Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gluten Free Royalty!!

A Royal Celebration on a plate! Beef Wellington accompanied
by Roasted Tomatoes and Basil over fresh baby greens!
In less than 7 hours Prince William will marry the beautiful, elegant and soon to be Princess Kate Middleton. Networks have been and will be broadcasting every detail as the information becomes available (including the Royal Menu no doubt!)

Tomorrow you can eat like a King and a Queen too! Here is a delicious, elegant and regal meal inspired by the Royal Wedding (and of course my "Prince" Pierre.)

Beef Wellington

For the pastry:
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
4 tbs butter, room temperature
4oz neufetchel cheese or light cream cheese, room temperature
1/4tsp fresh ground sea salt
1/4tsp fresh ground black pepper

Mix dry ingredients together, then knead in room temperature butter and light cream cheese until the dough is formed. Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator.

For the Filling:

1 pound of beef tenderloin, about 1 inch thick
2 tbs olive oil
1 large vidalia or sweet onion, finely chopped
2 large portabello mushroom caps, finely chopped
8-10 sprigs of fresh thyme
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of cream sherry
Freshly ground sea salt & pepper to taste

Place a large skillet on medium high heat and add the Olive oil. One the oil is hot add the chopped onion, fresh thyme sprigs and chopped portabello mushroom caps. Stir together. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes or until the onions are tender and the edges have started to turn a golden brown. Add minced garlic. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cream sherry. Cook for an additional 5-8 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. While the filling is cooking cut the beef into 2 inch chunks. Lightly grease a muffin tin with butter. Remove your dough from the refrigerator and cut into 7 even pieces, set one piece aside (this will be for the tops). Push 1 each of the 6 pieces of dough into one of the muffin cups. Place 1 piece of beef into each dough lined cup. Top beef with 1-2 teaspoons of the onion mushroom filling and cover with reserved dough. Make a small cut in the top of each little Beef Wellington and place in the oven.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is just golden brown, cook a bit longer if you prefer your meat well done.

To make a delightful gravy, add 1 teaspoon of potato starch to 2 cups of chicken stock or milk. Add the mix to the leftover filling in the skillet. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until the gravy has reached the desired consistency. You may add a bit more cream sherry if you like.

Roasted Tomatoes & Basil straight out of the oven!
 Roasted Tomatoes & Basil over Baby Greens

10 cocktail tomatoes, sliced in half and seeds removed
2 hand fulls of fresh basil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt & pepper to taste

5 cups of fresh baby greens

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half, remove the stems and seeds. Place in a oven safe baking dish. Tear the fresh basil leaves. Add and toss together fresh basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. Toss hot roasted tomatoes over fresh baby greens and serve immediately. Enjoy this brilliantly easy side dish.

Queen Elizabeth's Strawberries & Cream

4 cups of strawberries
2 teaspoons of pure honey
1 teaspoon cream sherry
Premium Vanilla Ice Cream

Slice strawberries and place in a large bowl. Mix the sliced strawberries with pure honey and cream sherry. Serve in a lovely dish on top of 2 generous scoops of premium vanilla ice cream.

Royal Honeymoon

2 parts Moonstone coconut lemongrass sake
1 part Bacardi rock coconut rum 
2 parts lite coconut milk
3 teaspoons freshly shaved coconut meat

Shake all ingredients together with ice, strain and pour into your favorite martini glass. Please enjoy responsibly.

*Always Read the ingredient labels of each individual ingredient you are using to make sure that, that particular brand is completely gluten free. If you are unsure call the manufacturer or visit their web site, they are usually more than happy to answer your questions. *
This recipe was created by Amy Rota-Poulin author of Cooking Gluten Free With Amy.  Enjoy!

For more royal recipes, give my cookbook a look, Cooking Gluten Free With Amy available at the Northshire Bookstore and online!
The Beef Wellington Cooking to perfection

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Gluten Free GREAT!!

