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Monday, May 28, 2012

What's For Dinner...At My House

Cathy and I both like to cook.  We cook because, obviously, it is healthier in general than eating out every day, but we also enjoy it.

This past weekend, we had our best friends, Jan and Leslie, over for dinner. The trick for us, of course, is to serve a flavorful gluten free meal for friends who don’t eat gluten free.  This is what Cathy and I set out to accomplish.

The first course was gazpacho.  I have to admit; I had never had gazpacho before, never wanted gazpacho before, and never planned on having gazpacho.  But ever since I saw the ad for the iPhone with Samuel L Jackson…y’know the one where he says “Hotspacho”…I have been intrigued.

After reading a number of recipes, I settled on a gazpacho recipe by Alton Brown.  As regular readers of my blog may have figured out by now, I am an Alton Brown groupie…I mean FAN…an Alton Brown FAN.  There were a few ingredients that I wasn’t sure were gluten free, so I checked on line at Gluten-Free Living.  Having confirmed all the ingredients were safe, I began cooking.

Having never made gazpacho before, or even knowing what it should taste like, I was a little nervous about making it. Once again, Alton did not let me down.  The soup was chunky with good texture.  It had a very slight bite from the jalapeno pepper that was in it.  Leslie, who loves gazpacho, said it was really good, so that excited me quite a lot.

The entrée was roast pork that is cooked in a slow cooker.  I found this recipe in the local newspaper so there is no link to it, but here is the recipe:

1 large onion sliced,
2-½ lb. boneless pork roast
1-cup hot water
3 tbl  red wine vinegar
2 tbl soy sauce (We use gluten free tamari)
1 tbl ketchup
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
Dash of hot pepper sauce

Put the onion on the bottom, put in the pork, add the rest of the ingredients, and cook 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.  Easy, right?

The pork is tender and juicy, with all of the flavors flowing through the pork and the gravy, which is created.  You do need to watch it because you can overcook this, and if you do, it can be a little dry.  The best part is, the leftovers make unbelievable sandwiches!

Back to the Food Network for the side dish.  Claire Robinson has a dish called Twice Baked Rosemary Blue Potato Mash.  I know that in the past, there have been questions about whether blue cheese is gluten free.  I have been making this for a while, but only after doing some research on blue cheese did I feel comfortable making it.

Now here’s the thing…I don’t like blue cheese.  It seems people either love it or hate it.  However, these potatoes are fantastic.  I have served this to people who don’t like blue cheese, and they can’t stop eating it.  While blue cheese is the main flavor, the slight hint of rosemary and garlic pervades the rest of the dish.  Eventually, we had to take the potatoes off the table as Leslie and I spent the better part of dinner picking away at it.

You might be wondering about dessert.  Well, figuring that we would be pretty full, Leslie brought over some sorbet.  I went with the lemon flavor.  It was cold and creamy.

There are lots of wonderful gluten free recipes that have great flavor.  All you need to do…is look.  And it helps being an fan of Alton Brown's Good Eats.

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