Onion and Quinoa Soup

May 5, 2008

Onion and Quinoa Soup


From Chef Oonagh Williams of



Royal Temptations Catering

Ingredients:

  • 4 large onions, about 1 1/2 lbs. total weight, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter or oil – I tend to use olive oil.
  • 4 carrots, peeled (I shred them in food processor; you can also just cut them into small dice)
  • 5 cup gluten-free chicken stock or beef stock for deeper flavor
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme and some parsley stalks placed in a small conical coffee filter bag that is folded closed and tied into a packet. Known as a bouquet garni.
  • Pinch of finely grated fresh nutmeg
  • 2-4 tbsp sherry
  • 12 oz. can of evaporated skim/fat free milk or milk substitute (I have tried this with fat free half and half, but it breaks up and looks curdled. This doesn’t affect the flavor just the visual appearance. Fresh cream is the best for flavor but contains more calories)
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
  • 2-4 oz strong cheddar cheese, grated (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat the butter/oil gently in large saucepan, add onions and turn in butter/oil. Lower heat and leave to cook covered for 5-10 minutes without browning (known as ‘sweating’). As you cut up each onion, add it to saucepan so they start cooking.

2. Add the carrots, stock, quinoa, salt & pepper, and the bouquet garni of parsley and thyme.

3. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until quinoa is tender. Turning the heat off briefly at this stage will allow the quinoa more time to swell and cook.

4. Add sherry and nutmeg and cook for about 5 minutes.

5. Add evaporated milk and cornstarch mixed with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until soup thickens slightly.

6. Adjust seasoning and add freshly chopped parsley to taste.

Tips/Alternatives:

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Sticky Toffee Pudding with Toffee Nut Sauce

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Toffee Nut Sauce


From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 2 oz. soft, room temperature butter or butter substitute
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup Oonagh’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix
  • ¼ cup almond meal/almond flour (If you can’t have nuts, just use the flour mix)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Slightly rounded ½ cup pitted chopped dates.
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3/8 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Sauce

  • ½ stick butter
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans or other nuts (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. rum or other alcohol you can tolerate (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put dates in heat proof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Add vanilla extract and baking soda.

2. Cream butter and sugar together until fairly light, creamy and fluffy.

3. Slowly beat in egg, then beat mixture well.

4. Combine gluten-free flour mix, almond meal, salt and baking powder and carefully fold into butter mix. Don’t over mix; it will still look dry and floury.

5. Gently fold date and liquid into mix. It will now look sloppy and lumpy, not like a normal cake batter. Don’t worry.

6. Grease 6 ramekins or custard cups (6 oz. each), then use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to divide batter up among the ramekins.

7. Place ramekins on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes. They will look light and fluffy, but might sink in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

8. While cakes are cooking, prepare the sauce. Melt butter, then stir in brown sugar, cream and nuts. Simmer until sugar is melted and sauce starts bubbling and looking toffeeish. Only a few minutes. Add rum and simmer for 1 minute.

9. Turn cakes out onto plates and cover with sauce. If you leave them to absorb the sauce for ½ hour, they are even better. Then you just pop them back into oven or microwave to make them warm from the oven again.

Tips and Alternatives:

Do not attempt to use 4 ramekins and overfill them with batter. The cakes will spill over as they cook.

The cakes freeze well and can last in the fridge for a few days.


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Chocolate Irish Cream Almond Tartlets

Chocolate Irish Cream Almond Tartlets


From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Chocolate Irish Cream Tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp. soft butter – use solid butter substitute for dairy free; do not use an oil.
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup almond flour or almond meal
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp. almond extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Beat butter, sugar, almonds, salt and extract together to a soft, sticky, paste-like consistency.
  3. Use a cupcake pan and put 2 tbsp. in each of 8 cupcake holes. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. (You will see a lot of melted butter around the tarts as they cook.)
  4. Remove from oven, press down the dough to start forming a hollow with walls. Cook for further 5-10 minutes depending on oven. They will be golden brown around edges but can still be pale in middle.
  5. Cool in pan so they harden a little, but do not let them go cold as they harden and shatter when you try to remove them from pan.
  6. Serve topped with whipped cream or chocolate ganache and fruit. Or, follow the instruction below for Irish Cream Filling.

