Saturday, December 26, 2009

Jack is Cooking Christmas Dinner

Well Hello Internet!

So the last 10 posts have all been about Christmas Dinner, and i made so many things, that they've been pushed off the main page here.  so i decided to make one conglomerate posting with everything i made!

Heres what Rosie and I made (if you click on the links you will be taken to the individual post):

Gluten Free Croissants
Gluten Free Chipolata Sausages
Gluten Free Pancetta Chestnut Stuffing
Ginger-Garlic Brussel Sprouts with Leeks
Mashed Carrots and Swedes
Roast Potatoes
Roast Turkey
Glazed Ham
Turkey Gravy
Gluten Free Mini Key Lime Meringue Pies
the Leftover Sandwich

Enjoy, and Happy Christmas to Everybody!


Jack is Cooking Christmas Leftovers Sandwiches! (on GF Bread!)

Well Hello internet!

So obviously we made a whole load of food, and so there was many many leftovers!

almost better than the meal, is the sandwiches you can make afterwards!

Heres how i make mine:

first the bread (gluten free here):

then i put some gravy on one side (if you put it in the fridge overnight, it will turn into a kind of gravy jelly!  its perfect for spreading on sandwiches, and if you want it to turn back to gravy just heat it up)

Then some stuffing

Then on the other side i put some of the Carrots, and also some of the Brussel Sprouts

Then some Turkey, and some Ham

And then a little more Gravy!

Then put the two halves together for one hell of a sandwich!

mmm mmm delicious!

Rosie is Baking Mini (Gluten Free) Key Lime Meringue Pies

Hi Internet.
This is Rosie, Jack's (gluten free) sister. I don't do a lot of cooking. I prefer to bake. So we can call today's blog "Rosie is baking".
When we lived in Bermuda we would always have a lemon meringue pie for dessert on Christmas day. This year we decided to reinstate the tradition but twist it around a little. I've always liked key lime pie better than lemon because it is slightly tarter and less sweet. But you can throw meringue on anything. So I started with a graham cracker crust. I managed to find gluten free graham crackers but I have only seen these at one store. (If you can't find these you can make a delicious tart crust out of brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, butter and a little sugar.)
Here are all the ingredients you'll need:
1 package gluten free graham crackers
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup key lime juice
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup powdered sugar

For the crust:
Smash all the graham crackers into a fine crumble.
Add three tablespoons of softened butter  and a quarter cup of sugar and mix it all up into a crumbly sticky mixture. It won't be solid at all, you have to press it into the bottom of the pie pan (or muffin and mini-muffin pans if you're making minis).
Refrigerate crust for at least an hour. (If you make the crust without graham crackers you will need to bake them off for about 5-7 minutes or until they are slightly golden).

For the delicious key lime filling:
You need half  a cup of key lime juice. I've used fresh key limes and juice from a bottle and honestly it doesn't make that much of a difference. And fresh key limes are tiny and take a long time to squeeze half a cup out of. But, make sure it's key lime juice and not plain lime, they taste really different.
Mix the key lime juice with the can of sweetened condensed milk and the yolks of the three eggs. Save the whites for the meringue.
Mix it all together until it's smooth and creamy. I usually taste a tiny bit to make there's enough lime.
Pour this mixture into the mini crusts.

For the meringues:
Whip the egg whites you have left over until they are starting to get firm, then begin to slowly add in the powdered sugar. Beat until stiff. I didn't really beat mine long enough and I used granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar so they weren't really stiff enough. Oh well, next time. They still tasted delicious.

I scooped the meringue into a zip-loc bag and snipped one corner off. Then it sort of acts as a piping bag and you can squeeze little dollops onto the minis and sort of a circular swirl on the bigger ones.

Put them in the oven for about ten minutes until the meringues get golden on the top and the filling is slightly firmer. The meringue is the most important part because the filling does most of it's hardening in the fridge so take it out as soon as the meringues have the right look.

I also made a few in regular muffin tins with red and green foil muffin cups for a little extra Christmas spirit.

Jack is Cooking Gravy

Well Hello Internet!

