Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spiced Apple Bread Pudding - Gluten Free

Spiced Apple Bread Pudding
with Bourbon Whiskey Sauce

So I've been playing with my new toy recently(Bread machine-yes they are making a comeback,) and trying to perfect my gluten free bread recipe. I made four loves yesterday, three of them pretty good which allowed me to have the best damn burger since going sans gluten(lettuce wraps just don't cut it.) I obviously needed to do something with all of this extra bread, so I decided to throw together a bread pudding. I used some of each of the three good loaves which turned out nice, because they each had slightly different tastes and textures. now I am not going to go through all of the GF bread recipes here, but I am more than happy to share them with anyone who makes a personal request.

I don't know why, but I have always been fond of bread pudding, and I would get bummed every time I'd see it on the desert menus while dining out. Although I have come across a few decent commercially available GF breads, I've yet to make that sweet succulent treat that has eluded me for years. So with no further ado and a glut of gluten free bread I will embark on this worthy pursuit now.

Bourbon Whiskey Sauce
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/8 tsp. Cardamom
1 Egg
3/4 cup Bourbon Whiskey(from Kentucky for the purists)

Melt butter in heavy sauce pan over low heat. Add the sugar and cardamom, and whisk until well blended. Whisk in the egg and continue stirring until thickened. Pour in the whiskey and stir well until the sauce is smooth and translucent. Remove from heat but cover to keep warm.

Spiced Apples
3-4 Apples, peeled cored and sliced
1/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp Starch(I use tapioca, but corn is okay too)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Allspice
dash of Cayenne Pepper
dash of Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Butter, cut into four squares
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

Put all ingredients in a heavy sauce pan, stir well to evenly distribute the ingredients. Heat covered over medium high heat until mixture begins to boil. Stir well and reduce heat to low and simmer while you are assembling the bread pudding.

Bread Pudding
6-7 cups Gluten Free Bread, cubed(don't use dense breads like those made of rice but absorbent types)
3 cups Milk
3-4 Eggs(3 for loose pudding and 4 for firm)
1.5 cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
3 Tbsp Butter, melted
1/2 cup Pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak the bread cubes in milk in a large bowl. In separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon until well mixed. Pour egg mixture into the large bowl with the bread and milk, and mix gently. Carefully fold in the raisins. Coat a 13x9 baking dish with the butter and pour in the bread mixture. Spoon the spiced apples evenly over the top of the bread mixture, gently pressing some of the slices into the pudding mixture while leaving some floating on top. sprinkle the pecans over the top and place in preheated oven for 40 - 50 minutes or until the center springs back when pressed down with spoon.

Like all good desserts, this is very rich and small pieces are advisable. You could omit the raisins and nuts if you like but why go half way, desserts are for splurging occasionally(to distract us from our mundane lives? LOL) Anyway, only make this for rare special occasions(like Wednesday's,) and you should be fine.

As always, Enjoy, God Bless, and keep it SAUCY!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mexican Hot Chocolate Arborio Rice Pudding

Mexican Hot Chocolate Arborio Rice Pudding

This rice pudding is decadently creamy and sinfully seductive, with firm but tender grains of Arborio rice suspended in a creamy, spicy, chocolaty, milky pudding. I'm amazed at how easy it is to create a terrific dessert from simple ingredients found around the house(or at least easy to find.)

1/2 to 3/4 cup Arborio Rice
4 Tbs. Butter
4 cups Nonfat Milk(I used Lactaid)
1/4 cup Sugar
1 round cake of Mexican Hot Chocolate(Abuelita or Ibarra)
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
1 dash Cayenne Pepper
1-2 Large Egg Yolks(determines thickness)
1/2 cup Half & Half
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 oz. Premium Dark Chocolate(broken into small pieces)
1 Tbs. Cacao Nibs


