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Butter Pecan Ice Cream

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Butter Pecan Ice Cream

It’s June. The heat and humidity are already unbearable. It makes me want to learn delicious, healthy frozen recipes to help endure the heat. I found a butter pecan ice cream recipe while browsing the Internet, and after three tries and a few changes in quantities and ingredients, I can finally say that I’m proud of the result.

Here’s what you need:

I didn't have a pretty bowl, so I served my ice cream in a cantaloupe.

I didn’t have a pretty bowl, so I served my ice cream in a cantaloupe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The first step is to lightly toast the pecans. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the pecans. Constantly stir for 2 minutes, then reduce heat, add a teaspoon of sugar and stir for another 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn the pecans. Remove from heat and cool.

In a double boiler, heat the whole milk. When it starts to bubble but before it boils, add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved.

Pour some of the hot cream mixture (just around 1/2 cup) into the eggs and whisk. Return the egg and cream mixture to the double broiler. Cook over low heat and stir constantly until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. It takes 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and immediately cool the pan in a bowl of ice water, to fully stop the eggs from cooking. Stir for 2 minutes and refrigerate.

In a mixing bowl, pour the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Whip the cream so it expands and stop before it forms soft peaks. Refrigerate with the custard mixture overnight.

The next day, combine the heavy cream and custard. Pour in your ice cream machine (1 quart), add the toasted pecans, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I let mine churn for about 12 minutes.

Eat as is, or place in a plastic container in the freezer to let it harden. Et voilà!

Roasted Chicken

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Roasted Chicken

I’ve never been a huge fan of chicken; it feels too… dry and bland to me. But there is one thing I have always enjoyed about chicken… and it’s skin! It’s tasty and crispy when done right. I found a roasted chicken recipe that I really enjoy and here is my version. It’s actually very simple, already gluten-free and it looks very fancy!

This is my kind of meal. Not a lot of work and fantastic results!

 

Ingredients 

  • 1 whole chicken (3lbs or so)
  • 1 stick butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • Bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 Tablespoon lime juice

Preheat the oven to 400F.

The first step is to slice the potatoes, sweet potatoes, onion and carrots and put them in a large mixing bowl (the garlic too, but I don’t slice it; it tastes way sweeter whole!) I like to keep it simple, so I only season with salt and pepper. Mix 3 Tablespoon of melted butter with the vegetables and place them on a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil.

Now, to prepare the chicken. First, I hear it’s a good idea to thoroughly wash it. It’s important to dry it very well though, so that the skin becomes crispy, not soggy. When that’s done, take 2 Tablespoon of soft butter and rub it on the chicken. Cover everything in butter! That’s what makes it nice and crispy. Then, season the skin generously with salt and pepper and place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.

For the stuffing, dice a small red onion and stuff in the inside cavity. Add the cilantro bunch and the lime juice. And you’re almost done!

Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour. Actually, the standard for roasted chicken seems to be: 45 minutes, plus an additional 7 minutes per pound of chicken.

You should have 3 Tablespoon of butter left. Check the oven regularly and baste the chicken with the leftover melted butter every 15 minute or so. I promise, it’s worth it.

After one hour, or a little longer if you want the skin to be extra golden and crispy, take the chicken out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before carving and serving. Enjoy your meal! (I knew butter made everything better!)

Easy as gluten-free pie!

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Easy as gluten-free pie!

I found that the expression “easy as pie” holds true for gluten free crusts as well. My first experiment was with a peach pie this summer and since then, I’ve made all kinds of pies every week. I eat them for desserts, for dinner, for breakfast! Pies are very versatile. Apple, strawberry rhubarb, lemon, lime, quiche, salmon, beef, chicken and the list goes on. It’s an easy recipe that will be the base of many delicious creations.

Before last month, I had never made a pie in my life and I had no clue where to start. Fortunately, I came accross this amazing recipe and I was totally hooked! It seems the secret for a perfect crust is butter. I was actually a bit shocked at how much flour and butter was required for it, so I tried to cut down the quantities a little bit. Having to spend over $4.00 on butter (I never use vegetable shortening) everytime I make a pie did not seem cost effective. Here is what I came up with: (the recipe is for a double pie, top and bottom. If you only need the bottom crust, cut the recipe in half. Still use a full egg, just no egg wash and less water)

My very first pie: peach!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup amaranth flour
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 3 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg (+1 egg wash)
  • 8-10 Tablespoon ice cold water
  • White rice flour (for rolling)

The first step is to mix in all the dry ingredients and cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender until it looks like coarse corn meal. If you don’t have a pastry blender, two forks will also work: it just takes a little while longer.

Cut in the cold butter.

Be patient, it’s worth it.

Make a well in the center and add the egg and lemon juice. Mix and fold. Now, add water, little at a time, until the consistency is just right. It should leave the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky. You can adjust with more water if it doesn’t stick together or white rice flour if it’s too sticky. Make a ball out of the dough, sprinkle with white rice flour, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

Make sure to use enough flour so the dough doesn’t stick on the plastic wrap.

Two hours later! Cut the dough in half: one for the bottom, one for the top. Dust a clean dry work surface (I like using parchment paper) and your rolling pin with white rice flour so the dough doesn’t stick. Pour about 1/4 cup of white rice flour on your work surface and slowly start rolling the dough. Keep flipping it to be sure it doesn’t stick and that the dough is evenly coated in white rice flour. Roll it to the size of the pie and carefully, with both hands, pick up the dough and slide it on your pie pan. Cut off the extra pieces of dough. If you’re like me and don’t like wastes, you can use the extra dough to make cute mini pies in a muffin tray!

Amaranth is now one of my favorite gluten free flours!

Trim the extra dough and don’t forget the egg wash!

Pour in the desired pie filling (or if it’s a pie with no top crust, you may need to precook it, just follow the instructions for your recipe), cover the pie with the second half of the dough and brush egg wash on top so it’s nice and golden when cooked.

Bake according to your pie recipe. And there, you have it: easy as pie.

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