Black Bean Salsa Soup

March 26, 2020

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Some people call this ‘Island Caviar’ or ‘Cowboy Caviar’—it’s a speedy recipe for a soup, dip or salad!

With so many of us at home due to coronavirus, I made this salsa into soup and hopefully most of you have similar ingredients in the house at the moment.

The original recipe came from a Tostitos ad in a magazine. I actually do buy Tostitos salsa since my husband liked it at a party. I did alter the recipe considerably since I prefer to ‘dump’ complete containers of beans, corn, salsa etc rather than measuring smaller quantities and having leftover bits.

This salsa has just a nice bite to it, no runny nose and tingling lips—at least that’s what we think with the ingredients we use. We’ve taken this on picnics with tortilla chips, add cooked chicken or shrimp or even mozzarella balls for main course salad.

Gluten-Free Black Bean Salsa Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar of medium or mild heat salsa – I have used Tostitos chunky medium (not restaurant style as that’s v. runny)
  • 1 can black beans, drained, rinsed well and drained again. Black beans are more for color difference, choose the bean you prefer.
  • 1 x 11 oz can of corn, drained
  • 2 tbsp hot pepper jelly
  • Zest and juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro -optional if you hate cilantro like my husband
  • green of half a bunch of green onions.
  • (add more fresh herbs to your taste.)
  • Add fresh herbs at end to soup, or don’t worry about leaving them out now. 
  • And no, no extra salt – we are naturally low salt eaters. Plus beans and corn are in salt solution, salsa has salt, pepper jelly frequently has salt. I don’t like noticeable salt except on salt and vinegar chips, French fries etc. 
  • If you want salsa to be thicker like bought salsa’s add 1/4 tsp xanthan gum and stir in well. Add more if you like it thicker but do give it time to thicken. Remember food producers threw xanthan gum, guar gum and gum Arabic in many foods before we ever needed to use it for gluten free baking. Just look at some labels for foods you would never have thought would have any gum added. 

Directions:

  1. Melt pepper jelly in 6-8 cup microwave safe bowl in microwave, stir in lime juice and rest of ingredients.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour to allow flavors to blend and serve in a bowl with chips.

 

I like to put in cubes of mozzarella or Mexican cheese.

Cubes of avocado.

Cubes of ham or pepperoni type meats. 

Cubes of fresh mango or pineapple are amazing.

Add leftover cooked chicken, bbq meats and serve as main course over rice, hot or cold.

Keeps well in fridge for several days.  

Can be added to a chili or other cooked dish as an ingredient. 

We also like to put gluten free tortilla chips on a flat plate, sprinkle with Mexican cheese or Landolakes  and microwave or oven heat until cheese is melted. Top with this salsa, cooked ground beef with cumin and green onion, cooked grilled chicken, fresh cubed tomatoes, cubes of avocado or guacamole, sour cream.  

Use your imagination. 

Great for special appetizer, snack, easy for a meal if you have a variety of stuff sitting in fridge. Mix it with cooked rice or quinoa. Easily portable for lunch, picnics, beach etc.

Make it more of a taco salad – chopped lettuce on plate, top with black bean salsa, then sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips.  Delicious no need to turn the oven on meal.

Put some in a quesadilla or mix with rice for a burrito.

Black Bean Salsa, made into soup!

  1. I did cook a chopped small onion in some oil, but feel free to use onion powder.
  2. Then added salsa recipe above. 
  3. Filled the empty salsa jar twice with water, swished around and added to pot.  So roughly 4 cups liquid.
  4. Added 1/2 c raw rice at beginning. You might need to add more liquid if the lid on your pot doesn’t fit well , plus rice left overnight absorbs more liquid.
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes as apart from rice, everything is basically already cooked.
  6. And without herbs, as 1. I’m being sensible and sheltering in place, 2. I’m not going to the store just for fresh herbs, and 3. New Hampshire is still too cold to grow outside.
  7. Lime zest and juice do make a difference but even just a tablespoon of cider vinegar will add a punch. 
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TAGS: APPETIZERS/SNACKS, SOUPS/STEWS

Orange Sauce

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

This gluten-free sauce goes well with an Easter ham, chicken, waffles/pancakes, over a cake or with ice cream.

