Corn Free and sometimes Dairy Free cooking

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This recipe is a response to a special request from a friend. I hope you enjoy it!

This recipe is a modified version of chocolate bread that came from a wonderful cookbook titled, Rustic European Breads from Your Bread Machine, by Linda West Eckhardt and Diana Collingwood Butts. It’s a great cookbook, containing many wonderful bread recipes. (Many can be modified to be corn free.)

Chocolate Bread
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/8 cup + 1 Tablespoon water (hint: 1/8 cup is 2 Tablespoons – just easier to measure!)
1 large egg
1/3 cup sugar

3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt (I make this a “scant” measure as I use a “safe” salted butter)
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 ¼ cup chocolate chips (I buy mine at Passover, I stock up for the entire year)
- ¾ cup chips, to mix in with the dough and,
- ½ cup chips, reserved for topping
2 ½ teaspoons yeast

General instruction:
Hint: If you have had trouble getting the paddle to release after baking, place some of the butter around the stem of the paddle then put the paddle in place. I then often butter the paddle too. Make sure to use the 1 tablespoon of butter for this. Or, place 1 Tablespoon of butter in bottom of bread machine bucket/pan, make sure paddle is in place before adding additional ingredients.

Now that the paddle is in place, add the water, the egg, the sugar and the salt. Place all these ingredients on the bottom of the bread machine pan/bucket.

Measure out flour and place on top of the above ingredients. (I now take the time to sort of gently, level out the top, it’s a personal choice) See note below regarding the measuring of flour

Next, measure the cocoa and place off to one side of the bucket (on top of the flour).

Place the yeast on the other side of the bucket, on top of the flour.

Measuring flour: Using a "tablespoon" (the sort you might use for eating soup), stir the flour a bit. Now, carefully spoon flour into the measuring cup and without tapping the measure cup, level the top of the measuring cup with a straight edge of some sort, a knife, a chop stick, whatever. You really do need a set "dry measure" measuring cups for successful bread machine baking. ( A 1/8 cup measure is often sold as a coffee measure, I find them incredibly handy for measuring bread machine ingredients, both dry and wet.

Set your machine to the regular Bake Cycle and/or, if available, use a light crust setting.

Chocolate Chips: I place the ¾ cup of chocolate chips into the machine when it beeps for “additions”, this is a built in feature on my machine, I’m not sure that all machines have this feature (mine is at least 10 years old). Most will give instructions in the owner’s manual as to when to add things like dried fruits, nuts, etc. I think it is best to add the chocolate chips then. However, I don’t think it will hurt the bread to add them sooner if you do not have the instructions or if you have to be away from the house. I have set this bread up, placing the chocolate chips in with the first ingredients in the pan and left the house to return to a wonderful loaf of chocolate bread on my return.

After the bread is finished baking, while it is still piping hot, top the loaf with the reserved ½ cup chocolate chips.

Wait a few minutes for it to melt then, swirl to cover.

If using the timer, be careful to time it just right, so you can be there to melt the chocolate chips on top of the loaf, using the heat of the fresh baked bread!


Monday, June 16, 2008

The Best Salad Dressing I have found! It comes from,
Maren's Pine Tavern. A restaurant in Bend Oregon which I understand is still in business. I found this gem of a cookbook (copyright 1959) at a Library book sale. It doesn't look like much but, it is a real gem. I found a bunch of really interesting and tasty looking recipe between these covers! A treasure trove of "scratch recipes" that are either already corn free or are easily translated into corn free foods. Things I did not find everywhere else. Good Eats! Here is the recipe I use most often from this book.

Tavern Dressing

Corn Free, Dairy Free

2 cups oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup (see blog archive 2007)
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce (
2 Tablespoon finely minced onion
1 Tablespoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced or substitute, 1 teaspoon granulated/powdered garlic
Dash tobasco pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients and shake/mix well. You can place all ingredients into a jar or, a blender or, a bowl. Shake, blend or whisk, depending. I found a jar works great and I can storethe leftovers in the same jar. I love the low tech aspect of dumpng it all into a jar and shaking or handing it to a helper to shake while I attend to other cooking. This dressing should stand several hours at room temperature before it is used. It can be used sooner but, allowing it to sit, allowing the ingredients to mingle, will provide you with a richer fuller taste.
It combines well with any vegetable salad or salad greens.

