Tag Archives: pate a choux

A Gluten-Free Food Blogger Brunch (and Basil Chicken Pesto Salad Puffs)

 

Yesterday, a group of Dallas-area food bloggers and friends got together for our first-ever gluten-free brunch, hosted by Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. It was an intimate party (there were five of us), and boy, was it a lovely meal, and an excellent opportunity to meet other gluten-free bloggers. Also attending the brunch was Amy of I Am A Celiac, Kerri of Food Sparks, and Katie, a gluten-free friend that does not blog (yet – we might convince her otherwise).

For those of us with dietary restrictions, sometimes pot lucks and meals at others’ houses can cause anxiety, (will I get sick?) or cause many of us to not eat at all. Not so at this brunch! What a delight to visit and everything is gluten-free! There was certainly an abundance of food.

Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free made cucumber basil water (posted on her blog), which is the most amazing, refreshing drink I think I’ve had to date. Definitely seeing this served in the near future in my house. She also baked up a storm, making two varieties of scones, blueberry crumb bars, (which I loved – even took a few home!) and strawberry muffins.

Amy of I Am A Celiac brought deliciously savory gluten-free jalapeno sausage, black beans and roasted potatoes, and a baked good from the nearby gluten-free bakery (for the life of me, I can’t think of or find the name of the place!).

Katie brought a lovely fruit salad and deviled eggs (complete with homemade mayonnaise!), and Kerri brought fresh juices and some homemade jams – strawberry and raspberry chipotle.

And I brought these.

Basil chicken pesto salad puffs. I used my gluten-free, dairy-free pate a choux recipe, and filled the puffs with chicken salad. I wanted a fresh, unique chicken salad, and since my garden is currently overflowing with basil, I opted for pesto as a main component. I found that Alisa at Go Dairy Free had a dairy-free pesto recipe that was very easy to make. I followed this recipe, and boosted the flavors and complexity with the addition of sun-dried tomatoes, apples, walnuts, lemon, and a bit of dijon. I added mayonnaise, but not much – just enough to keep the salad moist and blend the flavors together. Stuffed into the puffs, this salad was bright, slightly sweet, and fresh.

It was most refreshing to enjoy time with fellow bloggers (and fellow gluten-free friends). Spending time with like minds who share the same passions rejuvenates the soul. I returned home with renewed energy and new ideas. We’ll have to get together again soon!

Basil Chicken Pesto Salad Puffs

2 T olive oil

2 lbs chicken breasts

Salt and pepper

1 recipe gluten-free, dairy-free cream puffs

1 recipe dairy-free basil pesto

1/2 c mayonnaise

1 1/2 t dijon mustard

1/3 c sundried tomatoes, chopped

1/4 c toasted walnuts, chopped

2 apples (I used Fuji, but I imagine Granny Smith would be even better), peeled and diced

1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large, heavy skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat until shimmering. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and saute, 5-6 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. (Work in batches if you need to) Remove and set aside. When all chicken is cooked, place in airtight container and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Prepare cream puffs as directed in recipe and allow to cool to room temperature.

Prepare pesto as directed in recipe.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and dice into 1/2 inch dice. Stir together pesto, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard. Toss apples in juice from the lemon. Combine diced chicken, pesto mixture, apples, sundried tomatoes, and walnuts in a large bowl and stir gently until evenly mixed. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut a small hole in the top of each cream puff. Gently spoon chicken salad into each cream puff, filling the entire inside cavity. Chill until ready to serve. (These can be refrigerated for a few hours, but the cream puff will become soft over time.)

Makes 15-18.

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Filed under Appetizers, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes

Kids in the Kitchen: Gluten-Free Churros

I called Matt last week, pressing him, trying to figure out what he decided to make for his upcoming turn in the kitchen. Churros, he said. Most kids don’t ask for churros – and it surprised me that he considered such a thing. I’ve only made churros once, as an experiment, and they didn’t exactly turn out all that well. And those were with wheat flour. These would have to be gluten-free churros. This would definitely be an experiment again. I said yes. We hung up the phone, and I immediately started searching for gluten-free pate a choux recipes.

Pate a choux (pronounced paht ah shoo) is a cooked pastry dough that is used for many of the most elegant of pastries – profiteroles, eclairs, crullers, gougeres, and yes, churros. While I’ve experimented with gluten-free baking, I haven’t spent much effort in other pastries, so this was definitely outside of my comfort zone. Good thing I had Shauna at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef to rescue me. She posted a pate a choux recipe back in 2006. I love when I can stumble upon gluten-free recipes that are kitchen-tested, and I know her recipes are.

But wait. What are churros, you ask? Churros are possibly one of the best sweet treats in the world. Originally from Spain, but also popular among Latin American cultures, churros are fried dough strips, often sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and many times, served with chocolate dipping sauce. Here in Texas, I’ve had versions with cajeta, a caramel sauce, injected in the center. Heaven.

We opted to go the easy route, and just sprinkle our churros with cinnamon and sugar. I followed Shauna’s recipe pretty closely, not wanting to become too experimental in unknown territory. Once the pate a choux was ready, we scooped it into a pastry bag with the end snipped off (I tried to use my star tip, but the resulting churros were way too skinny). We piped lengths of dough into hot oil, a few at a time, and fried for a few minutes until browned. Matt invited his friend over to help, and so we took turns piping the dough into the oil, and Matt and his friend sugared the churros as they were cool enough to touch. (They thoroughly enjoyed that part!)

Verdict? Better than my previous gluten-filled attempt. I would still like for them to be crispier than they were, but the kids gobbled them up. I have a feeling this won’t be the last of churro-making at the Tasty Eats household.

Gluten-Free Churros, adapted from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

32 oz canola oil

1/2 c water

1/2 stick unsalted butter

2 T sugar

1/8 t salt

1/4 c white rice flour

2 T sweet rice flour

2 T tapioca flour

3 large eggs

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/2 c sugar

1/2 t ground cinnamon

Place oil in a large heavy pot and heat to 360 degrees.

Meanwhile, place the water, butter, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. As soon as butter is melted, mix in the gluten-free flours, stirring with a wooden spoon, until ingredients are incorporated together. A crust will develop in the bottom of the pan. Don’t worry – this is supposed to happen. When the mixture is ready, it will become a ball of dough, pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.

Place the dough in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer running, add one egg. Let the mixer run until the egg has been incorporated into the dough. Add the next egg and mix until it has been incorporated. Repeat with the third egg. Add the vanilla and stir. (You can opt to do this by hand as well, if you don’t have a mixer.)

The dough will be soft, but not runny. Place in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip (or do as we did, and just snip off the end). Pipe dough into the hot oil, making each churro about 5 inches long. Allow to brown in the oil for a minute or two, and flip over to brown the other side. When browned, remove with a slotted spoon or skimmer and place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining dough.

In a shallow bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dredge churros in sugar mixture. Serve warm.

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Filed under Baked goods, breakfast, Desserts, Gluten-Free