Smoked Trout Avocado Wasabi Tartine

After my midnight escapade with baguette I found myself with this:

half a baguetteThis is the type of thing you walk by daily in Paris, flecking the windows of the local boulangerie, stuffed with cheese and vegetables and sliced fine meats and just the right amount of sauce to make it all come together.  It is what we call lunchtime for the working Parisian, a quick grab and go type of shape that has that comfort food quality for all those who grew up or have lived here.  But not a comfort for those enjoying food without gluten.

wasabi smoked trout tartineWhile I do still assert that the bread here is easier for me to digest than in the States, it does still contain the protein of wheat, and I do still have a strong sensitivity to said protein that makes me prepare gluten-free bread at home.  This little leftover from my moonlit baking session gave me a lunch idea worth sharing: a combination of sweet wasabi and basil, creamy avocado, and light yet flavorful thinly sliced smoked trout.  The reason I find this preparation particularly interesting is that the cream from the avocado provides a nice cushion between the trout and the bread, and hiding the basil under the trout and topping with the wasabi powder hides the layer of sweetness from the basil and leaves your palette even more pleased than your eye.

Find your favorite gluten-free bread (or use the Buckwheat Loaf or Home Sweet Honey Buns), and slip into a little lunch pause that is as Parisian as you can handle.

lunch mango trout tartineSmoked Trout Avocado Wasabi Tartine

Ingredients: two slices gluten-free bread, 1/2 avocado, 1-2 thin slices smoked trout, 3 large leaves fresh basil cut into ribbons, a pinch sea salt, two pinches wasabi powder*

Method: lightly toast the two slices of bread and slice your avocado into thin strips.  Top toasted bread with avocado slices and add a pinch of salt atop each lightly.  Top with basil, and thinly layer smoked trout on top with no overlap (see above).  Evenly dust fish with wasabi powder, and serve with a shaved mango salad with some olive oil and lemon juice for something incredible.

*wasabi powder is available at most supermarkets in the Asian section or at Asian specialty stores.  Not to be confused with wasabi in a tube already hydrated.

 

 

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Inspiration: MIDNIGHT BAGUETTE and Noglu

I have to say that as long as I make the baked good from scratch, I have very little guilt about eating it.  Even if it is a baguette at midnight.

I was inspired today after stopping in at Noglu, a 100% gluten-free restaurant in Paris with everything from burgers to pastries.  It’s no surprise they are expanding to a new takeaway location– they produce some killer looking gluten-free goodies.

Anyways, a simple shout-out to Noglu Paris and a thank you for inspiring me to make a gluten-free baguette ce soir.  The Bubble Child cookbook will be released soon, so keep your eyes out for it to get my bread recipes. : )

before baking baguette<–Mr. Mojo’s risin’

baked buckwheat baguette<–vive le pain!

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Beans!

The Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras forbade the eating of beans, as he decreed that the legumes contained something of which the soul was composed.  I think he might have been exaggerating just a tad, but I can understand his enthusiasm for the magical fruit.

fava bean spreadTonight I had a simple rather bistro style dinner of gluten-free toasts and seasonal French cheese (easier to digest as it’s raw) and some leftover fava beans that I made into a sort of spread and topped with basil and mushrooms.  It was awesome.  And I didn’t feel like popping afterwards.

What’s so good about beans?  Mr. Laertius may have been right about them being something exceptional, but here is the tip of the ice berg of reasons why they should not be banned from your regime:

1. Beans are a huge source of fiber.  Yes, yes, that’s why they are also the “magical fruit”, but if you want to pass things that are not magical in your body, tally ho.

mung beans2. Beans have a low glycemic index.  Composed of complex sugars, these carbohydrates take time for your body to break down, but are easier to process.  This makes you stay full longer, reducing cravings, while providing a natural source of sugar your body readily uses, not stores.

3. Beans are full of protein.  In combination with rice, they make a complete amino acid, which is the protein found in meat that most vegans or vegetarians are missing from their diet of they don’t work for it.

