Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Artisinal Bread in Five

Life.  I knew I was busy but I did not realize that it had been 8, yes eight, months since my last post.  I have tweeted here and there (definitely requires less time) but not a peep on the blog in eight months.

I have some cool things to share so I'll try to be better with updates.  I found some new products that I'll post about.  We have developed some new recipes.  A great new gadget we found was a dumpling maker so I'll have to share our experience and dough recipe.  BEER, happy to see more people getting in the craft GF beer market.

But first I wanted to break bread with everyone.

I was never a big bread eater.  I was definitely not a fan of grocery store bought, mass produced, white bread.  But give me a good baguette or artisan loaf and I was in heaven.  Some hard cheese, salami or a good soup to dip it into - that's what I miss.

How happy was I to then find Artisan Bread in Five.  I'm not sure if I saw it in a magazine or e-zine or twitter post but I was happy to find it.  I have not bought their book yet but now that they have a dedicated GF Bread in Five book I may have to add it to my collection.

The incredible thing is how easy it is.  When I started making it I was cooking bread almost daily and my kids and I would eat it all.  The really nice, and simple, thing about their process is that you make the dough in a large batch and pull off what you need daily.  This way during the week you pull some dough out of the refrigerator, let it rise, throw it in the oven and you have fresh bread for dinner.

As far as flour they used Bob's Red Mill GF Flour.  I have used Peter Bronski's blend (you can find that recipe on his website No Gluten No Problem or click here) for many things and I always have a big stash of it in the house so I use that mainly.  The fun thing is experimenting with other flours (millet, black bean, different rice flours) to adjust the flavor.  I have thought about using some fermented teff flour to create a sourdough like blend but have not tried it yet.

You can find their GF Master recipe on their website or click here.

Basically you are going to add 6 1/2 Cups flour with 1 TBSP yeast, 1 TBSP kosher salt, 2 TBSP sugar, 3 3/4 Cup water (there is an egg option on their site).  Mix it in a large stand mixer.  That's it

Here is the dough once it was completed.

Then let it rise.  Let the yeast do its magic.

Form it into a ball or use a baugette pan.  You need to smooth it out.

Make some slits to let air escape and dust with flour.  After that you let it rise.

Use a baking stone in the oven at 450 degrees.  The next step is adding some water to a dish in the oven when you cook the bread.  Viola, out comes delicious, artisan GF bread.

Keep in in the fridge in a container.  Be sure to not seal it, it needs some air and room to expand.

Take some out the next day and make baguettes.

Once it is done, let it cool or it will be chewy.  Then slice and enjoy.

Check out Artisan Bread in Five and make some GF bread,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sweet Note Gluten Free Bagels

I grew up near Philadelphia, home of the cheesesteak, soft pretzels and sunday morning bagels.  I remember that bag of fresh, hot bagels, cream cheese, lox, red onions, capers, whitefish.  Hungry yet?

Once I moved to the west coast bagels were still an option.  We could pick them up at a number of the big chain bagel stores around San Diego.  Once I had to go GF there was one option - Udi's.  Although it was GF, Udi's bagels are fair.

I was happy to hear about Sweet Note Bakery and their GF bagels handcrafted in Philadelphia.  You can read all about Michelle and her story on their website.

My wife ordered a box to be delivered.  It came with eight 4 packs of GF bagels.  We got 3 bags of plain (mainly to make pizza bagels), 4 everything and 1 cinnamon raisin.  They ship frozen with an ice pack and were delivered 48 hours later to my front door.

Their bagels are GF, egg free, soy free, dairy free, peanut and tree-nut free and non-GMO if you were wondering.  In addition to what we ordered they also make a sesame, poppy, snickerdoddle, pumpkin spice and chocolate swirl.

How can you not like one of their catch phrases.

They produce authentic NYC style bagels which are slightly smaller in diameter than the bagels at some of the bigger chains.