It reminds me a bit of the old Kraft Catalina Dressing only much, much better!


A Veggie Sauce For Kids Of All Ages

Corn Free, Can be made Dairy Free

I recently found this great and versatile recipe on a piece of software I purchased from the DVO Company ( The title of the specific software this recipe comes from is, Cook'n with Agave. I think this recipe could make brussel sprouts a "special treat". I love brussel sprouts, my son does not, he's always been very clear about that. After a meal, when I served brussel sprouts with this sauce, my son told me, "you know Mom, I don't like brussel sprouts but those were really pretty good!"

Agave is wonderfully sweet, does not effect the blood sugar like most sweeteners, is natural and corn free, and in general a lovely ingredient. It is available in some specialty grocery stores and at health food stores.

I think this sauce is well worth a try, it can be made in advance and it is really fast and simple. I offer you this recipe with the hope that it may help you to add more vegetable variety to your dinner table.

Agave Herb Sauce for Vegetables

1/4 cup agave
2 Tablespoon onion, finely minced
1/4 cup butter (be sure to buy corn free butter, or substitute vegetable oil with an extra dash of salt or, use a "safe" corn free margerine)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste


small sauce pan
Heat proof stirring spoon
cutting board
a good kitchen knife
a set of measuring spoons
a set of "dry" measuring cups

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes, stirring several times during cooking.

Toss with vegetables of choice such as: peas, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, green beans, cooked cauliflower or carrots or mix with baked squash and of course, brussel sprouts, etc.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

Corn Free and Dairy Free

After a good bit of searching, I came to realize that there was no "safe" Worcestershire Sauce for us corn allergic folks, anywhere on the commercial market, at least none I could find. I find that so many of my recipes called for a little bit of Worcestershire and some called for quite a bit! Something had to be done. I spent close to a year, mixing and experimenting, reading other peoples recipes, trying new things, having taste testings, etc. I think I have finally found a winning combination of ingredients and technique. This recipe, as all things made from scratch, takes time. Now that it is perfected, to save time, I will at least double the recipe when I prepare it. Eventually, I plan to quadruple it and can it, using a boiling water bath. I think it will be nice to go to my basement shelves and have several jars of it on hand to open as I need them! I will add a note about my canning the product once I have given it a try.

Note: I use tamarind paste as an ingredient in my Worcestershire sauce, this too is home made. I make it up and freeze it in ice cube trays, storing it long term in the freezer. I think it adds enough to the final sauce to make it worth the trouble. I think it provides an important flavor note while also providing body to the sauce as well.

The instructions for making the Tamarind Sauce follow the Worcestershire sauce recipe.

1 1/2 teaspoon oil
1 med chopped onion (about baseball size)
2 clove garlic, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper
2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup honey (make sure it is corn free - local honey, beekeepers that do not feed corn syrup in the winter months)
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I substitute bottled 5% acidity, as I plan to can it in the future - I buy bottled lemon juice from a Kosher Market that is labeled KFP-Kosher For Passover)
2 Tablespoons fresh grated horseradish (buy the raw root at a good produce section)
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (this ingredient is called for a lot, I omit it)
2 Tablespoons tamarind (paste/sauce made with dried tamarind + water. Directions follow this recipe)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Those ingredients will Makes 3 cups of finished sauce.

You will need:
1 large heavy bottom pan (No Lid needed or desired)
1 medium size wire type sieve (large enough to accommodate at least 3 cups would be ideal)
Stirring spoon
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Liquid measuring cup (the type with a pour spout is best but you could manage with the others if you don't have one yet)
A deep, stable (won't tip), heat resistant mixing bowl or a second pan of similar dimension
Glass or, nonreactive containers (equal to 3 cups) for storage of sauce, don't forget to label contents! (Ask me how I know )

