Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin-Apple BBQ Sauce

So continue my pumpkin obsession I prepared this awesome bbq recipe that I put on pulled pork, which I used the same recipe as what I posted earlier on here.  You'll see that there are some similarities to my BBQ recipe that goes along with the pulled pork that I posted before.  Also to make the pumpkin puree, just follow the instructions in the Pumpkin Cake post, though you can also used canned puree, not everyone has the time to roast pumpkins for a few hours.  I'm one of those strange people that does that sort of thing for fun.  Sadly I have no pictures of the making of this since it was pretty boring to look at in the blender and while it was simmering. 

Pumpkin Apple BBQ Sauce

1c Apple Cider Vinegar
2c Pumpkin Puree
1 Red Onion, diced
3 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1/2c Brown Sugar
1c Applesauce
4-5 shakes Worchestershire
1/2c Ketchup
1 Orange, juiced
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
10 shakes Frank's Red Hot
1 Tbsp Parsley
1 Tbsp Thyme

Put everything into a food processor and blend until smooth.  You can use a blender as well, but I prefer the food processor.  Once smooth put it into a sauce pan and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Use this BBQ sauce on anything you like, but it was really good on the pulled pork.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Cake

So I started a new job recently which has given me the opportunity to actually have time to work on this blog.  At my new job I have quite a bit of flexibility to pretty much do whatever I want when it comes to desserts and cold dishes, and being that it's October I thought what better way to honor the month (which is by chance also Celiac Awareness Month) to be completely obsessed with all things pumpkin.  In the following weeks, I'll be posting all things pumpkin from my own experiments.
First thing first, I've been using homemade pumpkin puree for my recipes.  To make pumpkin puree you simply cut sugar pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds, put them skin side up onto a sheet pan, add a cup of water to the sheet pan and roast at 350 for 1 hour to 1.5 hours until the "meat" is all the way cooked. Then just scoop the insides out and puree it in a food processor.  I'd recommend the food processor over a blender, I tried to do it in my blender first and it was an epic failure, but my food process had no issue with it.

Now at work all week I've been making Pumpkin Cake, that wasn't gluten free and it was so very good.  Yes, I cheated and ate some, I did have to test it out.  However, I decided to try and make it gluten free.  I dug in Saturday morning for a full day of experimentation, modifying the recipe I had been making all week at work.  Oddly enough my first attempt came out amazing.  Some of my modifications were on purpose, some were accidental mostly because I realized after I already started I didn't have enough sugar, which is why it's half white sugar, and half brown sugar.  This cake came out amazingly moist and spongy.  From my experience, almost all my gluten free baking has turned out like bricks.  My sister even told me how she would have never known "there was something wrong with it".  And while I don't have a recipe listed, this goes really well with a cream cheese frosting, but I ate it just plain.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cake Recipe

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2/3 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 c pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 c GF All purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1 tsp xanthum gum
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Sift the flour, xanthum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together and set aside. Combine the sugar and oil until well mixed, I do this all by hand with a whisk.  Add the vanilla and pumpkin and mix.  Add the eggs one at a time, then slowly add the flour mix until blended.  Grease and flour a 9" cake pan, and bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mango BBQ Pulled Pork

For the LOST series finale I decided to do a tropical themed pulled pork and I love mangos so that's pretty much my inspiration for creating this dish.  This is an all day recipe or at least you need to commit a good 4-6 hours of your day towards it because pulled pork really is an art AND science and it just takes that long to make it mouthwatering awesome.  I must say with no measure of bias that this pulled pork was just about the best pulled pork I've ever had.  I found myself explaining multiple times throughout the night to fellow LOST fans how exactly I made it so awesome.  I doubt anyone remembered my explanation so I'm sure they'll come to our next party where I probably will repeat it making it.  Okay that's enough self-gratification, here's the actual recipe.

Dry Rub:
1 c brown sugar
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dry mustard
2 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp chili powder

1 5-7lb Boston Butt or Picnic Shoulder

Rub the dry rub all over your pork and let it marinate for at least an hour but overnight it optimal.  I did it for only an hour because well I forgot to do it.  As you can see in my picture I did one butt and one shoulder.  Once it's been sitting for an hour (or more) put it into a preheated 300 degree oven covered with foil tightly or with the lid of your roasting pan.  Let it roast for 4 hours and check the internal temperature and if it's at least 170 degrees, if not let it keep roasting.  It shouldn't take more than 6 hours total. 

Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before touching it. 

Then you can use two forks to "pull" the pork apart.  Then you can set it aside if you don't need to eat it right away or add the BBQ sauce which follows and enjoy.

Mango BBQ Sauce:
1 c cider vinegar
2 mangos, peeled and cut up (might be able to use frozen mangos that have been thawed)
1 red onion, chopped
2-3 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c ketchup
4-5 shakes worchestershire sauce
1 large lime, juiced
TT Salt & Pepper
1/2 c orange mango juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
10 shakes Frank's Red Hot
2 Tbsp parsley, fresh or dry
1 Tbsp thyme
1/2 tsp dry mustard

Here's the hard part, put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. 

Then simmer on medium heat for at least 45 minutes.  Can use about half of the sauce to mix with the pulled pork.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kat's Awesome Potato Salad

So Aaron, my sister's bf, decided to have a BBQ this weekend, and me being me decided that I needed to make some side dishes.  I whipped up a random concoction of potato salad and it turned out amazing!

