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Recipes from Carol Fenster, Savory Palate

Carol Fenster is well known for her expertise in the area of gluten-free cooking.  She's written numerous cookbooks through the years, and her latest one is on "Gluten-free Cooking for Two."  She's shared several recipes with us and I hope you'll try them - whether you are gluten-intolerant or not.  They are delicious.



Cornbread is a great accompaniment with soup or stew. My husband and I like to eat the first slice with the main dish, then another slice with honey as dessert! grew up in the Midwest where we eat cornbread a little sweeter than they do in the South, so my version is on the sweet side.

1/2    cup cornmeal
1/4    cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
2    tablespoons sugar
3/4    teaspoon baking powder
1/2    teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2    teaspoon salt
1/16    teaspoon (pinch) baking soda
1    large egg, room temperature
1/4    cup water, room temperature
2    tablespoons canola oil or coconut oil (melted and slightly cooled)

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 3 1/4 x 5 3/4-inch nonstick loaf pan (gray, not black).  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour blend, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda until well blended. With the electric mixer on low speed, beat in the egg, water, and oil until just blended. Increase the speed to medium-low and beat until the batter is slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. The batter will be like thick cake batter. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.  Bake until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool the cornbread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm.  Preparation time: 10 minutes. Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes. Makes a 3 1/4 x 5 3/4-inch loaf; 4 slices. 

Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 1/2  cups brown rice flour (or sorghum flour)
1 1/2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour/starch
Whisk ingredients together until thoroughly blended and then store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place.


Sheet Pan Supper

Making meals the "sheet-pan" way works especially well when cooking for two because an entire meal fits in one 9 x 13-inch pan. You begin roasting the food(s) that take longest to cook such as potatoes, adding additional foods (fish, vegetables) later, since they cook faster. If your vegetables are especially delicate (or if you prefer them streamed) layer them under the fish.

1/2    pound (2 cups, about 6 potatoes) small Yukon      gold potatoes or fingerlings, halved
1    tablespoon olive oil
3/4    teaspoon dried herbs of your choice (I like oregano or tarragon for this dish)
1/4    teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4    teaspoon salt
1/8    teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2    5-ounce salmon fillets
1    cup thin asparagus in 1/2-inch pieces
1/2    cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1    fresh lemon, cut into 2 halves, for garnish

Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a 9 x 13-inch nonstick (gray, not black) rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly grease or use a 10-inch greased ovenproof skillet.  In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes, 1/4 teaspoon of the herbs, and smoked paprika with the olive oil until well coated. Arrange evenly, cut side down, on the baking sheet and roast 20 minutes.  Arrange the salmon, asparagus, and tomatoes on top of the potatoes and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon herbs and the salt and pepper. Continue to roast until the salmon is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish. Serve with lemon wedges, for garnish.
Preparation time: 10 minutes. Roasting time: 30 minutes. Makes 2 servings.

NOTE: You can also vary this dish: use cod instead of salmon, 1/8-inch red bell pepper strips instead of tomatoes, or broccoli florets or snow peas instead of asparagus - and monitor the roasting times accordingly. Generally speaking, the thinner and less dense the food, the shorter the cooking time. So, put the more delicate vegetables under the fish.



I love this Italian dessert for its decadence and creamy smoothness, and it is also super-easy and requires no cooking. Traditional versions use shallow bowls (hard to serve from) and ladyfingers (hard-to-find in gluten-free form). To make things easier, I assemble the dish in two small ramekins and use store-bought cookies as the base. (I like Pamela's Dark Chocolate Chunk or Pecan Shortbread). The usual mascarpone is replaced with regular cream cheese and sour cream so you don't have leftover mascarpone.

1/2    cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese or  cream cheese alternative, at room temperature

1/4    cup light sour cream or sour cream alternative, at room temperature
3    tablespoons granulated sugar
2    tablespoons milk of choice (or water)
1/2    teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2    tablespoons brewed espresso (or 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water)
1    tablespoon coffee liqueur or rum or brandy (or more espresso)
2    gluten-free cookies (2-inch size)
2    teaspoons unsweetened Dutch-process or alkali cocoa, for dusting
2    teaspoons grated bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, for garnish

Coat two 3 1/2 x 1 3/4- inch ramekins (4 ounce) with cooking spray or lightly grease with canola oil.  In a small bowl, with a spatula, beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, milk, and vanilla with a spatula until smooth. Spread 1/4 cup of the mixture evenly in each ramekin.  In a small, shallow bowl, combine the espresso and coffee liqueur. Holding the cookie parallel to the espresso mixture, quickly and lightly dip each cookie in the espresso mixture only halfway and place it in a ramekin. (If there is any espresso mixture left, drizzle it into the ramekins.) Evenly divide the remaining cream cheese mixture and spread evenly on top of each cookie with a spatula. Tap each ramekin on the countertop to settle the contents evenly. Place the cocoa in a fine-mesh sieve and gently dust on top of each ramekin.  Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve, garnished with grated chocolate.


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