Thursday, April 23, 2009

Baked Peaches . . .

. . . and the results of the vegetarian, non-dairy, non-soy, gluten-free dinner!

In my last post I asked for some suggestions for our company with strict diet needs. I ended up making fish tacos, dredging small pieces of basa in Creole seasoning and corn meal and wrapping them in corn tortillas. I served (vegetarian!) refried beans and Spanish rice on the side along with a salad with homemade lemon-garlic dressing, and had cole slaw, cheese, sour cream and tomatoes to go on the tacos.

Dessert was the real challenge. Do you know how many recipes call for either flour or milk or both?! Answer: almost all of them. I could have bought a gluten-free cake mix and used rice milk, but in my experience some brands are really good and some really aren't, and I didn't have time to experiment. Luckily, I found the recipe below in my "Best of America" cookbook, and it was delicious!

The dinner was a hit, we enjoyed their company, and now I'm ready for a new challenge. Anyone got an egg allergy?

Baked Peaches with Raspberry Sauce

3 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup ground almonds
6 ripe peaches

1 cup raspberries
1 Tbsp or more confectioners sugar
1 Tbsp fruit-flavored brandy (optional)

Beat the butter with the sugar until soft and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the ground almonds and beat just until blended.

Halve the peaches and remove the pits. Scrape out some of the flesh from each half to enlarge the hollow, reserving the excess peach flesh to use in the sauce. Place each half on a baking sheet, using crumpled foil if needed to keep them upright. Fill each hollow with the almond mixture. Bake at 350 about 30 minutes, until filling is fluffy and golden and peaches are tender.

Combine the sauce ingredients and the excess peach flesh in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and press through a strainer to remove fibers and seeds.

Let the peaches cool slightly, then serve with the sauce on the side.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Congealed Salad

This is what I brought to Christy's for Easter. We grew up eating it at holidays but it's a great dish to bring to a pot-luck or cookout...

Congealed Salad:
1 package (6 oz) raspberry Jello
1 1/2 Cups boiling water
1 can blueberries (15 oz) juice and all (I use Oregon )
1 can (15 oz) crushed pineapple (juice and all)

Mix boiling water with Jello. Add the other ingredients and pour into a 9 x 13 dish and chill in the refrigerator. When congealed, spread with topping.

1 package (8 oz) softened cream cheese
1 carton (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix topping ingredients together and spread on the congealed Jello. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts on top (I skip the nuts)

Notes: you can sub in cherries for the blueberries or change up the Jello flavor. Also, when making the topping, pour the sugar on the softened cream cheese and let it sit for awhile (1/2 to 1 hour). It will blend together more smoothly. After you get the sugar and cc blended, then add the sc and vanilla.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Foodie Brainteaser

I have a small cooking dilemma on my hands, and thought I'd throw this out there to see what you other cooks might do. We've invited another couple over to dinner, and when we have company I always ask if there's anything they can't or won't eat. Usually people say they'll eat anything, or maybe they don't like mushrooms or tomatoes--easy enough. Well, this time the answer may be more than I bargained for: she's a vegetarian, and he can't have dairy, soy or wheat!

So I ask you: what would you cook? I've got some ideas in mind, and I'll post again in a few days with what I end up preparing, but I'm curious to see what y'all might come up with!