious). Oddly enough, the theme for the Kosher Connection linkup this month is croutons. Check out the link below for more recipes with croutons, though please note that most of the recipes in the linkup are not gluten-free.

Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken
and Gluten-Free Croutons

(gluten-free, dairy-free)
By Gluten-Free Nosh
Printable recipe

Gluten-Free Croutons:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 gluten-free hot dog rolls, cut into cubes
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Toss in the bread cubes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat with olive oil and saute croutons until golden, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Caesar Salad Dressing:

Ingredients:

  • 4 anchovy fillets (or 2 teaspoons anchovy paste)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Method:

  1. Place the anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce in a blender, and blend well.
  2. While the blender is running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified.

Caesar Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce
  • 2 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
  • Caesar salad dressing
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, each cut into 4 wedges
  • Gluten-free croutons

Method:

  1. In a large, wide bowl, arrange some whole spears of romaine lettuce, so they fan out of the sides of the bowl. Tear remaining romaine spears into strips and place in the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Add grilled chicken strips and drizzle Caesar dressing over lettuce and chicken. Top with wedges of hardboiled eggs and gluten-free croutons. Serve with extra dressing on the side.

Yield: 4 servings

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