In my wheat flour days, I had skinny sweet potato fries with a dipping sauce of roughly equal quantities of butter, maple syrup and bourbon—it was dangerously addictive. This is a gluten-free variation that my husband and I enjoy. I normally keep a container of concentrated orange juice in the freezer, transferred to a screw top container as it doesn’t freeze solid. I use orange juice concentrate in various recipes using orange juice for a more intense flavor.

Gluten-Free Orange Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ½ stick, 2 oz butter 
  • ½ c orange marmalade – I use an orange marmalade that has thin pieces of orange peel, not the expensive thick and chunky marmalade. 
  • ½ c orange juice concentrate
  • ½ c chopped toasted nuts
  • 2 tbsp rum, brandy, orange liqueur, bourbon – whatever you like and can have. Optional but does give a lovely flavor. 
  • 2 tsp gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water. 
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Melt butter, marmalade and concentrate together.
  2. Add nuts and rum, etc.
  3. Simmer for a minute, add cornstarch and water mix, stir well, bring back to a boil, simmer for 2 minutes and then serve. This does reheat well, keeps in fridge.  Add it to the skillet of fried chicken, pork so it mixes with meat juices and sugars caramelize slightly. For meat, add some rosemary to pan or mint to go with lamb.
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TAGS: BREAKFAST, DINNER, HOLIDAY, SIDE DISHES

Almond Macaroons

March 3, 2020

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

You can use different nut flours for this recipe. Different brands and fineness of the almond flour/almond meal change the macaroon. My friend uses Trader Joe’s almond meal (meaning ground with skin left on so ‘freckly’) and I use Costco’s own almond flour (blanched, white colored as without skin, aka ground almonds in England) both labeled gluten free. I kept decreasing the amount of almond flour to get the chewiness I wanted, similar to ones my friend made.  When I used her cup measures with almond flour, they were dense and not chewy. This is a very simple recipe, quick to make, and a small enough quantity to find out if you like them.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup (2+1/2 oz) almond flour (or 1 cup Trader Joe’s almond meal) 
  • 1/3 cup (2+1/2 oz) sugar 
  • ½ tsp gluten-free almond extract for extra almond flavor 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped, flaked almonds 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix almond flour and sugar in a 4 cup bowl.
  3. Break up egg with a fork, add egg and almond extract to flour mix, and stir until mix forms a soft, moist paste.
  4. I use a #60 / one tablespoon cookie scoop (number should be engraved on inside metal ring that releases cookie dough)
  5. Put chopped almonds in a cereal bowl. Scrape cookie scoop against side of bowl to cut off excess mix. Drop a scoop of dough into almonds and shake the bowl to cover the ball in almonds.  It’s easier to do one at a time. Lift soft ball onto cookie sheet leaving about one inch between balls.  I have tried just covering the top of the ball in almonds, but the macaroons tend to stick to parchment paper without chopped almonds on bottom.  Flatten all balls slightly.
  1. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, macaroons should be lightly golden brown, firm but still soft. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Drizzle with chocolate, sandwich with chocolate ganache or buttercream and raspberry jam. Bake until harder and use it as a substitute for Amaretti cookies in recipes.

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TAGS: DAIRY-FREE, DESSERT

SMOKED SALMON SPREAD

From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

This smoked salmon spread (pâté) has a very mild, subtle taste. Please use the tiny quantities of sherry and tomato ketchup listed. They are there to add flavor, not to overpower the whole dish. For correct quantities, measure the lemon juice, sherry and tomato ketchup together into a small bowl and then add to the food processor.  It is far too easy to pour huge amounts out of a bottle otherwise and ruin the recipe. I buy imported smoked salmon, it tastes quite different from American lox. I also buy smoked salmon from Ducktrap, a company in Maine.

Ways to Eat Smoked Salmon:

  • It can be served with Irish soda bread
  • Use it to make cream and smoked salmon sauce for pasta
  • It can be added to scrambled eggs
  • Use it to make a frittata
  • Add smoked salmon to egg salad
  • Serve on top of potato pancakes 
  • blini with sour cream
  • Throw it on slices of cucumber with dill mustard sauce
  • Eat with slices of apple
  • On top of a toasted bagel 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 4 oz smoked salmon or more 
  • rind/zest of ¼ lemon
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sherry or brandy
  • ½ tsp tomato ketchup 

Directions:

Place smoked salmon in processor and run until chopped. Then add rest of ingredients and run until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning, add fresh chopped dill, more lemon, dash of cayenne pepper or Tabasco if desired. The flavors will change as it mellows and matures. Leave for at least 4 hours before using.

