Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Curried cauliflower with peas

 A big thank you to Aida Mollenkamp (see my interview with her here) for this recipe from her recent book "Keys to the Kitchen." I have made this twice, both times with much success. The children (now almost 9 and 7) loved it as well. I put my family chef spin on it so it's not quite as spicy. I hope you'll try it, even if you think your kids are picky eaters. It's worth a shot!

Curried Cauliflower with Peas
Adapted from a recipe by Aida Mollenkamp
Serves 3-4

Vegetable oil
2-3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (I used ginger paste)
2-4 teaspoons mild curry powder, divided (see note)
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ - 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Optional: 1 cup cooked beef (ground or chopped steak)

1 cup frozen peas, slightly thawed
¼ cup cilantro or mint, roughly chopped
Flour tortillas (regular or gluten-free) or about 2 cups cooked brown rice

Note: To make your own mild curry powder, mix together 2 tablespoons each cumin and coriander, 2 teaspoons turmeric and ½ teaspoon each ground ginger and mustard. Add cayenne pepper or crushed chile peppers to make it spicy. Store the spice mixture in a spice jar until ready to use.
1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.  As soon as the oil is shimmering, add the ginger, half of the curry powder and all of the cauliflower. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant and the cauliflower is golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside in a bowl or on a plate.
2. Place pan off-heat on the stove. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the same pan with the onion, ground pepper, and remaining curry powder (you can add more curry powder later so go lightly until you know the amount you like). Place the pan back on medium heat. Once onion is soft, add the other ¼ teaspoon salt and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
3. Add cauliflower, potatoes, broth, and beef, if using. Bring to a boil.
4. Lower the heat, cover, and cook about 5 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until potatoes are knife tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the peas and cook about 2 minutes or until heated.  Adjust the seasonings by adding salt or curry if needed.
5. Top with chopped cilantro or mint and serve with regular or gluten-free flour tortillas or over brown rice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Creamy tarragon chicken

When you are looking for an elegant dish that you can serve to both adults and kids, try this one. The recipe is courtesy of Aida Mollenkamp from her book "Keys to the Kitchen" (see the interview and blog post here).  I made it for Christmas Dinner this past holiday and everyone raved.

Now, if you notice, the recipe is far from dairy-free so it was off-limits for my daughter (however, there are dairy substitutes below). I didn't really think it was going to be her thing, so after sauteing the chicken, I put some aside for her and proceeded with the recipe. If you know me, I'm not one to make two meals but I do accommodate her special diet by being just a little creative. I promise, it's possible.

After reviewing Aida's book, this one really stuck out. However, being The Family Chef, I had to put my own spin on it and make it a bit more family friendly. It's naturally gluten-free and absolutely delicious. If you need some of your own keys in the kitchen, check out Aida's book.

Creamy Tarragon Chicken

2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, butter substitute, or olive oil
2 shallots or 1 medium onion, diced
½ cup brandy, cognac, or white wine
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream or plain coconut creamer (unsweetened)
1-2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard

Optional: 1 cup frozen or shelled fresh baby peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves (it's worth getting fresh; if you only have dried, use about half)

Steamed rice, roasted potatoes, or noodles, for serving

  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season thoroughly with salt and pepper. 
  2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, quickly add the oil, tilt to swirl, and immediately add the chicken to the pan without crowding the pan (you may have to do this is in 2 or 3 batches). Cook until golden brown, but not cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat to brown all chicken. Note: if you are serving chicken without the sauce, cook it thoroughly.
  3. Add the butter or oil to the pan, then add the shallots or onion. Add about 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook until the shallots are golden brown. 
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, add the brandy, and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Return to the stove and simmer until any alcohol smell is cooked off and the liquid is reduced, about 2 minutes. Whisk in chicken juices that have accumulated on the plate from the chicken, the broth, cream, and mustard and cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
  5. Return the chicken to the pan along with the peas, if using, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the peas are bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tarragon, adjust seasoning as desired, and serve with rice, potatoes, or noodles.

Notes (Aida provides great tips with each recipe):

*Basil is a good substitute if you can’t find or don’t like tarragon.
*Swap pork tenderloin for the chicken.
*Add mushrooms to the shallots and cook until golden brown.