Monday, May 5, 2014

Easy Armenian Cucumber Pickles

I can't believe I never posted this recipe! I found the draft while going through working on my recent posts.  It was started August 2013, I just didn't finish it - but, better late than never and early for Farmers Market shoppers.  :)  Doris, I hope you have your Armenian Cucumbers again I didn't get my garden up and running; I ran out of steam.  ha

The post ~  August 2013

Here's an easy recipe to try if you happen to have a few delicious Armenian Cucumbers that you're wondering just what to do with them.  Armenian Cucumbers are mild in flavor and work very well for this recipe I found here; a food blog called In The Raw.

All ingredients are placed in a jar and left to marinate in the icebox.  Just that simple!

You will need:

Armenian or other "pickling cucumbers"
raw cider vinegar (I used Braggs)
filtered water
1 Tbsp. course salt
fresh sprig of dill
fresh sprig of thyme
5 cloves of garlic, peeled & sliced
1 Tbsp whole peppercorns
1Tbsp mustard seed
1Tbsp dried chili pepper (I used chilies I dehydrated and crushed)

Sterilized mason jars - this can be done in a preheated oven at 200 degrees, or in dishwasher.
Cucumbers can be sliced in spears or in slices as seen in pictures.
Place all the spices into the jar and fill with cucumber.  Pack in as many as you can, then fill the jar 2/3's of the way up with raw cider vinegar.  Fill the rest of the way full with filtered water.  Screw on the lid and turn over to mix the ingredients well.  Store in the refrigerator.
The pickles can be eaten the next day or allow to set longer to taste.  Then longer they marinate the better the flavor.  The recipe can be found here at In The Raw.

I used red chili I dehydrated and broke up in my spice mill.  It has heat and the fresh garlic made it extra delish!

In a clean sterilized jar place the cucumber(s) you plan to use rise of and pat dry.  Slice thin and place in jar on top of all the spices

Market Links:

Local First Arizona 
Farmers Market On Line
Local Harvest

GF Saltine Crackers ~

As the story goes (and not as the stomach turns, umm) my Dad likes saltines and decided he wasn't doing wheat for awhile.  Just to see if it would make a difference with his digestive health.  It did help once before but I'll leave that for another time - possibly.  :)

So soup was going to be dinner and a request for saltines without wheat.  Actually, the question put to me was; "Is there any type of cracker you can get without wheat?"  Answer, "I could make some!"

And I did!  After locating a recipe, as I've made crackers before though not "saltines," I thought I'd look for specific.  This easy recipe and very good tasting found here Elizabeth Barbone's GF Baking.

The dough is light and crisp like a saltine, Dad thought they tasted better.  :) I agree.

GF Saltine's

1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour (org. calls for cornstarch)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
6 Tbsp. cold butter
1/2 cup cold water, more if to dry
Kosher salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 F with rack (s) in the center of the oven.

Combine all dry ingredients and whisk together.  You can use a food processor - I just placed in a large bowl that I normally use for making pie dough cutting the butter in with a pastry cutter.  Once butter is cut in (butter remaining the size of small peas) drizzle in water and mix to form dough.  If dough is to much on the dry side add a bit more cool water.  Check this with you hands.
Once dough is ready place between to large sheets of parchment 12 x 16.  I dusted slightly with white rice flour, it was rolling okay but better after dusting.  Roll into square or rectangle 1/16 inches thick.
Remove top parchment and cut with pizza wheel into squares.  Leave dough on parchment (important) and side onto baking sheet; leaving the dough as is after cutting.  Sprinkle with Kosher salt.  Saltines will be baking on parchment and separate on there own.  Cool ~
I rolled out a bit to thin and thought I'd remove that which wasn't going to fit on baking sheet.  (mistake) In turn dropping that onto the floor loosing 1/4 + to the trash.  :(  I won't do that again.  :)

Bake until crackers are golden brown around 20 minutes.  I left mine in a little longer.  Remove pan when ready and cool on rack.  Part if needed.  Original recipe here.

Not that we have to have "bread or crackers" with everything - it's nice to know you can make your own and without wheat if you choose.

The saltines were awesome with my chicken soup!

Another great Gluten Free baking spot is:

The Art Of Gluten Free Baking  and again Elizabeth Barbone's Gluten Free Baking.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Spinach & Goat Cheese Quiche

Baked in a 9" spring form pan with a sprouted wheat butter crust, this quiche was awesome.

I saw this recipe here at The Yellow Table - a wonderful foodie place to go.  The recipe called for crumbled goat cheese (which I didn't have), I used a soft goat cheese that was harder to separate in smaller pieces.  It still tasted awesome - full of flavor.  I will make this again but will use the crumbled (drier) cheese.

Spinach & Goat Cheese Quiche

Serves 8

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups raw spinach, rinsed
Salt and pepper
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk or 2%
1/2 cup heavy cream*
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 recipe Whole Wheat Pie Crust

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the shallot and the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, until softened but not brown.  Add the spinach and saute for several minutes, stirring constantly, until wilted and bright green.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a colander to drain.  Let cool slightly, then squeeze the liquid out with paper towels.

Whisk the eggs, milk and cream in a bowl until smooth.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  (TYT - creator of recipe- says, "I say generously because I always wish I had added more seasoning when I taste the quiche after it's cooked!")

Place the chilled pie crust on a baking sheet.  (Concluded spring form) Layer the spinach on the bottom of the crust, along with the crumbled goat cheese.  Pour the custard mixture over the spinach and goat cheese.  Sprinkle the Gruyere cheese on top.  Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes or until filling is puffed up and golden brown.

Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving (it will be extremely hot!)  Serve with a big green salad for lunch or dinner, or some fresh berries for brunch.  It can also be served room temperature as part of a buffet.

* I didn't have heavy cream - bummer!  So what I use was all 1/2 & 1/2.  If seemed to work fine.  :)

Thanks to Anna ~ The Yellow Table - It's delish!!