Monday, July 25, 2011

‘Out of this World’ Stuffing from Bethenny Frankel (Gluten Free)

Krista Kooks Betheny Frankel Out of this Word Stuffing Gluten Free
I can’t not share that this is ‘Out of this World’ stuffing because that’s the name that Bethenny’s titled it.  Truth is…it’s better than out of this world.

This was my first ever attempt at making stuffing (or dressing for those of you that call it that).  I’d never had to make it before because other women in my extended family took care of that each year for my entire life.  Outside of Thanksgiving, I had the StoveTop version of stuffing.  Anyway, now that I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and must eat gluten free, I had to take matters into my own hands.  I was NOT prepared to not have stuffing for Thanksgiving (or Christmas).  I was determined to make it happen.  Since Bethenny has yet to fail me with delicious recipes, I decided to trust her on this one.

Further to that, since bread is the main thing involved in any stuffing recipe, I had to ensure that I was selecting the right bread for this.  In true Krista fashion, I should have baked the bread myself.  However, I wasn’t trying to overdo it this time, so I selected Udi’s Whole Grain bread!  I’m quite disappointed in our local grocery stores only selling the small loaves.  Ugh.  It’s just not enough.  Fortunately, I discovered that since Jason’s Deli serves this same bread, you can purchase it straight from their store!  Better still, they sell a LARGE loaf of this bread.  I purchased 2 loaves from them (just in case), and it was much more economical and efficient.

As for other details of this recipe, dried morels were difficult to find.  I did find them (finally) at Whole Foods.  FYI, they are not cheap, but they ARE worth it!

If you decide to proceed with your recipe as being gluten free, just be sure that your bread, turkey sausage, and chicken stock (if used) are gluten free.

I so enjoyed every bit of this recipe, and I’m no longer scared of making stuffing.  I’m so thrilled to have found a recipe that makes eating gluten free more exciting than not eating gluten free.  I know this recipe wasn’t intended for the GF world, but, when modified, it’s fantastic!!!

1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon pepper, plus more as needed
1 or 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs sage, finely chopped
Leaves from 6 to 8 sprigs of thyme, finely chopped
½ pound turkey sausage (choose your favorite)
Splash of good dry white wine
1 teaspoon butter
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (whatever kind you like or use an assortment)
½ cup dried morel mushrooms, coarsely chopped and soaked in water until soft
½ loaf of 9-grain or multi-grain bread, toasted and chopped (reference my comments above on making Gluten Free)
½ to 1 cup chicken stock, mushroom broth, white wine, or other richly-flavored liquid
1 egg beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sauté the onion and celery in olive oil in a nonstick pan. Add salt, pepper, garlic, sage and thyme.
Remove the sausage from the casing (if it is in casing) and break into small pieces. Add to the pan and sauté until browned. Add the wine and butter. Stir in the mushrooms, morels, and the water the morels were soaked in.
Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Pour the sausage mixture over the top and toss to coat. If the mixture seems dry, add a splash of chicken stock, mushroom broth, wine or other flavored liquid. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Add a beaten egg and mix well. Put it into a large baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, then turn the oven to broil. Broil for five minutes to make the top crunchy -- but watch closely to be sure it does not burn.Krista Kooks Betheny Frankel Out of this Word Stuffing Gluten Free 2 By the way, yes, I am VERY behind on posting Winking smile

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cajun Black Beans and Rice

Gluten Free notes at the bottom of this post.Krista Kooks Cajun Red Beans and Rice 2So much of what I have forthcoming is from Pink Parsley.  I’m hard-pressed to find something she posts that I DON’T want to make for myself and the sous chef.  This recipe was not any different.Krista Kooks Cajun Red Beans and Rice
I’m serious…YUM!  To be fair, if you check out her recipe, you’ll notice that it should be red beans.  Yep, I had red beans purchased, too.  They were sitting right there next to the black beans in my pantry.  However, I manage to grab the black beans which is what ended up in my recipe.  Not so bog of a deal though; this was still fantastic.

What I love about good recipes that I want to share with family and friends is their capability of being good leftovers because I don’t ideally like leftovers.  I’m the kind of person that needs to have the best smelling and best tasting leftovers, which is usually how I determine what recipes I will make and then how much of that recipe I will make.  Hence the reason why this recipe was selected!

1 pound small red beans, rinsed and picked over (As I said above, Krista Kooks used black beans and used canned beans instead of doing the overnight process below)
4 slices of bacon, chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (1/2-1 pepper)
1/2 cup chopped celery (1-2 ribs)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
ground black pepper
3 cups chicken broth
6 cups water
10 ounces andouille or chicken andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tsp red wine vinegar, plus more for seasoning
3 scallions, sliced thin
hot sauce, for serving

Dissolve 3 tablespoons of salt in 4 quarts of water in a large pot and add the beans. For the overnight brine, allow to soak at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours. For the quick-soak method, bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat, cover, and stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans.

In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until browned and almost fully rendered, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in beans, broth, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat but just enough to still maintain a vigorous simmer. Stirring occasionally, cook 45-60 minutes, or until the beans are soft and the liquid has begun to thicken.

Stir in the sausage and 2 teaspoons of the red wine vinegar. Cook until the liquid is thick and the beans are fully tender and creamy, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve over rice, sprinkled with scallions and passed with hot sauce.

Make it Gluten Free!
  • Fortunately, this recipe is easily made gluten free!  Just be sure that your bacon and sausage are gluten free, and everything will be fine.  If using hot sauce, check that as well.  If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment to ask!Krista Kooks Cajun Red Beans and Rice 3

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bethenny Frankel’s Zesty, Cheesy Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free)

Gluten Free notes at the bottom of this post.

Krista Kooks Bethenny Frankel’s Zesty, Cheesy Mac and Cheese

First of all, I’ve never been the greatest at making homemade mac n’ cheese.  Somehow, I never get the cheese mixture to look right despite my determination to follow the recipe as instructed.  Nevertheless, I’m sure I didn’t manage to get this recipe to look just right, but it definitely tastes amazing!  The butternut squash completely brings a sweeter taste; plus, it’s helpful that it’s presence reduces the amount of cheese!  Less calories and fat, of course.  I definitely prefer this mac n’ cheese recipe in our household now!

Zesty, Cheesy Mac and Cheese from Bethenny Frankel


12 ounces whole wheat mini pasta shells (these hold the cheese better than elbows)

1 cup soy milk

1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan

1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup frozen butternut squash, thawed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp. chili powder or a few dashes of Tabasco sauce

2 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs

2 tablespoons reduced fat Monterey jack cheese, shredded


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Boil pasta shells in salted water until slightly firm, according to package directions.

In another saucepan, combine the soymilk, Parmesan, cheddar, and butternut squash over medium heat until melted and combined. Turn off the heat. Add salt, mustard, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder or Tabasco.

Drain the pasta but don’t rinse it. Add it to the cheese sauce (use a large bowl if necessary) and toss to coat the pasta. Taste and add more salt or pepper, according to your taste.

Spray a shallow baking pan with cooking spray and put the pasta-cheese mixture in it. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Monterey jack cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Make it Gluten Free!

  • Of course, be sure to use gluten free pasta.  Specifically, quinoa pasta would be fabulous for this recipe, but brown rice pasta will work great as well.  The photo you see above is with brown rice pasta!
  • Make sure you use gluten free breadcrumbs, though I would not suggest buying the pre-packaged brown rice breadcrumbs.  YUCK!  Ter-ri-ble!  Simply dry out a piece of gluten-free bread or two, then crumble up to use as the topping here.  Obviously, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t use these breadcrumbs; you will still have some great mac n’ cheese.


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