1. Melt butter in heavy bottom large sauce pan over medium-high heat, add Arborio Rice and cook for about two minutes till rice is translucent.
2. Break Mexican Hot Chocolate cake into quarters, place in microwaveable cup along with 1 cup of milk, and all of the sugar. Microwave on high for a minute or so and blend until smooth(hand blenders are great for this.) 
3. Add mixture from step 2, remaining milk, cinnamon, sea salt, & cayenne to the saucepan with rice and butter and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring every 5 minutes as the mixture starts to thicken, for about 30 minutes.
Continue cooking until the rice is tender but not too mushy. The milk will be thick and the rice tender, but the mixture will still be very soupy, which is what you want. (As the pudding cools, it thickens, and if it is too thick while still hot, it will firm up into a thick, stodgy lump without the unctuous creaminess of a great rice pudding.)
4. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and half & half together and stir into the rice pudding. Continue cooking the pudding over medium-low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the eggs are cooked through and pudding is creamy and glossy, but still fairly soupy. 
5. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, chocolate pieces, and cacao nibs.
6. Pour the pudding into a serving bowl or individual serving dishes and press plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 to 3 hours. Serve cold.

This pudding is delicious as is, but you can also fold a dollop of whipped cream into each serving, 

This is the perfect finish to a great meal or a great midnight snack, so rich that you only need a few spoonfuls but will be challenged to stop there.

Enjoy, God bless, and as always keep it saucy.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Easy - Gluten Free Breakfast Crepes

So, my wife and kids love crepes for breakfast, and order them at restaurants all the time. When my wife and I were shopping at World Market, we found a crepe mix made by Sofela. We bought it and I made them for my wife and she thought they were okay, but it got me thinking..."Why not make them Gluten Free so that we all could enjoy them." Me, being the expert food technologist that I am, I reverse engineered a recipe from the ingredients and preparation of the Sofela product. When that didn't work I decided to eyeball it like I usually do, and it turned out pretty good..

These are great stuffed with fruit and whipped cream, or scrambled eggs with bacon, ham, sausage, peppers, etc. added. If you are lucky enough to live in L.A.(haha) you could pick up some of our delicious fruit curds at Monsieur Marcel located @ the original Farmer's Market(3rd&Fairfax) which would go really well with these.

So here is the recipe which makes about six 8" crepes and can easily be scaled up or down:

Gluten Free Crepes

2/3 cup Nonfat Milk
2 Large Eggs
1/2 cup Sweet Rice flour(Mochi, available at Asian markets)
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1-2 dashes of Sea Salt

I found that a non-stick range top griddle works best for this but you could also use a skillet if you don't have a griddle. Heat the griddle over medium heat while you mix the batter.

Whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well until the batter is smooth.

Spray the non-stick griddle with Pam(repeat this before each crepe) and in a circular motion pour in slightly less than 1/4 cup of batter, and immediately tilt the pan in a circular motion to expand the batter before it sets. The goal is to have a nice thin, round shape. cook for about 1 minute, flip and cook 30 to 45 seconds more. It might take some practice to flip these without tearing or getting folds, but you'll get the hang of it soon enough. There are many ways to stuff and fold but I find the easiest way is like an enchilada. Simply put your fillings straight down the middle and fold each side over the filling.

That's all there is to it. These are often sprinkled with powdered sugar, and served with syrup, but nether are necessary. You can easily omit the vanilla/sugar to make savory crepes which can be filed with almost anything.

Enjoy, God bless, and Keep it Saucy!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Easy - Cucina Italia Chicken Cacciatore


Chicken Cacciatore

Great over Pasta or by itself with a nice Caesar salad. Bellissimo!!