For a special party, starter for St. Patrick’s day, Easter, Good Friday.  Line a 4 cup mold with plastic wrap, mix ½ brick of cream cheese with chopped fresh dill, spread into mold.  Top with salmon spread and chill. You can spread some red white fish caviar between layers and in middle of mold when you turn it out. Romanoff® Red Whitefish Caviar or Red Salmon Caviar is labeled gluten-fee.

Turn out onto serving plate and finish with sliced cucumber, slices of smoked salmon rolled up, sour cream, caviar. 

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TAGS: APPETIZERS/SNACKS, BREAKFAST, HOLIDAY, LUNCH

Lemon Snowballs

January 30, 2020

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

No, this isn’t a Girl Scout cookie lookalike recipe. These lemon snowballs actually came from a 1997 Lithuanian Heritage magazine. They were originally made with wheat, and I made them gluten-free. These are delicious and easy to make!

Gluten-Free Lemon Snowballs
Makes 20

Ingredients:

  • ¼ c powdered/icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free cornstarch in one cup measure, add
  • 5 oz (140 g) King Arthur all-purpose gluten-free flour blend to fill one cup. (this blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or baking powder. Adding cornstarch is a way of softening the flour blend, more melt in the mouth and tender, and a substitute for cake flour.)
  • ½ c finely chopped, toasted almonds, pecans or walnuts. Bake nuts for 10-15 minutes in 350 oven, watch they don’t burn. Let them cool before you add them to dough. 
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ – ½ tsp xanthan gum. 
  • powdered sugar to finish
  • Zest or orange or lemon for flavor, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350*F.
  2. Beat 1/4 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla (and zest) together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add flour with cornstarch, xanthan gum, chopped nuts and salt and gently mix until soft dough forms.
  4. Shape into 1 inch balls.  I use small pampered chef cookie scoop about 1+1/4 inch diameter, 1 Tbsp quantity.  Number 60 should be carved onto circle that cleans cookie dough from scoop. Scoop, clean against side of bowl and drop cookie onto ungreased cookie sheet, two inches apart. I like to line cookie sheet with parchment paper.   I don’t bother to roll cookie into ball shape. They flatten slightly on baking, refrigerating before baking doesn’t keep the ball shape.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes until light golden brown on the outside, still almost white in the body of the cookie but set to the touch.  Don’t cook until brown all over, tastes disgusting. This is meant to be like a melt in your mouth shortbread.
  6. Remove from oven, remove from cookie sheets, cool slightly and heavily dust with sieved powdered sugar. I find when hot they are far too fragile to pick up. Cool completely.
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TAGS: DESSERT, HOLIDAY

Flourless Chocolate Cake

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

Over Christmas, we had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. The menu had a flourless chocolate cake with macerated strawberries (sliced strawberries with sugar and liqueur usually) plus strawberry sauce and whipped cream. The waitress confirmed it was gluten-free, but don’t just trust a description of flourless to mean it’s safely gluten-free. We bought one to bring home and share. The cake part was a bit bigger than standard cupcake size but only tasted of bitter cocoa. Just cocoa doesn’t meet my criteria for a chocolate cake. So I made this version instead to satisfy our craving…

Gluten-Free Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz soft butter or melted coconut oil 
  • 2 oz gluten-free, semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz sugar 
  • 4 oz gluten-free almond flour
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free cocoa 
  • 1 tsp gluten-free almond extract 
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder 
  • pinch of salt 

Directions:

  1. Cake: Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray 1 x 9” springform pan, line base with parchment paper and dust with cocoa. For individual portions, use either regular cupcake liners in cupcake pan or larger Texas muffins for indulgence. Melt chocolate and butter/coconut oil together until the chocolate is totally smooth.
  2. Put rest of cake ingredients in 8 cup bowl, add melted chocolate mix and beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. 
  3. Spread mix in springform pan or divide up between cupcake liners. Bake in 350 oven for about 30 minutes for cake, 18-20 for cupcakes depending on the size chosen. Cake will still be soft but a knife in the middle of the cake will be clean.
  4. Remove from oven, let cake cool for about 10 minutes then turn onto a cooling rack. Allow cupcakes to cool completely then when ready to serve, remove from paper liners.

Strawberry topping and liquor sauce:

Wash and slice strawberries, sprinkle with sugar and leave for a few hours for sugar to produce juices. You can add 1-2 tbsp brandy, rum, amaretto, orange liqueur to strawberries. 

