Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sandy's Gluten Free New Year's Eve

Like Mom (see previous blog entry), we had a small group of friends join us at our home for New Year's Eve. I decided to go for "simple" and served fajitas. I broiled some chicken breasts with Tex-Joy seasoning and served them with corn tortillas and assorted toppings: Shredded cheddar, chopped tomatoes, guacamole, salsa, and Mexican rice. My friend Debi brought the guacamole and nachos to go with it -- basically tortilla chips with melted cheese, which also served as the meal for her vegetarian daughter.

Our dessert tradition for New Year's is to break out the chocolate fountain. This was basically an impulse purchase and it's never worked well. The fountain does not flow evenly, it wastes too much chocolate and it's a pain to clean up, BUT... the children absolutely love it. For them, it wouldn't be New Year's Eve without it. This year I used a blend of chocolate chips and canola oil instead of buying specialty fountain chocolate. It worked just fine and was delicious. I served it with marshmallows, strawberries, and bananas for dipping. We had some sweet champagne as well, and it was a lovely, no stress dinner.

Mexican Rice for a crowd
3 3/4 cup GF chicken broth
2 cups rice
1 8 oz can tomato sauce

Bring broth to a boil, then add rice and tomato sauce. Stir then simmer for 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.


Cathy's Gluten Free New Year's Eve

New year's Eve some friends came through on their travels, so we had a big dinner. I thought my beef eater son and my lactose free sister (who is also gluten free like myself ) might come, so the menu reflected the usual preferences and restrictions. Neither my sister nor my son's family came, so we had plenty of leftovers. The menu was steak -- grilled outdoors with TexJoy Steak Seasoning. It gets cold here, but there is almost never snow. Grilling is almost always an option. (My husband got a George Foreman Grill for Christmas, so maybe grilling is always an option.) We also had King Crab legs, boiled simply and served with melted butter. (We had Earth Balance on hand too in case my sister showed up.) I baked enormous potatoes, and we had black eyed peas, which I had soaked the night before and left in the slow cooker all day. We also had cabbage cooked in a broth made from the bone of the Christmas ham. My friend Hungarian friend Eniko had sent me a recipe for Transylvanian Sloppy Cabbage. My recipe did not match hers exactly, but then I did not have any summer savory, the ingredient which makes it Transylvanian. It called for flour too to thicken, and rather than substitute, I decided to leave the cabbage unthickened and used the Hungarian Paprika that Eniko had given me this summer.

For dessert we had Marbled Meringues. The recipe makes quite a lot, and they were tasty, going well with the red wines we had with the dinner. I imagined them with the Prosecco we had for midnight (ET), but we were beyond food by then. We said good night then, feeling a bit deflated that the focus was on Dick Clark's doing the countdown, which was a bit sad, and which deprived us of seeing the ball come down.

Marbled Meringues

3 jumbo egg whites, at room temperature

¾ cup sugar

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp vanilla

½ Tbs cocoa powder

Beat the eggs till they're past foamy and add the cream of tartar. Beat some more till the peaks are starting to look stable and add the sugar gradually while beating the eggs. Add the vanilla after the sugar and incorporate. Take about half the egg whites out of the bowl and put them aside. Add the cocoa to the remaining egg whites and mix the cocoa in, using a spatula to scrape down the sides. Add the egg whites that have been set aside back into the bowl and mix a little bit to marbelize. Drop by the teaspoon onto two cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper and bake at 250 degrees for about 45 minutes. I put the trays in both at the same time – one near the top of the oven and the other in the middle or just below. Leave the meringues in the oven for as long as you like. Two hours is good. Overnight is okay. This recipe makes about 4 ½ dozen.