So GRAVY!  that's pretty important in the whole meal...

what you'll need:
turkey stock (you can make this from the giblets of the turkey while the turkey is roasting)
drippings from pan
kuzu root (2 tablespoons)
water (4-5 tablespoons
a little lemon juice
a little champagne

after you take the Turkey out of the oven, save the drippings and the pan.
in a bowl mix the kuzu root and the water together, until you have a paste.  it will be kind of like when you put corn starch and water together.

then over low heat, put the turkey pan with the drippings, and mix in the kuzu paste to make a kind of roux.  cook for about 4 minutes

then slowly pour in the stock, a cup at a time mixing constantly to prevent any lumping from happening.
season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 10-15 minutes over low heat.

i decided that a little lemon juice was necessary and also a little champagne!

mmmm mmmm delicious.

p.s. somehow no pictures were ever taken of the gravy.  sorry!

Jack is Cooking Glazed Ham

Well Hello Internet!

Ok so the Other main event of Christmas Dinner is a Ham.  this year i decided to make a Glazed Ham, and of course since we're on the Farm it came from Herondale Farm.  It is the BEST ham ever, end of story.

So this is almost easier than the Turkey
Heres what you'll need:
1 Ham (with the Bone in)
a whole bunch of cloves
1/2 cup Maple Flavored Rice Syrup
1 Tablespoon Mustard
1/2 cup orange juice

Take the Ham and with a sharp knife, cut a grid pattern into the fat on top.  the grid should leave a whole bunch of 1 inch squares through the fat.  Then take a whole bunch of cloves, and poke one clove into each of these squares.

Put in an oven at 325° for 18 minutes per pound.

Meanwhile to make the glaze:
put the rice syrup, the mustard, and the orange juice, in a small pot and mix together.  then bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring, and careful not to let it boil over.

when the ham is 30 minutes away from being done, pour half of the glaze over the ham.  at this time you will have noticed that a fair amount of fat has pooled up around the ham.  take this and spoon it all over the ham too.  this will give it some extra deliciousness in the final moments of cooking.
when there is 15 minutes, pour the remaining glaze over the ham and baste again

Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes, under tin foil.

mmmm mmmm delicious (more than delicious)

Jack is Cooking Roast Turkey!

Well Hello Internet!

So the main event of the Christmas Dinner : Turkey!  well almost the main event, there is ham also.

But anyways, the Turkey!  this is actually pretty easy and almost impossible to screw up.
you can put whatever herbs and spices you want on it, but we had a heritage breed turkey, and honestly its so darn good that it doesn't need anything except butter and stuffing!

So we took the turkey, and i put some of the delicious pancetta chestnut stuffing and i stuffed it in both ends.  then i took a whole lot of butter and rubbed it all over the turkey.

so somebody might notice that my turkey might be upside down.  however, i think its right side up.  and thats  because the skin on the breast is delicious, and if its in the bottom of the pan it gets soggy.  this way it gets really nice and crispy.  so BREAST UP!

after you've covered it in butter, put maybe an inch of water in the pan.  this is important.  very very important!  its the key to moist turkey!  then put tin foil over the whole thing.  but try to have it not touch the turkey.  imagine almost a tent of tinfoil.   this will contain some of the steam from the water, but let some out too.

Then roast it at 350 for about 20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 175°.  for our turkey it took 4.5 hours.  when there is going to be about 45 minutes to an hour left cooking, REMOVE THE TINFOIL  this will allow the skin to get crispy!

  take it out and let it sit for another 30 minutes to an hour
 it will eventually get to 180°

then get your carving tools out and carve away!  Save the pan and the drippings to make Gravy

mmmm mmmm delicious

Jack is Cooking Mashed Carrots and Swede (Rutabaga)

Well Hello Internet!

The other vegetable side dish in the Christmas Dinner that we made is mashed carrots and swedes.  this is something that my grandmother used to make, and is especially delicious.  In england the vegetable is called Swede, but here in america they call it a Rutabaga.

whatever you call it its pretty darn good.