Irish Cream Filling
Ingredients:

  • ½ cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. Irish cream or other liqueur

Directions:

  1. Heat cream in microwave safe bowl until very hot but not boiling over.
  2. Stir in chocolate, allow to melt, stir well and microwave more if chocolate isn’t smooth enough.
  3. Add alcohol and refrigerate for several hours until stiffer than set jello pudding.
  4. Either just spoon chocolate into tarts or whisk until stiff and pipe into tarts. Whisking turns chocolate a lighter color. Piped chocolate will set up stiffer with refrigeration. Tarts stay stable even if filled earlier in the day and refrigerated.


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Avgolemono – Greek Egg and Lemon Soup

Avgolemono – Greek Egg and Lemon Soup


From Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering



Greek Egg and Lemon Soup

This is a hearty soup, so only serve a small portion for Easter Meal.

The original recipe came from one of those tiny Church cookbooks (only Greek recipes) from a friend, Sheila, who married into a Greek-American family. She’s changed it to their liking and I did as well, based on what I had and what I liked. Some people (like me) prefer it extremely lemony – my husband does not. I have always thought this soup was made just with rice.

My friend likes to add orzo, similarly to the many recipes I’ve seen that only quote orzo. However, I would think that a Greek recipe would not use orzo. Original recipes cook the whole chicken and use the stock. Again, I think this would have been a recipe where the old layer or rooster was cooked until tender and the soup was made with the stock, perhaps with no chicken, with the chicken being used for other meals. Some recipes use a large amount of just egg yolks, but me and my friend use whole eggs. 4 egg yolks is the equivalent of one whole egg – that is a lot of egg whites leftover, but just egg yolks gives a deeper yellow color and creamier soup, but it also adds to cholesterol. Sheila recommends the Imagine brand of chicken stock (yes, gluten-free) for flavor. Use either homemade stock, purchase gluten-free stock you like, or carefully use chicken stock concentrate, which can be very salty.

Makes 6 servings:

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups (48 fl oz.) gluten-free chicken stock or water plus concentrate
  • Medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks or celery, washed, quartered lengthwise and cut into small slices
  • 2 carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into small slices (not traditional, but adds flavor)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. (30ml) olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon (add more to your taste. If you add empty shell of lemon to soup it can become bitter. I prefer zest and juice of one lemon)
  • ½ cup (120 ml) raw rice
  • 2 Tbsp. uncooked gluten-free orzo (the more rice/orzo you use, the thicker the soup)
  • 2 whole eggs at room temperature
  • 8 oz. (250 g ) or more cooked brown meat chicken, cut into small pieces– roughly legs and thighs from bought rotisserie chicken. Brown meat stays moister and Sheila’s husband doesn’t like brown meat for a meal.
  • Feta cheese crumbles (Optional, but this is my husband’s preference. Sheila says no, that’s not how Greeks eat Feta. This is true, but my husband likes it!

Directions:

  1. In a minimum 8 cup pan, gently cook onion, carrot and celery in olive oil until softening. Stir in raw rice and cook for a few more minutes.
  2. Add garlic, chicken, bay leaf, zest and juice of lemon, salt and pepper to taste and stock.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add gluten-free orzo if using and continue to cook for about 15 more minutes until vegetables are soft and rice and orzo are cooked.
  5. Taste soup and add more lemon, salt etc. to your taste.
  6. Break eggs into a 2 cup jug and whisk with an immersion blender. Slowly add about 1 cup of stock from the pan (without any vegetables, etc.) and blend eggs and hot stock.
  7. Pour egg stock mix back into pan, stir well and turn off heat. This egg stock mix also thickens soup. If you boil the soup, the eggs can ‘curdle’.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and some feta.
  9. Soup will thicken more as rice and orzo, sit so you might have to add more stock to your taste. These proportions make a thick soup.
  10. If you make soup a day in advance, only do the egg stock mix as you reheat it to serve.
  11. Consider adding some chopped fresh mint, oregano (Sheila’s family didn’t like that), basil or dill.
  12. Provide extra lemon wedges for lemonaholics. Make it your new chicken soup.