4. Beans are full of vitamins and minerals.  Another problem vegetarians might find, or anyone really, is a low level of iron.  Beans have a lot of this– as well as copper, magnesium, folate, and vitamin B6, which is a vitamin that is reduced if you’re drinking booze, so if you’re making some parties, jump on board with the beans to get your energy back up!

5. They taste awesome when cooked from their dry form with a bit of thyme and a bay leaf, and then are sautéed with onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, a touch soy sauce, and some oregano afterwards.  Oh yeah.

…and they’re also gluten-free.  (since you find them on this blog, you can imagine they would be!)

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Honey Oregano Basil Ginger Wasabi Marinade

marinadeIt’s like a six-year-old girl dressing herself: I am going to put together all of the fabulous things I like and it will work.

Sometimes six-year-olds are surprisingly stylish.  This marinade of everything-I-like would be one of those kids, I like to think.

Finally having a full day to play in the kitchen, I went a little nuts.  I coated peas in wasabi and buckwheat flour and fried them, I homemade sushi, crackers, and chicken liver mousse.  I made a lemon meringue pie from scratch.  I sang while doing all of this, just to make sure that if the neighbors weren’t already disturbed from the sound of blenders and smells of garlic that they had a sure idea of my presence.

I also discovered a marinade.  It’s easy, gluten-free, and has a really nice tang with the combination of wasabi with honey and oregano.  I used it on pork, but it would work on chicken or beef or tofu or seitan.

marinating pork<–after a few hours tenderizing

dinner<–wasabi buckwheat peas, marinated farmer’s pork, watercress pesto, avocado maki

Happy Spring!  Let’s eat!

Honey Oregano Basil Ginger Wasabi Marinade

Ingredients: 1 clove garlic, minced, 1/2 shallot, finely diced, 1 tbs. fresh basil, chopped (chiffonade is ideal), 1 cm cubed fresh ginger, wasabi powdergrated, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 3 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tbs. honey (agave nectar or maple syrup for vegan), 1/8 tsp. wasabi powder (available at most grocery stores and all Asian food markets)

Method: combine all ingredients in medium bowl.  Marinade your protein of choice in sauce for up to overnight, minimum 2 hours, covered.  Turn protein half way through marinating to disperse flavors equally.  Marinade keeps by itself about a week.  Enough to soak enough protein to serve about 3-4.

 

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Lo Mein vs. Ho Fun

It’s been so long!  Where did we go?  What did we learn?

New York and Brooklyn and Philly and Charlotte, oh my!

bluegrass<–we even saw bluegrass.  Suuuuthern.

Yep, it was time for a Stateside visit.  A baby was had (my brother and his wife) and her aunt (me) found an excuse to cross the pond, visit with family, and show her French boyfriend the states from the Eastern angle.  While ze Frenchie may have learned a bit more than I did (perhaps!  who knows!) I learned a lot during our stay in Chinatown NYC.

ho fun duckI know that I am constantly preaching in a certain way about how meat needs to be pure to eat it and that hormones and antibiotics are nearly blasphemous in meats, because they are horrible for you, for the animal, and for the taste.  However, there are those tiny moments of “when in Rome”, and staying in Chinatown and eating a meat dish was just one of those.

The menu was replete with a chart detailing ingredients and the restaurant was owned by some of the friendliest Chinese I have met who were delighted and shocked when my man started speaking a bit of Cantonese with them.  The more languages, the merrier, why not.

Anyways, this is a fun little tidbit I picked up on how to know if your noodles are wheat or rice in Chinese restaurants or grocery stores. If you’re gonna eat meat in Chinatown, at least do it gluten-free.

Chinese ingredients<–Anything that has “Fun” in the title is rice derived, and anything that has “Mein” in the title is from wheat.

WhataCheatSheet.

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Avocado Banana Bread

avocado banana bread<–the $5 plating

avocado banana bread strawberries<–the $12 plating (No, I have not left my apartment for 2 days.  Gremlin flu.)

