First of all you may want to know, "What is gluten?"
Ok....so here is the Wikipedia definition of what gluten is.
Gluten (from Latin gluten "glue") is a protein composite that appears in foods processed from wheat and related species, including barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture.
As cases of known gluten sensitivity increase, many foods in the western world are now labeled to clarify whether they contain gluten.
Gluten is the composite of a prolamin and a glutelin, which exist, conjoined with starch, in the endosperm of various grass-related grains. Gliadin, a water-soluble, andglutenin, a water-insoluble, (the prolamin and glutelin from wheat) compose about 80% of the protein contained in wheat seed. Being insoluble in water, they can be purified by washing away the associated starch. Worldwide, gluten is a source of protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein.The seeds of most flowering plants have endosperms with stored protein to nourish embryonic plants during germination. True gluten, with gliadin and glutenin, is limited to certain members of the grass family. The stored proteins of maize and rice are sometimes called glutens, but their proteins differ from wheat gluten by lacking gliadin.
It is kind of a lot of information and a little overwhelming! What you need to know is that gluten is simply a kind of protein that tends to exist in wheat, barley, and rye, among other carbs. Gluten can also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins and lip balms. It is important to note that, gluten alone is not necessarily bad foryour health.
Unless, of course you have Celiacs or are gluten Sensitive. And that brings me to my next question of, "Why is Gluten a problem?"
Here are two more definitions for you...
Celiac disease - is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten. Over 2 million people in the United States have Celiac disease. That is about 1 out of every 133 people.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity -is currently a little more difficult to pinpoint. Basically, individuals who suffer from NCGS suffer very similarly to people with Celiac Disease, but the blood test which identifies and diagnoses celiac disease returns as negative. The only way to confidently diagnose NCGS is through a gluten free diet. Studies have shown that up to eight times as many people suffer from non Celiac gluten sensitivity than classic Celiacs.
Simply put...Gluten is a problem because people with these two conditions cannot process the gluten. When that happens it causes a host of problems. These problems can range from uncomfortable to very dangerous. However, with a gluten free diet, the problems associated with both Celiacs and non- celiacs can be dramatically reduced, and in most cases the problems go away completely.
So, what can you do about it? Well, go on a gluten free diet. Now, don't be afraid. It will be a life style change for you. However, there are so many options out there. Yes, you will have to give up bread in the traditional sense. However there are plenty of recipes for gluten free bread that you can have.
Check out this FB page https://www.facebook.com/GlutenFreeGoddess
and this blog
Katrina has amazing information for gluten free living as well as recipes for all sorts of gluten free food....Including brownies and cupcakes:)
So instead of lamenting over a recent diagnosis of either Celiacs disease or gluten sensitivity....Celebrate the fact that there are many healthy options for your new life style and have fun discovering some amazing food that won't make you sick:)
Julia Childs Coq au vin 04/29/2011
Julia Child's Coq Au Vin
Ok, So if you read my about "What's for Dinner? You know that this is the recipe that I nervously used in the concept stage of my business to get feedback from my friends.
Don't be afraid. At first glance the recipe is a little intimidating. If you know your way around the kitchen, you will be ok.
***This is not a recipe for a total beginner cook***
That being said, I do have much simpler recipes that I will be posting and if you get through those with no problem, that's when you should try the Coq Au Vin recipe:)
OK for those of you that have no idea what Coq Au Vin is, It is a Burgundian dish, and is considered a French comfort food.
The traditional recipe for Coq au Vin did not include chicken, but rather a "Coq," which is a rooster. A lot of recipes originally called for old barnyard fowl, roosters, capon (a de-sexed rooster), and old laying hens. Coq au Vin was originally considered peasant food, and the farmers would make do with what they had on hand.
The red wine in the recipe was used not to mask flavor, but to allow the acids to help break down the old meat of the rooster which was very tough.
True coq Au Vin was actually finished with the blood of the rooster stabilized with brandy and vinegar, this would help the blood not clot.
I know, not very pleasant sounding, but the recipe has been updated since then and the updated dish is amazing!!!!
Yields: 4 to 6 servingsPrep time: 45 min
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes
2 1/2 to 3 pounds cut-up frying chicken, skin on and thoroughly dried (I used legs and boneless thighs)*
4 ounces lean thick-cut bacon (Julia Child uses imported Lardons (a small strip or cube of pork fat) It's expensive, and bacon flavors the dish just as well.
2 tablespoons Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup cognac
2 cups red wine (Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Beaujolais or Chianti)**avoid bold heavily flavored red wines
2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon Tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed or minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Brown-Braised Onions (see recipe below)
Mushrooms (see recipe below)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Dry chicken thoroughly in a towel. Season chicken with salt and pepper; set aside.
Remove any rind off the bacon and cut the bacon into rectangles 1/4-inch across and 1-inch long. In a saucepan, simmer the bacon sticks in 2 quarts of water for 10 minutes; remove from heat, drain, rinse in cold water, and pat dry.
In a large heavy frying pan, casserole dish, or electric skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil until moderately hot. Add the bacon and saute slowly until they are lightly browned. Remove bacon to a side dish. Place chicken pieces into the hot oil (not crowding pan), and brown on all sides. Return bacon to the pan, cover pan, and cook slowly for 10 minutes, turning chicken once.
After browning the chicken, uncover pan, pour in the cognac. Flambé by igniting with a long lighter. Let flame a minute, swirling pan by its handle to burn off alcohol; extinguish with pan cover. This can be a little intimidating if you have never done this. It brings awesome flavor to the dish and if you get nervous is completely easy to put out with the pan lid. FYI Keep your head back when you are attempting this step. You don't want burnt eye brows in the dish:)
Pour the red wine into the pan and add just enough chicken broth to completely cover the chicken pieces. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover pan, and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes or until the chicken meat is tender when pierced with a fork or an instant-read meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the Brown-Braised Onions and the Mushrooms.
When the chicken is done cooking, remove from the pan to a platter, leaving the cooking liquid in the pan. Increase heat to high and boil the cooking liquid rapidly until approximately 2 cups of liquid remains.
While the liquid is boiling, in a small bowl, blend the 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons softened butter into a smooth paste; beat the flour/butter mixture into the approximately 2 cups hot cooking liquid with a whisk. Simmer and stir for a minute or two until the sauce has thickened (the result will be a sauce thick enough to lightly coat a spoon - just thick enough to coat the chicken and vegetables lightly). If sauce is too thin, boil down rapidly to concentrate; if sauce is too thick, thin out with additional spoonfuls of chicken stock. Taste the final sauce, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
12 to 24 small white onions, peeled (or double the amount if you want to use tiny frozen peeled raw onions)*
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
* If neither frozen nor fresh pearl onions are available, substitute one large onion cut into 1/2-inch pieces. (Do not use jarred pearl onions, which will turn mushy and disintegrate into the sauce.)
While chicken is cooking, drop onions into boiling water, bring water back to the boil, and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain. Cool onions in ice water. Shave off the two ends (root and stem ends) of each onion, peel carefully, and pierce a deep cross in the root end with a small knife (to keep onions whole during cooking).
In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil, add parboiled onions, and toss for several minutes until lightly browned (this will be a patchy brown). Add water to halfway up onions and add 1/4 to1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover pan and simmer slowly for 25 to 30 minutes or until onions are tender when pierce with a knife.
NOTE: Onions may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed. Season to taste just before serving.
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, washed, well dried, left whole if small, sliced or quartered if large
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Prepare mushrooms. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat butter and olive oil; when bubbling hot, toss in mushrooms and saute over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat.
NOTE: Mushrooms may be cooked in advance, set aside, then reheated when needed. Season to taste just before serving.
Pass the Butter Please.... 04/29/2011
Pass The Butter Please.
My Mother-in-Law passed this on to me.
This is interesting . .. .
Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys. When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back. It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow colouring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavourings.... DO YOU KNOW.. The difference between margarine and butter?
Read on to the end...gets very interesting! Both have the same amount of calories. Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams; compared to 5 grams for margarine. Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.
Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods. Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few and only because they are added!
Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavours of other foods.
Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years .
And now, for Margarine.. Very High in Trans fatty acids . Triples risk of coronary heart disease ... Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol) Increases the risk of cancers up to five times.. Lowers quality of breast milk. Decreases immune response. Decreases insulin response. And here's the most disturbing fact.... HERE IS THE PART THAT IS VERY INTERESTING!
Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC... and shares 27 ingredients with PAINT
These facts alone were enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).
You can try this yourself: Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it open in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will notice a couple of things:
* no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)
* it does not rot or smell differently because it has nonutritional value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic . Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast? Share This With Your Friends.....(If you want to butter them up')! Chinese Proverb: When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others. Pass the BUTTER PLEASE
P.S. Just because butter is better for you then margarine, It is still fattening.....So, everything in moderation my friends:)