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Egg and Smoked Salmon Torte

Egg and Smoked Salmon Torte


From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Egg Salad and Smoked Salmon Torte

CÉAD MILE FÁILTE
AKA Egg and Smoked Salmon Torte – lunch, dinner or appetizer

This recipe isn’t written in stone. Make as much egg salad as you like, to your own favorite recipe. I do like adding green of green onions or chives to the salad. I don’t add pickles or chopped celery since I like a smooth mix. Smash the hard boiled eggs to make them very creamy or just use the egg slicer in both directions and leave in little pieces. I like to use a mix of mayo and plain Greek yogurt for better calories and the tang of yogurt. Again, make the salad to your taste.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, hard boiled, cooled and peeled.
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Greek Yogurt or more mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp. green of green onions or chives, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley

Toppings:

  • Crème Frâiche – you can also substitute sour cream or cream cheese.
  • Sliced smoked salmon as much as you like or can afford. I buy imported Scottish or Irish smoked salmon, since that’s what I grew up on. You can use another smoked fish or even tiny salad shrimp or fresh salmon.
  • Salmon Roe Caviar or other ‘caviars’. I like the color of salmon roe caviar. There are various brands available, some reasonably priced and shelf stable, others more expensive and in deli section. It is optional, fancy for a party, but my husband doesn’t like it. Many don’t like fish eggs!
  • Lemon slices
  • Thin slices of green of green onions.

Directions:

  1. Mix egg salad ingredients together. Put all of egg salad in one plastic wrap lined wide shallow cereal or soup bowl or in lined individual ramekins or custard cups. Chill for several hours or overnight.
  2. To serve. Turn egg salad onto one large plate or individual serving plates and remove plastic wrap.
  3. Spread a layer of crème frâiche across the top of egg salad.
  4. Either chop smoked salmon into small pieces and arrange on top or roll slices into small jelly rolls and arrange on top. Leave a space in the middle to pile the caviar.
  5. Sprinkle with some green of green onions.
  6. Garnish with lemon slices and slices of sweet pickled cucumber (or bread and butter pickle slices not spears) or bed of lettuce for a meal.

Additional Ideas:

This dish is excellent served with Irish soda bread.

Crème Frâiche basically tastes like a cross between heavy cream and sour cream, is thick like sour cream, but doesn’t break up as easily when you add it to hot sauces. You can even add sugar or honey to sweeten it for putting on top of desserts.

I take equal quantities of heavy cream and sour cream. Either half a cup or one cup of each, depending on what total quantity I need. Put the heavy cream in microwave safe container and warm in microwave until it is blood heat, comfortably warm, but not over 100 degrees. Then, stir in same quantity of sour cream (I tend to buy lite sour cream for less calories in normal cooking), mix well and leave covered on the counter for 12-36 hours until thickened. I find that within about 6 hours it has thickened to sour cream consistency and that’s in my cooler house. You can help process by immersing sealed container in a container of warm water and changing the water periodically.

About Chef Oonagh Williams

Chef Oonagh WilliamsChef Oonagh Williams has just been chosen as one of New Hampshire’s WZID’s Outstanding Women for 2015. See her at the WZID Women’s Expo Saturday, March 7 and watch her on WMUR’s Cooks Corner on Friday, March 13 with St. Patrick’s Day recipes. Like her at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook. Chef Oonagh will be at Concord Co-Op on Thursday, March 12, Atkinson Library on Tuesday, March 24 and Westford MA on Thursday, March 26 – programs on the power of food – best medicine or worse poison. Chef Oonagh also does Corporate Lunch ‘n Learns and speaks at various celiac disease conferences. Check the newsletter archives for more of Chef Oonagh’s St. Patricks Day recipes, beef in gluten-free beer, Irish Chicken Rolls, Sticky Toffee puddings and more.


