I am so glad you stopped by. Since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I've been converting my Italian family's recipes to gluten free. My family and friends can't tell the difference! I also create my own delicious recipes. I will be posting new recipes weekly which will range from traditional comfort foods to gourmet dishes. Not all of the recipes will be Italian, but they all will be delicious! In addition, you will find helpful tips for gluten free living, related links and product recommendations. I welcome any specific requests for recipes. If I don't have it, I will find it! You can email me directly. A link to my email is located in my profile. . . simply click on the tab to view my full Enjoy the site!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Marinated and Grilled Lamb Chops

Savory Grilled Lamb Chops

These delicious lamb chops are a summer grilling staple at my house.  They are marinated in a savory blend of herbs, lemon, garlic, olive oil and balsamic and then grilled to perfection!  There is no residual "gamey" taste. . .I highly recommend that whether your are a confirmed lamb lover or not, you give these a try. . .I guarantee that you will be back for more!

Savory Grilled Lamb Chops

12 Lamb Chops
2 Large Garlic Cloves Crushed
1 Tblspn. Salt (Sea or Kosher)
1 Tblspn. Ground Black Pepper
1/3 Cup Fresh Mint roughly chopped
1/3 Cup Fresh Italian Flat Leaf Parsley finely chopped
1 Sprig Rosemary (I usually cut a piece that is about 4 inches long)
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
Juice of 1 Fresh Lemon

Rinse lamb chops and pat dry.  Set the chops aside.  Mix remaining ingredients in a gallon size zipper plastic bag.  Add the lamb chops to the marinade.  Zip the bag and move the lamb chops around until the marinade is thoroughly mixed and the lamb is well coated.  Place the bag in the refrigerator for 5 to 24 hours according to what your schedule permits.
Grill lamb chops to desired doneness.  I find that 5 minutes on each side over a medium flame results in a medium well done chop.

Serves 4

NOTES:  In a prior post I stated that I preferred to use dry herbs in a marinade.  While I still stand behind that, there are certain meats and fish that do better with the subtle infusion of fresh herbs.  Lamb is one of those meats.   In this recipe if you prefer dry herbs, then use 2 Tblspns. of Parsley, 2 Tblspn. of Mint and 1 Tblspn. of Rosemary.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

For those who prefer Dry Rubs when grilling. . .

     I think that dry rubs result in a very tastey BBQ.  On another note, they are not as messy on your grill.  I think the key to great flavor with a dry rub is the technique in applying it and the length of time the meat is allowed to sit with the dry rub.  Insofar as the technique is concerned, you can't just sprinkle the seasonings on the meat.  You have to get your hands dirty.  Massage the seasoning into the meat making sure that the flavor is really getting in there.  As for the time, I like to dry rub the meat at least 5 hours prior to grilling.  I have done 24 hours when I plan my menu sufficiently in advance.  This is the dry rub that I put together and it tastes great.  Feel free to add or delete spices and share your secrets with me!

BBQ Dry Rub

1/2 Cup Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Garlic Powder (Do not use Garlic Salt in place of Garlic Powder)
3 Tblspn. Ceyenne Pepper
1/4 Cup Chili Powder
3 Tblspn. Cumin
1/2 Cup Smoked Paprika

Place all ingredients in a ziplock bag and shake to mix ingredients thoroughly.  Store spice rub in a tupperware container or glass spice jar.    This rub is delicious on Ribs, Brisket and Chicken.  I have also used this rub on Sirloins.  It can be used in combination with a liquid mop or BBQ sauce on the grill.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gluten intolerance and most BBQ sauces are not a good mix. . .

      Just reading the ingredients on most BBQ sauce labels is a frightening experience for a person who can't eat Gluten.  There are a plethora of ingredients that do or may contain gluten such as, MSG, Modified Food Starch, and Caramel color.  Well, I began working on a BBQ sauce, something I had never made, shortly after my diagnosis.  I ultimately achieved a BBQ sauce that made me never want to buy it in a bottle again.  It is very easy to make.  This recipe is a nice balance between spicy and sweet.  However, the beauty of this recipe is that the seasonings can be adjusted easily to accommodate your own taste.  If you want it hotter, throw in more Jalepeno or perhaps substitute a Habanero instead.  Sweeter?  More brown sugar or balsamic vinegar.  Saltier?  add a pinch. . .you get the idea.  This BBQ sauce is great on Brisket, Ribs, Chicken, Shrimp. . .if you can BBQ it, this sauce works.  Enjoy! 

