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Archive for January, 2022

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We hosted another couple for New Year’s Eve, it was supposed to be two couples but, you know, Covid; the other couple cancelled because they were not comfortable in coming over by transit (they don’t have a car any more) not because they had it. I made a series of tapas for the evening to tried and spread out the night as much as possible and one such dish was a replica of a burrata dish with golden beat carpaccio that we have had on several occasions at a local Italian restaurant. They serve it with the lightest, fluffiest focaccia so I, of course, had to recreate it. The crust is only slightly crispy, just like theirs, which I achieved by brushing the top with water about 5 minutes before the timer finished.

A deliciously chewy and flavourful bread.

No Knead Olive Oil Focaccia

Ingredients:

  • 670 g Italian “00” Flour
  • 10 g instant yeast
  • 10 g milk powder
  • 15 g salt
  • 10 g Fleischmann’s Bread Booster
  • 500 mL warm water
  • 60 mL Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus additional for drizzling)

Directions:

  1. Spray a 28 cm x 39 cm pan with cooking spray or EVOO and drizzle an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of EVOO on the bottom.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the olive oil to the warm water and mix vigorously. Pour the olive oil water into the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously with a Danish Dough Whisk until entirely combined. The dough should appear very loose and shaggy.
  3. Allow to rest in a warm dark place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  4. When doubled, pour the dough into your prepared pan and spread it out as evenly as you can pressing your fingertips into the dough to achieve the traditional pock marks on a focaccia. Pour another 45 mL Extra Virgin Olive Oil onto the top. Allow to rest another 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. After dough has rested, bake for 30 minutes or until golden. If you prefer a chewier crust, brush the top occasionally with water. Allow to cool slightly before slicing into it. 
    1. This is the Danish Dough Whisk I use.
    2. Use a flavourful Olive Oil.
    3. Bread freezes very well. Make sure you take out as much air from the bag as possible.

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My besty from uni is gluten intolerant and allergic to soy! It’s always a bit of a challenge cooking Asian foods because of the soy allergy but I try to be inclusive and make something special for her if she can’t eat my dish. One such occasion was Christmas day, I served Gyoza as the hors d’œuvres and I made her a special gluten-free version. Had I known how good the gluten-free version would turn out, everyone would have had it. The dipping sauce I usually serve with them has soy in it so I wanted to make a special sauce without soy so my friend can enjoy it too. This imposter has the forward saltiness and a bit of sweetness with a finish of umami from the Nori that actual soy sauce has. It turned out very well, in fact, I will make only one sauce with this soyless soy sauce that everyone can enjoy!

Soyless Soy Sauce (soy-free, gluten-free)

A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe

Makes 30 mL sauce

Ingredients:

  • 5 mL molasses
  • 375 ml water
  • 2 g black garlic salt (I used this one)
  • 3.5 dried black fungus
  • 3 g dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 0.5 g Nori Seaweed

Directions:

  1. Combine everything but the Nori in a small saucepan and bring to s boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until reduced to about 30 mL.
  2. Remove mushrooms and reserve for another use. Strain the liquid and add salt and pepper to taste. add the nori seaweed and immerse entirely, refrigerate with nori for 1 day.
  3. Strain Nori and the sauce is ready for use.

This imposter has the forward saltiness and a bit of sweetness with a finish of umami from the seaweed that actual soy sauce has.

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We had dear friends over for Christmas Day dinner last month. I had made a bunch of regular gyozas and wanted some for my Gluten-Free besty. After much research, I found several recipes and came up with my own. This recipe has the elasticity that steamed gyozas have but it also packs an incredible crunch when fried to a golden brown on one side. JT couldn’t tell that they were gluten-free! I’m thinking they may even make incredible ravioli!

Gluten-Free Gyoza Wrappers

A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe

Make 15 gyoza wrappers

Ingredients:

  • 50 g gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 33 g tapioca flour
  • 4 g xanthan gum
  • 0.1  g salt
  • 40 g boiling water
  • 10 g vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. Combine the boiling water and vegetable oil and pour into the dry ingredients, mix well until it comes together. Set out to a lightly GF floured board and knead for a few minutes. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.
  3. Cut the dough into four portions and roll out to about 2 mm thick using the KitchenAid pasta dough attachment, roll the dough and fold it onto itself several times on #1. Then roll the dough out from #1-#4. Use like any gyoza dough being careful to cover it tightly with plastic wrap when not in use.
  4. Steam the GF gyozas for about 3-4 minutes, they should bounce back if you gently poke them.

Notes:

  • Keep the dough tightly covered with plastic wrap when not in use, it dries out very quickly.
  • Rub a little water on one side of the seam before closing so that they don’t come apart when steaming.
  • The gyoza will puff up when you steam them.
  • The uncooked gyoza feeze well. Freeze on a parchment-lined sheet and for about 30 minutes, drop into a ziplock bag. I wouldn’t leave them for more than 30 minutes on a sheet uncovered because they dry out.
  • Most recipes did not have the addition of tapioca flour or vegetable oil; I added the tapioca flour to improve the elasticity that gluten-free flour lacks and the vegetable oil was needed to help the dough from drying out.
  • You will need to roll out the dough by hand to get it through #1, but you’d have to do that with regular pasta dough too.

The gyoza is chewy and crunchy like a real gyoza should be!

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I was finishing off making some spanakopita with store-bought phyllo pastry and had run out of the pastry with enough filling to make about 4 additional pieces (don’t you hate that?) so I decided to try my hand at a quick phyllo dough. It worked out extremely well so I thought I’d document the process. It’s getting dark so early these days, so you’ll need to excuse the horrible light in my photos.

Quick Phyllo Pastry

Makes about 4 sheets 15 cm x 30 cm (enough for 4 triangles)

Ingredients:

  • 50 g all-purpose flour (10.5 ounces)
  • 15 mL olive oil
  • 2.5 mL red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 g salt
  • 25 -45 g water

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together until you get a uniform, soft dough that does not stick. Knead for a few minutes. Set aside, wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide into two equal balls and roll out, thin enough to see through. I used my KitchenAid pasta maker to the thinnest setting.
  3. Use in your favourite phyllo recipe.

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We were having a friend over for dinner and I needed a quick and easy dessert and it can’t get any quicker or easier than this old recipe. I love it because it is per person so you can scale it up or down very easily. I’ve made as many as twelve and as few as one!

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée

Makes 1 80 mL portion (per person recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 60 mL milk or cream per person
  • 80 g sugar per person
  • 3 mL vanilla bean paste per person
  • Pinch of Tonka Bean, finely grated
  • 1 egg yolk per person
  • 5-10 g per person of sugar to brûlée

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275° F.
  2. Combine everything but the 5-10 g of sugar for the brûlée and whisk until smooth. Pour equal amounts into 100 mL bowls and set the bowls into a bain marie in a larger baking pan.
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until it is set in the centre. Allow to cool completely. 
  4. When ready to serve, sprinkle the sugar onto the top and spread by tapping and twirling the bowl evenly. Using a torch, caramelize the sugar and allow to cool. Serve when sugar has hardened.

 

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