Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gluten-Free Pizza

A Tale of Two Gluten-Free Pizzas

For those of you who must eat a gluten-free diet, The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market decided to follow the step-by-step directions on King Arthur's blog for making gluten-free pizza. We frequently receive calls asking about gluten-free classes and have responded by offering a variety of demonstration and hands-on classes for our students who need to adapt to a new way of cooking and baking. The gluten-free selection of products in our Natural Foods section is outstanding and we carry the King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour. Everything you need to make the pizza crust can be located in the American grocery or Natural Foods sections of the store. Be forewarned - this will take more time to make than a traditional pizza crust, so plan accordingly. Our gluten-free pizza-lover on staff really liked this pizza and said it was as good or better than anything she had tried in restaurants. So if pizza has been off-limits, give this a try. We all enjoyed it!


Assemble your ingredients. Xanthan gum is now sold in individual packets, like yeast is sold, so you don't have to buy a large bag. Make sure your yeast is fresh and use aluminum-free baking powder to avoid a tinny taste.


Note: You must use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer. Mixing by hand doesn't do a good enough job. Place the dry ingredients (except the yeast) into a large mixing bowl. Just use the bowl from your stand mixer. Mix until completely combined.



Place the warm water, olive oil, yeast and about 1/2 cup of the dry mixture into a small bowl. 


Stir to combine; a few lumps are okay. 


Set aside for 30 minutes or so, until the mixture is bubbly and smells yeasty.


Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes. The mixture will be thick and sticky. 


If you have ever applied spackling compound to a wall, that's exactly what it will look and feel like! We're sure the dough tastes better, though!! Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes or so. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. We used a pizza stone, so put that in the oven if using.


We made the pizza crust two different ways:  one on parchment paper on a pizza stone and one in a cast iron skillet. The photos and directions for the cast iron method will immediately follow the recipe below. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a sheet of parchment paper. Scrape the dough from the bowl onto the puddle of oil. King Arthur recommends using wet fingers to work the dough, but we found using an offset spatula worked best. 


Work the dough outwards to form a 12" to 14" crust. Let the dough rest uncovered for 15 minutes.


Slide the parchment with the crust onto the preheated pizza stone. If you do not have a pizza stone, slide the parchment onto a cookie sheet and put it in the oven. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, just until it is set. 


The surface will look opaque rather than shiny. Once the crust is cool, at this point if you are making a couple crusts, you would wrap them well and freeze them. 


When the crust was cool enough to handle, we picked it up just to show you the back side. It is nicely browned. 


Top with whatever you like. Don't overload the crust with toppings - this will result in a soggy pizza. We used a cheese blend that included mozzarella, provolone and cheddar. Use your favorite brand of pizza sauce or use your own homemade sauce. 


Return the pizza to the oven to finish baking. It will take 15 - 18 minutes depending on the toppings you have chosen.


If you like your cheese bubbly hot and a little charred, turn on the broiler for the last couple minutes. Watch it closely! It can go from perfect to burned in seconds!


Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
(recipe from King Arthur Flour)


1 1/2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose flour
2 tablespoons buttermilk or nonfat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil (for dough)
2 tablespoons olive oil (parchment or pan)


Place the dry ingredients (except yeast) into a large mixing bowl; the bowl of your stand mixer is perfect. Mix until thoroughly blended.

Place the warm water, olive oil, yeast and about 1/2 cup of the dry mixture into a small bowl. Stir to combine; a few lumps are OK. Set aside for 30 minutes or so, until the mixture is bubbly and smells yeasty.

Add this mixture to the dry ingredients, and beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes. The mixture will be thick and sticky; if you've ever applied spackling compound to a wall, that's exactly what it'll look and feel like. Note:  you must use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to make this dough; mixing by hand doesn't do a thorough enough job.

Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 30 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil onto the center of a baking sheet or 12" round pizza pan. Scrape the dough from the bowl onto the puddle of oil.

Using wet fingers, start at the center of the dough and work outwards, pressing it into a 12" to 14" circle.

Let the dough rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, just until it's set; the surface will look opaque, rather than shiny.

Remove from the oven and top with whatever you like. Return to the oven to finish baking, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the toppings you've chosen.

Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Yield:  one 12" to 14" pizza.