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Egg Free Chocolate Pudding/Custard

Egg Free Chocolate Pudding/Custard


From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering



Gluten-Free Chocolate Custard

Ingredients:

  • 3 squares (3 oz.) unsweetened chocolate or 70% dark chocolate
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Melt chocolate and 2 ½ cups of the milk together in a 6-8 cup microwave safe bowl.

2. Mix together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a separate bowl and stir in remaining ½ cup of milk to make a smooth mix.

3. Whisk milk/sugar mix into milk/chocolate mix.

4. Microwave for three cycles of 2 minutes each, stirring with a whisk in between. Then microwave for three cycles of 1 minute a piece, whisking each time until the mixture is bubbling. Time will vary with power of microwave. The bowl will be hot and heavy, so be careful with lifting in and out to stir and taste test mixture.

5. Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla. Pour into ramekins or martini glasses. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Tips and Alternatives:

I have made this pudding with refrigerated almond milk and with a combination of almond and coconut milks – both with dairy-free and gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate. When using semi-sweet chocolate, I decreased the chocolate to 1/2 cup. I found the flavor to be thinner than with dairy milk and chocolate, but my students were happy.

I have also used the refrigerated gluten-free vanilla and hazelnut creamers. They gave an excellent flavor. I then poured cooked hazelnut chocolate custard into a hazelnut crust following the same recipe as the pecan crust I use for my Chocolate Pecan Indulgence.


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English “Hobnob” Biscuits (Oatmeal Cookies)

English “Hobnob” Biscuits (Oatmeal Cookies)


From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Makes about 28 cookies.

Gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, and can be easily made lactose or dairy-free.

Gluten-free oatmeal cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup certified gluten-free rolled oats, ground in food processor to flour consistency
  • ½ cup Oonagh’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1 cup certified gluten-free oats, chopped in food processor to consistency of quick cooking oats. Leave unchopped for a crunchier cookie.
  • ¼ tsp. xanthan gum
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1+1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or dairy-free substitute, melted
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Combine the oat flour, Oonagh’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix, chopped oats, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and sugar in a bowl.

2. Heat butter and syrup gently in the microwave until the butter melts and the syrup becomes liquid. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and baking soda.

3. Add syrup mixture to the dry ingredient mix and stir thoroughly to combine. Mixture will come together as you stir it.

4. Using a 1 tbsp. measure, scoop mix at least one inch apart on lined cookie sheet. It will be crumbly, so tidy scoops of dough back into mounds on baking sheet. Flatten slightly with fingers. You can sprinkle with regular sugar for crunchier, sweeter finish.

5. Bake in 325 degree oven for about 15-18 minutes. Cookies should be golden, not dark brown.

6. Allow to cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

Tips & Alternatives:

The raw mix will stiffen as it sits, so work quickly if you don’t have enough baking sheets.

Drizzle the cookies with melted semi-sweet or milk chocolate once they have cooled.

Think about substituting ¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, coconut flakes or chopped nuts for ¼ cup of chopped oats. Or sandwich two cookies around frosting or buttercream.

If you do not flatten the cookies, then cook for 20+ minutes. They will not be as crispy when cooled.


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Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Beets in Lemon Gelatin (no cook)

Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Beets in Lemon Gelatin (no cook)


Courtesy of Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations

Beet Gelatin

I make sweet panna cotta and got the idea for a savory version from a recipe from Wilson’s Farms in Lexington MA, one of my favorite places for fresh fruit and vegetables. I like that this recipe can easily be adapted for as many people as you need to “cook” it for. This makes life so much easier when you are either trying out a recipe or there are only two of you at home. I will eat this as a dinner with salad, as a side with fresh salmon, or garnished with shrimp or smoked salmon, even spread on bagels. This is not that strong, hits-you-in-the-mouth goat cheese taste. If you can tolerate goat cheese, use an unsweetened milk substitute for the half and half and leave out the sour cream/yogurt. It will still be good.

