Saturday, April 26, 2014

Egg Strata Casserole (Make Ahead)

This is my adaptation of a recipe I saw printed on a calendar!  Everyone who has tried it has loved it!  The eggs, sausage, cheese, greens, caramelized onions and capers have been included every time I have made it, but I have changed up the other vegetable ingredients according to what I happened to have on hand at the time.  It has never been less than wonderful!

Egg Strata Casserole  (Make Ahead)

1 ½ lb ground breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 large onion, chopped and sautéed until caramelized
16 oz bag of fresh greens, steamed and chopped or use frozen (squeeze out liquid)
1 bunch broccoli, steamed and chopped (optional)
3 oz jar of capers, drained
1 sweet pepper, chopped and sautéed (optional)
2 carrots, peeled, sliced and steamed until tender (optional)
1 ½ cup shredded cheese (I use a blend of Manchego and Pecorino Romano sheep cheeses)
12 eggs, beaten

Lightly grease a 9 x 13” baking dish.  Sprinkle the bottom with the cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage.  Layer on the next ingredients in the order listed:  caramelized onions, cooked greens (may be kale, swiss chard, spinach or a combination of greens), capers, and other optional vegetables of your choice:  broccoli, carrots, sweet peppers, or any other vegetables you have on hand that appeal to you.

Sprinkle the grated cheese over the  top of the strata of sausage and vegetables.  At this point, the casserole may be covered and stored in the refrigerator overnight.

About 45 minutes before you plan to serve the dish, beat the dozen eggs and pour them evenly over the top of the sausage / vegetable / cheese strata.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes or until the eggs are set. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chocolate Pudding Cake - Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free Version

 This special dessert is something our mother made when we were children.  It was a favorite and I am so happy to be able to adapt this recipe to my dietary restrictions.  I make this when my sister, Becky comes to visit, as it is a comfort food for her, too!  It is a delightful combination of gooey chocolate pudding on the bottom, moist tender cake in the middle with a crunchy sugary top crust.  Delightful to the senses.  Serve warm from the oven with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Mix together:
½ cup cane sugar (I use organic granulated)
¼ cup cocoa powder  ( I use an organic cocoa powder)
1 cup brown rice flour (or use a blend of brown rice, millet and tapioca starch)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Then add:
½ cup unsweetened dairy free milk substitute (I use coconut milk)
3 tablespoons oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix well and pour the batter into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.

½ cup granulated or brown sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
Mix these two dry ingredients until well blended and sprinkle evenly over the batter in the casserole dish.

Pour over:
2 cups boiling water
The boiling water will completely submerge the batter and topping.

Bake in a preheated oven to 350 degrees.

Remove after 25 to 35 minutes – when the cake is still a bit jiggly, but the surface is starting to crack.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

I really try to avoid nightshades and that includes tomatoes - which means a lot of wonderful dishes are not available to me.  While in Mexico, I was reading some recipe books and I found multiple recipes for making sauce with tomatillos.  They are not related to tomatoes.  Not a nightshade.  Actually - they are related to gooseberries, apparently.  So, I thought it would be worth a try.....this sauce is delicious!

Mexican Green Tomato Sauce
Tomatillo Sauce for Enchiladas

4 or 5 medium size tomatillos
1 clove garlic
1 dried Ancho chili
1 dried Serrano chili
¼ cup agave nectar

Peel tomatillos, cut into quarters and cover with water in a saucepan.
Simmer on medium high heat until tomatillos begin to break down.
Remove pan from heat and add garlic and dried chilies.  Set aside for 15 minutes until chilies are soft.  Remove stems from chilies and add pour everything into a blender –adding in the agave nectar.  Blend until sauce is liquefied. 

This sauce may now be refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.

Reheat the sauce in a skillet large enough to dip the tortillas into if making enchiladas.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Las Conchas Smoothie

The fruit in Mexico is so wonderful!  The mangos, papayas, pineapple, bananas!  Yum!

This recipe was born out of the necessity of finishing off the last of our fruit before our departure.
It made a great beach drink with a bit of nutrition!

Las Conchas Smoothie
2 ripe mangos, peeled and cubed
1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed
1 ripe pear, cubed
4 limes, juiced
3 ounces white tequila
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
1 cup coconut milk

Blend in a blender until liquid.  Serve over ice with a wedge of lime.  Serves 4 (or less)

·        Tequila can be omitted
·        Add ½ cup bubbly water for per serving for a lighter drink