Heat pan, over medium heat. When it's good and warm, add oil.
Saute' the onions and garlic in that oil for about 3 minutes, the onions will become translucent.
Remove pan from the burner and add the remaining ingredients.
Return pan to burner and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and, simmer on lowest flame possible (just a tiny bit of movement visible in the liquid)
Simmer until the amount has reduced to about 3 cups (remember, no lid!).
Take a moment to give it a stir every few minutes. This insures that it will not stick and it keep the flavors moving and mingling together.
(This stirring, does not require your full attention, you can be cooking or doing other kitchen things while this mixture simmers down to the right amount which will take about 20 mins to a 1/2 hour after reaching the simmer)
Once it has reduced, remove it from heat and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes (10-15).
While the mixture cools, set up the bowl with the sieve sitting over top. Have a metal spoon close at hand that you can use to move the mixture around in the sieve. the stirring helps it to drain thoroughly.
Drain the mixture into the sieve, do this in batches, not all at once. Once the liquid is in the collection bowl and you are certain it is done draining, throw the solid matter away and drain more.
When transferring the liquid from the bowl to the storage container, it will begin to settle/separate. If you are pouring it into more than one container, be sure to keep it shaken or mixed as you go, to get the right amount of everything in each jar or other non-reactive storage container.
Store in fridge, should keep safely for almost forever but, it may, over a long period of storage (months and months), lose it's potency or flavor, keeping an air tight cap on it at all times will help. I pour mine into several containers and I vacuum seal mine them before refrigerating.

I keep the bottle I am using on the door of the fridge, with a simple screw on lid, it is labeled as Worcestershire Sauce, includes the date I made it and in large clear lettering it says:
"Shake before using"

Kitchen tip - (for those who are looking for excellent results) Keep a clean highly washable ruler in the kitchen drawer. For this recipe before beginning measure 6 cups of water into pot, lower ruler into pot and make a note of the depth. Now you can easily check to see if the volume of liquid in the pot has reduced enough by directly using the ruler or, dipping the clean spoon and then measuring the liquid line on the spoon using the ruler. Plenty of folks just eyeball things and do fine, others feel more confident with clear units of measure. I am often sidetracked so, having a clear measurement for a project like this is really helpful to me.

Kitchen tip - In a recipe that calls for both honey and oil, measure the oil first, allow it to coat the measuring cup, then measure the honey. The honey will easily slip out of the measuring cup into the recipe, every last drop!

How to make, Tamarind Paste

You will need:
Large sauce pan
Sieve (large enough to hold 3 cups would be great!)
large bowl
Metal spoon

1 lbs. tamarind (see photo above - Tamarind can befound in Ethnic groceries, especially those that carry Indian and Middle Eastern foods or a small Indian grocery/spice store
2 cups boiling water


Place the "bean block" into a clean sauce pan (make sure you have extra room in the pan after placing the "bean block" and the water into it)
Pour boiling water over the "bean block", cover and soak for about 20 minutes, covering the pan may help it to soften.
Once it has cooled a bit, break up the block, I used a clean hand to break it up once it had cooled enough to be tolerable.
Add extra water if needed to soften and separate the block.
You should notice the water becoming a deep shade of brown and thickening. If not, try simmering the mixture for a few minutes, them mash it around with the back of a spoon a bit to develop the bean sauce.

Move the contents of the pan into the sieve that is sitting over the stable, heat proof, bowl. Once again use a spoon to stir the contents of the sieve to coax all the sauce out, away from the beans and into the bowl. Cool.

Once this has cooled, you can measure out the amount needed for the 'Worcestershire sauce recipe and place the rest into ice cube trays, freezing for later use. Make sure to remove the tamarind cubes from the trays, and place into a zip lock bag (well labeled) for long term storage.

I hope this recipe makes cooking in your allergy free kitchen more pleasant!

Special thanks to Dorothy for editing the content and improving this article/recipe!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Everyday Sourdough Bread

Corn free, dairy free and egg free and, Tasty!

Makes: 3 loaves when using glass Pyrex brand bread pans, likely two loaves using larger bread pans. Stay away from pans that are more than 4 ½ inches wide when baking yeasted breads. Pans that are wider are best reserved for quick breads.

