The Best Gluten Free Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls

If you are like our family it’s an annual tradition to have sausage balls Christmas morning.  I tried several recipes after going gluten free, but most were dry and not very good.  I tweaked this Betty Crocker recipe (cause I like to add a little more meat) and I can promise you these are meaty cheesy yumminess!  These are also great reheated in a microwave if you have any leftovers.

Ingredients

3/4 cup Bisquick™ Gluten Free mix
8 oz bulk pork sausage (I prefer Jimmy Dean Sage)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed (you can use fresh for extra flavor)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

  • In large bowl, mix all ingredients except barbecue sauce. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in pan.
  • Bake uncovered 22 to 26 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm with barbecue sauce or mustard for dipping.
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Roasted Chickpea Salad with Barbecue Dressing

BBQ-Chickpea-Salad-2We like to do meatless meals at my house on occasion.  I found this recipe online courtesy of kitchensimplicity.com  and tried it recently.  OMG!  Both my carnivore husband and I were scarfing this down like there was no tomorrow.  This salad is packed with flavor so if you are vegetarian and want a great 4th of July option make sure you try it out.  I felt good eating this healthy meal and it was very easy to prepare.  I roasted my chickpeas a day in advance and then kept them in a sealed container and heated them for a few minutes in the oven after the salad was ready.

Ingredients:

  • 1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped or wedged
  • 1 cup spice-roasted chickpeas (recipe below)
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • ½ jalapeño, sliced (seeds removed)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro for garnish, optional

Barbecue Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons good quality ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Instructions

  1. Arrange lettuce in one large, or two medium, salad bowls (or plates). Top with remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing just before serving. Toss to coat.

Barbecue Dressing

  1. Place all ingredients in a small jar. Screw lid on. Shake until evenly combined. Store, covered, in the fridge. (alternatively you can mix this in a small bowl with a whisk)

Roasted Chickpeas

Makes: approximately 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 (19 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Spread the chickpeas out on a clean kitchen towel. Fold towel over and rub gently to dry. Transfer the chickpeas to a medium sized bowl, removing any skins that have been rubbed off. Add remaining ingredients to bowl and toss to coat.
  2. Spread chickpeas out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400ºF for 40 minutes or until browned and crisp, stirring once in the middle. Let cool completely before covering, in a sealed container. Store at room temperature for a few days or freeze for longer storage.  If you freeze them pop them in the oven under a broiler to crisp them back up.

 

Chicago Deep Dish Gluten Free

Chicago Deep Dish

 

My kids love pizza and recently we were talking about Chicago Style Pizza.  They had never tried it before so I decided to take a shot at making some gluten free.  I reviewed lots of recipes online, but decided on a simple one using the Betty Crocker gluten free rice flour blend.  Although my crust didn’t rise too much (I only gave it an hour so next time I’ll try it longer) the result was one of the best gluten free pizzas we’ve had as a family.  The kids and everyone in attendance loved it.

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/4 cup coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons canola (or other neutral) oil
3/4 cup warm water (about 100° F)
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Directions

  •  In a medium-size bowl or the bowl of your food processor, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornmeal, yeast, sugar and salt and stir or pulse to combine.
  •  To the flour mixture, add the 4 tablespoons of canola oil and the water in a steady stream, either pulsing in a food processor or mixing with a spoon or fork to combine. If you are using a food processor, pulse while streaming in the water, until a ball begins to form. Otherwise, stir constantly while streaming in the water and continue stirring until the mixture begins to come together. If the dough seems super sticky, add some more flour a tablespoon at a time, and stir or pulse to combine. Press the dough into a disk.
  •  Place the dough in another medium-size bowl and drizzle it with the olive oil. Turn the dough to coat it with oil. This will prevent a crust from forming on the dough while it is rising. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, draft-free area to rise until it is about 1 1/2 times its original volume (about 1 hour or more).
  •  After the dough has risen, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  •  When you are ready to make the pizza, preheat your oven to 425° F. Grease well with canola oil a 12 inch round baking dish or a cast iron skillet if you have it.
  • Press the pizza dough evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides, leaving a small clean edge toward the top of the pan so there aren’t exposed edges that can burn easily during baking. The corn meal will have made the pizza dough much less smooth and pliable than ideal, but it is worth it for the taste in the final product. Trust me.
  •  To assemble the pizza, use whatever ingredients you like. Slather the bottom and sides of the crust with softened unsalted butter. This will give the crust a nice buttery taste.  Then layer in slices of cheese of provolone cheese then whatever else you like (I used cooked italian bulk sausage, pepperoni, fresh basil, bacon fresh sliced tomatoes, & mozzarella cheese), cover with tomato sauce and a thin layer of finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  •  Tent the pan with aluminum foil, and place it in the center of the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, uncover, and bake again until the sauce and cheese are bubbling and the crust is nicely browned (about another 10 minutes).
  • Cool in the pan for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Serve right away.

