Summer Saturday Cooking

In our house… pickles are a favorite. Stephen often teases me about my love for pickles and often references the “pickle getter tool” my parents had in our kitchen growing up. Side note: My parents had a specific tool that was a claw of sorts,  specifically designed to extract pickles from jars… serious business. Hence, we take pickles very seriously in this house.

Summer is finally here in Chicago. The humidity and heat are high which means summer foods must be celebrated! Today Stephen and I strolled the neighborhood when suddenly Stephen had an idea… fried pickles! We headed to our neighborhood organic grocery and picked up all of the items necessary to make gluten free fried pickles. I loved cooking with Stephen. Usually Stephen is my sous-chef but this go around we were equal partners and had a blast.

The recipe is easy and considering what other recipes called for its not terrible for you. I rarely (never) eat fried anything but for this special occasion I gave them a try and they were delicious!

You could also easily bake these pickles to cut down on the oil.

Gluten Free Fried Pickles

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Ingredients: 

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(This recipe calls for a whole jar. We used about 1/3 of the jar and then stored the remaining batter for later use)
1 Jar of sliced kosher dill pickles
3 Cups Vegetable Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Mustard Seed
1 Teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 Cup gluten free bread crumbs
1.5 cups of gluten free multi purpose flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder

Adapted from this blog

We love pickles!

We love pickles!

Directions:

1. Heat oil to 365 (have this ready to go)

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2. Blend all ingredients except for pickles in a bowl

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Ready for dipping!

3. With one hand grab the pickles and toss them into the blended mix (keep one hand for pickles and the other for mixing)

It can get messy!

It can get messy!

Coat evenly

Coat evenly

4. Once you coat the pickle toss it into the hot oil. Let it cook until its golden brown (about 30 seconds) and remove with a slotted spoon.

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5. Remove the pickles and place on a plate covered in paper towels.

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If you wish to get a thicker coat dip the pickle in the batter after its initial frying and then fry again.

6. Serve and enjoy! We used Bolthouse yogurt Ranch for our dip. To make vegan mix Veganoise, yellow mustard, and curry powder.

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Passover Classics V2.0

Tonight is the first night of Passover and I am so excited (note: that was not sarcasm… shockingly). Each year Stephen and I join a family friend for the holiday and we have so much fun. There is a lot jokes, drinking, and shenanigans involved in our seder and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you are unsure of what activities go on during a seder, please consult the graph below:

4331773576152c8e5ad2a0f607294180_fullsizeOne of the dishes that is served at every seder is charoset (haroset). Traditionally charoset is made with walnuts, wine, cinnamon and apples. As a kid I despised this part of of the seder plate but as I have gotten older I have learned that I actually love it! Each year I make my own batch and nibble on it with matzo. This year I changed it up a bit and the results are wonderful.

Charoset 2.0

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Ingredients:

3 figs chopped
3 dates chopped
5 small apples chopped
1/4 c raisins
1/3 c of chopped walnuts (kosher for passover- available at Whole Foods)
1/4 c of assorted nuts (kosher for passover- available at Whole Foods)
1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
Kosher red wine (I don’t have an exact amount because I add as  I go)

Directions:

  1. Place chopped dried fruit and nuts into a air tight container and mix.
  2. Pour chopped apples over mixture.
  3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and stir.
  4. Slowly Pour wine over mixture.
  5. The fruit will absorb the wine so do not over soak.

I also decided to give macaroons a whirl. I found a gluten free recipe that used quinoa and coconut shreds, however the recipe was a total bust. The cookies lost their form and did not work. I followed the directions exactly (which is probably where I went wrong). I adapted the recipe and made it work. I present, gluten free (somewhat healthy) coconut macaroons!

Coconut Quinoa Macaroons 2.0

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Ingredients:

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Minus dates

5 Trader Joes Fancy Dates
1 c of cooked quinoa
1/4 c of honey
3 large eggs whites
1 1/2 c coconut shreds

Directions:

1. Bring a pot of water in a boil. In the meantime mix together the egg and honey in a bowl (this bowl needs to fit over the pot). Once water is boiling bring egg mixture to the pot and whisk mixture. Once egg is warm remove from heat and stir in quinoa and coconut. Place mixture in the fridge for at least an hour.

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2. Line a baking sheet and grease it. Place mixture on baking sheet (doesn’t need to be fancy). Place in oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. If mixture if beginning to crisp then it is ready to be removed.

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3. Remove mixture from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, pit the dates and then mash. Roll the dates into small balls.

4. Coat the balls with the quinoa mixture. Place balls onto greased baking sheet and place back into the oven for about 10 minutes (once balls crisp). Remove balls and let cool before moving.

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