1 cup of cream with 2 tbsp sugar and 1-2 Tbsp liqueur, whipped until stiff.

For individual cakes, I spoon some of the strawberries on top of upside-down cake per plate, pour off some of the juices from strawberries in tub and puree remaining strawberries and juice.  You can add back in juice if sauce is too thick, but you can’t easily add to a thin sauce. Puddle the cake with pureed sauce and pipe with cream. (see photo). Also try fresh raspberries with frozen raspberry and raspberry jam sauce, canned peaches. 

For after Christmas neighborhood party, I made 9-inch cake, cut into wedges.  I added water, brown sugar and rum to can of cut up sliced pineapple and thickened slightly.  I poured sauce into bowl in center of plate of sliced cake. (see photo).

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TAGS: DESSERT, HOLIDAY, RECIPES OF THE WEEK

Spicy Sausage and Peach Cornmeal Muffins

January 2, 2020

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

The original (non-packet mix) wheat flour recipe for these muffins came from Better Home and Gardens. It appealed to me in the middle of a New Hampshire winter. Prosciutto (Italian ham) is delicious but also expensive, so I use one of the Al Fresco fully cooked, labeled gluten-free, sweet and smoky bbq sausages, weighing 3 oz instead of 4 oz chopped prosciutto. They have a nice texture, still a slight graininess of cornmeal, excellent warm with butter. 

Some of you probably know that I don’t normally use packet mixes. I do have a culinary arts degree and always cooked from scratch so even in wheat flour days I couldn’t see the point of using a packet mix that tasted commercial and still needed egg and oil as well as containing unpronounceable ingredients. But I am realistic and know that plenty of people will use a packet mix. Friends that I trust about food recommend the ‘Krusteaz gluten-free honey cornbread and muffin mix’, 15 oz box which includes both millet and sorghum flour for better nutrition the same as my blend.  No rice flour or potato starch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Krusteaz mix, which includes baking powder, xanthan gum and honey powder so no additional baking powder, xanthan gum or sugar added.
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup chopped peaches. The recipe recommended using frozen peaches if fresh weren’t available.  I have found lots of frozen peaches are tasteless and not sweet. I used 6 slices/3 oz of Del Monte canned peaches, rinsed off juice or syrup, patted dry and chopped. The muffins will be soggy if you don’t dry off the peaches.
  • 1 x 3 oz Al Fresco sweet and smoky bbq sausage, quartered lengthwise and chopped small. You can leave the skin on. 4 to a packet.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  l used paper liners in 2 1/2-inch muffin cups, less clean up and portable; set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together half-and-half, eggs, and melted butter. Stir in peaches and sausage. Stir in Krusteaz mix and salt. Stir just until combined. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. They say filling 2/3 full so I only get 8 muffins, but they don’t rise much and are not the huge monsters you get in-store. 
  3. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the edges are golden. Remember that ovens vary and so does the size of the muffins you make and can take longer to cook.  I literally pull one apart to check all the way to the bottom. 
  4. Serve warm with butter.  They reheat nicely in the microwave.

 

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TAGS: APPETIZERS/SNACKS, BREADS, SIDE DISHES

Mushroom Soup

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

I have written a monthly recipe column for Beyond Celiac for 9, yes nine, years this January 2020.  Proven, tested recipes by me, cooked many times over the years. Happy to be starting the 10th year with my good, tasty, gluten-free (and dairy-free if possible) recipes and advice as someone who lives this life on a daily basis. 


This mushroom soup is another of the soups I make for my Lithuanian cooking demos. This is very mild and creamy due to the higher quantity of milk. Fat-free milk doesn’t have the same amount of flavor. This recipe says to use fresh leeks which are quite expensive year-round in New Hampshire, $3/lb and you lose a lot to the root and the coarse outer green skin, so I use 1 lb of regular onions. I have tried it with sweet onions and they are too mild. The original recipe included a pinch of cayenne pepper, but we didn’t like the taste and thought it overpowered the gentle flavor of the soup. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound onions, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp oil or butter
  • 3 c milk
  • 1 c gluten-free chicken stock 
  • 12 oz mushrooms, regular white button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
  • ¼ c chopped fresh parsley 
  • handful of parsley stalks made into bouquet garni – put in a silicon herb container or in a 1 x 4 coffee filter tied shut
  • 1-2 tbsp sherry
  • Salt and pepper 

