Friday, July 17, 2009

Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten-Free- Pimento Cheese Spread

Go Ahead Honey ...It's Gluten-Free, is a web event that's has a different theme each month. This month's host is Shirley of Gluten Free Easily. The theme: Make Me a Happy Camper. Pimento Cheese Spread fits the bill perfectly. This recipe is simple and easy. It's a nice take along for a camping trip or picnic. It travels well and is great on bread, crackers or piled into a stick of celery. However, don't let it's simplicity fool you, Pimento Cheese Spread is the gem of Southern Cuisine. In fact, it's an icon on a pedestal all it's own. No southern childhood memory is complete without a pimento cheese sandwich served on gummy white bread. And no party guest list is complete without it. Whether it comes to the trailer park soiree dressed in an old margarine tub with an unmatched lid, or it sits next to the caviar and fois gras on a dish of crystal, it's quite simply expected to be there. It's even popular at the Masters Gold Tournament. Southerners are just wild their Pimento Cheese Spread. A few years back, the Atlanta Journal Constitution devoted their entire food section to Pimento Cheese Spread. There are lots of creative things to do with it: put on burgers, deviled eggs, make into fritters, fry it, bake it...the list is endless. The recipes are endless too. Everyone has their own rules and reasons. For me, the cheese has to be freshly shredded. Purchasing pre-shredded cheese just will not work. Perhaps it's the starches they put on it to keep the shreds from clumping that ruin the texture for me. Anyways, here's my version, it's simple and heavenly, and you don't have to be from the South to savor it. I've also included some links to articles and recipes you might enjoy.

Pimento Cheese Spread (SCD)
8 oz. Block of good Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 oz. jar Pimientos, chopped, do NOT drain
Mayonnaise (for SCD use homemade)
Salt and Pepper
Dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Grate the cheese by hand. In a mixing bowl mix cheese and pimientos, juice and all. Add mayo in spoonfuls until it's the consistency you like it. Season to taste. Some folks like theirs creamy and will use a mixer to blend it. This keeps well in the fridge for a few days.

Pimento Cheese: It's a Southern Thing

Learnin about Pimento Cheese

2003 Pimento Cheese Invitational

Paula Deen's Recipe

Pimento Cheese Spread on Foodista

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Strawberry Honey Butter (SCD)

This is a treat for your toast. It's a lovely pink color. Although I've never tried it, I highly suspect this would work well for a frosting too.

1/2 lb. Butter, softened
1/4 to 1/3 cup Honey
1 1/2 cups Strawberries

Mix butter and honey in a food processor until smooth and blended. Add strawberries and mix until blended.

Leek and Chicken Salad (SCD, GFCF)

There's lots of vegetables in the produce dept. that I notice but never purchase. I'm never sure what to do with them, or even know what some would even taste like. My goal is to incorporate more of these into our everyday fare. If you don't have any leeks, diced celery and a little minced onion would work nicely. I usually crock pot a small chicken and use the meat for a salad or casserole. This is a very simple salad and makes a good lunch for work.

2-3 cups Diced Chicken
2 Leeks, sliced into 1/4" rings, use tender green parts
3 small apples, diced
Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 to 1 cup Mayonnaise (for SCD use homemade)
1 teas Lemon Juice
1 TBSP Honey
1 to 2 TBSP Oil (I use Flaxseed Oil, to make my coat shiny)

Put sliced leek in a colander and rinse well. I like mine in smaller pieces so I dice them a little more. Put in a skillet with a little oil or broth and saute until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Cool. Toss with chicken and apple. Season to taste. Whisk dressing ingredients together and toss in. Chill.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rustic Hazelnut Bread (SCD)

I really missed the nutty taste of whole wheat bread, but with a gluten and yeast allergy finding an alternative seemed impossible. When my son had to go on a rotation diet, it gave me a chance to play with different nut flours (he cannot digest any grains). I was delighted to find that hazelnuts gave a similar flavor. I have been able to find hazelnut flour at When I'm in the Fort Worth area I pick up a few pounds of hazelnuts at the Nut Vending Co., store in the freezer, and them grind in a food processor as needed. You may wind up with a nut butter instead of flour, but it will still work fine. This recipe has been adapted from "Lois Lang's Luscious Bread" recipe in the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottshcall.

2 1/2 cups Hazelnut Flour
1/4 cup Cooking Oil (Macademia Nut Oil is fabulous here)
1 cup Dry Curd Cottage Cheese or thick or dripped SCD Yogurt!
1 teas. Baking Soda
1/2 teas. Sea Salt (I use Redmonds)
3 Eggs

Oven 350 degrees.

Mix eggs and dry curd cottage cheese in a bowl. Once it's well blended, mix in the oil. Add baking soda and salt. Mix in flour or nut butter. Pour into a well greased or buttered loaf pan (about 4" X 8") or two 3" X 5" mini loaf pans. For a full size loaf I bake around 40-45 minutes and a little less for the smaller ones. A toothpick should come out clean when ready. Cool bread completely before slicing.

Rustic Hazelnut Bread Lite on the Egg Whites (SCD)

We have to limit our son's exposure to egg whites, so here is the recipe I make for him, I use the extra egg whites to make a pound cake! for me and Eddie
Note: This is not for someone with an egg allergy, just a egg white sensitivity.

2 1/2 Cups Hazelnut Flour
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 TBSP Cooking Oil (Macedemia Oil is great here too)
1 cup Dry Curd Cottage Cheese
8 Egg Yolks
2 Teas. Baking Soda
1/2 teas. Salt
1 1/2 TBSP Water

Oven 350 degrees.

Mix eggs and dry curd cottage cheese in a bowl. Once it's well blended, mix in the 1/4 cup oil and Salt. Mix baking soda with 1 1/2 TBSP oil and 1 1/2 TBSP water. Add to egg mixture. Mix in flour or nut butter. I usually pour into two well greased or buttered small loaf pans or some tube pans shaped like stars and flowers. Check after 35 minutes of baking time. After they are baked I make crackers out of them. My son, age 4, enjoys his bread and crackers made into fun shapes.

Rustic Hazelnut Crackers (SCD)

I use some star and flower shaped tube pans I've had for years, but small loaf pans will work fine.
First prepare the Rustic Hazelnut Bread Recipe. When baked, remove from pan and cool completely. Chill in refrigerator overnight. The next day, slice and thin as you can and place on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with Sea Salt and any spice you think might go well. I use a little Basil. Place in a 250 degree oven. Bake one hour and see if they are how you like them (it usually takes me about 2 hours to get mine done). This will keep a week in a cookie jar, possible longer but ours get eaten by then.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fridge Art Gallery

A Fruit House
Made by "G" age 3 1/2. The cookie is the door