I made a homemade pizza sauce for my pie using these ingredients:

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 medium white onion diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp granulated garlic

1 T dried italian seasoning

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flake

pinch of sugar

1/2 c water

Put everything in the pot and simmer for a good hour for the sauce.

 

Gluten Free Empanadas

 

Empanadas

We took a trip to Puerto Rico this weekend in our kitchen with beef empanadas, beans and rice and a plantain puree.  The food was really delicious.  I was especially pleased with how well this gluten-free dough held together.  The dough is made with a little white wine, but don’t worry the alcohol cooks out before you make the dough.   I can see this dough recipe being used to make apple cinnamon empanadas in the future.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dry white wine (e.g., Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk or cream (low-fat is fine, nonfat is not, nondairy substitute is fine)

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, place the wine, water, butter and shortening and stir to combine. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is simmering (about 3 to 4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and dump in the flour and xanthan gum. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together (it will happen quickly). Add the milk/cream by the tablespoonful, and knead into the dough until it is smooth.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a smooth surface and knead until fairly smooth. Do NOT flour the kneading surface.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for an hour. This is an important step.
  4. After the dough has rested, roll until it is about ⅛-inch thick (the width of a nickel), and use a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or smaller or larger, if you prefer) to cut into rounds.

Notes

Bean flour blends are not true all-purpose gluten-free flours. Pamela’s baking mix and Pamela’s bread mix are not all-purpose gluten-free flours, nor were they meant to be. They have all sorts of additional ingredients, like baking powder, baking soda and sugar, and then yeast and sugar, respectively. Yes, you really do need the wine for flavor. It’s worth opening a bottle.

Fill with your favorite filling.  Our beef filling recipe is below.

Empanada Filling
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Oil or shortening, for frying

Aioli Dip:
1/2 cup real mayonnaise, such as Kraft
1/2 tablespoon adobo sauce
Juice of 1/4 lime

For the empanada filling: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and garlic salt and cook until the beef is cooked completely. Drain the grease and set the beef aside.

In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, cumin, chili powder, oregano, seasoned salt, garlic, bell peppers and onions. Cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the beef and let them love each other with fire over low heat for about 5 more minutes. The mixture should be moist but not dripping wet. Now you are ready to fill the empanadas.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F. Fry the empanadas until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes.

For the aioli dip: Mix together the mayonnaise, adobo sauce and lime juice. (The flavor will enhance if it sits in the refrigerator.)

Bacon & Broccoli Rice Bowl

bacon

I made this simple asian style rice bowl a few weeks ago and now I’m addicted.  What’s better than rice, broccoli and bacon all combined into a delicious bowl topped with an fried egg over easy?  Not much in my book.  This dish is quick to put together and makes a great lunch or dinner option for those days when you need something easy.

Ingredients
2 cups white rice
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 head broccoli, florets cut into pieces, stems peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 large eggs
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenos

 
Directions
Place the rice in a medium saucepan with 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until most of the water has been absorbed, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook 12 more minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour out all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings from the pan and increase the heat to medium high. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until charred in spots. Add 3/4 cup water and simmer until the broccoli is crisp-tender and only a few tablespoons of water remain, about 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Divide the rice and broccoli among bowls and drizzle with the pan juices.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs into the skillet, season with salt and fry as desired. Place an egg in each bowl and top with the bacon, cilantro, scallions and pickled jalapenos.  Serve with additional soy sauce as needed.

Ham and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

I’m a big fan of goat cheese.  It’s an acquired taste, but one that I happen to enjoy a lot.  I found a recipe online using country ham and goat cheese and then you stuffed that under crunchy chicken skin and I was sold.  You can use different herbs than what I used and if you don’t like goat cheese try a cream cheese or some other cheese and let me know how it turned out.

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts with bone and skin

3 ounces of country ham, diced

1T chopped sage (you could also try thyme or rosemary)

2 T olive oil

4 oz softened goat cheese

1T lemon juice

salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375F.  Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat and add olive oil.  Saute diced ham for 4-5 minutes until brown.  Remove ham with a slotted spoon and drain.  Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper and then brown in same olive oil on all sides.  Combine goat cheese and herbs in a small bowl and then add lemon juice.  Remove chicken from oil and drain.  Allow oil to cook for a few minutes and then add the oil and any brown bits in the pan to the goat cheese mixture.   Stir to combine and then add some pepper.  Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and stuff goat cheese mixture under the skin.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the temperature has reached 165F.

Beef Stroganoff


 

I really like beef stroganoff, but have yet to find any gluten-free egg noodles so I use gluten-free penne pasta for this dish.  This recipe has a little different sauce than what I’ve made in the past with the addition of tarragon and a little nutmeg.  I really liked the flavor and it’s one of those recipes that doesn’t take too long to throw everything together.  It helps to cut the thin strips of beef by freezing the meat for 20 minutes first.

