Tag Archives: dairy-free cream

Kids In The Kitchen: Grilled Shark Steak and Dairy-Free “Creamed” Corn

Brandan’s turn in the kitchen always brings an adventure. This one not nearly as “out there” as some of the others (sea cucumber, anyone?), but still new and different. Brandan wanted to cook shark steak. When I asked what he wanted to serve with it, creamed corn was at the top of the list. Creamed corn is something I remember fondly from childhood – silky, creamy and sweet. And that was the stuff that came from a can! Making a dairy-free, non-canned version didn’t seem all that difficult. I’ll be happy to report – it wasn’t.

The shark was also very straightforward. A quick marinade, and a short time on the grill, this could easily become an adventurous meal for a weeknight. (Provided your grill isn’t covered in snow, that is. We’re in Texas, and tomorrow is our first hint at real winter weather so far this season. We grill year-round.) No grill? This could just as easily be prepared by searing in a cast-iron skillet and finished in a hot oven, much like my favorite way to prepare lamb chops.

As for the creamed corn, a simple swap of non-dairy butter and non-dairy milk for the butter and cream, and we were ready to go! I dialed back the sweetness quite a bit, relying on the natural sweetness of the corn. It was well-appreciated. I don’t often eat corn, (I don’t tolerate it well) so this was a treat for me.

A side note: One of the fun (and sometimes trying!) parts about cooking with Brandan is that he wants to taste everything. What does the Worcestershire taste like? How about the butter? Tapioca flour? How about the marinade? Can he lick the spoon? The bowl? “No, wait – don’t throw that in the sink yet – I was going to lick it!” I love that he wants to explore everything. Especially when it comes to food. This is how I was when I was a child, so it reminds me a bit of myself. But the growing mountain of “tasting spoons” in the sink, the fact that we have to sometimes prepare extra ingredients just to account for the “eaten during preparation” factor, and the way progress is slowed to a crawl, can be trying to one’s patience. (This is why I tend to lean towards simple recipes with Brandan – intricately timed recipes are difficult with any kid, and he’s no exception!) Overall, the experiences we share – not just with Brandan, but with all the kids – are immeasurable. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

And now, back to the food. The verdict on the steak? The family was split. My husband and Brandan both loved it. My husband described it as “meaty like a steak, with a nice grill, smoke flavor, but then light with the flavor of the sea at the end.” (Had to document that, because it’s not often you get such a description of flavors from him!) Matt said it was “kinda good, kinda bad.” Brittany ate it with ketchup, something I wouldn’t recommend. (She eats every protein on her plate with ketchup lately. I just wrinkle my nose at her. Yuck.) I wasn’t fond of it, truthfully. I found the marinade a bit salty, and the texture less than super-tender. I think if shark steak appears in our kitchen again, I’ll consider preparing it like we did swordfish – that recipe was very tender and flavorful. Or create a simple oil-and-citrus marinade with herbs, and cook it more gently, and top it with either a mediterreanean-style salsa (something involving tomatoes and capers), or in the summer, a fresh fruit salsa. (Okay, this is making my mouth water. Maybe this shark thing wouldn’t be so bad after all!)

If you venture to try shark steak, or if you’ve prepared it in the past, tell me: How did you prepare it? What did you think?

Grilled Shark Steak

1/2 c gluten-free soy sauce or tamari (I use San-J)

1/2 c gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten-free)

4 T onion powder

4 T garlic powder

1/2 t ground sage

1/4 t dry mustard

1 t ground black pepper

6 6-oz shark steaks

Whisk soy sauce, Worcestershire, and spices together in a small bowl. Place shark steaks in a large glass baking dish, and pour marinade over. Turn steaks to coat. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Heat grill to medium heat. Grill steaks about 5 minutes each side or until the center is just cooked through.

Serves 6.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free “Creamed” Corn

2 T non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks)

2 T tapioca flour

1 1/2 c non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut beverage)

1 T evaporated cane sugar

3 c frozen corn kernels

Pinch or two of salt, or as needed

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add non-dairy butter. Swirl and melt the butter, then add the tapioca flour, whisking constantly until blended well. Add the non-dairy milk and sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture is steaming and becomes thick, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the corn and whisk in. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the corn kernels are hot. Season to taste with salt.

Serves 6.

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Seafood, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlovas with Almond Butter Cream

I’m definitely doing this challenge at the last minute – I decided to start the day it was due. I literally just finished plating one for the photo above! Normally, this wouldn’t be too much of an issue, but this time, I opted to make a dairy-free cream using a technique I’d never tried before. It was indeed an experiment – one I hoped I could pull off!

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

I was excited that the challenge was naturally gluten-free. Hooray – less substitutions! However, the chocolate mascarpone mousse was not dairy-free. It called for cream and mascarpone cheese. Creating a substitute was something I contemplated for quite a few days. I knew that I saw a dairy-free cream cheese at the store, made from tofu. I strongly considered using that and coconut milk as a substitute for the cream, and following the rest of the recipe as written. I even picked up the tofu cream cheese at the store and carried to the checkout line. It was then that I decided I didn’t want it – I am not fond of the flavor of most soymilk products, and I really didn’t want to use tofu cream cheese. I put it back. I would come up with another idea.

A few days later, Noelle of An Opera Singer in the Kitchen turned me on to this raw, vegan, dairy-free cheesecake made from soaked cashews. (Available at Earth Cafe) Noelle insisted that those cheesecakes were amazing, and I was convinced that in the near future, I’d be ordering one to see for myself. Meanwhile, she also shared with me a new blog to check out, The Daily Raw Cafe, where a similar cheesecake recipe could be found. I was inspired.

Instead of making a chocolate mascarpone mousse, I opted for something a touch lighter – almond butter cream and strawberries. I set to make the cream, soaking cashews and blending them, adding coconut milk, almond butter, lemon…and the resulting texture and flavor of this cream was silky and rich. I can only imagine how lovely this would taste in a cheesecake – it was lovely here.

My pavlovas were piped a bit thinner than I’m used to. (The last time I made a pavlova, it was a more traditionally large, fluffy cake-like dessert) However, they were deliciously crisp and chewy, with a lovely chocolate marshmallow-like flavor. Topped with the rich cream and fresh strawberries, this was indeed a lovely summer dessert. I would love to try this again, making a large pavlova next time around. A bit thanks to Dawn for this month’s challenge!

Chocolate Pavlova

3 large egg whites

1/2 c plus 1 T granulated white sugar

1/4 c powdered sugar

1/3 c cocoa powder

Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 200 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Add the white sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whipping until the whites are stiff but not dry.

Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder over the whites, and fold gently in. This will not appear as though it will blend at first, but keep folding and it will come together.

Place into piping bag and pipe into desired shapes on the lined baking sheets. Alternatively, you can spoon out the meringue into circles and spread out evenly with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 2-3 hours (I baked mine for 2), until crisp. Allow to cool. You can store these in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Almond Butter Cream

2 c raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours in water

1/2 c agave nectar

3 T water

1 c coconut milk

1 t vanilla extract

½ t almond extract

6 T almond butter

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

Pinch sea salt

 Soak the cashews in water for at least an hour. Drain and add cashews, agave nectar, vanilla and almond extracts, and the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, into a blender. Blend until creamy, and add the coconut milk, almond butter, lemon zest, juice, and salt. Blend until smooth. Place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and store in freezer for 1 hour or until thick, stirring once or twice during that time.

To assemble pavlovas:

Top each pavlova with 1-2 tablespoons of the almond butter cream. Top with sliced strawberries and serve immediately.

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Desserts, Eggs, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian