Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend wrap-up

Lots of cooking in the Hartman kitchen this weekend. I got new cooking magazines in the mail which meant lots of new recipes to try. We made a spicy Korean chicken stew out of the Cooking Light magazine as well as potato croquettes that required the purchase of a either a food mill or a potato ricer. After visiting the Little Red Hen cooking store I decided that buying a potato ricer from the baby supply section was definitely the cheaper way to go. And with Chris getting older, and losing all his teeth, it'll probably come in handy in the coming years. 
I tried so hard to focus only on what I needed and not all of the super cute, awesome cooking gadgets they have there. Though I did find, much to my delight, a whole pile of mulling spice tins that we've been desperately searching for to use in future batches of mead since it was such a hit the first time. As a way to satisfy my need to buy things there, I did find three bunko gifts for my upcoming host month in March and they were gracious enough to wrap them for me. So, back to my potato ricer - the recipe called for cooking peeled yukon gold potatoes before pressing them through the ricer into a mix of mushrooms and leeks that I'd finely ground in my food processor. 

Add an egg and some cheese to the mix to hold it all together before forming it into patties which are covered in (gluten free) flour, dipped in egg whites, and covered in gluten free panko crumbs. Then the patties are browned on each side in a non stick pan and served over a bed of lettuce with a dressing of olive oil, vinegar (used the raspberry basil vinegar Wilson got me at Christmas), diced shallots, and salt and pepper. 

Really good, but holy crap I had dishes for daaaays. The ricer, the mixing bowl, the food processor, the flour, eggs and panko bowls, the dressing bowls, etc. I formed the extra filling into patties, but didn't coat them yet before putting them in the fridge for dinner later in the week. At least the hard work is already done. 

The other big event of the weekend was running into Girl Scouts selling their little crack cookies. I politely declined since they would have given me a raging tummy ache, came home and promptly printed out a recipe for gluten free thin mints. After lunch I gathered my ingredients, all of which I had on hand, and got busy preparing what promised to be the most important gluten free recipe I would ever attempt. The dough was pretty easy, just flour, sugar, egg,  butter, cocoa, vanilla and peppermint extracts. Then you roll it into a log and freeze it for at least an hour while you watch Season 1 episodes of Downton Abbey. 
I cut the log into 3 dozen slices and baked them for about 12 minutes a batch at 375. I let them cool completely while I went to church to sing at an evening Lenten service. When I got back I made the chocolate coating which was nothing more than a LOT of chocolate and butter melted together with more vanilla and peppermint extract added. Then it's just dipping and flipping each cookie and letting them firm up on waxed paper (I let the fridge help speed up the process). 

When we got back from the gym, where I beat my January 5K time (27:58) with a 27:08, I pulled out two cookies that had been chilling in the fridge and they were fantastic in a "I didn't have to spend $5 on these" kind of way. I'm letting them finish hanging out in the fridge overnight before bagging and freezing them for future consumption. Take that, you little flour pushing cookie pimps! I'll just make my own, thank you very much. 

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