Directions for baking in a cast iron skillet
(The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's)

We wondered if the crust would be crispier if we baked it in a cast iron skillet. The result was a crispy crust similar to the one we baked on parchment paper on top of a pizza stone. Using a cast iron skillet would be a good alternative if you don't own a pizza stone.

Put a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil in the 12" skillet. We sprinkled some Spike seasoning for a garlic-y tasting crust.



Scrape the dough into the prepared skillet and using wet fingers or an offset spatula, press the dough outwards to form a 10" or so circle. Let the dough rest, uncovered, in the skillet for 15 minutes.


Place the skillet into the preheated 425 degree oven.



Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The crust will look opaque rather than shiny.


Slather on your favorite pizza sauce.


Sprinkle with your favorite cheese blend.


Return the pizza to the oven to finish baking, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the toppings and how brown you like the crust. We topped our skillet pizza with paper thin slices of a delicious Italian salami called finocchiona. You can purchase finocchiona in the charcuterie department. Add the finocchiona after the pizza comes out of the oven. It just melts right on to the pizza!


We lifted the crust just to show you how nicely browned and crispy it is.


Allow the pizza to rest a couple minutes. Then slice and enjoy!


We were all surprised at how much we enjoyed this pizza. Not knowing what to expect and having experienced some not-so-good gluten-free products in the past, this pizza was really tasty. If you are on a gluten-free diet, this pizza is worth the effort. You'll satisfy your craving for pizza!








Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chocolate Tart

Chocolate Craving

Do you have a sweet tooth? A deep-down chocolate craving that demands satisfaction? The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market would like to suggest an afternoon of baking a rich chocolate tart that is worth the effort. Besides the decadent aroma, you'll be rewarded with a rich slice of creamy chocolate encased in a buttery crust. If you happen to have whipped cream and fresh raspberries, you could present your guests with an impressive dessert. Give some serious thought. You deserve this!



Make the pastry from our recipe for Tart Shell Pastry Crust.  Form the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Lay the dough inside a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the pan so it fits tightly; press the edges into the sides of the pan. 


Remove the excess dough from the top of the pan with a knife or rolling over it with a rolling pin. Refrigerate the tart for 15 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 350°.

Place the tart pan on a sturdy cookie sheet so it will be easy to move in and out of the oven. Line the tart with aluminum foil and add pie weights or dried beans to keep the sides of the tart from buckling. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and weights. Return to the oven and continue to bake for another 8 minutes until the tart is golden in color, but not brown.


 Set aside to cool and lower the oven temperature to 325°. 


Now it's time to make the chocolate filling! Heat the heavy cream and milk in a saucepan over medium-low flame until it simmers slightly around the edges. 



Remove from the heat; add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until well incorporated. 



Beat the eggs in a small bowl until blended and add them to the chocolate mixture, stir until completely blended. 



Pour the filling into the baked and cooled tart shell. 


Stop to admire all that glossy, chocolate filling. Breath deeply. Now move on.

Bake at 325° for 30-35 minutes until the filling is a bit puffy. The outside 2-inches of filling will be set and the surface is glossy. 


Cool before cutting and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy with an espresso or any other beverage suited to pairing with a lovely chocolate dessert.



Chocolate Tart


Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature


Make the pastry: Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Lay the dough inside a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the pan so it fits tightly; press the edges into the sides of the pan. Remove excess dough from top of pan with a knife or rolling over it with a rolling pin. Refrigerate the tart for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Place the tart pan on a sturdy cookie sheet so it will be easy to move in and out of the oven. Line the tart with aluminum foil and add pie weights or dried beans to keep the sides of the tart from buckling. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and weights. Return to the oven and continue to bake for another 8 minutes until the tart is golden in color, but not brown. Set aside to cool and lower the oven temperature to 325°.

To make the filling: Heat the heavy cream and milk in a saucepan over medium-low flame, until it simmers slightly around the edges. Remove from the heat; add the chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until well incorporated. Beat the eggs in a small bowl until blended and add them to the chocolate mixture, stir until completely blended. Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and bake at 325° for 30-35 minutes until the filling is a bit puffy, outside 2-inches of filling is set and the surface is glossy. Cool before cutting and store in the refrigerator.

