January 10, 2011

Kitchen Adventure #1

I've decided to keep things interesting (keep my food interesting) by posting a weekly "kitchen adventure" (which hopefully won't turn into "weekly kitchen nightmares"). I`ve been totally gluten-free since the summer and this has forced me to be more creative with my food, since I can`t just eat store-bought frozen foods anymore. It has also forced me to be much HEALTHIER for the same reasons. I recently aquired two gluten-free cook books and am feeling inspired to try the recipes, so for now none of these will be of my own creation. Tonight I made the good ol` fashioned comfort food, tuna-noodle casserole. This is entirely made from scratch and comes from the book "Gluten-free Girl and the Chef" by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern. The recipe starts with a great opening line that I totally relate to from my childhood: "This isn`t the tuna-noodle casserole my mother made. That was cream of mushroom soup..." (sorry mom!). Below is the recipe (with some of my own modifications):

Gluten-free Tuna-Noodle Casserole

2 tbls. olive oil
2 cups quartered cremini mushrooms
1/2 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tbls. sweet rice flour
2 cups milk
1 cup fish stock (I used chicken stock)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cayenne
1 tsp. salt and pepper
2 cans tuna
1 and 1/2 cups grated cheese (the recipe calls for fresh parmesan and goat cheese, but I used what I had, chedder and havarti)
8 ounces gluten-free pasta

Pre-heat oven to 450F. Pour oil into a sauce pan, and add mushrooms until hissing and steaming, about 5 min. Add onions, garlic, and leeks and cook until onion and leek are soft and translucent. Stir in chopped thyme. Sprinkle the veggies with the rice flour (helps thicken liquids), stirring constantly.  Add milk, fish/chicken stock, cream, and cayenne, stirring constantly. Bring sauce to a boil, and then reduce to low (always stirring). Allow mixture to then simmer until it thickens, about 10 min. Season with salt and pepper, and add cheese to the sauce, which will add thickness as well. Place cooked pasta in large casserole dish and pour sauce over top, mixing well. The recipe says you can add crushed potatoe chips on top, but I added gluten-free bread crumbs. Bake until the top is bubbling and brown, approximately 10 min.

As I write this, I am enjoying my creation. The great thing about this recipe is you can easily replace the gluten-free ingredients with regular gluten-ous ingredients if you so choose. I hope that this recipe has inspired you and will keep you warm on these cold winter nights. Stay tuned next week to see what I create in my kitchen!

deliciously yours,

 A pic of my kitchen, so you can picture me standing by my stove as you read. And yes, I realize we need curtains....
 The finished casserole! I'm sorry the photo is so blah and makes the food look blah. I need to take some classes on food photography apparently.
 nom nom nom!


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  2. you need curtains
    it freaks me out how open that is..
    mmm sounds good!