This is the easiest thing we made!

heres what you'll need:
salt and pepper

so first peel and cut all the vegetables and put them in a pot covered with water.  boil until they are tender, but not mushy

remove and strain, and put them back into the pot. and mash up with a potato masher

add some butter, salt, pepper, and a little bit of nutmeg, and mash again!  keep it a little lumpy though, you don't want this to be creamy.

so that's the carrots!

mmmm mmmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking Roast Potatoes

Well Hello Internet!

Heres how to make Roast Potatoes!

unfortunately i forgot to take pictures!  i was so busy making everything, that somehow it slipped my mind...

anyway parboil the potatoes.  this means boil them until the surface is soft, but not the center.
strain.  in the colander swirl them around.  the idea here is to get the outside of the edges (which is now soft) all rough.

then take them and put them back in the pot, and add in a sprinkling of Gluten Free All Purpose Flour  (or regular flour)  swirl them around until they are coated.

take a roasting pan and put some oil.  put this pan in the oven and heat up the oil.
 when the oil is hot, take the potatoes and put them in the pan coating them in the oil.  put the pan back in the oven and roast until they are golden brown.  it should take an hour or so.(you'll have to turn them every now and then)

mmm mmm delicious

Jack is Cooking Ginger Garlic Brussel Sprouts with Leeks

Well Hello Internet!

Another side dish to the huge meal that is christmas is Brussel Sprouts.  Now I love Brussel Sprouts, so i can eat them just plain old boiled.  My dad however does not like them, and never has.
he has always been made to eat at least 2 of them however - first by his mom, and then by my mom!

The key in the last few years however is to make some kind of Brussel Sprouts that he will actually like,
and this year i succeeded

Julie gave me the beginnings of this recipe, and i added some stuff as i was cooking it just because i thought it would be good.

Here's what you'll need:

2 of those soup container thingys that brussel sprouts come in these days
2 or 3 leeks (cleaned and cut into small pieces)
1 head of garlic
2-3 inches of ginger
salt and pepper
lemon juice
olive oil

so the trick here is that instead of chopping the brussel sprouts up you actually peel each individual leaf off keeping it intact.  it takes like an hour.  i took the sprouts and watched "Its Always Sunny in Philedelphia: a Very Sunny Christmas" while i did the task.

melt the butter in a pan and add some olive oil.  add the sprout leaves and saute until beginning to get tender:

add in the garlic and the ginger, and the leeks
cook until the leeks are tender.  add salt and pepper and sugar, and saute for a couple of more minutes

then pour a little champagne into the mix!  we were having some very very nice champagne, which made these sprouts extra nice (and dramatically increased the value!! ;-) )

so anyways add the champagne, and steam for 4 minutes,
squeeze a little lemon juice in and stir around!

the leeks are all yummy and caramalized now!

mmmm mmmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking Gluten Free Pancetta Chestnut Stuffing

Well Hello Internet!

Another Huge part of any christmas meal, or any meal involving turkey for that matter is the Stuffing.
Stuffing also contains a huge amount of Gluten, so my sister and I set out to make a gluten free stuffing.

We started with a recipe we saw on the food network, and then changed just about everything to make it far more delicious and far more Gluten Free.

Heres what you'll need:

3 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons butter
8 oz pancetta diced
2 large onions chopped
2 carrots peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped Fresh Rosemary
1 large jar of roasted whole peeled chestnuts (coarsely chopped)
1 lb of crusty gluten free baguettes chopped up into little cubes(you can often find these in the frozen section of fancy-ish grocery stores.  but if you are gluten-free you probably know where to get these kinds of things.  Whole foods definitely has it, as do more and more stores these days)
1 cup of chicken/turkey broth
salt and pepper
2 large eggs beaten

take 2 tablepoons of the butter and melt in a pan.  fry up the pancetta until its kinda crispy.

drain all the grease out and put into a bowl

take the rest of the butter and melt into a pan.  cook the onions, carrots, rosemary, and garlic together until the onions are tender.
stir in the chestnuts.

