Carol Fenster, Author of 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes (Wiley, 2009)
“Go gluten-free with ease! For the best all-purpose gluten-free cookbook, look no further. You’ll find delicious gluten-free versions of foods you carve---including muffins, breads, pizzas, pastas, casseroles, cookies, bars, cakes, and pies. You’ll also discover hundreds of recipes for all-American favorites, flavorful international dishes, and sophisticated special-occasion fare. It’s everything you need to serve satisfying gluten-free meals 365 days a year!”
720 pages, $35.00
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Printed with permission from 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster (Wiley, 2008)
Yield: 1 cake
- 2 cups whole almonds (measure before grinding)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 to 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup canola oil (or melted butter)
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder – Dutch process
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease an 8-inch nonstick (gray, not black) springform pan. Line the bottom with wax paper or parchment paper and grease again; set aside.
- Grind nuts with brown sugar in a food processor to a fine, mealy texture.
- Add the eggs, oil, cocoa, vanilla extract, and almond extract and process 30 to 40 seconds. Scrape down the side of bowl and process 30 more seconds.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. (The cake rises as it bakes, then falls slightly as it cools.) Let cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Cut around the edge to loosen the cake from pan edges. Release the pan side; remove the paper liner. Serves 10 (small slices) Garnish with your favorites such as whipped cream, powdered sugar, chocolate syrup, ice cream, or caramel sauce.
Yied: 4 servings
This dish is especially welcome in the fall when the aroma of scented apples fills the air. If you prefer your food less spicy, you can omit the chili powder on the snapper and just use salt and pepper. Granny Smith apples are good to cook with because they tend to hold their shape. If you would like a less firm apple, use yellow delicious or gala apples.
- 4 red snapper fillets (about 4 ounces each)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- [1/4] teaspoon salt
- [1/4] teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or buttery spread, such as Earth Balance
- 1 ripe Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and cut in [1/2]-inch dice
- 1 small apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and cut in [1/2]-inch slice
- ¼ cup chopped white onion
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Dash salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pat red snapper fillets dry with paper towel. Mix chili powder, salt, and pepper together and press onto both sides of snapper. Set aside while preparing chutney.
- Make the chutney: In a small, but heavy saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add pear and apple and cook, covered, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add onion, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, cranberries, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat until mixture comes to boil. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, while preparing red snapper.
- In a heavy, nonstick (gray, not black) skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook red snapper to desired degree of doneness, about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish or until the crumbs are golden and the fish is just barely opaque when cut in the thickest part or flakes easily with a fork. Serve red snapper topped with chutney.
Yield: 6 servings (12-inch pizza)
Basil Pizza Sauce
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seed
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 ½ teaspoons sugar, divided
- 2/3 cup milk (cow’s, rice, soy, potato, or nut)
- 2/3 cup potato starch
- ½ cup Carol’s Sorghum Blend (see below)
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- Shortening for greasing pizza pan, such as Spectrum Vegetable or Earth Balance
- White rice flour for dusting
- About 24 pepperoni slices, such as Hormel (or to taste)
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese or nondairy substitute, such as Vegan Gourmet
- Make the sauce: Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer 15 minutes and set aside. Makes about 1 cup, enough for 12-inch pizza.
- Make the crust: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm milk. Set aside to foam 5 minutes.. In a food processor, blend yeast mixture, potato starch, sorghum blend, xanthan gum, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and vinegar, until ball forms. Dough will be very soft.
- Generously grease a 12-inch nonstick (gray, not black) pizza pan with shortening. Do not use cooking spray—it makes it harder to shape the dough. Place dough on prepared pan. Liberally dust dough with white rice flour; then press dough into pan with your hands, continuing to dust dough with flour to prevent sticking as needed. The smoother the dough, the smoother the baked crust will be. Make edges thicker to contain toppings.
- Place a rack in the bottom position and another in the middle position of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Bake pizza crust 15 minutes, until crust begins to brown on the bottom. Remove from oven; brush crust with sauce and arrange single layer of pepperoni slices on top. Sprinkle cheese over top. Shift pizza to middle rack of oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes more or until top is nicely browned. Remove pizza from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Brush rim of crust with remaining tablespoon of olive oil before cutting into 6 slices. Serve immediately.
Carol’s Sorghum Blend
- 1 ½ cups sorghum flour
- 1 ½ cups potato starch
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- Whisk together thoroughly; store in a tightly covered container in a dark, dry place or refrigerate or freeze. Bring to room temperature before measuring.
Question: What first made you interested in following a gluten-free diet?
Answer: An allergist informed me that my recurring sinus infections were caused by wheat. I didn’t choose this diet; it was suggested to me as a cure.
Question: What was your biggest obstacle in following a gluten-free diet?
