Menu of the week: It’s peachy baby!

Unfortunately, being further North than the rest of the GF bloggers leaves MI peachless right now.  We need about one more month before they start showing up at the farmer’s markets.  I don’t have any frozen right now and I don’t care for canned peaches, so perhaps I will sub with a mango – which of course is never in season in MI.  Fruits and Veggies that are grown in MI I am trying to wait until they are ready in MI.  Stuff that will never be grown here – avocados, mangoes, limes – I just have to clear a guilty pathway to my conscience as I can go local as much as possible, but enjoy a global cuisine.  I at least reduce my “shipped from CA” footprint a little bit.  Now I feel very guilty about my mangoes that were on sale.

For some great use of peaches, check out the Gluten Free menu swap, hosted this week by the creator of the swap, Natalie at Gluten Free Mommy.  I will just take note of everyone’s recipes and hold on to those ideas for August.  I used all my frozen peaches in margaritas over the winter.

Here’s what’s cooking in Lansing MI this week, it’s a very porky menu and a very local menu this go around:

Saturday:

lunch: green chile cheese tamales (from our dear friend Trader Joe) with NM red chile sauce

dinner: grilled mustard marinated pork loin with a pear green peppercorn demi glaze (featuring homemade demi glaze!), wild mushroom risotto and grilled asparagus

Sunday:

lunch: local free range organic breakfast sausages, scrabbled egg yolks with veggies (I can’t eat egg whites)

dinner: smoked ribs from our pig pancetta (only a few pieces of pork left in the freezer 🙁 ), red cabbage slaw with a ginger, garlic, lemon dressing and chives, Michigan made potato chips and  fresh dill dip

Monday:

Lunch (working from home today) Spanish style: Clam and chorizo soup with tomatoes, white wine saffron, shallots, garlic, chives and parsley.  I really have no idea how this sentence alone gave itself italics and I can’t seem to make it go away.  It was a tasty lunch though….

Dinner: Italian fusion: Maple Leaf Farm duck breasts porchetta style, stuffed with fennel seed, rosemary and garlic.  Baby new potatoes grilled with mustard and herbs.

Tuesday:  On the road and home brew club if I get back early – I brewed a GF porter on Sunday thanks to the motivation of Sally and Dan of Aprovechar – pics here and tasting soon as it is fermenting fast!

Wednesday:  Potato leek soup with local milk, farm market leeks, potatoes and some locally made German knockwurst (we just have so many great local food sources here in MI!) – lots of fresh herbs will be in the soup.

Thursday: local potato chip, Parmesan (not at all local) crusted fish, sides TBD from farmer’s market availability.

Friday Thai:  pad thai with spicy, crispy tofu and garden cilantro, spring rolls and maybe some shrimp hot and sour soup.

The menu looks just peachy to me!

i’m out

Knees Bees photos

I thought about calling this the cocktail of the week, but that seems a bit like a cop out since you all can’t replicate this at home. I am going to do my best to replicate it and have some sorghum malt down stairs to use.

Old Hat Knees Bees GF beer

Knees Bees GF beer

Old Hat Knees Bees GF beer

It was tasty, not to heavy, good mouth feel and not to sorghum tasting and best of all an ale. I would perhaps add a few more hops to it, but to do that, I will need to make my own. Encourage your small local breweries to consider making a gluten free ale and if they can’t do that, then ask them to offer hard cider.

i’m out

Knees Bees Honey GF Ale

I am so excited that I just have to make a quick post and I also resolve to actually write some real posts, not just my menus, in the near future.  I certainly have lots to post on, but where does the time go?

For the moment I am eagerly anticipating delivery of my first growler of gluten free ale!  I found out a while ago that Old Hat Brewery in Lawton MI always has a GF beer on tap.  One of their patrons has Celiac.  Somehow Lawton is in a location of the state that I rarely every travel too, but one of my friends has to go there more frequently to check tart cherry traps (looking for plum curcuilio ) as part of a rigorous IPM program.  Today, on a Saturday, when the pub opens at 11 instead of at 4 as they do during the week, he must travel there for work.

