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.

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 Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

 

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

 

I took a shortcut with these cupcakes and they came out really good.  I don’t like beer so I opted to just make a plain chocolate cake with a whiskey ganache and a Bailey’s frosting.  These will satisfy any little leprechaun!

Cupcake Ingredients:

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix

1/3 c sour cream

3 eggs

1 cup water

Prepare cake batter as directed, but add sour cream.  This gives you a really moist cake.  Pour the cake batter in large or mini muffin tins.  I sprayed my muffin tins with non-stick spray and then put the cupcakes in pretty cupcake wrappers after they cooled.  Bake regular size cupcakes for 20-24 minutes in 325F oven.  Mini cupcakes take about 15-16 minutes.  Let the cupcake cool and then work on the ganache.

For the Whiskey Ganache:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Irish whiskey

Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Taste as you add whiskey a little at a time to make sure you don’t overdo it.  Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped or spooned into large hollowed cupcakes.  For the mini cupcakes I dipped them into the ganache and left the cupcakes whole.

Let the ganache set and then make your frosting.

For the Baileys Frosting:

2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream

Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with green sprinkles.  Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Bundt Cake

 

Don’t you love the feeling of fall in the air?  The smell of the cinnamon brooms as you walk into the grocery story always entices me.  This past weekend I decided to try my hand at a cinnamon bundt cake and it was delicious.  The cake was very moist and so easy to make.  I was disappointed with the icing glaze recipe that was listed with the cake.  I followed the instructions, but my glaze was clear and disappeared into the cake so I served mine with a little sweetened whipped cream too.  I’m adding a different glaze recipe to this that should work better.

 

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • ¾ cup sorghum flour
  • ¾ cup potato starch
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon (Vietnamese if you have it)
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk or 1Tablespoon vinegar + milk to = 1 cup

For the Glaze

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 1/2 c confectioners sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients.
  2. In your mixer bowl, beat the butter. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately in fourths, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix well, scraping the bottom of the bowl to be sure the butter is incorporated.
  4. Spoon the batter into a sprayed or greased bundt pan.
  5. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  7. Melt butter for glaze and then add the rest of glaze ingredients.  Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

 

 

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.

Orange Chicken

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Ready for some delicious gluten free take out?  I’ve got a great chinese recipe that I came across that is so yummy you’ll never miss the gluten.  You’ll get a little messy making this dish in the kitchen, but the flavor is well worth the mess.  Serve this with some steamed rice and you are all set.

Ingredients:

  •  2lbs boneless skinless chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • white pepper
  • oil (for frying)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour ( I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-root, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chill pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Orange Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (I used San-J Gluten Free Soy Sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons white vinegar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • Mix ingredients for orange sauce in a small bowl and set aside.  Place chicken pieces in large bowl and stir in egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil.  Mix well.  Stir cornstarch and flour together and add chicken pieces, stirring to coat.  Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or dutch oven to 375 degrees.  Add chicken, small batches at a time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp.  Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; set aside. Clean wok or dutch oven and heat 15 seconds over high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon oil and then add ginger and garlic.  Stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds.  Add and stir-fry crushed chiles and green onions. Add white wine vinegar and stir 3 seconds.  Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed. Stir water into remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth and add to chicken then heat until sauce is thickened.  Stir in sesame oil and orange zest if desired.

Uncle Maddios Gluten Free Pizza

Maddios Pizza

A new Uncle Maddios opened near my office and when I visited their website I noticed they offered gluten free pizza dough. Today I decided to give them a try for lunch.  When I walked into the restaurant I smiled because they were playing Frank Sinatra over the speakers, good taste I thought.  I was also met with a nice welcome greeting as I entered (similiar to Welcome to Moes!).  I placed my order and was impressed at how the staff handled the gluten free aspect.  The female employee who took the order immediately announced to her team “Gluten Free.  Changing gloves.”  Everyone on the line communicated they heard the order and then she proceeded to get the crust and make the entire pizza with her fresh gloves.  The pizza was placed in the oven and in about 5-6 minutes I had my gluten free pepperoni, portabella mushroom and extra cheese creation.  What’s interesting about Maddios is that you choose your crust, sauce and toppings so it’ s all custom made to order for you.

Now was it the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had?  No, the crust was thin and crispy, but I could definitely tell it was gluten free.  The sauce was a little bland and the toppings were decent.  If you are in the mood for a decent quality gluten-free pizza on the go I would say try out Uncle Maddios.  The service and staff I experienced will definitely bring me back.

Maddios 2

Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint on Urbanspoon

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

I hope everyone enjoyed their St. Patricks Day.  I made some really yummy dishes.  Two of them are certainly blog-worthy.  This is the dessert I served and if you love the flavor of coffee you can enjoy this cupcake year round.  The only thing I did differently was I added some homemade chocolate buttercream around the top of the cupcake and put the whipped cream topping in the middle.  I thought the chocolate addition would be a tasty added treat.

 

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons good Irish Whiskey (I used Bushmills)
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder – use divided
½ cup white rice flour (preferably finely milled)
¼ cup sweet rice flour (preferably finely milled)
¼ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup ½ half and half, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons confectioners sugar (add more to taste if needed)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

In a small saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar and ½ cup water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Take off the heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder. Stir in the whiskey and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, sweet rice flour, potato and tapioca starches, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and remaining 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium high speed until fluffy, 2 – 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add half the flour mixture, then the half and half and finally the rest of the flour mixture. Blend until almost all the flour is mixed in. Add the vanilla and mix. With a large spatula, finish mixing the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then spoon coffee whiskey mixture over cupcakes.  Let cool completely for 30 minutes and then whip cream with 2 tsp of sugar to swirl on top.

 

**This is the chocolate buttercream recipe I used from Savory Sweet Life**

Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!)
  • 3½ cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.