How do you prepare them.  They recommend keeping them frozen and then thaw a bagel in the microwave for 60 seconds, then cut, then toast.  I did thaw them just to try and they were not as good - so follow the directions.  Top with butter, cream cheese or whatever toppings you like and sit back and enjoy.

The crust is crispy and the inside is a nice chewy bagel texture.  Flavor wise they are delicious.  I especially like the everything toppings - this is what I remember from the deli bought bagels on the east coast.

The kids have been going through bag after bag of the bagels so the freezer is almost bare.  If you live on the east coast you are lucky.  A number of restaurants serve their bagels and you can find the Sweet Note Bagels at a number of Whole Foods, Shop Rite, and other stores (you can check on their website at the FIND link).

So pour a cup of coffee, toast up a bagel and add your favorite schmear and enjoy,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gluten Free Park City 2015

We took our annual ski trip to Park City.  The kids always look forward to it.  Unfortunately, like most of the West, it was pretty dry.  Most of the runs were open and kids still had fun.  They skied 4 days and I rode with them on Monday and Friday.  It finally snowed on Friday, so we had a few inches of fresh powder.

To not bore you with repeat reviews you can see my post on our Park City trip from 2012 and 2013.

We definitely made it back to Loco Lizard.  You can't miss this place for 100% GF mexican.

We also had a few GF pizzas from Park City Pizza.

My new find was 501 On Main.  This place was awesome.  Most of their dishes are GF and everyone was knowledgable about GF and celiac.  The wife and I stopped in for lunch one day and sat at the bar.  We had the Utah Onion Slivers - you have to order these.  They were served with an awesome dipping sauce and it was delicious.  The super duper bonus is they have a GF fryer.  For lunch I had the turkey melt on GF Udi's bread with a side of french fries from the GF fryer.

We ate there one night for dinner with the kids and the fresh Utah trout was to die for.  The wife had the vegetable risotto which came in a cool fried potato bowl (also GF).  For dinner you need to order the seared ahi tuna appetizer - incredible.

We hit the usual bowling alley, sledding and board games galore.  So keep your fingers crossed for snow.

The Un-Gluten Guy

Sunday, February 15, 2015

GFAF Expo 2015 San Diego

Well, its over but it was fun.  This was definitely the best expo that I have been to and there was lots to see and try.  The folks at GFAF Expo describe themselves as the largest Gluten Free and Allergen Free Expo in the US and I agree.

While I was there I met Angela aka the celiac hash girl.  She has a cool blog ( that you should check out.

Massel's had a nice booth front and center.  They make gluten free bouillon.  It comes in cubes, a condensed liquid and a granule form.  Not only is it GF but its vegan.  They have vegetable, chicken and beef flavors.  I made Vietnamese Pho with the beef and you would never know that its vegan.  Great to travel with if you cook when you travel - no more searching for GF broths.

Udi's was also up front.  Serving up their snacks and bread.  There stuff is always great and you can always find their bread in my freezer.

One of our new finds was Smart Flour.  They make pizza with an ancient grain crust.  This was super good and the biggest hit with my son.  He has probably had 3 of these in the past week.  We found them at our local Whole Foods.

Do you need dessert?  How about GF and lactose free and delicious.  Try Arctic Zero.  We had the orange and it tasted like a creamsicle.

Have you ever had Pao de queijo?  Its a Brazilian cheese bread that is made with tapioca starch.  Its delicious.  My favorite Brazi Bites was there.  I had a chance to try their new garlic asiago and it was delicious.

There is a new player too P*DE*Q - very good.  I tried their original, they also have jalapeƱo, carrot raisin, chocolate and bacon.

How about crunchy chips?  Our favorite chip was there - Way Better Snacks.  They had two new flavors - Mustard and Onion which is awesome and Sirracha which was very good.

Plentils was there to and had a Margherita pizza flavor that was a hit.

Their parent company Enjoy Life Foods was there with snack bars, cookies and their delicious chocolate chips (these wind up in our ice cream and pancakes).