1 ½ lbs Boneless Thighs
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion Sliced Thinly
4 Ribs Celery Sliced
2 Large Carrots Diced
¼ cup Sherry Wine
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
black pepper, to taste

1 jar Cucina Italia Primavera

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in skillet, and brown chicken on both sides. Remove and set aside.
Add 2 Tablespoons oil to skillet and cook onion, celery, and carrot over medium-high until onion is translucent. Add red pepper, and black pepper. Add Sherry and cook off alcohol (about two minutes.)
Add chicken to skillet and pour Cucina Italia Primavera over the top along with ½ cup water. Heat covered on High to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Turn chicken over and simmer additional 30 minutes, removing the cover for the last 10 minutes.
SERVES 4 -6 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Easy - Cucina Italia Lasagna Verde


Lasagna Verde

1 jar Cucina Italia Zucchini Verde Salsa Italiana
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
4 Celery Ribs Diced
2 Large Carrots Diced
1 Medium Onion Diced
1 lb. ground Chicken or Veal
1 (15 oz.) container Ricotta
1 egg, beaten
8 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 c. water
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
Dash nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Package No Boil Lasagna
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium-high heat and cook carrots, onions and celery until caramelized(about 7-10 minutes.) Add ground chicken or veal and cook until browned well.
In a large bowl mix together Ricotta cheese, beaten egg, Mozzarella cheese, 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley flakes and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper if desired.
Layer as follows:
1. ¼ of the sauce and ½ meat mixture, lasagna strips, 1/2 cheese mixture
2. ¼ of the sauce and ½ of the meat mixture, lasagna strips, rest of cheese mixture
3. Lasagna strips, remaining sauce
4. Top with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese or lots of grated Mozzarella
Bake at 375 degrees, covered with aluminum foil for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes. IMPORTANT: Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.
Serves 6-8.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quick/Easy Dinner - Cucina Italia Gnocchi Pomodoro con Gorgonzola


Gnocchi Pomodoro con Gorgonzola

Great quick meal that is hearty.

1 lbs Potato Gnocchi
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
½ cup water

½ pound Gorgonzola Cheese cubed
½ pound chopped walnuts

1 jar Cucina Italia Pomodoro

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in skillet, and sauté gnocchi until lightly browned.

Add Cucina Italia Pomodoro and water and cook covered over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add gorgonzola and walnuts and quickly toss with gnocchi and sauce.
Serve immediately on warmed plate. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and serve with a balsamic vinaigrette salad.
SERVES 4 -6 
Soon I will post a recipe for Gluten Free Gnocchi

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cucina Italia - San Francisco Pork Chops


San Francisco Pork Chops

This is a unique and tasty way to serve pork chops. The sauce is sooo tasty. This dish goes well with rice and a cooked veggie. Yummy!

1 ½ lbs pork chops, bone in
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion Sliced Thinly
4 Ribs Celery Sliced
½ pound sliced mushrooms
¼ cup Marsala Wine
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
black pepper, to taste

1 jar Cucina Italia Marsala Marinara

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in skillet, and brown chops on both sides. Remove chops and set aside.
Add 2 Tablespoons oil to skillet and cook onion and celery over medium-high until onion is translucent. Add red pepper, and black pepper. Add marsala and cook off alcohol (about two minutes.)
Add pork chops to skillet and pour Cucina Italia Marsala Marinara over the top along with ½ cup water. Heat covered on High to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Turn chops and simmer additional 30 minutes, removing the cover for the last 10 minutes.
Remove chops to platter.
Reduce Sauce to a thicker consistency.
Pour over chops and serve.
SERVES 4 -6 

Incomparable Pasta Sauce(and more)

Cucina Italia - Sugo Italiano

Forgive us for tooting our own horn, but we kid you not when we say that our Pasta Sauces are unlike anything else on the market. Our sauces are painstakingly handcrafted with the finest ingredients, and hand packed which allows for their stand out chunkiness. Got Gadgets? We do! Our family always loved sauces with big discernible pieces of vegetables in them, and it was a given that would be the case with our sauces we offer to you. When we list mushrooms, zucchini, olives, artichokes, peppers, etc., you'll not only see them but taste them too, and taste them you will! We pride ourselves on packing our sauces with so many gadgets, you can't help but getting them in every bite. We don't stop there, but we use the finest classic ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, fresh onions, garlic, vegetables, and a bottle of wine in every case. Finally, we add no sugar to our sugos, EVER! so only the natural sweetness of the ingredients is what you taste. So go ahead and spoil yourself, you deserve it, and remember that these sauces are not just for pasta, but are great on grilled meats, fish, veggies, eggs, bruschetta, and more.

