Tag Archives: breakfast

Mushroom and Leek Risotto (dairy-free)

Tonight, I’m home with the kids and the husband is out brewing beer with friends. I look forward to nights like this because it means “no-pressure” cooking for me. I wanted to make some sort of risotto…egg and bacon to be exact. Because we had eggs and bacon at breakfast, I went with what I like to think of as my refrigerator risotto. You know, things you have in the fridge that are almost on their way out. I always have leeks and mushrooms in the fridge and the mushrooms are almost always on their way out by the time I do something with them because half of the family (the kids) does not like mushrooms. Have you even heard of such a thing?

Some of you may already know that we eat (mostly) gluten-free because we suspect our son has a gluten intolerance. We have also been advised to cut out casein to test a possible intolerance. It’s been a long month folks. To begin with we’re not milk drinkers but eliminating cheese has been difficult for all of us. There really isn’t a good casein-free substitute out there. So today, as I was thinking about risotto and how to replace the Parmesan and make the dish dairy-free, the tub of Sour Supreme (a non-dairy sour cream substitute) that I had in the fridge came to mind. It has a slight tang that could replace the Parmesan, and it would add a creaminess to the risotto. Surprisingly, it worked. The kids still pushed all of their mushrooms aside but they both ate the rice and leeks and loved the dish.

Mushroom and Leek Risotto

for 3 as a meal, 4 as a side

1 cup of arborio rice

2 cups of button or cremini mushrooms quartered

1 large leek, white part only, split down the middle and cut into half-moons

1/4 cup of onions diced

4 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock

1/4 cup of vermouth or dry white wine

1 T Earth Balance or other vegan margarine, butter is fine

1 T olive oil

2 T Sour Supreme “sour cream”

Start by heating your stock in a pot. It doesn’t need to be boiling, just hot. Meanwhile, heat  a separate, large, heavy-bottomed pot, over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the margarine and olive oil. When the margarine has melted, add the leek and onion and cook until both are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and stir and cook for approximately 5 minutes more. Add the arborio rice and vermouth, cook and stir until the vermouth has evaporated. Add roughly a cup of stock and stir constantly until the stock has been absorbed. Add another cup of stock and constantly stir, continuing in this way until you’ve used almost all of the stock, the rice is soft, and the risotto looks creamy. I always use just shy of the 4 cups of stock and I always test the rice for readiness when I’ve used a little more than 3 cups of stock. The grains of rice should feel firm but tender to the tooth. Once the rice is done, I remove the pot from the heat and stir in the Sour Supreme. Serve immediately

Sweet Potato Biscuits

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to make one of my favorite biscuit recipes gluten-free. It was a bomb. The poor things tasted of baking soda, they were so flat and dry, just sad little things. The whole tray of biscuits went into the garbage. Thankfully, I was smart enough to make a small batch in case they didn’t turn out so it wasn’t a huge loss. It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I decided to give it another go. This time I searched for a tried and true gluten-free recipe and the recipe I found did not disappoint (in fact, I’m baking more today). These were tender and sweet (from the maple syrup) and they went perfectly with our sausage and egg breakfast.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
recipe from bon appetit magazine

1 large red-skinned sweet potato (yam; about 1 1/4 pounds), pierced with fork
1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour plus additional for rolling out your dough
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Microwave potato until tender, about 6 minutes per side. Halve; scoop out 1 cup flesh. Cool. Blend 1 1/3 cups flour and next 3 ingredients in processor. Add butter; pulse to coarse meal. Add potato, buttermilk, and syrup; process to blend. Add nuts; pulse to blend. Sprinkle dough with flour. Pat into 81/2-inch square. Cut into 16 biscuits. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes

Notes: I left out the pecans. I used Better Batter flour to make these. I would recommended using a gluten-free blend that is mostly white (such as rice, tapioca, potato starch).

Croque Madame

Croque Madame

Croque Madame

Saturday morning we woke up hungry and as usual didn’t know what to eat.  Fighting off the urge to settle on a bowl of cereal I did a quick scan of the kitchen and decided.  A Croque Madame would do nicely.

There are several variations of Croque Madame but the general idea is that you basically make a Croque Monsieur, add bechamel sauce, broil in the oven, and add a pan-fried sunny-side up egg on top.  The way I make it varies a little every time I make it depending on what ingredients I have and what mood I’m in.  It’s always good no matter how I end up making it.  The picture above is one I made a while ago.

I don’t really have an exact recipe but for the bechamel  sauce  for 4 Croque Madames I put about 2 tbsp of butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat. I then add a quarter cup of flour and stir it together until it forms a paste and keep stirring of and on for a couple of minutes until it browns a little. I then add a cup of milk, salt to taste, some pepper, and a small pinch of nutmeg. Stir often until it begins to thicken, then turn the heat to low and continue stirring often until it is thick enough to stick to a spoon. Take it off the heat when done.

For the sandwiches I use whatever bread I have but prefer to use slices of a crusty French country bread, two slices per sandwich. You can cut one large slice in two if the slices are large as these are pretty filling. I heat a pan on medium-low, spread some butter on one side of the slices and toast them in the pan, not hard, toasted. The toasted sides will be the outside of the sandwich. When done take the bread out of the pan and spread some Dijon mustard on the untoasted side. Add a slice of natural ham, a slice of swiss cheese, and close the sandwich. Put the sandwich on an oven tray and repeat with as many sandwiches as you want to make. When the sandwiches are all on the tray spread bechamel sauce over each one letting it run down the sides, then place the tray in the oven on low broil.

Croque Madame

Croque Madame

Put a little butter in the frying pan you used to toast the bread and fry one sunny side up egg per sandwich. When the sandwiches are done remove from the oven, place each sandwich on a plate, and place a sunny side up egg on top. Done!

It sounds like a lot of work but once you have done it three or four times it takes less time to do as you get the groove down. I guess that you could also prepare the sandwiches the evening before, take them out in the morning, then just make the bechamel, spread over the sandwiches, pop them in the oven, and fry the eggs.