Pierre's amazingly delicious dinner at our new favorite
restaurant. Look for more information on this new
mystery restaurant right here! Coming Soon!
 Everyone who knows me knows that I am super strict about gluten cross contamination in my kitchen. My passion for "safe" gluten free cuisine follows me everywhere I go, from my home to the restaurants we frequent.

If you are living a gluten free lifestyle, then you know how hard it can be to find a "safe" restaurant, a restaurant where you can trust to dine. Many restaurants are seeing the green and offering gluten free menus (I have even seen a restaurant that offers a "low gluten" menu.) This can be very deceptive to the gluten free consumer, since it only takes less than 20ppm of gluten to contaminate an entire meal. Many of these restaurants have no training or education in gluten free cuisine. In fact most of these restaurants do not even have any gluten cross contamination procedures in place.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has created a wonderfully proactive program for restaurants with the appropriate acronym GREAT. The NFCA's Gluten-Free Resource Education and Awareness Training program "empowers the food industry to provide safe gluten-free options for individuals and institutions."

Here is a list of the available GREAT programs currently available:

         GREAT Business Association is a gluten-free business association open to individuals and businesses. In addition to networking, the association helps food manufacturers uphold best practices for gluten-free food production.
  • GREAT Kitchens provides a "Train-the-Trainer" course for chefs and food service managers. Included with the program are tools to educate the entire kitchen staff on safe gluten-free food handling.
  • GREAT Dietitians provides similar programming to GREAT Kitchens, but adds specific lessons for the trained dietitian, including an introduction to clinical practices.
As the Restaurant Liaison for the Glens Falls & Saratoga Springs Regional Celiac Support Group, I see first hand how we can help restaurants serve a delicious and safe gluten free menu. (Yes you can have both!) We are instituting a "Restaurant of the Month" program. For a restaurant to qualify they must enroll and complete the NFCA's GREAT Kitchens course. Upon completion of the NFCA's course the restaurant can contact me and together we can develop a delectable gluten free menu that fits that particular restaurant's vision and set up safe gluten free cross contamination procedures. To know when the Glens Falls & Saratoga Springs Celiac Support Group's schedule of meetings please visit

No matter what part of the country you live in, I encourage you to have your favorite restaurant (or a restaurant you would like to be your new favorite restaurant) complete the NFCA's GREAT Kitchens course. Please visit the National Foundation For Celiac Awareness's website, for more information on all of their fabulous educational programs. Remember that once you have the knowledge you have the power! Take charge of your gluten free lifestyle and love it!

I love the message at the bottom of this menu!

Amy's Recipe of the Day: 
Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Copyright 2010 by Amy Rota-Poulin

Marinade & Savory Sauce:

1 cup plain low fat yogurt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon brown mustard (gluten free)
2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
4 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, about the juice of one large lemon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Kabob Fixings

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” chunks
18 cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, cut into 1” slices
Bamboo kabob sticks, soaked in water

Marinade & Savory Sauce
Mix together the yogurt, olive oil, mustard, fresh rosemary, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place half of the mixture in a gallon size bag, and reserve the other half in your refrigerator to enjoy later.

Kabobs Fixings:
Cut the chicken breasts into 1” chunks and place in the plastic bag that has the marinade in it.  Place the bag in the fridge. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes, however you can leave it in your fridge overnight. Meanwhile place your bamboo skewers in water, and set aside. This process helps the skewers not to burn. Get your grill started on medium/low heat.

To assemble your skewers place a slice of red onion, followed by a chunk of marinated chicken, another slice of red onion, a cherry tomato, a slice of red onion, a chunk of marinated chicken…and so on until each skewer has 3 pieces of chicken and 2 tomatoes on it. Of course you may make them however you like, this is way is just what I have found to be the most flavorful.

