Monday, November 01, 2010

The Final Choice


I mentioned in my prior post the fact that I had the chance to review "Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef" and I promised to share the recipe I chose.

It wasn't easy to choose just one recipe. There was a cracker recipe I was interested in. I am beyond tired of paying almost six dollars for a four-ounce package of gluten-free crackers.

The cracker recipe contains cornmeal for sprinkling on the pan. Shauna mentioned that not all cornmeal is gluten-free due to manufacturing practices. I immediately checked my bag of cornmeal and read the dreaded words "contains flour." Ugh. I've been cooking with that cornmeal for a while now. While I will probably cook the crackers next, they were not the recipe I chose.

I then eyeballed the recipe for millet tabouleh. My husband loves tabouleh. I made it for him once about twelve years ago, but it didn't come out right. So I was eager to try Shauna's recipe. But I didn't pick that one either.

The recipe I finally tried was pork paprika. My reason for choosing this dish was I wanted to cook something the whole family could enjoy. The recipe itself was for veal paprika but the directions said it was okay to use pork. Pork butt was on sale for ninety-seven cents a pound that week. I only had to buy fourteen pounds to get that deal! Have I mentioned how grateful I am for my freezer?

The recipe called for pork, kosher salt, pepper, EVOO, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, smoked or sweet paprika, Piment d'Espelette (optional), dry white wine, chicken or veal stock, mushrooms, sour cream and chives (optional).

Shauna recommended making your own stock. I haven't done this in a while because I have been sacrificing flavor for convenience. Homemade stock really is better. I usually use carrots, chicken, onion and salt in my broth. If I have celery I add it also. But I added fresh rosemary from my friend Lhia's garden this time. It added a complex and delicious flavor my stock had never had before. It was the best stock I had ever made.

My prior rosemary experience was not good. A friend had made mashed potatoes with rosemary in them and they were disgusting. So I had sworn off rosemary, assuming it was a vile spice. However, rosemary was mentioned a lot in this cookbook so I decided to give it one more try. I'm so grateful I did. Rosemary rocks as long as it isn't in potatoes! Thank you, Lhia!

I had a few missteps with the recipe. The first misstep was when I made my stock. I used my soup pot to make it. It cooked for two hours and I was left with two cups of stock. I needed a quart. So I started another batch and made two more cups.

However, my daughter was coming down with a cold and I thought some chicken stock would be just the thing. She loved it, but then I needed more stock. Finally the light bulb in my brain came on and I hauled the STOCK POT out of the dusty cupboard it had been relegated to. Amazing thing, that stock pot.

After I had my stock, I could start my recipe. Hooray!

I seasoned and seared the meat and removed it from the pan. I sauteed my vegetables, except for the mushrooms and green onions. Then I added the paprika. I used sweet paprika, not smoked, and I left out the Piment d'Espelette.

Then I poured in the wine, scraped the yummy goodness from the bottom of the pan and cooked until the wine was reduced by half.

Next the stock went in the pan. I heated it to a boil and added my meat. Then I simmered the stew until the meat was fork-tender, about two hours.

But it wasn't done yet. After the meat was tender, I threw out the vegetables and set the meat and liquid aside. Then I sauteed the mushrooms, more carrot, onion and garlic for about ten minutes, added the liquid back to the pot and brought it back to a boil. I was supposed to simmer it for another fifteen minutes to reduce it more, but I had been smelling the stock all day and I was too impatient to wait anymore! I know, it was only fifteen more minutes, but I was HUNGRY from those good smells all day.

Rather than whisking in the (tofutti) sour cream, we each put an individual dollop in our bowls with chopped chives sprinkled on top. We served it over mashed potatoes.

The pork paprika was delicious, easily one of the best meals I have ever cooked. My husband commented on the fact he could taste how it had cooked all day, melding all the flavors together. I am excited to see if all the recipes taste this good. I will absolutely be making this dish again and I promise to let it finish the last fifteen minutes of cooking even if my husband has to restrain me with duct tape.

