Miscellany: Coffee Flour and Gluten-Free Pastry Demo

Guess what? That fruit that’s usually discarded when coffee beans are harvested is now

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credit: coffee flour.com

available as a gluten-free flour! Dan Belliveau, one the Director of Technical Services at Starbucks, came up with the idea to salvage the wasted fruit his company calls coffee flour (it doesn’t really taste like coffee, though). It’s full of potassium, iron, protein, and fiber, so it’s a healthy addition to gluten-free baked goods. In addition to providing a unique, new healthy ingredient for people interested in healthy diets, harvesting the fruit will provide jobs and new sources of income for people in some of the most poverty-stricken places in the world. The flour is not available in brick and mortar stores, though, so I just ordered some from Nuts.com. It’s also available from Marx’s Pantry for the same price per pound, but Marx’s pantry charges $12 shipping (vs $5.99 for shipping from Nuts.com). I’m not here to sell anything to anyone; I’m just super excited about the find and want to share the info!  Continue reading

Eating Lightly: Savory Gluten-Free Roasted Red Pepper Tart

Today is August 8th, which means that depending upon whether we go by the Anglo-IMG_4347Saxon tradition or the Old Farmer’s Almanac, we are either in the midst of (July 15-September 5th), or the end of (July 3- August 11), the heliacal rising of Sirius, the dog star, in the constellation Canis Major: the dog days of summer. Regardless of whose calendar we adhere to, modern weather pattern knowledge notwithstanding, we’ve entered the hottest, most uncomfortable part of the year. Down here in South Texas, the weather is downright hostile. The heat and humidity assault people as soon as they leave the refuge of their air conditioned homes, causing labored breathing, hair to frizz or fall flat, sweat to gush from every pore, and clothes to stick to skin. Just walking through the parking lot from the car into the grocery store becomes overly laborious in such harsh summer conditions. The August heat saps one’s motivation to do much of anything, including spending much time in over a hot oven cooking a large meal. Fortunately, the heat also discourages one’s appetite for large, heavy meals. A simple meal that requires minimal preparation can, however, be both flavorful and elegant. This deglutenized roasted pepper tart recipe from Chowhound is just such a recipe. Continue reading

Gluten-Free Peach Pie With Whiskey Smoked Brown Sugar

Smoked brown sugar is a mystery to me. That old adage is a saying for a reason: where one finds smoke, smoked peach pie 2one usually does find fire. Fire emits heat, and sugar melts when its heated. How, then, does one get smokey flavor into brown sugar without melting the sugar? Until a few months ago, I’d never even heard of smoked brown sugar. I discovered it last Christmas, while perusing the Net for interesting ideas for meat rubs. The menfolk in my family are difficult people for whom to buy presents. They are pretty content where they are and with what they have; they have few, and simple, desires. One can only give so many running shirts and socks for birthday and Christmas presents. I was bereft of ideas for Christmas presents. Since all the men I love happen to love grilling and smoking meat, I decided to make meat rubs for them as Christmas presents. I searched for rubs for beef, chicken, and pork that require interesting ingredients. One recipe I found called for smoked brown sugar. I was intrigued by the thought of smoked brown sugar, so I ordered some. It’s pricey stuff (about $16 for 8 oz). Just my luck, I LOVE using smoked brown sugar in all kinds of dishes. The smokey flavor adds a pleasant, interesting depth to all foods in which the sugar is used. I thought I was in trouble; I knew I’d be buying this expensive ingredient often. Continue reading

The Cronut – And Gluten-Free?

When I first read about this exciting new dessert creation, the cronut, I despaired: surely a gluten-free version of this donut – pastry hybrid can’t be

Picture from theexaminer.com

Picture from theexaminer.com

achieved. Apparently I was wrong. Glutino and Beth Hillson are all over this new food craze:

http://www.examiner.com/article/gluten-free-cronuts-from-glutino-and-beth-hillson

If any brave soul attempts this gluten-free yummy, please let me know how it turns out! I’d love to try my hand at making a gluten-free cronut, but I want someone else to try it first and let me know how it goes!

Duck Fat Plus Gluten-Free: A Delectable Combination

“Jemima Puddle-Duck became quite desperate. She determined to make a nest right away from the farm. She set off on a fine spring afternoon along the cart-road that leads over the hill. She was wearing a shawl and a poke bonnet. When she reached the top of the hill, she saw a wood in the IMG_0515distance. She thought that it looked like a safe quiet spot.” (Beatrice Potter, Jemima Puddle Duck)

”If you want good-tasting food you need to use a good amount of fat,” he said. ”It nourishes meats and seafood. It makes them much more silky. I use duck fat to sear scallops and lobster since it has a nice rich flavor. We don’t advertise it on the menu, because unfortunately people get nervous.” (Chef Christian Delouvrier of Lespinasse, as qtd by Melissa Clark in “The Rich Little Secret of Top Chefs: Fat”)

Jemima Puddleduck is a wonderfully naïve and independent character created by Beatrice Potter. I spent hours of my daughter’s childhood reading to her about Jemima, wearing her poke bonnet, barely escaping the clutches of Mr. Fox one day while on a quest to hatch her own eggs. Elizabeth loved Jemima Puddleduck, who to her young mind, existed as a real creature in our very real world. So it happened one day, while reaching for a frozen duck in the freezer section of our nearest H.E.B grocery, I was stopped mid-action by Elizabeth’s plaintive, fervent objection to my buying and roasting a duck that looked so strikingly like – well – a duck, and hence so strikingly as Jemima might have looked had she not been rescued by the good farm dog who had dutifully followed her that day she left her farm-home. Continue reading