Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pasta Shells with Crab, Tomatoes, and Avocadoes


This is one of my favorite pasta dishes that is perfect for the summer as it is delicious both hot and cold.  It has evolved a bit from its original form. The original is in Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer (pg. 38). I found that I like how the shells capture the crab meat.  It allows you to not only have more crab in a bite, but you are able to get the perfect bite (crab, shell, tomato, and last, but not least some avocado). I like to add the avocado to each individual bowl as it’s served so the avocado doesn’t turn brown.




2 cloves of garlic
¾ tbsp kosher salt
¼-⅓ tsp crushed red pepper
2 cans of lump crab meat drained
1 can of fancy crab meat drained
½ cup olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 box of medium pasta shells (1 pound)
2 handfuls of parsley chopped
1.5 pts of grape tomatoes quartered
1-2 avocadoes chopped

·         Put a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
·         In a pestle and mortar mash the garlic and the salt into a smooth paste (or use the small bowl of  your food processor).
·         If using the pestle and mortar, add the lemon juice to the bowl to help loosen up the garlic and salt mixture. Transfer to a bowl large enough for you to mix the pasta in.
·         Add the lemon zest, olive oil, tomatoes, and crab meat.
·         Add the cooked pasta and parsley and gently fold till mixed.
·         To each individual serving, add the avocado.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Maple Pecan Scones




Maple and pecans make me think of cool brisk breezes, red and gold leaves on the trees, and the warmth of comforting foods of autumn. Yes, I know it’s summer and it’s been in the 90’s here, but that’s all the more reason to reminisce about the lovely cool weather in the latter months of the year. Regardless of the time of year, these scones are a real treat.  I make these with rice milk  (Enriched Rice Dream Vanilla) instead of cream and Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine sticks in place of the butter and shortening. In this recipe, I use real maple syrup in both the scone mixture and the frosting. The result is a lovely subtle maple flavor with just the right amount of sweetness.  The pecans are a nice addition for texture, but the surprise ingredient here is the oatmeal. The oatmeal adds a very subtle texture similar to coconut.


INGREDIENTS:

Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
⅔ cup rice milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick + 2 tbsp Fleishmann’s Unsalted Margarine
½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Frosting:
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
½ cup sifted powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

·         Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
·         In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
·         Combine the rice milk, syrup, and vanilla in a measuring cup or a small bowl.
·         Cut the margarine into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender (or your fingers) until the pieces margarine are the size of peas.
·         Add the chopped toasted pecans to the flour mixture and stir just until mixed.
·         Gently stir the rice milk mixture into the dry ingredients just until mixed and no dry flour is visible.
·         On a lightly floured surface pat the dough into flattened log about 18 inches long and ¾ inch thick(or you can pat into an 8 inch circle of the same thickness).
·         Cut dough into wedges (10-12 if you are using the flattened log and 8 if you are cutting the circle. Place the wedges on the baking sheet.
·         Bake for 15-17 minutes. The scones should be golden on top.
·         Remove from the oven.
·         While the scones are cooling, whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla, powdered sugar and salt until smooth. Drizzle on the slightly warm scones.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Here Goes Something


Usually when you embark on a new and daunting experience, the phrase muttered is “Here goes nothing”, but this really is something.  At least it is for me.  So, here I go and here I am.

Welcome to my blog. The basis of my blog is dairy free baking and cooking.  Though, if you have stumbled here by accident, please take off your shoes and stay awhile. You don’t have to be living a dairy free lifestyle to enjoy my recipes. Just so you know I am not a vegetarian or vegan. If a recipe happens to fall into either of those categories, it is just by chance. Why dairy free, you ask. Well, I am allergic to all dairy proteins and my husband is lactose intolerant. I guess that worked out well.  Living and cooking without dairy products isn’t as difficult as it might seem and it definitely is not as bland as you might fear. So, please join me on my food blogging journey.




*Note:  From what I have read, you aren’t suppose to mention specific brands, but I will mention some of the ones I use. When cooking and especially baking dairy free food, some products work better than others. When that is the case, I will name the brand, but I am not getting any kind of perk from the company.