We have posted recipes that can be made with these sauces and will have more to share soon. Feel free to share your recipes with us and we will post them if we like them.

Sugos we currently make:
Marsala Marinara - Puttanesca - Arrabbiata - Pomodoro - Carciofino(Artichoke w/Blk Olives) - Melanzana(Eggplant w/Grn Olives) - Balsamica(w/ Sun Dried Tomatoes) - Zucchini Verde - Primavera - Arrostito(Roasted Peppers) - Portabella

God bless, and Mangia!
As always, Keep it Saucy.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Boog'z Batchin' it Burgers


Okay, here is one for us guys! On occasion we are able to cook food exactly like we want it. No, "It's too spicy" or "Hold  the garlic" and the frustrating, "That's too fattening!" So here is a great recipe for the ultimate no hold barred burger. Feel free to modify to your liking:


1.5 lbs.   Ground Sirloin
1             Egg
1/2          Medium sized onion, grated
2             Garlic cloves, grated
1/2          Bunch cilantro, leaves and stems chopped
1-2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
.5 tsp.      Sea Salt
.5 tsp.      Pepper, ground
.5 tsp.      Chili Powder
.5 tsp.      Smoked Paprika
4 oz.        Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 tsp.       Chive, chopped
2-4          Chile Peppers, stemmed and seeded, minced
2 Tbsp.    Olive Oil

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, and form into patties about .75 inches thick. Now I like to cook my burgers on a griddle which makes them very juicy. You can use a cast iron skillet if you don't have a griddle, or you can throw them on the grill. Heat griddle to the highest setting, and cook patties 3 minutes on the first side, flip and cook an additional 4 minutes. Don't flip more than once,  and don't press on them with the spatula or a weight. Remove burgers from griddle to a large plate or platter, and tent with foil for 10 minutes.

Crack open an ice cold, strong beer, and enjoy. Great on toasted or grilled buns, as tacos, or gyros. Serve with grilled onions, Roasted potato fries, Tzatziki sauce, etc. Chiles can be anything mild to wild, but the hotter the better IMHO.

 Goes great with "Burning Sensations - Borracho y Loco" hot sauce.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Angry Ukrainian Pigs in Blankets - Halupki Arrabbiata(Cucina Italia) - Gluten Free

We're Back after an extensive hiatus, and we'll try to be more consistent with our posts(at least once a week is the goal.) Below is a spicy version of Ukrainian style stuffed cabbage ala our Cucina Italia - Arrabbiata(angry) sugo italiano. Traditionally this dish is made with a mixture of ground beef and pork, but last night I made it with ground turkey and Jimmy Dean sausage(country style) and it turned out pretty amazing. If you're not into spicy(keep it to yourself) you can easily substitute any other Cucina Italia Sugo Italiano. The Pomodoro or Marsala Marinara would be good choices, but any will do just fine. So lets get started!!