Donna's Kickin'  BBQ Sauce

3 Small Shallots finely minced
1 Large Sweet Yellow Onion chopped
4 Large Garlic Cloves finely minced
1 Jalapeno pepper minced (If you like it hotter keep the seeds, otherwise discard seeds)
4 Strips Thick Cut Smoked Bacon chopped
4 Tblspn. Ground Black Pepper
4 Tblspn. Paprika
4 Tblspn. Chili Powder
2 Tspn. Ground Cumin
2 Tspn. Ground Ceyenne Pepper
2 Tspn. Salt
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Apple Balsamic Vinegar
2 28 oz. Cans of Crushed Tomatoes  (with no seasonings added)

Heat oil in a saucier or large skillet.  Add bacon.  When Bacon is half way cooked, add garlic, onion, shallots and jalapeno.  Cook, stirring frequently, until bacon is crisped on the edges.  Add crushed tomatoes and the balance of all remaining ingredients.  Stir thoroughly until brown sugar and vinegar is incorporated with no color streaking.    At this point, the BBQ sauce should be a brownish red.  The color of the sauce is directly related to its appropriate taste.  If you prefer a darker BBQ sauce, you can add, more of the Brown Sugar, Apple Balsamic and Chili Powder at this point.  However, add only 1 Tblspn at a time of the Brown Sugar and Apple Balsamic and 1 Tspn. of the Chili Powder and taste test before any further additions.  Bring the BBQ sauce to a light boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 1.5 hours.

Makes 2 Quarts.

Note:  If you prefer a very smooth textured BBQ sauce, simply allow the BBQ sauce to cool and run the sauce through either a food processor or blender to achieve a smooth consistency.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Veal Giuseppi. . .inspired by my husband and created by me for him. . .

Veal Giuseppi

 This is a savory, rustic dish of veal, fresh fennel and capers brought together with fire roasted tomatoes.  Veal Giuseppi is amazing served over steamed white rice.  I prefer a delicate green vegetable to accompany this dish.  Here it is shown with Garlic and Lemon Broccolini.  Enjoy!

Veal Giuseppi

8 Veal Cutlets
1 Medium Shallot finely chopped
1 Small Garlic Clove minced
1 Large Fennel Bulb
3 Tblspn. Capers (Non-Pareil)
3 Tblspn. Sliced Kalamata or Dried Black Olives (optional)
3 Cups Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 Cup Gluten Free Flour for dusting Veal Cutlets  (seasoned with 1 Tspn. Salt, 1 Tspn. Ground Black Pepper, and 2 Tblspn. Dried Parsley)
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste when dish is complete and in simmer stage.
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tblspn. Unsalted Butter
1/3 Cup Dry Red Wine

Rinse the Veal Cutlets and pound to tenderize.  (I usually pound the Veal to 1/2 its original thickness.  Always pound from the center outward.  Often the cutlet becomes large enough to cut into two pieces.)  Dredge each pounded cutlet in the seasoned flour coating each side of the cutlet and set aside.  Chop the Shallot, mince the garlic, rinse the capers and slice the olives and set the ingredients aside.  Break down the fennel bulb.  (Cut of the stalks, but reserve the Frons, quarter the bulb, remove the core and slice the fennel and rinse.)  Heat the extra virgin olive oil and butter over medium high heat in a large skillet.  Sautee the veal cutlets until lightly golden brown on each side.  Remove Veal from pan and set aside.  Remove pan from heat and add 1/3 cup dry red wine.  Return pan to the heat  (medium heat) and use a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan and incorporate the pan drippings.  Add garlic, shallots and fennel to the pan.  Sautee until the fennel is tender.  Add fire roasted tomatoes and allow to cook for 10 minutes.  Add capers and black olives.  Stir sauce to incorporate ingredients.  Taste sauce and salt and pepper to taste.  Add veal back to the pan and turn each piece of veal to coat thoroughly with sauce. Run a knife through the Fennel Frons and lightly chop.  Sprinkle the chopped frons over the sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer.  Allow to Veal to simmer in sauce for 30 minutes.

While the Veal is simmering, prepare the steamed white rice and the Garlic and Lemon Broccolini (see recipe below).

Garlic and Lemon Broccolini

2 Bunches Broccolini
1 Medium Garlic Clove finely minced
1/2 Tspn. Sea Salt
1 Tspn. Ground Black Pepper
Juice and Zest of 1/2 small Lemon
3 Tblspn. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Water

Prepare Broccolini by cuting the bottom 1/4 inch of the stems and rinse under cold water.  Add 1/3 cup of Water, fresh lemon juice and Broccolini to a skillet over medium high heat and cover.  Allow Broccolini to steam until slightly tender, but still firm.  Remove skillet from heat and drain water from pan.  Rinse Broccolini with cold water.  This will aid in retaining the green color.  Pat dry.  Return pan to medium high heat and add the extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic.  When oil is heated, return the Broccolini to the pan.  Season with the sea salt and ground black pepper.  Allow Broccolini to sautee until fork tender.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with lemon zest. 

Note:  There are varying sizes of Capers.  The general rule is the smaller the caper the more mild its taste.  You will notice that I always use the "nonpereil" caper.  This caper is from the South of France and is very mild.  If you haven't tried capers in your cooking or you haven't tried the nonpereil caper, please do so!


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