Gluten-free Raspberry Souffle
Spring, the long anticipated season of rebirth and renewal is finally making a tentative appearance. I can’t remember the last time I was this desperate for it to arrive, can you? As I’m writing this and dreaming about the long awaited Spring, I’m reminded of our recent visit to Cumberland Island last month. The weather was just starting to break from chilly gloom to vibrant blue skies and sunshine. A few early blooms were peeking out of a carpet of brown and most heartening of all was that the resurrection ferns were verdant again.
When we were there last December they were brown, withered and looking lifeless, but with a deep soaking rain the fronds unfurl and then once again adorn the trunks and limbs of the trees that host them. They rise again, letting us know that we can soon look forward to the long awaited season of renewal. It is said that these ferns can go as long as 100 years without water, just waiting for the chance to flourish again.
What’s inspiring me in the kitchen now is light, airy and Spring-like…I’m thinking souffle. Souffles make me smile and I love the sense of anticipation. This one will not disappoint. It is light, but with an intense raspberry glow thanks to the addition of the Chambord in the souffle and in the sauce. This is not an easy recipe, but the results and “oohs” and “aahs” of your family and friends will make the effort worthwhile for your next Sunday Supper.
Now, let’s get to work.
First, you need to make the raspberry puree. Combine the ingredients listed and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool. Place in blender and puree for a few minutes. Place a large strainer over a larger bowl, as shown. Pour in the raspberry puree. Using a large wooden spoon stir and press the puree into the bowl leaving the seeds behind. What you will get is fresh, raspberry puree. You will use 1/2 cup of this for the souffle and 1 cup for the sauce.
For the sauce you will whisk 1 cup of the puree, Chambord, butter, fresh lemon juice and cornstarch in a small saucepan, stir occasionally until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
I like to use 8 – 3 oz. (3 inch) ramekins for this recipe. Butter and dust them with granulated sugar. Important, clean off the rim, or the souffle will not rise properly.
Next, the custard.
In order for this recipe to be gluten-free you need to make sure that your cornstarch is gluten-free. I’ve researched and found that Argo cornstarch is processed correctly.
Whisk together the granulated sugar and cornstarch in large saucepan. Whisk in milk, eggs and Chambord. Over low heat, whisk mixture until it forms the consistency of custard. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla and butter.
Now, the fun part.
In a large bowl, add the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat until eggs form stiff peaks.
Gently, fold in the custard mixture and fill ramekins to right underneath where you cleaned the collar.
Place ramekins on a baking tray and immediately place in oven.
Your oven needs to be 400 degrees…no cheating and popping these in at 375 if you forgot to preheat the oven, or you will be sadly disappointed. Bake until slightly golden on top, about 10 to 12 minutes. Do not open and close oven door to check.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, garnish with a few raspberries and serve immediately with sauce.
Gluten- Free Raspberry Souffle Recipe
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Light, airy and intensely fruity dessert, perfect for Spring.
For the Puree:
4 - 6 oz. containers of fresh raspberries (remove 16 for garnish)
6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon water
For the Sauce:
1 Cup raspberry puree
1/2 Cup Chambord (a raspberry liqueur)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 Teaspoon cornstarch
For the Custard:
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup raspberry puree
1/2 cup Chambord
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Egg White Mixture:
5 egg whites
1/8 Teaspoon (pinch) of cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Separate the eggs.
Butter the individual ramekins. Dust with granulated sugar. Be sure to wipe off the collar of the dish (as shown).
For the Puree:
Remove 16 raspberries (for garnish). In a large saucepan, add remaining berries, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes till fruit is very soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
Pour raspberries into a blender and blend at the puree setting for about 2 minutes. Place a large strainer over an even larger bowl (as shown). Press the raspberries through the stainer with a wooden spoon. You will yield approximately 1 1/2 cups of raspberry puree.
For the Sauce:
In a small saucepan on medium heat, stir in the raspberry puree, Chambord, butter, fresh lemon juice and cornstarch till sauce starts to bubble slightly. Turn down heat and simmer for about 5 minutes till sauce thickens. Remove from heat and let cool.