If you cannot tolerate goat cheese then use an unsweetened milk substitute for half and half and ignore the sour cream/yogurt. It will still be good.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup half and half (richer fat content than whole milk, but not as rich as single/light cream)
  • 1 tsp. sour cream (I use lite or else plain yogurt)
  • ¼ cup mild goat cheese at room temperature
  • ½ tsp. gluten-free gelatin
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp.finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives or green of green onions (If you use green of green onions, choose very thin green onions. The thicker and therefore older the green onion, the stronger the raw onion flavor, even from just the green leaves.)
  • Pinch of salt and white pepper so no black flecks are visible.

Directions:

  1. Warm half and half in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl, add goat cheese and stir until goat cheese is totally melted.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin (looks like fine sand when dry) over water in a small microwave safe bowl, stir in and leave to stand for 2 minutes. It will now look like a lump of rubber. Microwave for about 10 seconds until gelatin is totally melted and liquid is clear yellowy color. If gelatin is not completely melted it will set to rubbery bits in the panna cotta.
  3. Stir in sour cream, fresh herbs, salt and pepper then gelatin. Pour into lightly oiled (oil on paper towel) ramekins (small custard cups, suitably shaped teacups, mugs, containers that will allow panna cotta to be turned out, i.e. no weird shapes) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. While goat cheese layer is setting, make the beet layer.
  4. If you are heavy handed measuring gelatin, then the panna cotta will be tougher and rubbery. Just enough makes a lovely creamy custard. It goes well as an appetizer, salad or side dish with grilled steak or chicken.

Beet in Lemon Gelatin (jelly)

My Aunt Noìrin used to make a salad with lemon gelatin (jelly) and cubes of cooked beet, less chance of the beets (beetroot) falling on clothes and floor and staining everything. Nowadays, gelatin/jelly seems to be totally artificial so I made a simple syrup, plus lemon juice and zest to set the beets.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (about 3 golfball sized beets) cooked red beets cut into small cubes, roughly half an inch or smaller. You can buy beets in a can just in salt water but I haven’t tried them. Please don’t use pickled beets as they will overpower.
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. gelatin
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • Zest of ¼ lemon (less if you like less tang but remember the syrup is sweet but not sickly)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped chives or green of thin green onions
  • 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. fresh dill if you like it or have it.

Directions:

  1. In a 4 cup bowl or jug, heat water, sugar, lemon juice and zest until sugar is totally melted.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste, plus chives, parsley, dill.
  3. Stir beet into lemon mix so each piece is mixed in. I now leave this until goat cheese is set, then dissolve gelatin in the 1 tbsp water as in #2 in panna cotta directions. If you want to just make the beet jelly on its own, then add gelatin now with beets, spoon into container and refrigerate.
  4. Carefully and evenly divide up the lemon liquid/beets on top of the set goats cheese layer.
  5. Refrigerate until firm. Eat anyway you want.


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Easter Almond Cake

March 20, 2008

Easter Almond Cake


From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering



Almond Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick (2 oz.) very soft butter
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) of almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 tsp. gluten-free almond extract
  • Topping: powdered sugar, ¼ to ½ cup sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until well blended and fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix will go lighter in color as you beat it.
  3. Spread mix in greased and gluten-free floured 8” x 8” cake pan. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes until well-risen, golden brown and set but still soft in the middle. The texture should be similar to rolls of almond paste when cut, but cooked throughout.
  5. Remove from oven, serve warm or cold, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Raspberry Sauce
Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 12 oz. bag of frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup. sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam or jelly for extra “oomph” of flavor

Directions:

  1. Melt sugar and water together, add raspberries, and simmer for just a few minutes. Stir in raspberry jam until it melts. Depending on ripeness of raspberries and your personal taste, you might want to add more sugar.


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