The only booth I had an issue with was Mahatma Rice.  Yes, I know rice is GF.  They were handing out samples and the sample bag had no mention of allergens or facility information.  So I asked "Does Mahatma produce any gluten containing products?"  The response was a confused look and an "I don't know."  I pulled out my phone and looked and found their allergy page.  Five of their rice mixes contain wheat.  I asked "Are the mixes and rice produced on the same line or in the same factory?"  Again, they had no idea.

Aside from one booth the rest were great.  Redbridge beer and Omission was there (although I won't try the gluten reduced beers).

My daughters top pic - Maninis Pasta.  This is an ancient grain pasta is a fresh pasta so it cooks up quick.  I'm guessing it was Mama Maninis that was at the booth.  She had flown down from Washington and was cooking up the spaghetti toped with olive oil and it was delicious.  Everyone standing in line raved about how good it was.  We will have to find their products to fill our refriderator.

Can't wait until next year.

See you at the Expo,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Monday, January 26, 2015

Get Ready for the San Diego GF Expo 2015

I went to the first GF Expo in San Diego in 2011.  It was a great experience and I found tons of new products and some restaurants in San Diego that offered safe GF food - Casa de Bandini and Mountain Mikes pizza.

Unfortunately 2012 was a bust and the expo did not make it back.  The last two years were at the Del Mar fairgrounds and things were in full swing.

This will be the first time that the GFAFexpo will be in San Diego.  They began in 2007 and have grown and have expos in seven cities throughout the US.

Each year I find at least a few new products and I get to head home with a full belly (thanks to all of the free samples from the booth vendors) and usually a shopping bag for of GF goodies.

Keils had a great booth one year and we found out how many GF options they carry.  Although it is a bit far we head down there for some GF products we can't find at other stores in San Diego.

My son loves Mediterranean Snack Foods garlic hummus crackers.  Had them for the first time at the Expo.

On February 7, 2015 the GF AF Expo will be in San Diego.  It will be held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds from 10-4.  Tickets are $20 and parking is $10.

If you would like to buy tickets click on - GFexpo tickets.  Enter the code ADVANCE and you will get 15% off your tickets.  Wait folks, it gets better (I sound like a late night infomercial) but if you buy your tickets online before 2/6 you will also get a free, yes free, 1 year subscription to Delight Glutenfree magazine.  I have not seen their magazine before but looking through their website it looks like they have some good info and recipes.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Curious Fork - A GF San Diego Eatery and more

Every so often I find a new product or cafe/bakery.  It is nice when a new place pops up in San Diego.  I was happy to recently find The Curious Fork.  It is located in Solana Beach, directly across the street from the Del Mar Racetrack on Villa de la Valle.

When you first visit their website you will see the various cooking products they sell and you will find their information on catering but it is not until you visit them do you get an appreciation for their menu. They have a great cafe that is open from 7:30 am until 2:30 pm Monday thru Saturday.

I don't know where I first read about them, but the entire place is Gluten Free.  One of the owners, Chef Barbara, has celiac and their goal was to produce delicious food that just so happens to be gluten free.  I can attest to the fact that the food is delicious and safe.  I have been in two to three times each week since my first visit.

As far as breakfast goes they have wraps and bowls which I have not tried yet.  They offer sandwiches on house-made gluten free english muffins.  I have tried many GF english muffins and these are by far the best I have ever had.  I had mine with egg, cheese and bacon.  My wife had the egg, cheese, tomato and avocado.

For those sweet tooth gluttons, they offer GF brownies with lots of chocolate chips inside (which my kids love), a flour less chocolate torte with a bit of espresso, a green tea - ginger cake and these almond cookies that we really enjoy.

For lunch they have even more items to choose from.  Soup made daily - I have not tried this yet.  A few salads that look delicious - caeser, kale, and a garden salad.  They do look amazing but I have not yet ordered one.

