Tuesday, October 18, 2011


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Matt's Meat Loaf

Personally I'm a fan of a good meat loaf, if only because it's so easy to make, so versatile in serving and the left overs are almost worth it in and of themselves. This recipe is based on a few I found online, in recipe books and what was in my head all mashed together.

1 1/2 lbs of Ground Beef or Turkey
1/2 Cup of GF bread crumbs (I used Ener-G myself)
2 Eggs, Beaten
1/4 Cup chopped onions
1/2 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp Pepper
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Water

Directions: Mix thoroughly, pack into a loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 1 hour. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

I found that the fat/grease from the turkey coagulated on the edges of the loaf during baking and was easily removed. I have heard of meatloaf pans that basically allow you to drain the fat while cooking perhaps this would prevent that.

Serving Suggestions:

The standard, as far as I'm concerned, is to serve the loaf hot from the oven with mashed potatoes and brown gravy. Yum.

On the other hand I think left overs should be served on GF bread in sandwich form. Hot or cold. If hot, I recommend a little bit of ketchup to dip but other than that I'm not a fan of any toppings.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Veggie Dip

While it's not really my own recipe I wanted to recommend the recipe from Kill the Gluten for Veggie Dip. It worked out really well for us for the super bowl party we had. I did leave out the Green Onions and the Water Chestnuts.

For my contribution... I recommend the following to serve with the dip:

Two, yes two bunches of celery washed and cut into three inch chunks. Don't be afraid of the small yellow parts. They are light and crunchy, without some of the toughness the more mature parts of the bunch have. We had a dozen or so people and we really did almost go through two bunches.

A pack of tri-color peppers. The ones with one red, yellow and orange pepper. Cut into strips. This is more for presentation. I don't think anyone actually act them but it looked pretty AND you can freeze the strips for later cooking when you need them. (I made a nice batch of sausage peppers and onions with these left overs that I'll post the recipe for later)

Baby carrots. Can't go wrong here... Our grocery store has little bags of carrots pre-cleaned for kids lunches. Two of those little bags would have been probably the right amount, unless you know you have some carrot lovers. We got a "big" bag of baby carrots and it was too much.

Cherry tomatoes. We served these and... well... not so much... While they do taste good they don't have "edges" to scrape up dip and its a serving disaster.

Mushrooms. I recommend the pre-cleaned boxes you can get in the veggie section. Halve the big ones and leave the small ones alone. I love mushrooms myself and I'm willing to bet you'll have at least one closet fungi lover.

You could probably also serve with cauliflower or broccoli florets and you might have some luck with good crisp lettuce relations like Endive or something else that has some heft to it... Or serve the dip in half an endive or a scooped out artichoke or something creative like that.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is another recipe I got from my Dad. The end result has a creamy smooth pumpkin pie flavor. He claims it's based on a recipe from a cooking class he took but that he was too lazy to follow the steps and just mixed it all in a single bowl. Which works well enough for me.

16oz Cream Cheese (1 tub, or 2 bar packages)
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
3 Eggs
1 Cup Canned Pumpkin
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

Combine Cream Cheese, Sugar and Vanilla at medium speed in your mixer until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mix well between each. Add pumpkin and spices. Mix until well blended.

Bake at 350° for 55 minutes. When done the filling will have swelled up and be a golden brown on top. It will shrink when cooled.

Variations and Serving Suggestions:

In a crust: We used a pre-made gluten free pie crust. I usually have a bit of pumpkin mix left over and make a crustless. Next time I think I'll try a graham cracker crust. (We have a GF Graham Cracker Crumb bag I forgot we had until after I made the pie). You really can't go wrong with this. Once baked, cooled and sliced I recommend a small dollop of Whipped Cream. I say small because this is already a creamy base.

Crustless: We have these ceramic dishes that are about 2 inches deep and about 6 inches in diameter. They work very well for the left over filling from a standard crusted pie.

Individual: I've been considering getting these little 2-3 inch diameter ramekins and doing them as individual serving size. It should work but I would check the cheese cake about 10-15 minutes earlier. Just in case.

This is always a hit with the guests. In fact it is was so much of a hit at Thanksgiving that making one for the Super Bowl was almost a given.

Chili con Carne

This recipe comes to me from my dad with a few modifications since I like a chunky meaty chili with a very thick sauce. When I made this for the Super Bowl I didn't have Cayenne and substituted a dash or two of red pepper flakes and I think it made it a touch too spicy. So this is a work in progress.

1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1 lb Ground Turkey or Beef
1 lb Can Crushed Tomatos
1 6oz Can of Tomato Paste
2 8oz Cans of Kidney Beans (undrained)
3 Tsp Chili Powder
1/8 Tsp Salt
Dash of Cayenne Pepper

Brown the ground meat and onions, drain. Add everything else. Simmer for at LEAST 15 to 20 minutes. For our Super Bowl party I simmered everything for 2-3 hours. I had planned to put it into a crock pot but things got too hectic and I just left it in the pot I started it in.

Variations: According to my dad, the recipe base is 1/4 lb meat, 8oz tomato (crushed, puree, sauce, etc), 8oz beans and chili powder to taste. In other words the room for variation is pretty big depending on how thick, chunky, etc you want the final product. He suggests different (or several) variaties of beans, different meats and different tomato types.

