Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup (Gluten-Free)

A while back my friend Michaela over at An Affair From the Heart posted this awesome Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup.  The addition of ginger and cilantro gave it an Asian twist and red pepper flakes gave it a kick.  We were so impressed I couldn't wait to try it again.  Then along came the gluten-free diagnosis.  But I was determined to make it anyway.  Gluten-Free noodles are easy to find, and I made a couple of twists on Michaela's twists.  I'm delighted with this version too.  Now there's a twist on the traditional and a twist on the twist! Make sure you try both versions.  I used Hodgsons Mill Brown Rice Angel Hair Pasta and the results were fabulous.  I also substituted coconut milk for the cream for a truly Asian inspired flavor.  If you omit the butter for some olive oil and use coconut milk then this recipe would be great for not only gluten-free folks but dairy-free as well.  Everybody wins.  Great ingredients, great flavor.  No matter what kind of noodles or dairy you choose, this is a must make.  It will be your new favorite soup for the winter. 

This is my absolute new favorite soup.
I'm so excited that I can still have chicken noodle soup,
thanks to gluten-free noodles!
It's very hearty with lots of chicken and
It's got a great kick and tastes so fresh
with the coconut milk and cilantro for garnish.
Thanks Michaela for a terrific inspiration!

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

adapted from: An Affair From the Heart Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

1 pound chicken breasts
10 cups chicken stock, divided (I use Better Than Bouillon)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or olive oil)
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1-1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/2 cup coconut milk (save reserve for garnish)
1 (8 ounce) package Hodgson Mill Brown Rice Angel Hair Pasta, broken into small pieces
fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a large soup pot, cover with about 2 cups of chicken broth. Cover pot and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.  Cook for 7.5 minutes, flip chicken breasts over and cook for another 7.5 minutes.  Remove chicken breasts from pot.  Place on a cutting board and shred using two forks. Set aside.  Discard liquid from pot and melt the 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Add onions and celery and saute for approximately 5 minutes.  Add carrot and garlic sauteing for an additional minute.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add ginger and red pepper flakes.   Return shredded chicken to the pot and add the remaining 8 cups of chicken stock.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes.  While soup is cooking, in another pot prepare noodles according to package directions and drain them well.  Add coconut milk to soup, stirring thoroughly.  Add noodles.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Serve topped with chopped cilantro and drizzled with reserved coconut milk.

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 1 hour total

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Gluten-Free Crepes

I've started off on a new adventure for 2017.  Gluten-free eating.  I spent most of 2016 on the couch in miserable pain or shuffling back and forth to a million doctors appointments.  No answers and lots of frustrations.  After seeing five different doctors throughout the year, and lots of personal research on my own, I suggested to my doctor could it be a gluten allergy?  And last week it was confirmed.  Along with a lot of other garbage-y repercussions from my 2010 auto accident.  Thanks to my favorite chiropractor and ridding my body of extra inflammation from food allergy, I'm happy to say I am finally feeling better.  It could possibly be a placebo effect from being so happy to finally have some answers, but I'll take it.  Thankfully there are lots and lots of gluten-free products on the market and I've been doing a lot of reading on flour substitutions.  I'm even adding a "gluten-free" label to my recipe index, so looks for lots of upcoming recipes.  These crepes were the second gluten-free I've tried to make.  The first being homemade won ton wrappers for homemade crab rangoons. (Straight to the trash.  More research required.) I'm excited to report that the crepes turned out much better.  I made regular crepes for Mr. Devilish Dish and Little Devil, and the gluten-free for myself.  He sampled both and said mine were actually better.  The addition of vanilla gave them a great flavor and there was no difference texture-wise.  I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour because it was the only baking flour available at my local store, and I was really happy with the results.  I'll be testing a lot of other products and alternative flours in the future so looks for more recipes.  AND if you're not gluten-free at your house, there is no reason why you can't use regular flour either!

The perfect brunch, breakfast or dessert.
You'll never miss the traditional wheat flour.
These turned out perfect
We filled them with Homemade Sous Vide Lemon Curd
and fresh blueberries.  Next time we are trying Nutella and
sliced bananas.  The sky is the limit on your filling ideas!

Gluten-Free Crepes

2 eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
dash salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
unsalted butter to grease the pan

Beat eggs in a bowl, add milk, sugar and vanilla.  Whisk well to combine.  Gradually add the flour and salt, whisking until smooth.  Add the melted butter and whisk until combined.

Heat a crepe pan over medium heat.  Rub the pan with butter until the bottom and sides of pan are coated.  When the butter begins to sizzle (don't let it begin to brown or smoke) add 1/4 cup of batter to the pan, swirling to coat the bottom evenly.  (This should be a very thin coat.)

Cook for 1-2 minutes until the top of the crepe appears solid.  Carefully flip the crepe over and cook approximately 45 seconds on the other side.  Remove to a plate and top spread with the filling of your choice.  Fold in half, and then fold in half again.  You can keep the crepes warm in a 250 degree oven or you can refrigerate them for later use.  I refrigerated the leftover batter and it made approximately 8 crepes over several days.

Prep Time:  Approximately 10 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 3 minutes

*NOTE  You can do this in a small non-stick skillet or frying pan, but you will achieve the best results using a traditional crepe pan.  My absolute favorite is the Berndes 9.5-inch crepe pan.  I have never had a crepe failure using this pan.  In my opinion it is the best non-stick cookware available on the market.  If you enjoy making crepes (savory or sweet) this is a terrific investment.
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