put everything in the bowl with the pancetta and stir until mixed.
add in the bread chunksand toss to coat.  add the broth until its nice and moist, season with salt and pepper, and then mix in the beaten eggs.

pour into a baking pan

If you are cooking a huge meal (as we were) it is advisable to do this the day before, and refrigerate until the next day when you are ready to cook.


next day!

put some of this stuffing inside the turkey!  yum yum

the rest of the stuffing cover with tinfoil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes  then remove the tinfoil and bake another 15 minutes

Heres a tip:  if you are cooking this stuffing as part of a larger meal, remember this takes only 45 minutes to cook, and the turkey takes like 4 hours or something.  so cook this at the end!

in my larger conglomerate post about Christmas Dinner i will talk about the timing of everything!

mmmm mmmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking Gluten Free Chipolata Sausages

Well Hello Internet!

In England, a traditional part of any Christmas Lunch/Dinner is Chipolata sausages.  these sausages are extremely delicious, and go along very well with all the other deliciousness that is the traditional English Christmas Dinner.  Sometimes they are wrapped in bacon and served as an appetizer, and sometimes they are just served right along with the turkey.

Two problems have arisen with chipolatas however!

the first problem is that, they are impossible to find in the good old U.S.A except for in a few specialty shops in NYC.  (after all, New York City is not really part of America, but really just a buffer between America and the rest of the world.  I have come to realize this more and more, every time i venture inland and visit the landlocked states.  woah!  this is a blog about cooking!  enough of this topic!)

Anyways, the Second problem with Chipolata sausages is they are inherently filled with Gluten!
so we can't go to the fancy specialty shops in the city to buy them.  our only option is to make them from scratch!

so heres what you'll need to make these delicious Gluten Free Chipolata Sausages:

(i used half this because i didn't want to make 8 or more lbs of sausages!!)

7.5 lbs pork butt
1 lb pork fatback
(if you don't have a meat grinder, just use ground pork, but make sure its kind of on the fatty side.  like 85% lean, or maybe even less.  these sausages need fat in them.  when they cook it all melts out, but its very necessary for the authenticity)

1 tablespoon sage
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon mace (mace is the outer shell of a nutmeg... nut.  if you cant find any you can grate some fresh nutmeg instead)
1.5 tablespoon salt
6 oz GLUTEN FREE bread crumbs
1 tablespoon pepper
1 pint water
Sausage casings!

so grind up the meat if you are grinding it yourself.  then put it in the fridge.  if you have preground pork, skip this step just put it in the fridge...

next in a bowl put the water, and all the herbs and spices and breadcrumbs.  mix together into a kind of mush.

then take the ground meat out of the fridge and in a food processor, blend the meat and the spice mixture together.  until its totally mixed!:

The next part is getting this mixture inside of the sausage casings!
i recommend a sausage stuffing machine...
i did not have one.

after  many different failed attempts of this my dad figured out a solution.
what you'll need is a large soda bottle.  and a small soda bottle.
the large one we used was plastic. cut the large bottle in half to make a funnel
the small one was glass.

heres the machine at work:

Pull the sausage casing all the way up the spout of the big bottle.  fill the big bottle with meat, and use the small bottle to push it down forcing it out into the casings.  it takes a little while, and a lot of patience!

but in the end, you have sausages!  yay!!

mmm mmm delicious!

Jack is Cooking (Baking) Gluten Free Croissants - That taste like REAL Croissants

Well Hello Internet!

Normally on Christmas morning we all wake up early and open our stockings (YES Santa still comes and visits our house even though we are all grown up! :-)  ) and then eat some kind of delicious pastry before moving on to the more serious presents that have piled up under our enormous Christmas Tree.

However, in the last few years we have been at a loss as what kind of pastry to eat because both my mom and my sister can no longer eat gluten.

so i took it upon myself to figure out how to make Gluten Free Croissants.

i've never even made regular croissants before, but how hard could it be i figured...

haha!  apparently croissants are complicated!  but i did it anyway.
and i did it gluten free.

and guess what!  they were perfect.  they were more than perfect.  they are so perfect that im not even going to put the recipe here, because i feel like i've discovered some kind of Gold!