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 pound of top sirloin or tenderloin, cut thin into 1-inch wide by 2 1/2-inch long strips
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots (can substitute onions)
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced (baby bellas)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry tarragon or 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 cup of sour cream at room temperature

Melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Increase the heat to high/med-high and add the strips of beef. You want to cook the beef quickly, browning on each side, so the temp needs to be high enough to brown the beef, but not so high as to burn the butter. You may need to work in batches. While cooking the beef, sprinkle with some salt and pepper. When both sides are browned, remove the beef to a bowl and set aside.

In the same pan, reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots. Cook the shallots for a minute or two, allowing them to soak up any meat drippings. Remove the shallots to the same bowl as the meat and set aside.

In the same pan, melt another 3 Tbsp of butter. Increase heat to medium high and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes. While cooking, sprinkle the nutmeg and the tarragon on the mushrooms.

Reduce the heat to low and add sour cream to the mushrooms.  You may want to add a tablespoon or two of beef broth or water to thin out your sauce slightly.  Mix the sour cream in thoroughly, but do not let it come to a simmer or a boil.  Stir in the beef and shallots.  Adjust salt and pepper to your taste and serve over pasta, potatoes or rice.

Eggplant Rollatini

Occasionally I will try to make a meatless dinner for my family.  Sometimes this doesn’t go over well because my nine year old son dislikes most veggies and my husband and daughter are both cut from the same carnivore cloth, but I still give it the old college try.  Last week I made a dish that all of them seemed to enjoy….eggplant rollatini.  I’ll give you a word of warning, I started this dish about two hours before I wanted it to be ready because there are several steps to it, but the final dish was super yummy!

Ingredients:

3 medium eggplants, sliced lenghtwise 1/3 inch thick

2 T plus 2 tsp sea salt

28 oz can peeled plum tomatoes

2 red bell peppers, roasted

2 large basil sprigs

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 extra virgin olive oil

15 oz container of ricotta cheese

1/2 c mascarpone cheese

1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated

1/2 c parmesan grated

 

Place eggplant slices on paper towels and sprinkle both sides with 2T of salt.  Allow slices to release bitterness (let set for 20-30 minutes).  Begin making your sauce by cutting tomatoes in large chunks, combine with peppers in a food processor and puree.  Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add tomato puree.  Add basil, garlic, oregano and 1 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and then simmer 15-20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Cover two large cookie sheets with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil.  Wipe excess salt off eggplant and gently squeeze out any moisture using paper towels.  Transfer eggplant to cookie sheets and bake about 15 minutes.  Allow eggplant to cool.  In a large bowl combine ricotta, mascarpone, nutmeg and remaining salt.  Transfer half of tomato sauce to 9X13 baking dish.  place 2-3 T of cheese mixute onto each eggplant slice and roll up.  Lay eggplant seam side down in baking dish.  Spoon remaining sauce over eggplant and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes in oven and then let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Shrimp & Sausage Etouffee

I modified this Paula Deen recipe to include some smoked sausage.  I’ll warn you it is a little spicy so go less on the cayenne pepper and hot sauce if you like things really mild.  The clam juice adds a real good flavor to the sauce in this etouffe and the heat was just enough for me to feel it and not be overpowered.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more if desired
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 to 3 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can clam juice
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • Salt (Cajun seasoning has salt already)
  • 2 pounds small or medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb beef smoked sausage, sliced and browned in a little oil or butter
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Rice, optional
  • Diced green onions, for garnish

 Make the roux, mix oil and flour in a large heavy saucepan over low heat. Whisk flour into the oil to form a paste. Continue cooking over low heat and whisk continuously, until the mixture turns a caramel color and gives off a nutty aroma, about 15 to 20 minutes. To the roux, add the onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook over low heat about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are limp. Add the black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, green onions, parsley, and hot sauce to taste.  Add 1 bottle of clam juice and the tomatoes with their juice, stir to blend. Add the salt, starting with 1 teaspoon, then add more if needed. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the sausage and shrimp and stir. It will take about 3 minutes for shrimp to cook, don’t overcook. Remove from heat. Add the butter and stir; the heat from the dish will melt the butter. Transfer the etouffee to a tureen, serving bowl, or if you prefer, over rice. Garnish with the green onions

Monster Burgers

 

Treat your kids to something spooky for dinner…….a monster burger!  I saw this in a magazine and just had to try it.  My kids had a great time gobbling up their monster burgers.  It was fun to watch them create their own monster masterpiece. 

Ingredients:

Hamburger buns (we usedEner-G  gluten-free tapioca dinner rolls)

fully cooked hambuger patty (I made patties using ground sirloin and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder)

cheese slices (cut into jagged teeth)

tomato slices

deli ham slices

ketchup

To assemble top hamburger patty with your favorite condiments, ham slice folded like a tongue, cheese slices and then tomato.  Top with bun and then add your pickle eyes.  Feel free to get creative  with this.  Maybe an olive nose toothpicked on the bun  or some shredded lettuce on top for hair.  Go for it!