Gluten-Free Casual Entertaining
It’s 9:30pm the boy (my 3 month old) and the girl (his beautiful mother) are both asleep or almost asleep. I am finishing up prep work in the kitchen fuelled by the dulcet tones of the Dropkick Murphys blaring from the kitchen iPod dock. And by blaring I mean 2 on a scale of 10… people are asleep in our little house.
We are having friends over to watch football tomorrow and I am in charge of the food. This isn’t anything huge, just playoffs and our team was eliminated long ago, but I would watch curling with this group of friends.
The menu is tapas, appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, good old finger food and 100% gluten free. As a base for everything I am making bruschetta/toast points with Udi’s Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread and Crisps made from Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts.
Chef status disclaimer: I may work for a gluten free bakery, but I am more of a mad scientist in the kitchen than a chef so my recipes are a little on the loose side and open to interpretation.
1st dish – Tapenade This is my take on a Mark Bitman recipe from the New York Times http://nyti.ms/fx1wfCI am not a big fan of seafood, but the original recipe calls for a minimum of five anchovies and my girl sticks to the true recipe. Everyone else loves it too!
1 pound pitted black olives
.25 cup drained capers
2 garlic cloves,
Toss everything but the olive oil in the food processor and let it rip. Drizzle in olive oil and process until it is a thick paste. Serve up and use in moderation.
2nd dish – Hummus
Okay so hummus is wonderful and not difficult to make, but mine is coming straight from the tub and was made by Tribe so I know it is gluten free. If you would like to make your own, I would check out the Mark Bitman NYT link above or Shauna at http://glutenfreegirl.com has a great recipe too.
3rd dish – Calabacitas as a pico-like dip
1 zucchini diced
1 yellow squash diced
.33 cup of onion diced
1 clove of garlic
.5 cup of corn
.5 cup of New Mexico Green Chile (I get this every fall and it is in the freezer next to the tomatoes) You may want to use less.
.33 cup tomatoes chopped and drained
Sauté the onions and garlic in a little oil until it starts to turn translucent, then add everything else and cook until the squash is almost tender and pull from the heat. Salt and pepper to taste (good green chiles will mean you don’t need pepper) Serve warm or let it cool to room temperature.
5th dish – Roasted Garlic
2-3 Garlic Blubs
Cut off the tops, drizzle with olive oil, roast at 375° in foil or on a pan for about an hour.
Serve hot or cold.
6th dish – (mostly made the morning of) Garden tomato bruschetta
1.5 cups of chopped heirloom tomatoes (the only thing I can grow, now chopped and frozen in bags waiting for whatever)
.5 cup of red onion broiled and then diced.
4 cloves garlic roasted and chopped (stole these from my roasted garlic)
.5 cup chiffonade basil leaves (this happens tomorrow)
2-4 table spoons of olive oil (depends how things look and what you feel like)
Salt and pepper to taste
Broil or grill red onion slices with a little olive oil, let cool and dice.
Drain tomatoes and combine everything in bowl, let sit at room temperature.
Lucky #7 – Carnitasand red chili sauce
Pork shoulder (or loin) with most of the fat cut off
1 onion minced
1 lime squeezed
1-2 Tablespoons red chili flakes
2-4 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
4 cloves of garlic
.5 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 bunch green onions (4-7) sliced
Throw everything except the green onion in a slow cooker on the low setting, over night (6-8 hours). When it is falling apart shred with a fork and keep warm. Sprinkle green onions on top.
Red Chili Sauce (I know I buy my Hummus and make my chili sauce, go figure)
2 tablespoons oil
6 table spoons red chili powder
1 garlic clove minced
Pinch of Oregano
1 cup water
Sauté garlic in oil add 2 tablespoons of chili powder creating a thick paste. Add water and oregano stir until paste is dissolved and keep at a simmer. Slowly add rest of the chili powder and reduce until the sauce has thickened and is smooth. Serve with the Carnitas.
My Bruschetta/Toast Points
Loaf of Udi’s Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread – quarter slices diagonally spray with olive oil and toast in the oven (375°) or toaster oven until golden.
4 Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts – cut into eighths spray half with olive oil and the other half top with a little fresh grated parmesan cheese toast up just like the bread.
It’s 10:30 and I am done cutting and prepping everything for tomorrow and the carnitas are in the slow cooker. Another 30-45 minutes in the morning and the spread will be complete.
Time to turn off the iPod, turn off the lights, make sure the oven is off, walk upstairs and get into bed… walk back downstairs and make sure I turned off the bottle warmer 2 hours ago, walk back upstairs and go to sleep.