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!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes without the Gluten. Delicous!

Most scalloped potato recipes call for the use of flour as a thickening agent.  When I first found out I had Celiac Disease, I substituted potato starch for a thickening agent in scalloped potatoes.  Then, I changed my technique to a recipe that is thick and creamy and does not require any thickener.  The recipe was originally inspired by Tyler Florence and then tweaked by me. Enjoy!
Thyme Infused Scalloped Potatoes

2 lbs of Russet Potatoes cleaned peeled and evenly sliced into 1/8 inch slices (I use a Mandolin Slicer)
1/2 Cup Reggio Parmigiano Cheese grated
1/2 Cup Assiago Cheese Shredded
2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Tblspn. Unsalted Butter
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (plus 1 additional tblspn. fresh Thyme finely chopped reserved)
1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary (plus1 Tspn. fresh Rosemary finely chopped reserved)
1 Dry Bay Leaf
1/2 Tspn. Freshly Grated Nutmeg (plus 1/4 Tspn. of freshly grated Nutmeg reserved)
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Heat the heavy cream and unsalted butter with 3 sprigs of fresh Thyme, 1 sprig fresh Rosemary, 1 dry Bay Leaf, 1/2 Tspon. freshly grated Nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste (approximately 1/4 tspn. of each) over medium heat.  Stir frequently and do not let the mixture come to a boil.  You want to heat the mixture and keep over a low temperature to infuse the flavors of the herbs and seasonings into the cream.

While the seasonings and herbs are infusing with the cream, arrange sliced potatoes in a low casserole dish.  I arrange them in a circular fashion as pictured above.  Top each single layer of potatoes with a ladle of the infused heavy cream  (be sure to discard the sprigs of thyme and rosemary at this point), salt and pepper to taste, a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg and a layer of the parmigiano and asiago cheese. Continue to layer in this manner until complete.  Pour any remaining infused cream over the top.  Finish with a layer of the two cheeses on top and sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg, fresh thyme and rosemary.

Place in 375 degree oven and allow to bake uncovered until potatoes are fork tender and the top is lightly golden brown.

Comfort Food. . .a Meat Loaf recipe you are sure to love.

This Savory Meatloaf is moist and bursting with flavor.  The texture is wonderful.  It has a tangy and crispy outer layer that gives way to a tender and savory bite of meat loaf.  Enjoy!

Savory Meatloaf
(Glaze Recipe Follows)

2 lbs. of a ground pork, beef and veal mixture (if you prefer all beef, then I suggest 85 percent ground sirloing so that it stays moist) 
2 Eggs lightly beaten
1/2 Cup of Ketchup
1 Tblspn. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
1/3 Cup Dried Parsley
3 Tblspn. Dried Basil
1 Tblspn. Dried Oregano
1 Tblspn. Dried Marjoram
1/2 Tspn. Dried Thyme
2 Tblspn. Salt
2 Tblspn. Black Pepper
1 Large Garlic Clove Crushed if you have a garlic crusher/ricer or otherwise minced finely
1 Large Celery Stalk finely chopped
1 Small Carrott finely chopped
1 Small yellow onion finely chopped

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped celery, carrots and onion to the skillet with a dash of salt and pepper and allow to cook until onions are sweating and celery and carrots are beginning to get tender. 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine the meat, ketchup, eggs, all dried ingredients and the vegetables from the skillet.  Use your hands and mix to incorporate all ingredients.  DO NOT OVER MIX OR THE MEAT WILL TIGHTEN UP.  If you find that the mixture is still too moist to form a loaf, add additional bread crumbs 1/4 cup at a time until mixture is moist but willing to form.

Lightly grease a baking sheet and transfer meat loaf mixture to it and form a loaf.  Make sure the loaf is evenly shaped so that the meat cooks at the same time in all areas of the loaf.  Set aside and make glaze.

Tangy Meatloaf Glaze

1/2 Cup Ketchup
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 Tspn. Salt
1/4 Tspn. Pepper (Plus fresh 1/2 Tspn. fresh ground pepper reserved)
1/4 Tspn. Granulated Garlic or Garlic Powder
1 Tblspn. Fresh Thyme reserved

Using a whisk, incorporate Ketchup, Balsamic Vinegar, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic.  Spread the glaze over the top and sides of the meatloaf.  Sprinkle with the reserved fresh ground pepper and fresh thyme.

Cook Meatloaf in 425 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand for 30 minutes until slicing. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stuffed Artichokes

This recipe is long overdue and at the request of my friend Dena.  Enjoy!
Prior to commencing this recipe, I want to make sure that you are aware how to properly prepare an artichoke for cooking.  I have watched this on television and read about it in books, but it seems that they all trim away too much of these expensive little treats.  As such, through the years, I have continued to prepare them the way my grandmother and mother did.

Cut away the stem so that the artichoke sits flat on the work board.  Turn the artichoke on its side and with a sharp knife cut away the top 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches of the Artichoke.  Be careful because the artichoke can prick you.  While the artichoke is still on its side, use the palm of your hand and roll it back and force placing slight pressure on it.  This will allow it to open up easier for cleaning and stuffing.   Stand the artichoke upright again and work the center open with your thumbs holding the artichoke in the palm of your hands.  Once you have opened it, you will see the small pyramid of lightly colored leaves down in the center. Cut around that pyramid with a paring knife and then use a spoon to remove that portion.  It is prickly and inedible.

