Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rice Chexie treats & cozy GF soup!

How did it get to be November?! It's that time of year when a girl's thoughts turn to outlines, memos, final exams, and stress stress stress. And cozy comfort food that's perfect for fall. Just a quick post tonight but I wanted to share two easy recipes I've enjoyed recently.

Rice Chexie treats!

By all rights Rice Krispies should be gluten-free but they contain malt flavoring, which comes from barley. No go. I am cuckoo for rice krispie treats, but the great news is that you can make a GF version that's just as good, if not better, using Rice Chex, which are thankfully gluten-free. Here's what you need:

* pan (8x8 or 9x13, greased with cooking spray. I use Pyrex baking dishes.)
* 2-3 tbsp of butter or margarine
* 1 bag of marshmallows (check the ingredients to make sure they're GF. Also, minis melt faster than the big ones)
* 6 cups of Rice Chex cereal
* optional: 1 tsp vanilla extract (again, check ingredients)

Spritz your pan. Over low heat, melt your butter/margarine and marshmallows, stirring constantly. The second it's smooth, remove from heat - don't overcook. Add vanilla and stir. Add your cereal and stir it through the goo; this is always the annoying part. Dump the mixture into the pan. It helps to use waxed paper, the back of a wet spoon, or dampen your hands to press the mixture flat. Now comes the hard part: waiting. Cut into squares or shapes and enjoy! They are amazing and taste just like the real thing. (Note: I have previously tried using organic brown rice krispies. Feel free to try it for yourself but IMO it tasted like cardboard. Rice Chex are about 100x better for this purpose!)

Cozy Comforting Potato-Leek-Veggies I Found in my Fridge Soup

On a cold fall day potato-leek soup hits the spot. I made a big batch of this soup, but it didn't last long. I brought it to school for lunch and received two compliments from passers-by who said it looked delicious. Oh, it was! I based the soup on this great and easy recipe for Cream of Asparagus Soup. I didn't take any pictures, but here's what I used, as far as I can remember:

* 1-2 tbsp butter or margarine (olive oil should be fine too)
* 2 leeks (Trader Joe's, pre-trimmed - chopped & rinsed)
* 2 potatoes, peeled & chopped (I used russet; yukon gold would be delicious too)
* about 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
* about 1/2 pound of asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces
* 1 carrot, sliced into rounds
* 2 cups of Pacific organic chicken broth (1 small box, which is what I had on hand. If you have more broth, omit the water. Of course you could also use veggie broth. It should be a total of 3 1/2 to 4 cups of liquid.)
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1/2 cup goat milk (Whoa, GOAT? Okay, yes, here's where I got crazy. This was an experiment. Goat milk can be found at Trader Joe's and is supposedly easier to digest than cow milk, so I gave it a try. I wouldn't drink it by itself, but if you like the pungent, tangy flavor of chèvre, it's a nice stir-in for soups or mashed potatoes. While I'm still not on great terms with dairy, this milk seemed to be okay with me. You might prefer to use regular milk, Lactaid milk, or heavy cream.)
* kosher salt & pepper to taste

In a large soup pot or saucepan, melt butter/marg or heat olive oil over medium or medium-high heat. Sauté leeks til they soften. Add broth and/or water, potatoes, onions, carrots, and asparagus. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover & let simmer about 10-15 minutes til your veggies are nice and soft.

I have - and LOVE - an immersion hand-blender, which is absolutely ideal and so easy for pureeing soup (and it's dishwasher-safe). If you have a hand-blender, use that or transfer soup in batches to your regular blender and process til smooth or whatever texture appeals to you. Return soup to the pot. Add your milk and re-heat over low. Season with salt and pepper; serve with a little shredded cheese on top if you like (or perhaps a dollop of sour cream?). Deeeelish. I can't wait to make another batch!

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