Directions:

  1. I cook the onions and oil together in a 4 c Pyrex jug in the microwave for 5-7 minutes, stopping and stirring, until the onions are extremely soft, almost melting. This sweetens the onions, adds flavor to the soup, and they don’t burn in the microwave.
  2. Transfer the onions to an 8 c pan, add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until mushrooms are starting to shrink and release juices.
  3. Add milk, stock, salt and pepper to taste and the parsley bouquet garni.
  4. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook covered for about 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in cornstarch and water mix and the sherry.
  6. Cook for a few minutes until soup thickens slightly. Add more cornstarch if you like a thicker soup.
  7. Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley.

You can also serve with shredded cheddar, some cubes of ham or sausage.

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TAGS: LUNCH, SOUPS/STEWS

Coffee Walnut Cake

December 2, 2019

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

This is the same almond flour base I made in wheat flour days. Almond flour cakes are very common in Europe and naturally gluten-free. 

Gluten-Free Cake with Coffee & Walnuts

  • Cake – single 8″ cake layer about 3/4 inch deep, with coffee butter frosting. 
  • 6 tbsp (3 oz, 84g) very soft butter or coconut oil. I use coconut oil as my butter substitute in baking and prefer it to margarine style subs.
  • 1+1/4 cup (4oz, 112g)  almond flour – almonds ground without skin (Trader Joe’s on line state that their almond flour -white – and almond meal – freckly – are gluten free and only $4.99/lb compared to other national brands except for Costco $4/lb for 3 lb bag, labeled gluten-free)
  • 1/3 c (2oz, 56 g) toasted, chopped walnuts. I toast contents of a bag of chopped walnuts in 350 oven for about 10 minutes and then store them, ready to use. Toasting nuts really does make a difference, just don’t let them burn.
  • 3/4 c, (6 oz, 180 g) sugar  
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 tbsp (15ml) water – regular Folger’s
  • pinch of salt
  • 1+1/2 tsp (8 ml) gluten-free baking powder 
  • no xanthan gum needed
  • 3 eggs  
  • Frosting/Buttercream:
  • 1/2 cup/1 stick (4 oz, 112g) soft butter or butter substitute you like
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder dissolved in 2 tsp water. 
  • 2 c (8 oz, 224g) powdered (icing, confectioners) sugar

More toasted walnuts to sprinkle on top of frosting. 

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F/170*C. Lightly grease and bottom line 8”  pan with parchment paper circle, dust with rice flour. 
  2. Place all the cake ingredients in a 4 cup, 1-litre bowl and beat for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Color will lighten slightly but will still be coffee-colored.
  3. Spoon raw batter into prepared pan and smooth out. 
  4. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes until cake has risen, softly firm is dark golden brown  If you use almond meal/natural almond flour (almonds ground with skin still on) then cake will be even darker.
  5. Remove from oven, cool in pan for about 3 minutes, then turn out onto cake serving plate, remove paper lining and then turn right side up.

Frosting/Buttercream:

  1. I like to sieve the powdered sugar as it is often lumpy and it’s easier to sift first then try and beat little white lumps out of frosting.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar to very soft butter and coffee. Be careful, the sugar has a tendency to explode up. Once all sugar is added, beat well for 1-2 minutes to make fluffy.
  3. This quantity of frosting is enough to generously top cake and pipe around edges. Then sprinkle with more toasted walnuts.

Variations:

  1. Whipped Cream. Whip 1 cup of cream with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of Kahlua or rum until stiff.  This can be used to frost cake instead of buttercream frosting. Or just serve on the side.
  2. Regular chocolate ganache with Kahlua or rum added. 

1 c (8 oz, 240 ml) heavy or whipping cream

1 c (6oz, 168g)) Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips -labeled gluten-free.

2-4 tbsp (30-60ml)  Kahlua or rum. Depending on the alcohol content of the chosen liqueur, this can taste quite strong.

Heat 1 cup of whipping or heavy cream to nearly boiling, add chocolate chips and stir. Let stand for a few minutes, then stir and microwave more if necessary until a totally smooth sauce is formed (looks like thick chocolate syrup). You can also use an immersion blender to make the sauce totally smooth.

Add alcohol and refrigerate for several hours until stiffer than set jello pudding.