The night before, or about 12 hours before baking, place one cup of starter into a container with about 2 ½ cups all-purpose unbleached flour,, and 2 cups water. Allow this to sit at room temperature or in a cozy spot (not above 85*) overnight. (See notes in the original sourdough document on this site for more information).

The next day, remove one cup starter and store in the refrigerator for your next batch of bread. Don’t forget to save one cup starter!


The remaining starter (approximately 3 cups)

6-6 1/5 c. all-purpose unbleached “safe flour”

(This measure of flour assumes you have stirred the flour first and taken a spoon to fill your dry measuring cup.)

2 T. sugar

2 t salt

1 ½ c water (approximately 85*)

2 tablespoons “safe” oil, or “safe” softened, room temperature, butter


Now, back to that remaining starter (above), place it in a large bowl. If you have a KitchenAid Mixer put it into that bowl now, if not, use a nice large bowl so that you don’t have to worry about “spillovers” as you stir.


1 c. flour

2 T. sugar



2 t. salt

1 ½ c warm water

2 T. Oil/butter


Now add about 4 cups of the flour and stir. Stir completely and add more flour as needed to form a dough that is too stiff to stir with the spoon.

Place the dough onto a floured board or place the bowl onto the KitchenAid mixer and put the dough hook in place.

Knead the bread, adding additional flour as required. You want a nice smooth dough, as the gluten develops the surface of the dough will become smooth in appearance and it will feel less sticky.

If you are new to bread making, beware, one of the biggest mistakes new bread bakers make is to add too much flour to their bread to combat the stickiness, this can cause a very dry loaf. Add a little flour and knead well, be patient. Set aside plenty of time in the beginning to learn the feel of this. You will bet much better at this in no time!

Lightly grease the outside of the dough ball (I usually oil the bowl, the same large bowl I used for the initial mixing, and then, turn the ball to cover all sides with the oil). When using the KitchenAid, I scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl and oil the bowl as best I can, making sure to also grease the top of the dough ball.

Cover the bowl and set aside for about 2 hours, it should be about doubled by then.

Push the dough down into the bowl, this will deflate most of the air that has built up, cover the bowl again and allow it to rest for about one half hour.

While the dough is resting this last time, get your bread pans out and grease them so they are ready when the dough is done with this rest.

After ½ hour, remove the dough from the bowl, cut into two or three equal pieces (depending on the size of your pans) and form them into loaves. You can do this “intuitively” or, you can roll the dough out flat and then roll that up into a loaf shape, pinching the ends and bottom seams to seal. I tend to take it in hand and using my wrists and fingers I turn it under until it falls into a nice loaf shape. (I hope someday to put some videos online showing different techniques) Place the dough into the pans, cover and set aside, check them in about 1 hour (I often place them into my electric oven with just the light bulb on to add gentle heat.) At this point they will likely be risen close to level with the edge of your pans. Remove them from the oven and preheat the oven to 375*. Let the oven reach temperature and then allow it to be hot while remaining empty for at least another 10 minutes before placing the loaves inside.

Just before placing the loaves in the hot oven, you might like to “slash” the dough. I generally take a knife, sharp, I prefer a thin blade, and well oiled it seems to make the slashing easier cutting through rather than ripping. These slashes I make about ¼” deep, I begin just breaking the surface, re-oil and then go over each slash to deepen the cuts. These slashes will allow your dough to expand a bit more once they hit the heat of the oven cavity, giving you a little more “oven bounce”, providing a little lighter loaf.

Check the loaves at about 30 minutes. They made need to be baked as long as 45 minutes depending on your oven and your pans. Baked bread will be nicely brown on top, it will have shrunk away from the sides of the pan and, when taken from the pan, and turned upside down, a thump on the bottom should result in an almost hollow sound, not a thud. If it thuds, put it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

If you prefer a soft crust, oil or butter the tops of the hot loaves, being careful to just coat the surface, not make it greasy. I sometimes use a pastry brush at this point.

This bread baking day all together, not counting the starter that brews while you are asleep will require about 5 ½ to 6 hours. You will have lots of time in between the work to do other things.

Good luck! Let me know if there are questions about this recipe, I will try and fill in any details I may have missed. I think you will enjoy this loaf! My family sure does!