Halupki Arrabbiata(Cucina Italia) - Gluten Free
Stuffed Cabbage
·         1 (4-pound) whole head of cabbage
·         1/2 to 3/4 cup raw rice
·         1/2 to 3/4 cup water
·         1 finely chopped medium onion
·         4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
·         1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
·         1  pound country style sausage
·         Salt and pepper to taste
·         1 large egg
·         1 clove minced garlic
·         1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
·         1 teaspoon smoked paprika
·         1 jar Cucina Italia Arrabbiata
·         1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
cabbage leavesPreparation:
1.        Remove large outer leaves from cabbage and set aside. Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 3 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 18 leaves. 
2.        When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem from each leaf, without cutting all the way through. 
3.        Chop the remaining cabbage, still reserving large outer leaves, and place it in the bottom of a large greased stock pot or Dutch oven. 
4.        Rinse rice and cook it in equal amount of water until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwile, saute chopped onion in butter in a medium skillet until tender, and let cool. 
5.        In a large bowl, mix cooled rice, cooled onions, turkey, sausage, salt and pepper to taste, egg, garlic, paprikas, and 1/3 cup of the arrabbiata sauce, and blend thoroughly. Don't overmix or the meat will become tough. 
6.        Place about 1/2 cup of meat on each cabbage leaf. Roll away from you to encase the meat. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. You will have something that looks like an envelope. Once again, roll away from you to create a neat little roll. 
7.        Place the cabbage rolls on top of the chopped cabbage with a mixture of the remaining arrabbiata and the crushed tomatoes in between the layers in the stock pot or Dutch oven. Top with remaining sauce mixture, and any remaining cabbage leaves. Add enough water to cover completely. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer 3 to 4 hours. Watch carefully so stuffed cabbages don't burn. 
8.        Serve with pan juices, loose cabbage, and perhaps a drizzle of sour cream, or splash of Burning Sensations hot suace if desired, and mashed potatoes and crusty bread(Rudi’s Multigrain Gluten Free is awesome.)
9.        Cabbage rolls freeze well before or after cooking, and can be made in a slow cooker.

Makes about 18 stuffed cabbages or Halupki. Recipe can be easily doubled. 

Good bye, God Bless, and keep it saucy!!
st louis cardinals, cincinnati reds, padres, milwaukee brewers, yankees, kansas city royals, washington senators, april fools day pranks

Friday, December 17, 2010

Recipe - Easy Tortilla Crusted Halibut w/ Grilling Sensations Mango Ginger

·         1/4 cup butter
·         2 lb. halibut fillet
·         Sea salt and pepper
·         18 - 20 tortilla chips
·         ¼ tsp smoked paprika
·         ½ tsp dried orange peel
·         Dash of cayenne pepper
1  Preheat oven to 375°F
2  Remove skin from halibut if present. Rinse and dry the Halibut, and cut into 4 equal portions

3  Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper on both sides
4  Crush the tortilla chips in a large flat bowl.

5  Add the spices and mix well
6  Coat each fillet with melted butter, then roll in the  tortilla mixture.
7  Return fillets to the baking dish arranging in a single layer.
8  Pour remaining tortilla mix over the top of the fish.
9  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until fish flakes easily.

Serve with gluten free Tadik(Persian Rice)* and roasted vegetables.

Serves 6 to 8.

More sauces available from Grilling Sensations®
Korean Kalbi                       Indonesian Sambal
Jamaican Jerk                    Thai Peanut

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recipe - Easy Indonesian Pork Tenderloin w/ Grilling Sensations Indonesian Sambal

Grilling Sensations®
Pork Tenderloin

·         2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
·         1 tablespoon olive oil
·         Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
·         ½  cup Chicken Stock
·         ¼ cup Lite sour cream
·         2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 Trim the tenderloins of any excess fat and silver skin. Set in a small nonreactive baking dish.

2 Pour the Grilling Sensations® Indonesian Sambal Sauce over the tenderloins and let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.

3 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4 Heat the olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Wipe away any excess marinade and season with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook, turning as needed, for 4 to 5 minutes, until evenly browned. Transfer to the oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 140 degrees. Remove skillet from oven and transfer the tenderloins to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm. Remember that the skillet handle is still hot after you put the skillet on the stove top. Use oven mitts or cool off the handle with ice.
5 Pour the marinade and the chicken stock into the skillet over high heat and boil for 8 to 10 minutes until reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream until mixed well. Cover to keep warm.
6 Cut tenderloins across the grain into thin slices and arrange on a platter. Drizzle sauce over top and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve.

More sauces available from Grilling Sensations®