For the Custard:
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in milk, egg yolks, raspberry puree and Chambord. On medium heat, stir constantly until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in the butter and vanilla.
For the Egg Mixture:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until they form soft peaks (as shown).
Gently, fold the custard into the egg mixture. Do this step as quickly and gently as possible.
Fill the ramekins to right below the collar of the dish. Place all of the ramekins on a baking tray. Pop tray into the oven for about 10 - 12 minutes till the tops are slightly golden.
Remove from oven, dust with confectioner's sugar and top with 2 raspberries per serving.
Serve immediately accompanied by a container of the sauce.
One Irish dish that’s familiar to almost everyone is corned beef and cabbage. But, did you know that boiled bacon and cabbage is a a popular, traditional Irish dish as well? Actually, the most important meat in Ireland is pork, not beef, corned or otherwise.
Irish recipes are usually based around a few fresh, local ingredients: potatoes, cabbage, oatmeal, dairy, fish, fowl, lamb and pork. For this year’s St. Patrick’s Day supper, I’ve chosen to use a combination of a few classic ingredients with a contemporary food lovers twist.
I’ve taken the dish forward to something most food lovers adore right now…crispy pork belly, and paired it with potatoes, carrots and cabbage. The vegetables are all sauteed in Irish butter till they reach a lovely brown.
If you’ve never prepared pork belly before, it’s actually quite simple. The hardest part might be finding somewhere that sells it in your area. I’d start by calling local butchers and if that doesn’t work, try Whole Foods (which is where I buy mine) or you can find it online. I like to buy pork belly without the tough outer skin. I also look for a piece that has a nice ratio of fat to lean.
Once you’ve found your beautiful piece of pork belly it’s easy to prepare. I recommend that you place it on a rack in a roasting pan, if you don’t have a roasting pan that has its own rack, use a cooling rack placed in your roaster, or even wadded up aluminum foil…you basically need to elevate the meat so that the fat can drain, you don’t want the pork belly to stew in its own juices. Also, it needs to be cooked slowly so that the outside is crisp and the inside is tender.
I like to serve pork belly cut into slices and served over a bed of sauteed cabbage topped with a layer of golden brown potatoes and carrots.
Crispy Pork Belly and Cabbage Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
An easy, delicious alternative to corned beef.
2 lb. pork belly (have butcher remove the tough outer skin)
1 tablespoon salt
1 small head of cabbage, cored and sliced into thin strips
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes (as shown)
4 tablespoons Irish butter, divided in half (I used Kerry Gold, but feel free to use any good quality butter)
Salt and pepper
Important: For this recipe you want to use the lowest rack in your oven so that fat does not splash on the heating element.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place pork belly on rack in roasting pan skin side up and sprinkle with salt.
Place pork belly in the oven and roast for 10 minutes, IMMEDIATELY turn oven down to 325 degrees. Roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the outside is crisp and the inside is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes then slice into pieces (as shown).
In 2 separate large skillets, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. In one skillet add the cabbage, in the other skillet add the potatoes and carrots. Stir occasionally till all the vegetables are golden (about 15 - 20 minutes).
Salt and pepper, to taste
To serve: Arrange the cabbage on a plate, top with carrots and potatoes and sliced pork belly.
Wishing you and your family and friends a very happy St. Patrick’s Day…enjoy!
Temptation. It happened after about a week of my detox diet to help cure my bout with ciguatera. I had been craving something spicy to make up for all of the foods that I recently had given up…and then I started craving cheese. This was interesting because cheese is not my go to, have to have, can’t live without food. But cheese was the first “forbidden food” I added back into my diet. It was logical (at least to me) because it would go well with my spicy craving. Since I didn’t feel so hot and didn’t really want to cook, this recipe came together by default. It’s super easy, fast and spicy. I like the fact that you use just one of everything which makes it a breeze to remember. It’s a bit lazy too…some days are like that. You grab for a prepackaged spice instead of mixing your own. You reach for cans instead of cooking from scratch. It’s OK…another day, when you feel energetic, you can soak and cook the beans and chop fresh tomatoes…but I just wanted to grab items from the pantry. I believe that your family and friends will enjoy this dish either way. If you are cooking for hearty eaters, you may want to double the recipe.