Gluten Free Croissants people!  all the gluten free people out there are gonna be breaking down my door to eat these things.

and since it was the first time, i know that i can make them even better, and even more perfect than they were before!

here are some pictures of the process - minus the ingredients...

Here i am preparing the dough:  it takes lots of pounding and punching!

Then there is a rising period...  followed by more punching, and then more rising.

Then the dough is rolled out, and butter is added.  LOTS of butter!!!  mmmm mmmm can't have croissants without butter!

The butter is encased in the dough, and then all the folding and rolling begins

Roll and fold and chill and roll and fold and chill and roll and fold and chill

(this whole process takes about 11-12 hours at minimum btw)

finally they are ready for cutting and rolling!

 yum yum

then these little rolled croissants are frozen before baking

and tah-dah!  croissants!
that one in the middle got a sausage in it!  how did that happen?  mmmmm  check out the sausage post too.  we made those from scratch also!

mmmm mmmm delicious.

p.s. one day in the near future perhaps a bakery will open that i will bake in where people can buy gluten free croissants....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jack is Cooking Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts

Well Hello Internet!

Tonight i made a whole load more cookies!  this time i made chocolate cookies, and i have to say they are dangerously delicious.  woah man!

anyways they are real easy to make

here's what you'll need:
1 1/2 cupmilk chocolate chips
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of butter
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 2/3 cup pamelas gluten free pancake and baking mix (flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup walnuts

So First:
in a double boiler (i used a bowl in a pot of water) melt the butter and chocolate together over a low heat

meanwhile, in a bowl mix together the egg, sugar and vanilla

in another bowl, mix the flour, the baking powder and the salt together

by now the chocolate and butter have melted into a delicious mixture of chocolate and butter.... mmmmmmmmm

before you eat it all (and its cooled down a little bit), slowly pour and mix it into the sugar and egg

then slowly mix in the flour mixture, alternating with milk.  so a little flour, a little milk, a little flour, a little milk, etc.  until you have a nice batter.  this dough is going to be slightly more runny than normal.

put the dough in the fridge for like an hour.
preheat the oven to 350° (my oven takes about an hour...)

take a teaspoon, and spoon the dough onto a cookie sheet.  i sprinkled some christmas sugar on the cookies

bake them for 11 minutes, and out the come!  let them cool for 5-10 minutes on the pan, before putting them on a rack.  they will be so soft when they come out of the oven still, that they will melt through the rack at first!!

mmmmm mmmm delicious!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jack is Cooking more Cookies!

Well Hello Internet!

so today i made an experimental batch of cookies, to test out for christmas!  i used 5 different types of fillings, to see how successful they may or may not be.  either way they will definitely be delicious!  but some fillings may or may not work.

so from from left to right:
nutella, strawberryjam, four fruit jam, blueberry jam, peach preserve (jam?)

then finally after searching high and low, i found some coloured sugar:

and i baked them for 10 minutes:

the blueberry jam appears to be a lot more liquidy and therefor does not contain within the cookes as well.  also these are gluten free cookies, so the dough spread out quite a bit more.

they are extremely delicious!

for the recipe check out the previous cookie post.
to make them gluten free, i used pamelas gluten free pancake and baking mix, instead of flour.  although i had to use a little bit more than normal flour, to get the right consistency with the dough.

i will continue in my gluten free experiments, as more and more people seem to be gluten free

mmmm mmm delicious

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jack is Cooking Nutella Bomb Snickerdoodles

Well Hello Internet!

so since i had so much dough left over from last night, i decided to make more cookies today!  except this time, i made them even more f***ing delicious than they were!

heres what i did:
first i took the balls of dough, and i made hollowed them out
then i filled this pocket with nutella

i then reformed the ball around the nutella concealing it within!
then i rolled the dough in cinnamon sugar

put them on the cookie tray

and baked them at 350° for 12 minutes

here it is!

when you bite into it the nutella bomb explodes!

mmmm mmmm super delicious!