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February 2008

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February 4th, 2008


perpetuallydry in gooddinner

Party food reviews - Gluten Free

I threw a party attended by a friend who was gluten free. Gluten free is so hard...you can't eat soft, sweet breads, pastas, snack chips, and almost any sweets. Plus, gluten gets sneaked into so many things you wouldn't even think of, like beer and coffee. Anything with distilled vinegar...

I wanted to make sure my friend didn't feel left out, or unhappy with her choices, but I also wanted things to be well rounded.

Gluten Free Foods:

Veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots. Always good.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: You can dip veggies in this, or several other items I procured.

Rice crackers: I don't like rice crackers, they have a very distinct taste, but everyone raved about these, and several people asked me where I got them. They are called Savory Thins, and I got them at Trader Joes. Thin, crunchy and good for dipping.

Plantain chips: These had a picture of monkeys on them, and I know they look like bananas, so I expected them to be kind of sweet. Instead, they tasted very much like hearty potato chips. They were dense and hard, but had the same kind of flavor. Only 6 grams of fat per serving, which isn't bad for a snack chip.

Sweet without the Wheat Black Forest Cake: My friend's initial response was, "This tastes like a Ding Dong!" after which we laughed and laughed and laughed, because we are immature. It was a thin layer of chocolate cake made without wheat. I don't know what it was made out of, but it was so small it wasn't a strong flavor, more of an architectural structure, holding it all together. It was topped with a layer of some vanilla cream, more thin cake, chocolate cream, more thin cake, and shaved chocolate on top and around the sides. It also had black forest type cherries in it, but it wasn't a strong element, which is good because I don't like those either. This cake went over well.

and Today's Recipe...Caramelized Apple and Cheddar Quesadillas.

I got the original recipe from a Mixer I recently attended, and I altered it to make it not so bad for you.

small, sweet, red apples - I used Pink Ladies and Gala, Braeburn and Fuji would also be good.
2 tablespoons of brown sugar - I used turbinado sugar because 1. it was what I had on-hand, and 2. brown sugar is just turbinado sugar that has been refined into white sugar (had the molasses taken out) and THEN the molasses is added back in! Why would someone do that???
2 tablespoons of butter - I use unsalted, and I never do margarine
shredded cheddar - I prefer Skyline brand, mild cheddar. But I'm from the Cincinnati area. This may not be available other places, I'm not sure.
Tortillas - for the gluten free I found some authentic tortillas. The ingredients listed: corn, lime and salt. For the non-gluten free I used Mission brand Carb Control, which have 11 grams of fiber in them, and is apparently a REALLY GOOD THING (tm). They taste great, and they are softer than regular tortillas, and don't crack when you fold them, even without pan-heating them. Less butter!

Cut the apples into 1/4" thin slices, melt the butter in a pan over MEDIUM heat and add the apples and top with the sugar. Stir this around frequently because burned sugar smells awful. This needs to cook for around 25 minutes, til the apples are soft and golden brown, and the sugar and butter have turned into a thin caramel.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and set aside the apples until it is preheated, so they reach room temperature.

Stir the apples to coat them with the caramel and spoon apples onto half of each tortilla, and cover in cheddar cheese, then fold in half on pan. The carb control torts folded and were fine, the authentic corn ones needed to be secured with toothpicks.

Put them in the oven for 5 minutes, so the cheese can melt. The original recipe instructed me to take them out of the oven and pan fry them with more butter, but I opted to not do that for time reasons, and because less butter is always better in my opinion.

Cut each folded tortilla in half for easier handling. SO good. The carb control quesadillas went over better, but the non-gluten ones were tasty as well.

This is more amazing tasting than I can communicate with written word.