Happy ale coming my way.  I have only had the GF lagers, New Grist, Bard’s tale and Redbridge, for the most part.  I am not a fan of sorghum lagers, I would rather drink vodka (well, you all know I love vodka anyway).  An ale, however is a different beer making method that results in a very different body and flavor.  I can’t wait and just wanted to share my excitement with you.  I will report back on it later this evening or tomorrow.  I am changing today’s menu as we are running to the farmer’s market in Okemos and I hope to find some baby veggies since my garden is producing mostly greens from the broccoli family right now.  Strawberries are just coming into season here this week – those are on the list too.  I am craving a nice grilled steak and grilled baby veggies (thanks to opening this month’s Bon Appetit before eating lunch or breakfast).  So, the pork ribs will have to wait, but we are picking up the smoker today.  Big juicy grass fed beef steak, grilled veggies (I like their grilled slaw idea a lot) and cold microbrewed GF ale!

Summer is here!!

i’m out

beer beer beer beer, and Gluten free homebrew!

I have been a busy gardener lately. Lots of tomato canning, tomatillo canning and freezing beans. My eggplants still have a tinge of green around the purple, so to me that means not ripe. I am going to attempt to freeze those some how as they are always all ripe at once. I must have bought a different variety than last year.

I attempted to save some seeds from 5 different heirloom tomatoes for next year and was quite unsuccessful. I ending up creating a moldy fruit fly breeding habitat instead. Last year it worked. I planted the little seeds. They came up and then I fried them in their little green house containers. So I ended up buying plants. I guess I will just buy seeds instead and give it one more go next year. Eventually I want to have a little hoop house for lengthening my season.

I mowed the lawn for what I hope to be the last time of the year. We even had a fire in the wood stove. Now, it is 81F again. Tonight it is our Firkin beer club meeting and we are all meeting at a friend’s house on a lake – a bonfire will certainly be part of the evening as will my new Green’s beers. They are tasty and have a great, true Belgian flavor. The bottles are 16.9 oz and run about $7 in my area. You might think that is a lot, but my boyfriend – who is also a home brewer, buys bombers (22 oz) of specialty beer (I think Stone is his favorite) all the time when he has no home brew around. So, if you appreciated good beer, real ale, before becoming gluten intolerant or Celiac, then this might be the beer for you. If you appreciated Labatt before hand, then New Grist or Red Bridge is for you. I haven’t decided where to place Bard’s Tale. Probably with New Grist and Red Bridge. Ramapo (sorry guys) shouldn’t even be purchased. It was nothing like beer and nothing like what I want to drink. Maybe they were shooting to make a barley wine, but turned left at the wrong spot.

I did make a gluten free beer – actually two. They are still in my basement and still untasted. I will change that right now. I am going to march down there and pour a sample. Clear or not. Please pause for the cause and I will return.

Well, they are tasty if you can get past the bitterness. I used far too many hops for the sorghum to stand up to. The IPA has the right bitterness if it were to have the malt balance, but the balance is lacking. It has a sort of pineapple nose without the sweetness. I could tone it down and make a fine pale ale with some practice. New Grist, Bard’s Tale and Redbridge are all lagers. I am an ale girl.

The porter, well, it has a really nice roasted flavor that deepens the taste, but still no malt to balance the hops I used. It is not as hoppy as the IPA of course. I think I roasted whole GF oats that I shoveled out of my cousin’s storage barn. He raises oats for the chickens they have. I also roasted some rice and millet. I will need to look the recipe up, but we are on the way. Thank you for all the silent thoughts of “she said she was going to post about that beer and still hasn’t done it”. Actually, I think it was finally tasting a good GF beer that motivated me, gave me hope.

This post started out to be one about the perfecting of Vietnamese spring rolls and end of year gardening. It will have to wait. I have perfected them, you will be happy to know, using the dried rice wrappers. Patience and a good fryer are needed.

So, time to work on more beer. I eventually want to brew a spelt beer, since I can now. However I have had difficulty hunting down malted spelt – the key ingredient. I never liked wheat beers (wiessen or weizen or hefe) that much, so if my spelt beers taste like that, I will stick with sorghum.

We did take our mead and cider to Wheatland with us. The mead needs to mellow another year. The hard cider is a bit on the acidic side because I am a lazy brewer and let it sit on the yeast bed for too long. Once it is finished fermenting, ale and cider yeast falls to the bottom of the container. At this point, one should transfer (rack) the beverage to a new container, leaving the yeast behind so you don’t get off flavors (like I did) and to have better clarity (not from drinking said beverage, but to see through it).

Here are the pics from brewing(click through to see the photos):

a whole world awaits….
i’m out