1.5 lbs red potatoes, 1 inch cubes(ish)
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small onion (spanish ideally), diced
3/4 cup frozen peas (thawed)
1/2 cup mayo
1 tbsp italian herbs
2 dill pickle spears, diced
1 tsp Frank's Red Hot
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
TT Salt and Pepper

Put the cubed potatoes into cold water and bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are al dente (aka cooked but not soft).  While the water is heating up you can easily dice and mix all the other ingredients together in a large bowl.  Once the potatoes are done cooking, drain them and rinse them with cold water, then let them sit in the strainer for a couple minutes to let them dry off a little.  Then pour the potatoes into the mayo mixture, no need to cool them down first just dump them on in and mix it to coat all the potatoes with the mayo mixture.  This is when I taste it to see if I need to add anymore Salt and Pepper.  If you taste it before you put the potatoes in you may think it's too salty only to find out after the potatoes are in that it's too bland.   Then just refridgerate for at least an hour or until it's cool and enjoy!  Though I must admit I always eat some potato salad before it's cold because I love it so much.  For the note I have about spanish onions, I like using those in this recipe because it is raw and other types of onions can be a bit harsh, but spanish onions are a bit more mild and are much easier to handle raw.  And you may notice that I use Frank's Red Hot as sort of my secret ingredient in most of my dishes, even if it's not listed in my recipe I might have ended up using it.  Its something that if used in small amounts can really enhance flavors within the dish much like salt does, used in larger amounts it makes the dish pretty hot however, so start off small and work your way up a few drops at a time and always taste taste taste!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eggplant Lasagna

This is one of my favorite comfort foods to make that actually fullfills my craving for italian food since the consistency my "noodles" actually taste and feel like noodles.  It is one food also that actually gets better with reheating.  For some reason the eggplant noodles meld together in the fridge and when you reheat it it tastes exactly like normal italian lasagna.  My mom and I have both fooled finicky eaters with this reheated, we just neglect to tell them its eggplant instead of egg noodles until after their plate is empty.  And one nice thing about this is that you can really add what ever you want for vegetables in the intial saute.  My recipe is just what how I made it when I was experimenting.  This can easily be made vegetarian if necessary, I just am an omnivore.

3.5 oz Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp various italian herbs
1 large eggplant
1 jar marinara
1 lb shredded mozzarella
32 oz ricotta
2 eggs

Saute the mushrooms, onion, pepper, garlic, and ground beef in a hot pan until the beef is fully cooked.  Add the sauce and bring to a simmer and add the herbs. 

In a seperate bowl combine the ricotta and eggs and set aside. 

Peel the eggplant and slice thinly.

Take a deep dish and put the sauce down first, then layer the eggplant, ricotta, mozzarella cheese, and sauce. 

Make sure to finish with the sauce on top.  I did about 4 layers of eggplant.  Bake for about 1 hour at 375 degrees.  This will be VERY juice so definitely let it sit for a bit before cracking into it.  The only reason why I used a circular pan was because it was my only deep pan.  If you don't want to use egpplant you can also use zucchini slices in the exact same way as the eggplant for a similar texture.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Re-vamp of blog and Risotto!

So in an effort to re-vamp my blog somewhat I've decided to incorporate going out to Boston restaurants to test the food, gluten free knowledge of staff, and if there are even gluten free options to begin with.  I'll try to do something like this each week, or at least post a recipe.  Who knew it was so hard to keep up with blogging!

And since this is such a short post I might as well add a recipe.

Red Pepper and Mushroom Risotto

1 cup Arborio Rice
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Milk or white wine.
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red bell pepper
5-6 shiitake mushroom tops, diced
1/4 cup Parmesean Cheese.
1 Tbsp Italian Herb Mix (i.e. oregano, basil, marjoram, etc)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Butter

Melt the butter in a pan with the olive oil on medium high heat.  once melted add the onion, pepper, garlic, and mushrooms and saute until the onions are translucent.  Add the arborio rice and stirring with a wooden spoon until the rice is a little toasted and completely covered by the oil and butter.  Add the cup of wine if you are using wine, otherwise add a cup of stock.  Stir the rice frequently until the the liquid is almost completely gone then add another cup of stock. Repeat the process of stirring until the liquid is almost gone then add the cup of milk if you are doing milk instead of wine, or if you did the wine add the stock.  At this point everything should look pretty creamy.  Reduce the liquid again and when its about halfway reduced add the cheese and herbs.  Take the risotto off the heat once the liquid is almost gone, but leave a little juice because it will continue to soak it up.  Then salt and pepper to taste.  This can be eaten as a main dish or can be used as a side dish.  I like to have risotto with baked salmon because it just always goes so good together!


Saturday, February 6, 2010


Oh look I still have a blog!

Getting ready for the Super Bowl and one of the things I decided to do was make Hummus for the vegetarian crowd coming to our party.  I believe Hummus is usually gluten free anyway but my recipe I made for the party exceeded my expectations in taste, and it's so simple to make!

1/4 c Tahini (sometimes called seseme tahini paste)
1 lemon - juiced
1 T ground cumin
2 garlic cloves minced (or more to taste)
1.5 cans of chickpeas drained
4 T olive oil
3/4 c hot water
Pretty much just put all the ingredients into a food processor except the hot water which you drizzle in and blend til it looks like hummus.

After you taste it if it is a little bland you can add a little more cumin and garlic.  Mine was a little bland at first and I added more of those things and it turned out amazing.  My recipe does take into account the additions of the cumin and garlic I added to the end, but I didn't have exact measurements so you may have to add a little more.  Also adding a little salt and pepper can enhance the flavor as well.