I know that some of you might be abstaining from dairy or maybe lacto ovo vegetarian and don’t want to add any cheese, but I wanted gooey, tangy, melting cheese piled high on a steamy bowl of spicy. If you have to eliminate the cheese, I’ll understand. You can also add a pop of guacamole if you’d like. Double decadence for me is cheese AND guacamole.
Thankfully, after about four weeks my crazy ciguatera symptoms started to subside and I’m now back to my more indulgent ways, but I have a new outlook regarding detox diets and a new appreciation for vegan and vegetarian dishes. Many of my new habits are going to stay with me, such as more vegetables and less meat. This dish fits that goal perfectly.
I’m truly grateful that I recovered fairly quickly and I don’t seem to have any lingering symptoms. Once again, I’d like to tell you how much your kind thoughts and words meant to me.
Easy Vegetarian Chili Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
A quick, easy, spicy vegetarian chili perfect for Sunday supper.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced
1 can (15 oz.) organic black or pinto beans
1 can (15 oz.) organic chopped or crushed tomatoes
1 package (1 oz.) vegetarian chili spice
1 cup sharp cheddar, colby and Monterey jack cheese, shredded (optional)
1 cup guacamole (optional)
Cilantro for garnish
In a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic, onion and green pepper. Stir and cook till onions are translucent. Add the carrot, black beans (including liquid) and tomatoes. Sprinkle with the vegetarian chili spice. Stir till spice is incorporated into mixture. Turn heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle with cheese (optional) and/or guacamole, garnish with cilantro.
Dear friends, I have been so touched by your concern, good thoughts and well wishes…thank you! This has been quite a journey, but I’m feeling better every day. This illness (Ciguatera) has taken me down some roads that I don’t usually travel, with some interesting results. However, I did use it as a springboard to better health which led me to this week’s post.
I’ve been listening to my body and I eliminated a lot of what I normally eat. I went from eating everything to eating a small number of options. Quite honestly, this was hard…very, very hard. Most of you know I don’t shy away from sugar, caffeine…and of course, my beloved butter. You probably also have figured out that I’m not vegetarian, let alone vegan, but, to start this journey I eliminated EVERYTHING…sugar, caffeine, processed foods, dairy, white flour, alcohol, meat and fish (since it could trigger a relapse). What that left me with was a vegan diet, and a very healthy vegan diet at that. So for the first week, this is a recipe that I devised and want to share with you because a tasty meatless recipe is always good to have on hand for our vegetarian and vegan friends and family. Bonus: this one is also gluten free.
Quinoa is an ancient grain and a great protein that is a “go to” for vegetarians and vegans alike. For this recipe, I used an organic, heirloom variety. It’s easy to prepare, but rather bland, and I craved more flavor. I found that when I added it to the kale sauteed with garlic and olive oil, the garlic and olive oil coated the grain and gave it depth. I roasted the the beets in this recipe which gave them a lovely, earthy sweetness. If you have time, I would suggest toasting the walnuts as well. The bright, crisp taste of pomegranate adds a fresh finish.
We really enjoy this meatless main dish. If you are trying to decrease meat or gluten in your diet, or perhaps are cooking for folks who don’t eat meat at all, I invite you try this recipe for your next Sunday Supper.
P.S. Are you looking for a special sweet for Valentine’s Day? If so, please check out my Pavlova Hearts with Chantilly Cream from the Sunday Supper archives.
Quinoa with Sauteed Kale, Roasted Beets, Walnuts and Pomegranate
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
A quick, easy, tasty vegan and gluten free main dish.
1 cup quinoa prepared according to package directions (makes approximatley 2 cups cooked quinoa)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch Lacinato kale
4 small beets, roasted and cut into pieces
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pomegranate, peeled and seeds (arils) removed
Balsamic vinegar, to taste
Wash kale and remove center stem. Tear into small pieces.
In large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil and minced garlic, stir making sure that garlic does not burn.
Add kale and stir to coat with the oil and garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
Add the quinoa and stir.
Finally, stir in roasted beets and walnuts till warmed through (about 30 seconds).