Run each artichoke under cold water rinsing it thoroughly.  Allow the water to rinse the inside and outside of the artichoke.  Turn the rinsed artichokes upside down and allow them to drain while you prepare the stuffing.

Stuffed Artichokes

6 Medium sized Artichokes cleaned and prepared as described above
1 Large Dried Bay Leaf
2 Large Peeled whole Garlic Cloves
The Juice of one large lemon
3 Cups of Vegetable Stock
1 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Cup of Water

Stuffing Mixture
1 Large Garlic Clove finely minced
1 Cup of Gluten Free Bread Crumbs (For Regular diets use regular bread crumbs)
1/4 Cup grated Reggio Parmigiano Cheese
1/4 Cup Dried Italian Parsley
3 Tblspn. Dried Basil
1 Tblspn. Dried Oregano
1/2 Tspn. Sea Salt
1/2 Tspn. Black Pepper
2 Tblspn. Sliced Black Olives (Optional)
2 Tblspn. Chopped Mushrooms (Optional)
1 Tblspn. Capers (Optional)
4 Tblspn. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Add Garlic and all dried ingredients (except artichokes) in a bowl and mix with a spoon to incorporate ingredients.  Drizzle 3 Tblspn. of extra virgin olive oil into mixture and continue stirring. 

Turn Artichokes right side up and liberally sprinkle sea salt over them.  (Approximately 1/2 tspn. divided among the 6 artichokes.)  Stuff the center of each artichoke with the mixture until each is filled to the top.  I also use a tablespoon to work the stuffing into the leaves cascading downward toward the base of the artichoke.

Pour the Vegetable Stock, Dry White Wine, lemon juice and Water into a large Saucier.  Add the dried Bay leaf and garlic.  Add the Artichokes so that they are standing upright.  Drizzle the tops of the artichokes with additional remaining olive oil.  Cook over medium high heat until the artichokes are tender.  The cooking time on this will vary depending on the tenderness of the artichokes, but usually takes approximately 2 hours.  You will know when the artichokes are done by testing a leave.  I pull a leaf from half way up the artichoke.  You will know it is done if the leaf comes off easily and the pulp/meat of the artichoke is tender and releases from the leaf easily.

During the cooking process, check your fluid levels often.  Initially, your fluid level will cover 1/2 to 3/4 of the artichokes and will evaporate during the cooking process.  If the level falls to less than 1/3 of the height of the artichokes add additional water to increase the level to 1/2 way up the artichokes.

Once the artichokes are tender, remove them from the saucier and place them in an oven/broiler safe casserole and place them under the broiler for approximately 2 minutes until the top of the suffing is lightly golden.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Grilled London Broil with Peppercorn and Shallot Gravy

Grilled London Broil

1 3lb. London Broil rinsed and patted dry
2 Large Garlic Cloves finely minced
6 Tblspn. Sea Salt
6 Tblspn. Coarse Ground Black Pepper
3 Tblspn. Paprika
1 Tspn. Cumin
1 Tspn. Tumeric
1 Tspn. Ground Corriander
1/4 Cup Dried Italian Parsley
1/8 Cup Dried Basil
2 Tblspn. Dried Thyme
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Combine minced Garlic and all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix until ingredients are incorporated.  Drizzle extra virgin olive oil into the mixture and form a paste.  Place the London Broil on a large plate or board and rub paste on both sides and edges (massage the paste onto the meat to coat well).  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 to 24 hours depending on the preparation time available to you.

Remove from refrigerator and allow to stand for 40 minutes prior to grilling.

Grill over high heat to form a nice golden brown crust on each side.  Reduce heat to medium high and grill until desired doneness.  (Approximately 8 minutes on each side for medium well.)

Remove from grill and allow to stand for 10 - 20 minutes prior to slicing.  Slice meat on the bias for thin strips.

Peppercorn and Shallot Gravy

1 Medium Shallot chopped
2 Tblspn. Whole Black Peppercorns
1 Dried Bay Leaf
1/2 Tspn. Sea Salt
3 Tblspn. Gluten Free Flour  (or regular white flour for unrestricted diet)
3 Tblspn. Unsalted Butter
2 Cups of Beef Stock

Place unsalted butter in a deep sided skillet and melt over medium heat.  Add chopped shallots and cook until shallots soften.  Add flour and increase heat to medium high and stir until mixture thickens and turns a deep golden color.  (Be sure to keep stirring to avoid burning.)  Add beef stock, dried bay leaf, pepper corns and salt.  Use a whisk to incorporate all ingredients.  Allow gravy to come to a boil and continue stirring.  Adjust heat if necessary, but you will want the gravy to thicken at a low boil.  Allow to cook uncovered until the gravy thickens to desired consistency.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Remove Bay Leaf and spoon Gravy over the London Broil. 

Serves 6


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