Grill the kabobs on medium low heat until the chicken is fully cooked. Approximately 4-5 minutes each side. Make sure to turn your kabobs!  Serve your kabobs piping hot with a dollop of sauce.  With this easy and summery dish the Mediterranean comes right to your backyard. Great Recipe for entertaining! Enjoy!
*Always Read the ingredient labels of each individual ingredient you are using to make sure that, that particular brand is completely gluten free. If you are unsure call the manufacturer or visit their web site, they are usually more than happy to answer your questions. *
This recipe was created by Amy Rota-Poulin author of Cooking Gluten Free With Amy.  Enjoy!
These recipes and many more can be found in my cookbook, Cooking Gluten Free With Amy available at the Northshire Bookstore and online!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sweet Spring!!

Maple Syrup in the making.
Spring is here! Now I know most of you are likely thinking, "Amy have you looked outside today?" 

Just think, right now maple trees are being tapped, the sap is being collected and the sugar houses are turning maple sap into one of my all time favorites, real maple syrup! There is something magical about visiting your local Sugar House this time of year. There are many great recipes that call of this all natural, dare I say organic, gluten free sweet treat straight from nature. Take the time to go with your family to a real sugar house and pick up a nice big bottle of fresh maple syrup, because you are going to need it!

It is no secret that I love maple syrup! Growing up in the Adirondacks definitely has it's perks, one of them is having plenty of real maple syrup on hand to cook with, bake with, and try new recipes with. I even took maple syrup, a quart at a time to college with me. Alright, I can't believe I am typing this little fact in a blog, I always kept a tiny single serving size bottle of real maple syrup in my car with me. On the long drive home from college, if I needed a little sugar boost I would sip the divine, sweet pure maple syrup, straight from the bottle!

A little bit more about my favorite sweetener: Maple syrup is made from the sap of the sugar maple tree. It is produced at the beginning of the Spring season, see Spring really is here! There are different grades of maple syrup which provide different colors and flavors. Syrup that is made during the beginning of the syrup season is called light amber,which is typically lighter in color, sweeter tasting with a very light maple flavor. As the season moves along, the syrup becomes darker in color and the maple flavor becomes stronger. For instance after light amber follows, medium amber and then dark amber. I find that the darker the color the stronger the maple flavor.

Maple syrup adds it's one of a kind delicious flavor to many dishes and pairs quite nicely with a large variety of foods. I often substitute real maple syrup for sugar in recipes, this is the basic rule I use:
3/4 cup pure maple syrup = 1 cup of granulated sugar--and I reduce liquids in a recipe by 3-4 tablespoons for each cup of Maple Syrup used. This depends on your taste and what type of recipe you are making.

Here are a few quick and easy everyday ways to use pure maple syrup:

*Add maple syrup to your favorite baked beans to easily turn them into scrumptious Maple Baked Beans, perfect for any BBQ

*Pour pure maple syrup over your favorite hot breakfast cereal like teff or brown rice of farina, no need for artificial flavors here!
*Make a healthy and delicious snack by pouring a little bit of real maple syrup of your favorite plain yogurt, Greek yogurt, and/or cottage cheese, top with fresh fruit and you have a snack fit for kings!
*Pour pure maple syrup over your favorite ham before baking. The maple syrup adds great flavor, and a fabulous glaze like texture!

*To make one of my Mom's favorite staples, cut an acorn squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place cut side up in a baking dish and pour 1-2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup in the center of each acorn squash half. Pour 1 -2 inches water in the baking dish. Bake until squash is tender, about 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees.

*Top premium vanilla ice cream with pure light amber maple syrup for a light and fresh summery dessert.

Amy's Quick Recipe of the Day: Midsummer's Night Dream Ice Cream:
2 scoops of your favorite premium vanilla ice cream (gluten free of course)
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons of real maple syrup

Scoop the ice cream into a lovely dish or bowl. Top ice cream with fresh blueberries and finish this picture perfect dessert with a drizzle of real maple syrup. Simple put, this is a smile in a bowl! Repeat recipe as needed.

Happy Spring Everyone!!

Just a quick reminder that the Price Chopper Gluten Free Seminar is almost here, Join us April 13, 2011. For more information click here.

Click here for more information on Amy's cookbook,  Cooking Gluten Free With Amy