If you’ve been following my blog and giveaways, you know that I’ve been cooking from Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking in a Gluten-Free Kitchen recently. Last week and weekend I made their Basic Biscuits, Bangers & Mash, Momma’s Slaw, and Jules’ Banana Pudding. I liked all of them.
The biscuits rely on blanched almond flour, coconut flour, egg whites, baking powder, and butter or coconut oil. I may have overbeaten the egg whites (I thought more beating might make the biscuits lighter and fluffier, not so!). Their recipe calls for six large egg whites. I bought liquid egg whites for convenience…not sure if that made a difference in the texture. Anyway, mine didn’t look as light of fluffy as the ones in the photo in their book so I plan on making them again to see if they have a better rise with just a light whisking of the whites. I served them twice for breakfast with eggs, veggies, and fruit. Be sure to refrigerate the leftovers. I didn’t and due to the heat here in Phoenix and the airtight glass bowl with a lid I stored them in, they spoiled before I had the chance to to eat the rest. ;-/ I’ll post pictures when I make another batch.
I also made Momma’s Slaw, an easy to assemble coleslaw. I usually shred cabbage using the shredding plate of my food processor but this time I used the grating plate, like my friend Heather does, to produce a finer texture. I added my own variatio of salting, kneading and rinsing slaw to soften the cabbage, concentrating the volume and making it more digestible. Here is part of one of my meals: Mama’s Slaw with sautéed mushrooms with homemade teriyaki made from coconut aminos (a soy sauce alternative). Where’s the beef? I was famished so I shot the picture while the burger was cooking, then forgot to reshoot. I also had a bowl of spiced nectarines topped with raw coconut butter for dessert, a favorite treat.
Mashed cauliflower isn’t new to me. Still I enjoy trying different renditions of it. I made the Paleo Comfort Foods version twice: once as a side for salmon and again for Bangers & Mash, an Irish dish consisting of sautéed onions, mushrooms (non-traditional), and sausage in a light gravy. OMG! So delicious!
Bangers & Mash is straightforward and easy to assemble. However, it calls for a large onion and a cup of mushrooms but it doesn’t say “sliced” in the ingredient list nor does it tell you to slice them in the instructions (minor omission). I noticed they were sliced in the photos next to the recipe, which I assume most people will also catch that. I love having leftovers on hand so I froze a few portions for future meals. (They tasted fantastic, even better than I remembered, when thawed and reheated mid week!) My pictures of this dish didn’t turn out well shot in the evening without the benefit of sunlight pouring into the kitchen. It’s well worth making though.
Jules’ Banana Pudding pudding was super easy to make. All of the sweetness comes from over ripe bananas, making it a great recipe for anyone who wants to minimize or avoid sweetener and rely on whole foods and whole fruits for dessert. I would make it again for sure. The gal who does my bookkeeping was in my office when I made it. After she tried a portion she asked for the recipe.
Like the others, I found this recipe easy to assemble. Rather than pouring it into a pie plate I used custard cups and wine glasses. The photo in the book uses fresh bananas as a garnish, which I didn’t have on hand after making the pudding, so I used cocoa nibs, toasted pecans, and unsweetened flaked coconut. For one of the servings (not pictured) I added a couple of tablespoons of leftover Hot Fudge Sauce from my Ice Dream Cookbook along with a sprinkle of cocoa nibs. Really nice! Their recipe suggests freezing the mixture for something akin to banana ice cream; I froze a portion for one of my cooking assistants who helps me test recipes.
Caveat: One thing missing from the book is prep time, cooking time, serving size, and yield, features found in both of my cookbooks. However, I’ve since realized that what I consider my cooking time is not necessarily how long it will take others to make the same recipes. My students often report it taking much longer for them to make recipes, so listing such times can be tricky given variances in skill level, kitchen organization, and even type and sharpness of knives. Serving sizes? Well, they too can vary depending on the readers appetite and activity level and those of his or her dining companions. Still I do like yields, as in 6 biscuits, 8 (4-inch) tortillas, or 8 cups of soup. Even though Paleo Comfort Foods doesn’t list these, I really like the book and plan to make more from it. So check back for updates.
If you would like a copy of this book, you have between now and midnight (September 21, 2011) to enter the Paleo Comfort Foods Giveaway. It’s easy, just post comments on this page to enter. You can enter as many times as you like, just be sure to post a separate comment for each action you take. I’ll announce the winner later this week.
Jule’s Banana Pudding
Prep: 20 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
This recipe comes from Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking in a Gluten-Free Kitchen by Julie Sullivan Mayfield and Charles Mayfield.
Banana pudding is a staple in the South, and typically involves a vanilla cream pudding (sometimes from an instant mix), bananas, and vanilla wafers. While I could have “invented” a vanilla wafer substitute, the point here is to create something that’s reminiscent of the old conventional pudding but reframing the flavors and the dish in such a way as to enable folks to enjoy it without the health concerns (sorry all you vanilla wafer lovers out there).
While there is no added sugar here, I know you know that bananas are naturally very high in sugar, so again, this is a once-in-a-while treat.
1 can coconut milk (I used full fat)
2 egg yolks
1 t vanilla extract
1 T coconut oil
1 T coconut butter (not the same as the oil!)
3 really ripe bananas (almost black)
½ t cinnamon
Variation—This is actually really tasty served frozen—almost like a banana ice cream.
Ingredient Notes—Using bananas that haven’t yet ripened all the way will drastically take away from the flavor of this desert. Be sure to ask the clerk at your grocery store if they have any ripe ones in back. Most groceries don’t like keeping the dark ones out.
Tips & Tricks—To ripen bananas quickly, place them in a paper bag with either a tomato or apple. Seal the bag shut and you should be ripe within 24 hours.