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Friday, May 25, 2012

chipotle bacon guacamole -- gluten free + dairy free

bacon. crispy, salty, porky goodness.

holy guacamole.
i had an appetizer party with a bunch of friends last weekend and i was supposed to bring an app and a gf desert. in particular i was tasked with bringing a dip. sweet, i thought to myself, i love this. actually, i live for this. i love the challenge of being the master of crowd pleasers and i love the reaction i get from people when they ACTUALLY REALLY like the food that i've made.

i had previously picked up a package of preservative (nitrate, nitrite, msg) free bacon and was trying to figure out what to do with it. yes, i know, figuring out what to do with bacon shouldnt be a challenge - JUST EAT IT! as i was brainstorming dip ideas i pondered curried hummus, gf/df spinach artichoke dip, etc, etc. it came to me. 

rewind back a few months ago - mark was rummaging thru the pantry looking for things to use in his traditional guacamole and found my stash of chipotles in adobo. he chopped up a few and tossed them into our usual guac and voila. marks chipotle guacamole was born. highly addictive. on a good night - mark and i can polish off a tub made from two avocados (and still be craving more). 
vibrant ingreenients
i figured i would make mark's mouth watering chipotle guac. in an effort to put my own personal twist on marks guacamole, i found myself staring at the package of bacon again. bacon makes EVERYTHING better. EVERYTHING. yep - you guessed it. my new plan was to crisp up that lucious piggy and then crumble it into marks rendition of guacamole. 

money shot.
chipotle bacon guacamole

  • 4-5 avocados - ripe
  • 1 package of bacon - cooked in the oven until crispy
  • 1/2 small red onion - finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro - finely chopped
  • 2-3 chipotles in adobe - seeds removed and chopped finely
  • freshly squeezed juice from 1 lime (you may want to use 1/2 a lime first, then add more to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
to begin heat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (to make the greasy bacon clean up easier). place bacon on a wire rack (oven safe) on top of the baking sheet, making sure that there is space for the bacon grease to drip down (this will allow the bacon to crisp nicely. i baked mine around 15-20 minutes each side. remove from oven and place in between paper towels to absorb any excess grease - allow to fully cool. 

meanwhile open up and remove the pit from your avocados - i typically slice them down the center lenghtwise, twist one side until it comes off (so that one side has the pit and the other is pit free). take your  knife, firmly in hand and whack the center of the pit - then rotate your knife ever so slightly until the pit comes free, lift out and discard. with the flesh still intact in each half use your knife to gently slice down thru the flesh until you hit the skin (being careful to not puncture the skin), repeat in other direction so that you've made an avocado grid (hell, its the best way to describe it). using a large spoon - scoop down to the skin and remove all the flesh - it should come out in nice even dices. repeat this until all of your avo's are diced up. combine avocados in a large bowl with chopped red onion, chopped cilantro (fine, leave it out if you think it tastes like soap - you dont know what you're missing), chopped chipotles, lime juice - start off with juice from 1/2 and continue to add more to your taste preference. crumble the cooled bacon and stir 3/4 of it into the guacamole. eat 1/8 of remaining bacon in process then season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper - stir. if there is any bacon left over toss bits on top of guacamole and bury your face in it. 

this recipe yields a massive helping - definitely party size. it fed a good 10 people the day that i made it. wanna hear something wonderful? out of all the of the appetizer party attendees only ONE person brought a dish that didnt have bacon in it. great minds really do think alike. it was a porktastic app party.

Friday, May 4, 2012

turkey pot pie -- gluten free + dairy free

bring on the pot pie. its been a while in the making now. i've attempted several not-so-hot versions of this recipe over the past few months and finally have a decent end product. JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME FOR SUMMER. (that was just slightly sarcastic, if you couldnt tell). i decided to post this despite people dreading turning on their oven - i simply couldnt hold off until next fall. 

this is a great savory recipe that is filling and heart warming. i found that on the second day it tasted even better. boy have i missed a good pot pie. mark was pretty stoked about this one too - he helped me devour the whole thing over the course of two meals. 

nuff said about pot pie. i'm back from vegas and into the swing of things here in colorado. summer has definitely made a very welcomed early appearance. the weekdays have consisted of working - going home and grilling up food (yes, already) and sipping good pinot. or if i'm really lucky, i'm hitting up happy hour with near and dear friends. weekends have been ultra relaxing - catching sun at the boulder reservoir with mark and tilly bones and then stopping by the farmers market on our way home. perfection. 

a few weeks back one of my girls, jo jo, booked a trip from boston to hang with me in colorado for a few days. i'm WICKED excited. best part is - shes a virgin to colorado. i've already conjured up a million things for us to do while shes here. AND to top it off - she comes from the land where happy hour is illegal. yes, this is an atrocity and no, i'm not kidding - happy hour is illegal in massachusetts. i'm cant wait to show her how happy hour is done. i cant wait for her to get here - i'm already counting down the days. 

back to pot pie business. try this recipe - and let me know if you like it. i wouldnt blame you if you held off on this one until the fall weather rolls around. as for me, this is the last one i'll be making for some time. i'm hitting up the farmers market hard and plan on eating yummy, raw, local, organic veggies. can i get a hell yes!?!?!

pie crust (single - doesn't have a bottom crust, only top crust)
  • 1 3/4 c gluten free flour mix (i used a combo of brown rice flour, tapioca starch, sorghum) plus more for dusting
  • 8 tbsp earth balance (frozen)
  • 1 large egg - lightly beaten 
  • 1 large egg - light beaten with water (for egg wash)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
to begin place 8 tbsp of buttery spread in the freezer until frozen ~ 1 hour. meanwhile, measure out flour mix, baking powder, sea salt and place into food processor. remove buttery spread from freezer once frozen - then cut into small pieces and toss into processor on top of flour, etc. pulse until dough just starts to come together. add in the lightly beaten egg and pulse until dough forms a ball. remove dough ball from processor lightly flour the outside and place into a resealable bag - refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

turkey pot pie filling
  • 1 lb shredded or cubed, cooked turkey breast (or chicken)
  • 1/2 medium onion onion - diced
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 celery stalks - diced
  • 2 carrots - diced
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • red potato
  • 1/3 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 2 tbsp brown rice flour
  • 1/2 c plain hemp milk (or your favorite unsweetened/unflavored dairy alternative)
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • fresh parsley
  • dried thyme
  • salt + pepper
preheat oven to 375. in a large pan heat olive oil over medium heat. add in onion, carrots, celery and potatoes and cook until onions/celery become translucent ~ 10 minutes. meanwhile, in a separate large bowl combine shredded turkey, frozen peas and frozen pearl onions. (no need to defrost the frozen veggies). back to the stuff on the stove - once the onion and celery are translucent sprinkle in brown rice flour and cook around 3 minutes. stir in chicken stock, hemp milk, white wine, fresh parsley, dried thyme, salt and pepper and continue to simmer another 5 minutes. cook around 3 minutes. remove from stove top and gently stir into the bowl with turkey and frozen veggies. 

transfer mixture into 9 inch greased pie dish (i used glass) and carefully top with refridgerated crust. crimp crust edges with a fork and then brush with egg wash (to help with browning). cut 3-4 slits in crust to prevent pot pie blow-out. place in oven at 375 for around an hour. if crust begins to brown too quickly cover with aluminum foil.