Serving Suggestions: I recommend serving with a sprinkle of finely shredded sharp chedder either in a bowl or on spooned onto Ritz crackers.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Things to do with Chebe Mix

One of the hardest things to replace on a gluten free diet is bread. Which is no surprise since wheat flour is one of the core ingredients in bread making. For all of our "smaller" breads we've been having a lot of luck with Chebe All Purpose Mix. We order the no-frills pack and it lasts us 3-4 months of fairly heavy use (about 3-5 batches a week). The recipe on the bag is a good place to start so I'll list that here.

1 1/2 Cups of Mix
2 Tbsp Oil
2 Eggs
5 Tbsp of Milk or Water

Directions: I generally mix the wet ingredients in a stand mixer and then add the dry.

The mix will very likely (unless it's REALLY humid) be crumbly and dry and won't quite come together. Add just enough milk or water that the mix comes together into a ball. Too much and it will be sticky, too little and it won't hold together.

Notes: If you want something a little fluffier add a 1 tsp of baking soda. Whether you use milk or water depends on the consistency of the bread you want to finish with. Water tends to be "flatter" in texture and taste.

Variations and Cooking:

Bread Sticks: Divide into eight pieces. Roll each piece in your hands to make snakes about 6 inches long. Bake at 375° for 7 minutes, turn over each and bake for another 7 minutes.

Cheesy Bread Sticks: As above, but instead of "round" sticks, flatten each bread stick with your thumb before baking. While baking the second time, in a microwave melt a little butter or margarine (I find margarine for 6 seconds JUST melts). Add garlic powder to the butter and blend. Brush liberally over the bread sticks. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese liberally over the bread sticks.

Dinner Rolls: Divide into eight pieces. Roll each piece in your palms to make slightly flattened balls. In a round cake tin evenly space the pieces around the edge, but not quite touching the edge. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Turn each roll over and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Cheesy Rolls: When mixing the dough for rolls add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of a shredded aged cheese like Asiago or Parmesan. Grated will work in a pinch but shredded gives a better texture. A sharp shredded cheddar works well too. Shredded Mozzarella doesn't quite work for some reason. Bake as regular rolls.

Flat Bread Wraps: While you are mixing the dough, heat a non-stick skillet over the stove top at a medium-low heat. Divide into eight pieces. Roll each piece just about as thin as you can. Your goal while rolling is to end up with something roughly 6 inches by 4 or 5. Close to square but just a bit longer than wide. Drop the rolled out piece onto the skillet. If the skillet is hot enough and non-stick enough, a moment or two after putting it on you should be able to "swirl" the pan and have the piece slide around. Just before you smell the cooked bread flip it over and cook for a little longer on the other side. I know that "Just before" is an odd measure. It will take a little bit of practice. I find if you can smell baking bread, then you've probably taken it a bit too far. You're looking for slightly browned but not crispy. We layer the wraps with paper towel and store in the fridge in a gallon sized zip lock bag.

Pigs in Blankets: You'll probably want to add the baking soda to this one... Roll out snakes like you do for bread sticks but wrap the dough around a gluten free hot dog. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes, turn over and bake another 10. The dogs tend to slide out when you're done but it works well enough. Next time I do this I'm going to try putting a strip of American Cheese (the individually wrapped sliced kind) in with the Dog to try Cheesy Dogs... It might work... but I can't vouch for it.

Other: For rolls... any leafy herb would probably work. "Italian Seasoning", Oregano, Parsley, etc. We like just cheese but the herbs are okay. For wraps it might be interesting to coordinate spices with what you plan to wrap. For example, a little chili powder for spicy foods... I'm also planning on trying to make "waffle cones" by adding some sugar or cocoa to the dough and finding some way to mold them as they bake. This is based on the flat bread getting a little crunchy / crispy when over cooked. I'm just not sure what to mold it on. Maybe just bowls...

Quick Prep: Prepare as you normally would but put the uncooked dough into the freezer. When frozen, transfer the dough into a zip lock freezer bag. At any point in the future pull out one or two rolls or sticks, and bake as normal and just add 5 to 10 minutes to baking time. We cannot recommend vacuum sealing the dough balls until already frozen it seems to make the dough "weird". Once frozen you should be fine though to vacuum seal.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gluten Free Taco Seasoning

If you're Celiac then you know that finding anything pre-packaged without added ingredients can be tough. Since it's easy to find Gluten Free taco shells we came up with this Taco Seasoning. It's easy to mix up a batch and store it in sealed container for later. This is actually a quadruple recipe... but keep it around for a couple quick meals.

8 Tsp Chili Powder
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tsp Powdered Oregano
2 Tsp Paprika
6 Tsp Ground Cumin
4 Tsp Sea Salt
4 Tsp Black Pepper

Directions: Mix and store. That's pretty much it.

Notes: Powdered Oregano will give you a consistency more like store bought but Oregano flakes work just as well.

Serving Suggestions:
Plain Jane Tacos - 1lb of ground beef or turkey browned and drained. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water and 1 to 3 teaspoons of mix to taste. Serve with Taco Shells warmed in a 350° oven for three or four minutes and your favorite toppings. We like diced tomatoes and finely shredded cheese. Harry prefers the 'Kraft Mexican Cheese Blend', whereas I prefer a sharp Cheddar. In addition Harry spreads a little melted Velveeta on the shell whereas, I also add shredded lettuce when I have it available.

Cheesy Taco Dip - 1lb of ground beef or turkey browned and drained. 8oz of Velveeta. 1 or 2 teaspoons of mix. Lower the heat from browning and melt the cheese. Once it's melted you can microwave it for 20-30 seconds to avoid burning on the stove top. Serve with tortilla chips, we use scoop style here. If you like cheese, a finely shredded blend on top goes well.