I like to lightly whisk half of chilled ganache and gently persuade over top of cake and it will start drizzling down the sides. Then whisk remaining ganache and pipe on top of cake. Ganache is very soft if served immediately, piped chocolate will set up stiffer with refrigeration.  

3. Fruit. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, add slices of fresh or canned pineapple and gently fry until starting to brown on edges.  Pour 2 tablespoons of rum into a measuring cup, then pour into skillet, allow to heat for about 20 seconds and use gas grill lighter to ignite the alcohol fumes. Make sure there are no children or animals around.  Do not lean over pan, keep hair out of the way. Allow flames to die down and serve on side of cake. In the summer just grill some pineapple slices.

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TAGS: DESSERT, HOLIDAY, THANKSGIVING

Wine & Rosemary Beef

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

Heading into the Holiday season and then other get-togethers, I wanted an entrée easily made, with easily available ingredients. And then I saw packets of roasted, vacuum packed, organic chestnuts in my local chain grocery store. My father always made a chestnut stuffing to go with the roast turkey.  London at Christmas with gleaming bright Christmas lights across the streets and in shop windows on Oxford Street and all the other street names you recognize. Braziers of roast chestnuts giving off light and heat on a winter’s night, trying to peel a hot chestnut with gloves on and then burning your tongue with the lovely flavor are special memories.

I’ve always made my beef stroganoff with sirloin steak. Traditionally it’s made with beef tenderloin/fillet steak and cooks in minutes, but you need to take out a mortgage for the recipe for a party and also count on being able to get well butchered, matured beef for flavor and tenderness. Beef Stroganoff is a very popular recipe with students and clients and one I have to always cook for certain clients. If you decide on this for a party, buy the beef sirloin when it’s on sale, trim it of fat, cut it up yourself rather than have the butcher do it and freeze ready to make a day or two in advance of the party. The flavor does develop and mellow if made in advance and helps you keep your sanity knowing another dish is prepared. 

Gluten-Free Wine & Rosemary Beef
6-8 portions when served as part of a meal with other dishes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless beef sirloin, trimmed. Slice into thin slices about 2-3” long x 1” wide x1/4”-1/2” thick. 
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 Tbsp butter or olive oil 
  • ¾ cup orange juice 
  • ¾ c Marsala wine 
  • ¾ cup gluten-free chicken stock
  • Zest of one orange, and then remove peel/skin of orange, segment and use for garnish
  • 4 x 4-inch stalks of fresh rosemary.
  • 2 3.5oz bags of cooked, peeled chestnuts
  • ½ 10 or 12 oz tub of fresh mushrooms  
  • Cornstarch to thicken, as needed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Melt butter/olive oil in 8 cup pan and gently cook onions and garlic until translucent. This sweetens the onions and garlic.
  2. Turn up heat, add beef strips, and sauté beef strips until evenly brown or seared. 
  3. Add marsala wine, orange juice, chicken stock, orange zest, rosemary stalks, salt and ground pepper, stir well, turn temp to as low as possible. Cover pan and simmer for at least 20 minutes until beef is tender. This can take up to 45 minutes depending on quality of sirloin, size of pieces and pan used.  Use your slow cooker if you have one for cooking and reheating. (5 lb sirloin plus everything fits in 6 qt slow cooker and is great for a party, when I serve it with bacon and smoked Gouda risotto, not pasta.  Pasta tends to slide around the plate and drop on the carpet or clothes if you are standing to eat.)

Check that the pan is cooking at the lowest possible heat otherwise all the juices will evaporate away, leaving a dry mass. Add ½-1 c water if going dry.

I have also made this with Angus beef bottom round, labeled for a pot roast. Cut off heavy fat, and cut into small cubes. Roughly 2 hours in 350 oven or 30 minutes in pressure cooker once it comes to pressure. 

  1. Once meat is tender, increase heat, add mushrooms and quickly cook with meat mix.
  2. Dependent on amount of juices, thicken with cornstarch and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add chestnuts and let them simmer for a few minutes. If you add chestnuts too early, they break up, so you get the flavor but not the mouth experience of whole chestnuts. Remove stalks of rosemary, leaving just the needles.  For flavor without visible rosemary, put rosemary stalks in small coffee filter or cheesecloth tied shut. You can also add some parsley stalks to increase flavor if you add rosemary this way. 

Garnish with orange segments and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

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TAGS: DAIRY-FREE, DINNER, HOLIDAY


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