In honor of the lovely Kat’s birthday, the theme at CEC was a saucy one, filled with recipes “where the sauce makes the dish.”
It was also our biggest crowd yet with 15 chattering, laughing, cooking people crammed into the kitchen whipping up all sorts of marvy delights.
We started out with glasses of wine from Kristin accompanied by Don’s Spicy Chicken Wings and Cameron and his friend’s Crispy Fried Tofu with Tahini Sauce.
First out of the oven was Toby’s gorgeous Sweet Potatoes with Brandy sauce, studded with pecans and marshmallows. Followed shortly by Selwyn’s creamy and tart Apple Jack Chicken.
Meanwhile, Darren churned out gluten-free pasta while Kat, Heather and Mike made chicken and alfredo sauce for Chicken Fettucine Alfredo. Deb made a wonderfully creamy Garlic Chicken with Balsamic Cream Sauce. Annie and Aaron made a zesty and refreshing Spinach Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette. Remy made his version of Mujaderra (more on this tomorrow!) and I wrapped things up with Hot Fudge Pudding Cake with Creme Fraiche.
It was such a fun evening filled with much hustle and bustle, resulting in a Saucy meal that did our birthday girl proud. Happy Birthday, Kat! 🙂
Gluten Free Handmade Pasta
(From Group Recipes)
½ cup tapioca flour or sweet rice flour
½ cup cornstarch
⅓ cup potato starch or arrowroot
⅓ cup fine brown rice flour, more for rolling out
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons xanthan gum
4 eggs or 1 cup flax gel (see below)
2 tablespoons oil of choice
FLAX GEL: 1 tablespoon flax meal + 3 tablespoons hot water. (Let stand, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until thick. Use without straining.)
Put the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. Blend using the paddle.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat together the eggs (or flax gel) and oil.
While the mixer is on, slowly add eggs and oil mixture to dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Dough will be soft like play dough. If it’s not, add water, one tablespoon at a time.
Lightly dust your counter with cornstarch. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and cover 7 with a tea towel or plastic wrap.
Lightly dust a piece of dough with rice flour and flatten. Roll through the widest setting of a pasta machine. Continue to roll it through, folding it in half each time and lightly dusting with rice flour if the dough is tacky. Do this until the dough begins to hold together and seems smooth. It may take 5 to 6 times. Then decrease the thickness one notch at a time and roll through until desired thickness is achieved. Cut into desired shapes or leave as sheets. Place pasta flat on a cookie sheet. If layering the pasta or cutting it into shapes, dust it with rice flour. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a dash of salt. Drop pasta into boiling water and stir. Cook until al dente. Fresh pasta cooks in just a few minutes. When the pasta is done, drain and rinse it under hot water. Toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Use immediately or cool and refrigerate for later use.
Garlic Chicken with Balsamic Cream Sauce
(From All Recipes)
3 tablespoons butter
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with garlic powder, seasoning salt and onion powder. Saute about 10 to 15 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
Balsamic Cream Sauce
(From All Recipes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 onion, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
Stir in the onion, and cook until it has caramelized to a dark, golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and cook for 1 minute before stirring in the chicken bouillon and cream.
Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted.
Apple Jack Chicken with Bacon
1 pound bacon, chopped
4 chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 cup apple jack brandy
1 Tbsp butter
1 apple, sliced thinly
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Fry bacon until crispy, set aside 1 Tbsp fat.
Add chicken breasts and fry for a few minutes.
Add 1/4 cup apple jack brandy and cook until chicken breasts are done. Remove from pan but leave drippings.
In a separate pan, fry apples in bacon fat and butter until caramelized.
In pan with drippings, add remaining brandy and scrape off drippings. Pour in whipping cream and reduce.
Add apples, chicken and bacon.
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
(From Campus Cooks)
1 cup flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cocoa
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp oil
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cup hot water
Sift first 5 dry ingredients into bowl.
Stir in milk and oil. Blend in the nuts.
Spread in prepared 9″ square pan.
Sprinkle with mixture of brown sugar and cocoa.
Over batter pour 1 3/4 cup hot water.
Bake 45 mins at 350 degrees. Cake will rise to top and sauce will form underneath. Serve warm.