I still remember the day after homecoming.  Senior year, me working in a scrapbook shop, me being sent home.  Nay, not a sending home because of frivolous amounts of partying the night before (the angel I was didn’t really drink in high school), but because I almost fainted from being sick.  I thought it was strep throat. Which I guess can easily be construed for mono.

Homecoming 2005(Me and pops von Trapp at right 2005, Homecoming Ceremony.  Woot woot.)–>

I can’t compare what I have right now to mono, aside from the throat that won’t sit still, the ample plugging and then releasing of the nasal region, and the impressive head pressure.  Also the fact that I am horrible at being sick.  I really am:

The week of homecoming my extracurricular jargon kept me at an average of 5 hours of sleep a night (I was notably sick then, too).  Once discovering it was mono and being quarantined to protect my peers,  I gained weight instead of lose it because if I’m stuck at home, what better way to pass the time than the prepare food?  Nothing has changed.  This octopus flu has me cooped up like an unwilling chicken and I am unexpectedly active in the hen house.

Sitting still was never my thing.  Guess that’s why it’s a good thing for me to be a chef. And here’s an experiment gone right in my days of sunny cabin fever.

Avocado Banana Bread

Gluten, nut, dairy, soy, and corn-free.  Vegan option.

1 avocado

2 bananas

1/4 cup honey (or agave nectar for vegan)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. sea salt

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup + 2 tbs. potato starch

1/2 tsp. baking powder

blenderPreparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: about 15-20 minutes

Serves 4-6

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celcius).  Slice avocado and banana into small pieces.  Purée these pieces in blender with honey (or agave), vanilla, and sea salt.

2. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.  Combine with wet ingredients until batter is formed.  Bake for 15-20 minutes in standard ovens (or until inserted toothpick comes out clean).

It’s a healthy cake.  Still tasty, but gotta say it.  To make it slightly less healthy, cover it with frosting.  (I whipped some kefir with powdered sugar for an icing.)

baked cake

 

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Homemade Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bars

oat bar with creamy seed butter<–It’s almost like I just want to slide down the middle of this bar.  You know… imagine it.

Food can inspire strange behavior.  No food inspires even stranger, so let’s carry on now.

wrapped oat barsI find caramel made from honey to be a delightful little composition.  Especially if there is some form of sea salt added to it.  Perhaps a little oil.  Oh, lookey here, there’s both!  This recipe for a healthy and gluten-free granola bar has no refined sugar at all and is high in fiber (good for your arteries, yeah!).  A really nice natural energy boost by itself if you’re pragmatic, a healthy way to get that sweet fix after a meal if you’re a touch more hedonistic.  Like, a touch.

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Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bar

-gluten, nut, soy, corn, egg-free.  Vegan with substitutions-

1/4 cup neutral oil

1/2 cup honey (or 1/3 cup agave nectar for vegan)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla (optional but good)

1 1/8 cup gluten-free oat bran (available at health food stores or online here, also known as “son d’avoine”)

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cook time: about 4-5 minutes

Serves about 10-12 easily (makes a plaque of bars)

honey caramel1. Heat oil, honey, salt and optional vanilla in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  If you have a thermometer, insert it and bring mixture to 135 degrees F (270 degrees C) or until it bubbles like shown at left and starts to turn a little darker in color.  Immediately remove from heat.

oat bars2. Add oats to pot and stir with spatula until coated.  Let sit, stirring every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes to cook the oats to make them more digestible.

silpat granola3. Spread on a silicon baking sheet (or an oiled baking sheet or parchment paper) to desired thickness.  With spatula, or a dull knife, outline the shape you want to cut.  Let cool then cut and wrap individually to be all precious.

Since you cooked your sugar to a “soft-crack” phase, meaning it will be a harder caramel, let it cool to solidify a bit so it’s not just a gooey mess.  I’ve been storing my bars in the fridge, as it’s warmer out now, but you can store them room temperature if you want to keep them more taffy-like with the heat.  Ah, that sounds nice, too.

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