What have I ordered?  I have been running down their list of sandwiches, and they are all delicious. Marco makes a mean pickle served with each sandwich that you will love.  I first had the "Curious Pork" served on their in house made GF baguette.  This was out of this world.  The pork was in this asian/thai style spicy sauce with cucumbers, jalapeƱos and cucumbers.  I had this a second time but for "research" purposes I had to try more.

Their other sandwiches have been just as good.  A tuna salad with dijon dressing, bacon and avocado on a delicious sandwich bread.  I was told they had sampled every GF sandwich bread out there and this was the best.  I strongly agree.  It is delivered from Cate and co. located in Napa.  I will have to order some items or visit them soon.

What else?

A marinated chicken sandwich with roasted peppers and onions with a pesto sauce - awesome. Another is their avocado club with turkey - delicious.  Most recently the "El Jefe" Cuban with pork, ham, swiss - yum.

Tacos.  Can't forget the tacos.  They make a carne asada taco on a soft corn tortilla.  Their carnitas is delicious too.  My wife's favorite is the shrimp taco.  Order one of each, they are all delicious.

They also serve up some delicious coffee.  They are the first to carry Blue Bottle Coffee in San Diego.  I always order a cup - it goes great with their pastries.

In addition to the cafe they have cooking classes and pop-up dinners.

We went to their first ever pop-up dinner.  We dragged our kids along to have them try some new foods and flavors.  Chef Daryl Biggs put together a 5 course tasting and you had the option of a wine pairing. The wine pairing was put together with the   It started with a smoked yellowtail crudo seasoned with salt and a yellow pepper.  This was a delicious plate and visually appealing.

The main entree was a duck tamale with roasted corn.  The kids loved the roasted corn.  I truly enjoyed the savory tamale and the duck was super moist.

The dessert was the highlight for the two little ones.  On the plate was an almond cookie, a banana pot de creme and a Mexican style hot chocolate with a touch of cinnamon.  Each part of the plate was delicious.

It has been a while since I have been this excited about a new restaurant.  I am glad that San Diego has another 100% gluten free eatery.  Their food is simply delicious and everyone will enjoy the menu.  For those with celiac or other gluten sensitivities The Curious Fork really offers a great, safe environment to enjoy breakfast and lunch.

Check them out,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Gluten Free Pasta Alfredo

My daughter is a pasta person.  If she had her choice she would have pasta for lunch and dinner.  Usually she likes it with a simple marinara.

I like pasta many ways.  Sometimes I will simply toss with some extra virgin olive oil and add some fresh chopped tomatoes and fresh grated parmesan.  We usually make a batch of marinara and keep it in the refrigerator for the week (it usually doesn't last the week).  Occasionally a nice pot of bolognese sauce or white clam sauce.  Another favorite is carbonara - I fell in love with it in Italy.

All kids like mac and cheese.  For a while I tried talking her into trying alfredo sauce but the answer was always - NO.  That was until recently.  We were at the supermarket and she saw a bottle of alfredo sauce - I could not believe how many ingredients, chemicals and artificial flavorings it had.  I explained to her I could make it for her at home, from scratch, with a few simple ingredients.

Well, not only did she like it, she loved it.  I have probably made it two dozen times since.  It is so easy to make so make it yourself.  Although the typical dish is made with fettuccine we make it with spaghetti, penne and whatever else is in the cabinet.  I have made gluten free pasta from scratch but we happy use Jovial Gluten Free Pasta.  It is the best GF pasta you can buy.

What you will need:
1.  1 cup of cream
2.  1 cup of freshly grated parmesan
3.  1-2 tablespoons of butter
4.  salt
5.  pepper
6.  nutmeg

Make your pasta, drain and set aside.

In a pan heat the butter and add the cream.  As soon as it simmers and bubbles form turn the heat to low.  Add a pinch of nutmeg, pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper.

Add the pasta and toss to coat with the cream/butter mixtures.

Add the cheese and toss until cheese is melted and you have a nice alfredo sauce.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with some additional fresh grated parmesan and enjoy.


The Un-Gluten Guy