Tuesday, June 8, 2010

i haven't had that in years!

the first thing i did when i decided to go gluten free was to buy a few cookbooks.  the second thing i did was realize that they are almost the same as my old gluten ridden ones.  the only things that are really different and wonderful about gluten free cookbooks are that they usually have explanations of all the gf grains and flours and guides for cooking with them.  gluten free recipes for all things baked goods are essential.  you cannot simply substitute a gluten free flour in your predominantly gluten containing recipes.  there's an art and science to it.  i am only just now getting into gluten free baking that does not include a boxed mix.

but, back on topic...

there are gluten free recipes tucked in your old cookbooks right along side those horrid gluten containing ones.  you just have to look for them.  when we don't know what to cook for dinner we often start searching the internet and using key ingredients of things we already have in the house.  when one of us has a hankering for a certain dish, we pull out a stack of cookbooks and start searching.

last week one of these hankerings hit.  i wanted potatoes aux gratin and i wanted them now!  we attacked the shelf of cookbooks in a mad furry.  we looked under aux gratin, potatoes and cheese without any luck.  then i remembered they are often called scalloped potatoes, duh.  there it was, plain and simple, in my copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.  after reading the recipe and seeing that it would take an hour and a half to prep and bake, we decided my craving had to wait until the weekend.

side note:  not being able to use my right hand for much of anything since mid january has put a cramp in  our cooking style.  ash and i discovered early on that we very much enjoy cooking together and are naturally compatible in the kitchen.  i don't mind the prep work and she doesn't mind the raw meat and grease.  we can pick up a task the other was working on or quickly change gears.  i often did dishes while she minded the stove.  with my limited ability we have had to change the dynamic.  i try to get things ready before we start, like clearing the counter and putting away clean dishes.  she has to do almost all the hands on work and all the dish washing.  in order to keep me from standing over her should while she cuts carrots, i have taken to reading out loud to her or busying myself with various one-handed household tasks.


the long awaited day arrived and i got my cheesy scalloped potatoes!  there was only one modification needed to the book's recipe: corn starch had to be substituted for flour.  i wasn't sure at first how much to use, but a glance at the container told me to use half the amount called for in the recipe.  i didn't even have to use my brain!  so here is the recipe, as we did it, based on the previously mentioned book:

1/2 cup chopped onion (we used some white and green because it was in the fridge)
1 clove of garlic, minced (we used the jar kind)
2 tbs margarine/butter
1 tbs corn starch
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb potatoes (or so...)

1) grease a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish (a square one worked perfectly).  preheat oven at 350.
2) thinly slice potatoes.  place half the sliced potatoes in the casserole dish (we layered them at an angle so that the next potato half covered the one before it).
3) for sauce, in a small saucepan cook onion and garlic in margarine until tender but not brown.  stir in corn starch and pepper.  add milk all at once.  stirring, cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  add in cheese and stir until melted.
4) cover the first layer of potatoes with half of the sauce.  add a second layer of potatoes and cover with the remaining sauce.
5) bake covered for 40 minutes.  uncover and bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cheese is browned.

ta da!

it was so good that i don't even remember what else we ate with it, probably steak.  i savored every bite and the left overs were fantastic.  it was the first time in years that i'd had cheesy scalloped potatoes, and they were so much better than the boxed ones i had as a kid!

thanks for reading.

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