Answer: The biggest challenge was early on (1988) with the initial dismay at having to forego all of my favorite foods and not be “like everyone else”. I didn’t know anyone else who didn’t eat wheat, and I didn’t take the diet seriously for another 5 years because I thought the doctor was wrong. I had a very demanding executive position in a Fortune-500 company, with very long hours and lots of travel. It was almost impossible to follow the diet. But my sinus infections continued to the point where I had no choice. I became totally gluten-free in 1994 and have been for all this time.
Today the obstacles are far less significant; the widespread awareness and better availability of gluten-free ingredients, cookbooks, and foods means that people can quickly resume eating their favorite dishes, made of gluten-free ingredients. And more and more restaurants are offering gluten-free options.
Question: How did you first get into gluten-free cooking?
Answer: In 1988, there were few cookbooks or commercial foods available and we didn’t have the Internet either, so I had to reformulate all of my favorite recipes to be gluten-free … or not eat!!! Restaurants didn’t serve gluten-free food and health food stores had very little ready-to-eat foods either, so I had to develop my own foods. I eventually realized that there were in fact other people with my condition and my knowledge could help them. So, I published my first book in 1995.
Question: What do you feel are the biggest difficulties in gluten-free cooking?
Answer: Learning the traits of the various flours and grains and how they perform and accepting the fact that we have to cook with new and different ingredients, in new and different ways. Our breads are the hardest thing to create, but they’re getting much, much better.
Question: I have used many of your flour blends as a base to create some of my own favorites. .How did you discover the best gluten-free flour combinations?
Answer: It is really a matter of trial-and-error, mixed with a little art and science. I understand how the various flours perform and have done a lot of experiments with the best ways to combine them. It’s really chemistry in the kitchen. The “art” part happens when I’m standing over the mixing bowl and realize that “a little of this and little of that” would be an improvement. After 20 years, I have a pretty good idea of what will happen but I’m always open to the serendipity in the kitchen.
Question: What would be your recommendations to anyone beginning gluten-free cooking?
Answer: Get a gluten-free cookbook that represents the way you like to eat; join a local support group to meet others, and subscribe to gluten-free magazines so you stay abreast of the latest developments. Be open to new foods, new tastes, and don’t forget that what you eat (and don’t eat) determines the state of your health. I firmly believe that eating is the most profound thing we do to our bodies every day. Eating well is important.
Question: Where do you see the future of gluten-free cooking?
Answer: I’m optimistic; if ever there was a time to be gluten-free it’s certainly now with all the awareness and growth in availability of GF foods. Watch for more interesting, innovative ingredients (such as Expandex modified tapioca starch, which improves texture, gives a higher rise, and longer shelf life). Also, more GF services such as the online menu planning service that I launched last fall at www.GfreeCuisine.com. Restaurants, cruise lines, etc. are offering gluten-free options and I see that increasing a great deal in the future.
Our gluten-free magazines, Living Without and Gluten-Free Living, now sit proudly (and beautifully) right beside mainstream magazines on newsstands. Big, New York publishers are now asking authors to write gluten-free cookbooks (rather than waiting for these authors to ask them!!!). My latest book, 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes is a good example of that; they came to me and we’ll see more of this interest by groups that previously didn’t seem interested.
We’ll see more wonderful culinary events such as the Gluten-Free Culinary Summit that brings together people who are interested in the joy of food.
I hope someday that we can have a name for our lifestyle that doesn’t point out what is lacking (gluten-free). But I don’t know what that term should be.
Carol Fenster, author of 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes (Wiley, 2009)
What began nearly 20 years ago as a solution to Carol Fenster’s own gluten intolerance grew into an internationally-recognized position as a leading expert on gluten-free cooking. The author of 8 gluten-free cookbooks, (several are top-sellers in natural food stores) she also develops gluten-free products for leading manufacturers and is an international consultant on issues related to gluten-free cooking.
Her most recent books are 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes (Wiley, 2009), Gluten-Free 101 (Savory Palate, 2008) and Gluten-Free Quick and Easy (Avery/Penguin, 2007). She has appeared on the Health Network and PBS. She has been a guest speaker at the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the American Dietetic Association, national gluten-free associations, and Bob’s Red Mill cooking school. She has also delivered seminars to Disney, Oldways Preservation Trust, National Product Expo, and FoodEX in Tokyo.
Her articles, recipes, quotes, and reviews of her books appear in Reader’s Digest, CNN.com, Cooking Smart, Woman’s World, Women’s Health, Women’s Adventure, Plenty, Taste for Life, Vegetarian Times, Veggie Life, Better Nutrition, Gluten-Free Living, Today’s Dietitian, Today’s Diet and Nutrition, and Living Without, where she was the associate food editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from the University of Nebraska and a doctorate is in Sociology from the University of Denver, where she was also a faculty member.
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