Serves 8-12


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin

Apples and Pork - A Classic Combination

Ohio-grown apples are in abundant supply this fall at Jungle Jim's International Market. Apple butter and apple sauce making are in full swing in kitchens all over the United States. It's just that time of year. Whether apple butter is on your "to make" list or not, you can still enjoy the perfect pairing of pork and apples with this simple recipe for Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin. At Jungle Jim's, pork tenderloins are purchased in a package that contains two. Our featured recipe makes one tenderloin, but you can easily double the recipe and guarantee you'll have leftovers! We included a side of steamed vegetables, but scalloped or au gratin potatoes would be an excellent alternative.


This is how the pork tenderloins are sold at Jungle Jims. You'll get 2 tenderloins that are the same size. Make one for dinner and freeze the second one. Or make two!


Trim the silverskin and excess fat from the pork. A nice sharp knife makes this job easier!



Taking the time to remove the silverskin is worth the trouble. Silverskin is tough and chewy. The tenderloin will look clean when you are finished. Grease a shallow baking dish that is slightly larger than the meat.


Combine the apple butter, brown sugar, apple brandy, cinnamon and cloves in a small bowl and mix well. If you don't keep apple brandy on hand, you can use bourbon or apple juice. The Cooking School staff likes to use the Windy Acres brand of apple butter because it doesn't contain high fructose sugar.


Place the cleaned pork in the prepared pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour on the apple butter sauce.



Cover the pork completely with the sauce.


Bake for 30-35 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 155°.



Allow the pork to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve drizzled with the sauce from the pan. Enjoy!


Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin

One pork tenderloin, about 12-14 ounces
Salt and pepper
½ cup apple butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple brandy, bourbon or apple juice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a shallow baking dish that is slightly larger than the meat.

Trim silverskin and excess fat from pork. Place pork in prepared pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and spread over pork. Bake 30-35 minutes, until internal temperature of pork reaches 155°. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve drizzled with sauce from the pan.


Serves 2

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Kettle Corn


Pumpkin Spice Craze

We decided to ride the tidal wave of pumpkin spice love! Please don't let it be said that The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market ignores a culinary phenomenon.  So in honor of fall, pumpkins and pumpkin pie spice, Leigh popped a fragrant batch of Pumpkin Spice Kettle Corn in the Whirley Pop for all of us to enjoy. Thanks, Leigh! 


Freshly grated nutmeg is always preferred! You can purchase a nutmeg grater in Gourmet Galeria and whole nutmegs in the baking supplies aisle. Mix all the pumpkin pie spice ingredients in a small bowl. Measure 1 tablespoon for the popcorn recipe. Store the rest of the mixture in a clean, glass jar. 


Premium popcorn is a must. The popped kernels will be large and fluffy. If the coconut oil is hard, you can soften it a bit in the microwave. Mix the 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, salt and sugar together in a small bowl.


Place the coconut oil in a Whirley Pop or large, heavy stainless steel pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and add 2-3 popcorn kernels and cover.



When they begin to pop, add the remaining popcorn and ...



the Pumpkin Spice/sugar/salt mixture and cover again.



When you turn the handle, the sugar mixture will blend with the kernels.



Slowly crank the handle of the Whirley Pop or gently shake the stainless steel pot back and forth.



As the popping slows, turn off the heat and carefully remove the lid, tilting it away from your face to allow the steam to escape.



Pour the popcorn onto a large parchment-lined sheet pan and cool completely. This is the perfect fall sweet/salty snack with a tall glass of ice-cold apple cider. Again, thanks, Leigh!



Pumpkin Spice Kettle Corn

Pumpkin Spice Mix:
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Measure 1 tablespoon for popcorn recipe.


Kettle Corn:
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Spice Mix
½ cup granulated sugar
1¼ teaspoons kosher flaked salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup popcorn


Combine Pumpkin Spice Mix, sugar and salt in a small bowl and stir until well combined.

Place coconut oil in a Whirley Pop or large, heavy stainless steel pot. Turn the heat to medium-high.

Add 2-3 popcorn kernels, cover and when they pop, add the remaining popcorn and Pumpkin Spice/sugar/salt mixture and cover again.

Slowly crank the handle of the Whirley Pop or gently shake the stainless steel pot back and forth. As the popping slows, turn off the heat and carefully remove the lid, tilting it away from your face to allow the steam to escape.

Pour the popcorn onto a large parchment-lined sheet pan and cool completely.


Makes 12 cups