Pastas and Grains

Coquilles St. Jacques and Saffron Risotto, and thoughts for CHCH

February 22, 2011
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Instead of some lengthy drivel about my life in calm and quiet (albeit a bit gray & dreary lately) Suisse, I’m dedicating this post to CHCH and sharing some of the things I love about Christchurch’s beauty. There are great tasting scallops in NZ too, that’s enough of a connection for me at this point to the recipe at hand. I’m not really going to talk about the scallops, other than last weekend I learned that saffron and orange work exquisitely well together (recipe below). And y’all should make Dario’s risotto, it’s perfect.


DC #22 – Soba Noodles and Tempura and a Quick Photo Tour of Zürich

February 14, 2011
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Sometimes I love Daring Cooks’ challenges, and sometimes I’m just “meh” about them. This month, however, I knew right away that it was going to be a lot of fun. We often make soba noodles in our house since we learned where to find 100% buckwheat noodles, and both of us love tempura (deep fried anything is usually a winner with most people).

I originally had a lot of commentary to say (I always have lots of commentary), but today I am going to keep things short. I had a crazy busy trip to Zürich last week, and did a lot of deep thinking that I still have to process in my head a bit. So instead, I will leave you with some photos of beautiful Zürich and the lake – Zürich really has nothing to do with the dish of this Daring Cooks’ post, other than the fact that I did have sushi one night while I was there, and well, that’s Japanese too, haha…. yeah a bit of a stretch eh? Well sometimes we are stretched a bit thin – a bit like these soba noodles (ok, that was a terrible connection I know!) – so you’ll have to bear with me for the moment and just admire some pretty photos, and I’ll leave my comments on the recipe version I made below as well….


BBQ Asian Pizza, Gluten Free

February 7, 2011
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What makes pizza, pizza? Is it the marinara sauce? The mozzarella cheese? The thick crust? In my mind, pizza is one of the most adaptable foods on the planet – you can play with just about every major component, which also makes it difficult to define.

This Winter en Suisse, I learned that you can have prosciutto and gruyère on pizza, with hardly any sauce at all. And in Zürich last weekend I went to a place where it’s perfectly ok to call it a tarte flambée instead of a pizza. But really, it’s any flat baked pie with toppings. The sauce, the crust, the toppings, all of them are totally variable options, simply waiting for your creative palate to guide the way.


Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi with Truffled Pesto Sauce

January 28, 2011
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Woohoo!! I did it! My first successful gluten free gnocchi, ever! I’ve made gnocchi in the past, thanks to the wonderful instruction found in a Marcella Hazan cookbook that my mother handed down to me. I’ve usually gotten great results with conventional gnocchi. I’ve attempted gluten free in the past too – in fact several times. Ricotta gnocchi work easily gluten free because the only flour is a mere dusting on the outside of the little dumplings. But every trial of potato gnocchi always ended in dismal failure, watching in sadness as my gnocchi dissolved away into nothingness in the simmering water. All that hard work cooking the potatoes, making the dough, rolling and cutting into those cute little gnocchi dumpling shapes, all gone to waste in about 30s of time in a pot on the stove. It was discouraging and depressing. In fact so much so that I haven’t even attempted gluten free potato gnocchi in over two years. Until now.


Homemade GF Fettuccine with Chanterelle Cream Sauce

October 21, 2010
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Where would Autumn be without chanterelles? I cannot believe that it was only a couple short years ago in grad school that I first came across this awesome mushroom, and fallen in love with it ever since. I tend to fall in love with lots of produce – in the Summer it’s strawberries and apricots and peaches, in the Spring asparagus…oh and we can’t forget pumpkin in the Autumn and Winter months as well. That’s not such a bad thing, is it? To go nuts finding as many tasty ways to use one incredible gift of nature? I don’t think so 😉

Chanterelles have been in season for a while now. I remember squealing with excitement when I first saw them at the market back in late August. I love using them for normal everyday cooking – toss them into an omelette, into risotto, or on pasta… Oh how I heart pasta. If I could, I probably would eat some type of pasta every day. My absolute favorite pasta is homemade egg pasta, which I taught myself how to make thanks to the wonderful Marcella Hazan and her fabulous cookbooks on Italian cooking. Converting the typical pasta recipe to gluten free is actually not so hard, though over time I did change things to make it a bit easier to incorporate the extra eggs needed. What better way to enjoy one of my favorite mushrooms than to share it on one of my favorite dishes?


Gluten Free Substitutions Part XI: Homemade Pasta

September 19, 2010
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Welcome to the next installment of Gluten Free Substitutions! How are all of your gluten free cooking & baking efforts going? In case you missed last week, I am currently accepting submissions for a roundup of everyone’s gluten free kitchen experiences, the good and the bad! Just remember only a few weeks left to email me (jenncuisine at gmail dot com) your submissions to be featured in the big roundup!

This week I want to talk to you about making pasta. Making pasta from scratch at first sounds like a daunting project, but really it’s not, and the results are more than rewarding. It can be complicated like a stuffed ravioli (because I always choose complicated first), or simplistic, adorned with a basic sauce with rich flavors. Trust me, once you try fresh pasta, you’ll be trying to make time for it every day!