I recommend this cookbook if you are a foodie, gluten-free or not. If you had a dinner party, these are the recipes that would wow your friends. The only problem with a dinner party would be having to share. Thanks for reading!

16 Comments:

Blogger Jess said...

Oh, YUM!

11:48 AM  
Blogger Gingers Mom said...

That sounds delicious. I never make my own stock. I suppose I should do that. Probably makes a huge flavor difference. Do you make it with a whole chicken?

11:51 AM  
Blogger Bearette said...

Are there a lot of vegetarian recipes?

12:03 PM  
Blogger Mz.Elle said...

oooooh that sounds and looks good! I swear I could almost taste it from your photo.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Mz.Elle said...

PS:that is a very pretty bowl.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Thank you Jess.

Ginger's Mom - The instructions said to make it from chicken bones, but I confess I had to use chicken pieces.

Bearette - I'm making a separate list for the vegetarian recipes so you can see if they are anything you would try.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Vegetarian recipes in Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

Baked eggs with taleggio
Braised white beans (I think this recipe is shared on Amazon)
Potato-leek soup with white truffle honey (the truffle honey is optional)
Potato puree
Millet Tabouleh
Blackberry Peach Crumble
Past with anchovies, lemon, and onion (could be veg if you left out the anchovies)
Chilled asparagus soup (if you use veggie stock in place of chicken stock)
Roasted potatoes with eggs over easy
Multigrain waffles
Seasonal berry pancakes
Shiso cranberry sorbet
Pickled apples
Pickled vegetables
Watermelon gazpacho
Apple rosemary muffins
Frisee salad with oranges, almonds, and garlic dressing
Saigon cinnamon creme brulee
Here's one you could convert if you used veggie stock and left out the prosciutto - Risotto with english peas, fava beans and prosciutto
Parsnip and celery root puree
Fig chutney
Another convertible one if you take away the crab - Crab, avacodo and cucumber salad with tarragon vinaigrette
Asian pear tart
Gluten-free crackers
Spiced walnuts
Pumpkin soup - if you use veggie stock
Black bean soup with red pepper relish - if you use veggie stock and leave out the ham hock
Carrot-mint soup with english peas and yogurt
Creamless corn chowder
Warm polenta with goat cheese
Crusty bread
Potato-mushroom tart
Mushroom stock
Poussin with red quinoa and rhubarb
gluten-free focaccia bread
Black rice with chickpeas, bok choy and tamari sauce (if you use veggie stock)
Sage polenta fries with parsley pesto
Bean bake casserole (if you leave out the hamburger and use veggie stock)
Warm rice salad
Fennel salad with rainier cherries, radishes, and raspberry vinaigrette
Curried red lentil puree
Blue cheese cheesecake with fig crust
Chocolate mousse with jam and creme fraiche
Carrot cake with ginger frosting
Chocolate-peanut butter brownies
Roasted garlic and white bean spread
Garlic flan
Aioli
Roasted garlic soup
Three cheese lasagna - if you leave out the sausage
Smoked salt caramel ice cream

Now I'm hungry again! :-D

12:48 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Mz Elle - Thank you. It's the last one from a set of eight and it has a chip. "Teens who hate doing dishes" - Need I say more? lol

12:50 PM  
Blogger Bearette said...

Oh wow! That's a lot. Thanks :)

12:54 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Bearette - You are welcome.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish you could open your own gluten free restaurant.

Mom

1:55 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Aw, thanks Mom. I couldn't do that. The 80 hour weeks alone would kill me. But I am always happy to cook for friends and family!

2:17 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I'm not a big fan of ice cream, but that smoked salt caramel stuff sounds DELICIOUS. I love a salty/sweet combination.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

Liz - I think I may have to become more of a foodie. So many yummy recipes, so little time.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I love your extensive review of this recipe. I love to cook but I don't think I'd ever be that ambitious to spend that amount of time on one meal. Sounds very yummy, though! Can I come for dinner sometime? ;)

6:00 AM  
Blogger Caro said...

Roxanne - Bring cake and you're in. I'm a sucker for cake.

8:15 PM  

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