Jul 15, 2017

Grilled Indian Inspired Spicy Cauliflower and Chickpeas

This gluten free, vegetarian dish is probably the best cauliflower I have ever made.  Did you know that besides chickpeas being high in protein and fiber there are also many other nutritional benefits? Chickpeas contains what's called resistant starch.  That's a starch that isn't fully broken down and absorbed.  This is a good thing for many reasons such as: stimulating blood flow in the colon, increasing nutrient circulation and helping to prevent us from absorbing toxic/carcinogenic compounds. But, also the rate of digestion changes absorption, increasing satiety, which means it keeps us full longer.  

I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture but I marinated the cauliflower in a yogurt sauce with Indian spices.  When I originally made this dish, I was thinking I could have this like a taco: a meatless taco of course. I was going to make my Naan bread but make the bread thinner and rounder so it would be taco like.  However,  as I was making it some unexpected company showed up and so this was served up with some grilled salmon kebobs instead.

I cooked the cauliflower and the chickpeas separately and made a side of mango slaw which would have been the topping on the taco. You don't have to make this cauliflower with the chickpeas, you can have the cauliflower by itself or as a side dish.  I forgot to take a picture of the grilled chickpeas after it was done cooking. You can make them as soft or as crispy as you like.

Jul 6, 2017

Banana Bread

The one thing that I can promise you is that I would NEVER post a recipe that is not as perfect as it can be.  This gluten free banana bread is absolutely perfect!  I dare anyone guess that this is gluten free. I drizzled it with chocolate because I love the combination of chocolate and banana but you really don't need it.  The picture has extra chocolate because I made a mess drizzling it and attempted to fix it by adding more. It is delicious without the chocolate, especially with a cup of coffee...yummmm

I tried this recipe at least 3 times and in my previous attempts the loafs were too dense. This is delicious and moist the way a banana bread should be. I made 3 mini loafs but you could totally make these into muffins.  This would make exactly 12 muffins since there is one cup of batter per loaf which would be 1/4 cup of batter per muffin. I like the mini loafs because you can freeze two of them until you are ready to eat them. 

So because my first two tries were unsuccessful, I will tell you what I did differently.  First, whisk the wet ingredients well but once you add the dry ingredients, do not over mix, don't even use a whisk, just use a rubber spatula to mix.  Also, I originally used the refrigerated buttermilk but maybe I used too much.  I went with the powdered buttermilk and it was perfect.  Lastly, do not over bake!  Cook for no more then 25 minutes.   

Jul 3, 2017

Puerto Rican Pinchos/ Beef Kebobs

In Puerto Ricao we call these Pinchos, which is Spanish for "spikes" and they are commonly sold off the side of the roads or in kioskos, which are like makeshift kiosks.   These are basically beef kebobs but using traditional Spanish seasonings. They are definitely better marinated overnight.

These Pinchos are usually served with a piece of bread on top.  I serve them hot off the grill with just a little hot sauce.  I always make larger amounts of meats because it's easier for food prepping.  Usually I will only cook what I need and freeze the rest.  The flavor only gets better and it's less work to do during the work week.  I don't like BBQ sauce, never did but Pinchos are usually topped with BBQ sauce and hot sauce.  I like to use the same marinade to make a sauce. Once you skewer the beef, set the marinade to the side.  In a small pan, heat the marinade, you can add a little beef stock or water to make sure you get it all off the pan, add 2 tbsp of raw honey, 2 tsp olive oil and a little hot sauce and simmer about 8 min. Brush the meat with this in the last 1-2 minutes of cooking.  


Most Latin people like their meat well done. I know for most of you this is unheard of but that's how most of us grew up eating meat.  I like it medium, with just a touch of pink but not bleeding.  So timing on these Pinchos will vary for all of us.  I cooked mine for a total of 7 min.  I cooked each side for 3 min and then used my marinade and turned it to the sides for an extra minute.  I also used metal skewers, but if you like yours medium rare you should probably use the wooden skewers (soak them in water for 30 min first) because the metal will heat the core more than you would want.  My pictures show 2 servings on each skewer.  There is about 8 oz on one skewer.        

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, Camarones Coctel

Looking for an amazing gluten free, 4th of July appetizer to impress your guest? Inspired by a small hole in the wall Mexican spot in Elmhurst Queens that doesn't even have a sign on the outside.  They make these amazing shrimp cocktails in 3 different sizes; small, medium and large.  They are loaded with shrimps, drowned in their homemade sauce (which they are very secretive about), olive oil, clam juice, white onions, cilantro, avocado and finally hot sauce! It was amazing!! and it was so loaded with shrimps that I didn't even need a side.  


The sauce is EVERYTHING in this dish.  Since the Mexican spot was not about to up their secret recipe I decided I was gonna give it a shot and make it myself.  I played with it the different ingredients that is used in any cocktail sauce until I got the flavor that I desired.  I think it's perfect! the only thing I might have done differently is use a little fresh horseradish and bought larger shrimps.

These little cups dress any table up and make you look like a superstar! The sauce is amazing! did I say that already?  Let me say it again, AMAZING!  It's like a cross between a shrimp cocktail and a gazpacho soup!  I have to say I have never been interested in making a gazpacho soup because cold soup has NEVER appealed to me until now.  I drank that sauce like I was drinking a Bloody Mary😜

I made this dish really quickly.  I wanted to bring it to a BBQ I was going to and didn't make the sauce the day before (which is probably the best way) but I made it work.  I grilled the shrimps on the grill because I just didn't feel like using the stove since it was so hot out, but you can just as easily boil the shrimps and make it more of a traditional cocktail.  I also, used fresh tomatoes and grilled those as well to give the sauce more depth.  Look at that cup! Fancy, smancy right??!! lol These could be made as large or small as you want. I made 8 cups with 6 shrimps,  the pictures have larger cups so I used more shrimp.  Also, I used about 1/2 cup sauce in each cup but the measurements I give you made 6.5 cups of sauce.  I plan on making the dish again on the 4th of July so I don't need to make more sauce.  Lastly,  I used Sir Kensington's ketchup because regular ketchup has high fructose corn syrup and I didn't want that in my recipe.