Whether you are gluten-free by necessity or choice, The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen by Laura B. Russell is a cookbook that is only sure to delight. It’s a gorgeous new cookbook that’s filled with recipes or alternatives for several Asian dishes and staples, including sauces that usually have wheat hidden in them. I was fortunate to receive an early (review) copy of this cookbook, which is available right now for pre-sale and will be officially released August 22nd.
While much of Asian cuisine is based on rice products, there’s also a good deal of Asian food that is wheat-based including dumplings, such as pot stickers, or gluten hidden in sauces that are integral to make a particular dish such as teriyaki or even something as basic as soy sauce. (Although there is gluten-free soy sauce available, you generally have to request it if you’re eating out.)
Until I read the author’s story – she discovered she was gluten intolerant, experiencing symptoms after the birth of her second child – I simply thought that gluten-free Asian cooking involved using gluten-free soy sauce. Knowing that a lot of Asian foods use rice and rice products perhaps led to this belief, as gluten intolerance and celiac disease seems to be more common in the West as we’re surrounded constantly by gluten-based products. (In fact, celiac disease has been called a Western epidemic in India.)
I made three recipes from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Gingery Pork Pot Stickers, Spring Vegetables Fried Rice, and Lychee Sorbet. All were delicious results; one described as dangerously so by my family. (Honestly, we couldn’t stop eating them!) While some cookbooks have recipes that are only made once, the recipes that I tried are going to be made again and again.
Click after the jump to read my thoughts on these dishes and more info, including a chance to win a copy!
Today is Julia Child’s birthday; she would have been ninety-nine years old. This year also marks the fiftieth anniversary of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Julia Child taught people so much through her cookbooks and television shows; she constantly inspired. I bought her autobiography My Life in France about two years ago and I loved reading it as well as looking at her artist husband Paul’s photographs, which greatly adds to the reading experience and charm (especially their own holiday cards and that were depicted in Julie and Julia).
My Life in France covers the period from when Julia first went to Paris, France, tagging along with her husband who had been offered a job to run the Visual Presentation Department for the United States Information Service (USIS) in Paris. Determined to be a better cook – years later, Paul would tell an interview that “Her first attempts were not altogether successful”; growing up, she had had “zero interest in the stove” and was not encouraged to cook – she enrolled herself at Le Cordon Bleu and the rest is considered history.
Click after the jump for more images and info.
These snickerdoodles were made with a cake mix. Yesterday I reviewed The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free and I said that there’d be a follow-up post with photos of the recipe I made from that cookbook. Here it is.
For these cookies I used Bob’s Red Mill vanilla cake mix. The original recipe uses yellow cake mix (in the cookbook Anne Byrn explains she narrowed down the kinds of cake mixes to yellow and chocolate for convenience and flexibility), which I tried looking for at all my local stores and could not find one. Vanilla was the closest I could get and to be honest, it took care of the tablespoon of vanilla extract originally called for; I ended up using 1/2 teaspoon, though in retrospect I think I could have even left it out and the cookies would still taste good. I also replaced the sugar in the recipe with 2 tablespoons of honey.
Update: I used a quarter amount of the butter (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) called for in the recipe, as I noted on Twitter, and the cookies still worked out beautifully. I weighed the amount I used, which was 2.4 ounces or 68 to 70 grams (my scale kept fluctuating between those numbers).
The dough was quickly pulled together using a food processor. I make nearly everything by hand, without the use of appliances, but for once I followed a recipe to use a food processor and it was blissful to just put everything in and pulse it until dough formed.
May I mention also that this recipe, as I’m sure with all the other recipes in The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free, is very child friendly. My brother helped scoop the dough and space the balls on the pan (with a new cookie scoop my grandmother gave me for my birthday) and prompted me to take photos. Those are his hands you see in the photos above. He was also an eager participant to eat the cookies once they had cooled. I’m sure he ate most of them – which is quite something, considering that this recipe made about 3 dozen cookies!