Sunday, February 6, 2011

Re-learning my way around the kitchen

I've been very fortunate to have a husband who has spent a great deal of the last six months cooking for me. Sure, I've made some things here and there, but for the most part, the kitchen has been his domain. Well, this weekend he went back to work. As part of his transition back to work, he's supposed to take it easy at home.

So, I got up on Saturday morning with the plan to make a delicious breakfast and lunch for him. For breakfast I planned to make a gluten free version of my mom's blueberry cream muffins. The recipe makes a ton of muffins, so I was planning on having these all week.

Given my past successes with adapting muffin recipes, I thought this would be a no-brainer. I was wrong. The muffins burned. The bottoms and sides were black, even though the tops were a nice golden brown. I baked them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes (which is what the recipe said) and it was too much for too long. I put two muffin tins in the oven at the same time, so that meant two of three batches were burned. And that the house smelled like burning. I turned down the oven to 350 and baked the third tray for 15 minutes. They came out much better. But still not mom's. The didn't really rise, and were kind of tough if you ask me. Ben liked them, but I'm fairly convinced he'll eat anything if there are blueberries in it. And he didn't really expect them to taste like my mom's.

After that debacle, I moved on to lunch. On the menu: bean burgers with rice and broccoli. I have had trouble in the past with bean burgers. They seem so simple, but when it comes time to cook them, mine crumble and break and stay soft. So I thought I would bake them. After baking them for a while, I realized that they were not getting firm, or crisp, or anything but hot. So Ben suggested I finish them up by frying them. I went this route and ended up with a crumbly, breaking mess in a smoking skillet. I gave up. Ben made himself some black bean roll ups with some leftovers.

Now, I'll admit that I do not have a good recipe for gluten free bean burgers, so I improvise. I'll also admit that when I've been away from the kitchen for a while, my improvisation skills are diminished. It takes me a while to find my footing again.

So last night, I made two dinners for us to eat over the next few days. I made a small pan of Mexican lasagna and tried a new soup recipe. The soup was from my newest cookbook The Potato and Rice Bible. I purchased this cookbook after my Saturday morning fails sent me to Half-Price Books looking for something to help me find my way back to "good cook" status.

I love the idea of this cookbook. Potatoes and rice are inexpensive gluten-free staples. Most of the recipes are gluten free by nature, but some do require some tweaking. The recipe I made last night required no tweaking: Chorizo and Kale soup. I did substitute some ingredients that I didn't have (beef broth for vegetable broth and smoked sausage for chorizo), but I think I preserved the integrity of the soup. Ben had a bowl when he came home from work and he was seriously impressed with it. I think it will be in my regular rotation from here on out. Success! Now if only I could conquer the bean burger... 

No comments:

Post a Comment