Add salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Divide onto 4 dinner plates.
Sprinkle with pomegranate.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
This is not what I thought my first post of the year was going to be. I discovered three recipes in the Dominican Republic that I wanted to share with you, one of which I never will. It was going to be a recipe for coconut crusted grouper. I’ll never be able to eat grouper again, and after you read this, I think that you should consider not eating it as well to protect yourself, family and friends from ciguatera poisoning.
Grouper is a tropical reef fish. It swims at the top of the food chain in the warm waters of the Caribbean and many other warm water areas of the world. Top of the food chain means that it eats smaller fish, which eat even smaller fish, and some of those smaller fish at the bottom of the chain eat an algae called Gambierdiscus toxicus. This algae is toxic to humans. It stays in the flesh of the large predator fish and does not affect them, BUT, if you eat the meat of a fish that has eaten one of the smaller fish that have eaten the algae…you’re in trouble. I’m in trouble. I ate some grouper for lunch that contained the toxin. Within 20 minutes I was affected, and within 6 hours I was sick as the proverbial dog. Unlucky for me, I was on a plane back to Chicago when the first onset of the symptoms really hit.
Everyone wants to be really ill on a plane, right? By the time we got off the plane, I was feeling faint. Dana raced to get me a cold bottle of water. I started drinking it and realized something was horribly wrong. The water felt like it was burning my mouth! Touching the cold bottle of water was burning my hands…”Oh my God”, what was happening to me?
The burning, itchy rash did not appear till the next morning…by that time the upset stomach part was subsiding, but these other problems…what was going on? I called my internist and he recommended Imodium and Pedialyte. As to the other bizarre symptoms, he said that he had no idea and that I should concentrate on stopping the diarrhea. This was discouraging to say the least, so I did what you might do…I Googled the symptoms and dug deeper and deeper and found something that fit those symptoms exactly…AND I had eaten grouper right before I fell so ill.
The reason that my doc had no idea is because this is a fairly unknown disease in the U.S. except for South Florida, BUT, it’s getting more prevalent in our country as more fish species are being imported and waters around the world are becoming warmer. It’s not only grouper that has the potential to give you ciguatera. Other culprits besides black, yellowfin and dusty grouper are: barracuda, amberjack, king mackerel, cubera snapper, dog snapper and hog fish. There is no way to tell if a fish has been affected. It looks the same, smells the same, and tastes the same and the poison is not affected by cooking.
I’m miserable. I itch and burn (cold feels hot and hot feels cold) and am listless, but I have it a lot better than some folks. Some of the more severe symptoms are: difficulty walking, insomnia, severe pain in your legs and feeling that your teeth are falling out…yikes!
The worst part of the whole thing is there is NO cure. There is no way to determine just how long you will be affected, some people rebound within weeks, others months or years and sadly, some people never recover…no cure and you never recover! There is one treatment that lessens symptoms and that is taking Mannitol within the first 48 hours intravenously. My doc had no idea to do that…he had no idea what my bizarre symptoms meant…he’s in Chicago, for God’s sake, not the Caribbean.
So, while I wait for my nerve fibers to (hopefully) regenerate, I have eliminated all of the triggers from my diet that might bring back severe symptoms: fish, alcohol, nuts, chicken, pork (seems that chicken and pork eat products made from fish, who knew?) I’ve actually decided to use this as a springboard to better health. I’m concentrating on eating a very healthy diet and I’m getting lots of info from my uber healthy daughter, Dana (who’s working on a degree in nutrition.) No sugar, white flour, processed foods, caffeine, red meat…if I didn’t feel so darn miserable, I might be feeling very good…as it is, I just feel listless.
I’m making up new recipes as I’m going along on this journey that I’ll be sharing with you soon…maybe you can kick start a better diet without going through this discomfort to get there.
Please share this information with those you love. Many of us travel to warm water destinations, I want you all to come home with good memories, not ciguatera!
If you would like to read more information about ciguatera written in a more scientific way, you can read this from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also this warning from the World Health Organization. Still want more? Here is a very comprehensive essay by Professor J. Pearn, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Australia on the neurology of ciguatera.