About Anne's Favourites

I have almost half a century of experience creating beautiful food in the kitchen. An undergraduate degree in Nutrition at the University of Guelph and 7 years as a bakery owner expanded my experience with food which culminated in the creation of "Anne's Favourite's", a comprehensive collection of my favourite recipes.

Kwan’s Chicken Wings

Kwan’s Chicken Wings

When nostalgic recollections in Lucknow turn to Kwan’s Sunday Chinese Buffet the most sadly missed item seems to be the chicken wings. We have not found a restaurant that compares so I decided it was time to try making them myself since Wyatt had shared their secret with me. They are the perfect gluten-free chicken wing because there are only 5   ingredients and at home I can be sure nothing has contaminated the cooking oil.

Kwan’s Wings – click here for pdf version of recipe

2 lb    chicken wings, cut in 3 pieces, discarding the tips (or use in your dashi stock)

1 1/2 Tbsp gluten-free soya sauce

1/2     tsp sesame oil (if you do not have it substitute any vegetable oil but it will not have                the same flavour)

1/2     tsp salt

1/2    tsp garlic salt or 1/4 tsp garlic powder

1       Tbsp potato starch

  • Whisk together soya sauce, oil, salt, garlic powder and potato starch and pour over wings in a plastic bag or bowl. Turn or stir several times to coat wings while marinating for about an hour before cooking.
  • Heat oil in deep fryer to 375 degrees and cook in batches of about 10 so the oil does not drop too much in temperature. Cook for about 7 – 10 minutes depending on the size of wings and your fryer. Raise wings several times to turn them over and prevent sticking to the basket.

Eat them as soon as they cool. They do not require any dipping sauce but if you like a little extra  flavour try some Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping.

 

Best Banana Muffins – Vegan style

These banana muffins never disappoint! I adapted this lower sugar version of the Muffin Mania Banana Muffins in the 80’s and have been making them probably every month since in one version or another. When I had to switch to gluten-free flour they made the transition almost seamlessly. With my flour mix and a teaspoon of xanthan gum I am not afraid to take them to the shop for coffee break (especially if I make the chocolate chunk version). So when my niece was coming for a visit and I had some nice ripe bananas (the secret ingredient) I thought I would try them with a flax egg substitute to suit her vegan diet. I was not disappointed – they were great with fresh and dried cranberries for added flavour. I would make these if I were out of eggs anytime!

Vegan Banana Cranberry Muffins – for pdf version click here Vegan Banana Muffins

1 Tbsp ground flax seed*
2 1/2 Tbsp water *
1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp GF baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed, about 1 1/4 cups
1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
3/4 cup fresh, frozen or dried cranberries or combination

* the flax and water replaces one egg – if you are not vegan you may use an egg instead

  • Whisk water into flax seed in a small bowl and let sit while preparing rest of ingredients (at least 5 minutes) until thickened.
  • Sift flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  • Stir flax mixture and margarine into bananas until blended then pour over sifted dry ingredients.
  • Add cranberries and mix until evenly distributed.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin pans using a 1/4 cup measure or a 2 1/4 ounce scoop for 9 large muffins or a 7/8 oz scoop for 30 mini-muffins.
  • Bake at 365°F for 25 minutes (less for mini-muffins)until muffin springs back when lightly touched.

Maple Creme Brulée

Maple Creme Brulee

If you like custard you will love this Canadian treat.

I adapted this recipe from the Bistro Champlain’s recipe published in Flavours of Canada as a way to use the 8 egg yolks left from making meringues or Dede Wilson’s Essential Buttercream for a special occasion.

If you do not have leftover yolks you can always freeze the egg whites in quantities you will use. I often substitute an egg white for water when adapting a recipe using gluten-free flour because they give structure to your baked goods. Label it with the number of whites and the date you froze it. If you do not think you will use them individually save them all together and plan to make pavlova for a midwinter treat!

Maple Creme Brulée

1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup maple sugar or brown sugar

  • If you are using a real vanilla bean place it with the milk and cream before you scald it then let it sit until you have prepared the remaining ingredients. Remove it, cut it open and scrape the seeds into the milk before you whisk it into the egg mixture.
  • Whisk egg yolks, maple syrup and vanilla extract (if you are using it in place of the vanilla bean) in a bowl until evenly mixed.
  • Slowly whisk in hot milk mixture and pour evenly into 8 prepared custard cups.
  • Place filled cups into an oven proof baking pan and pour boiling water half way up the sides and bake at 300°F about 40 – 45 minutes until the custard is set but still creamy.
  • Remove from water bath and cool completely.
    Refrigerate until an hour before serving.
  • Blot top of custard with a paper towel if it is wet then sprinkle sugar evenly on the top
  • Broil carefully or heat with a blowtorch until sugar is melted and darkly coloured.
  • Serve with sweetened whipped cream, fresh berries and a mint leaf if you like.

Serves 8

Almost Famous Cheddar Biscuits – Gluten-free!

Kathy Knechtel brought these delicious cheddar biscuits, reminiscent of the Red Lobster specialty, to a dinner party and the young people were lining up for seconds and thirds without having to eat gluten-free! They are easy to make using the new Betty Crocker Bisquick Gluten-free mix!

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/gluten-free-cheese-garlic-biscuits/781e1a42-c051-4ab9-bd5e-ac38c7588bc0

  • I don’t keep garlic powder because it goes hard before I use it up so I just used one clove of fresh garlic, crushed, in the butter for flavour and brushed a bit of the flavoured, melted butter on the pan where I was dropping a biscuit. It gave it lots of garlic flavour.
  • I used a little more grated cheese, maybe 3/4 cup and sprinkled some on top.
  • Kathy used buttermilk and I made them with regular milk and buttermilk and liked the buttermilk better but if you don’t have it on hand I would not hesitate to make them with plain milk.
  • Kathy add a few Tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley to the dough and in the butter topper and it made them perfect.

I will try them with a scratch biscuit mix and add some pictures to this blog later but I wanted to get the word out on this special treat for people on a gluten-free diet. It sure fits the bill for something to go with a hearty soup meal as the cool weather descends.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Here is a wonderful way to enjoy the sweet, local watermelon at the markets now. Cut a a piece to save for slicing and use the rest in this delicious soup that will keep for several days in the refrigerator. A lovely change from sandwiches for lunch and packed with fresh vitamins and goodness.

Watermelon Gazpacho click here for pdf version

Nick brought this delicious summer soup to Sherborne Lake and it was an instant hit with our family. So refreshing on a hot summer day served as an appetizer as suggested in the LCBO Food and Drink magazine (summer 2013) where it originated or as the main dish at lunch.

8 cups seedless watermelon, cubed (about 5 lb)
1 Tbsp wine or sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce or 1 tsp Sriracha to taste
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup sweet pepper, diced, any colour
Garnish (optional):
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp lime rind, finely grated
AND/OR fresh basil or mint or chives, chopped

• Reserve 2 cups of watermelon and dice into 1/2 inch pieces.
• Puree 6 cups of the watermelon in a food processor or blender
• Add vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, hot pepper sauce and salt and pulse several times to mix.
• Transfer to a bowl and stir in reserved watermelon, cucumber, onion and sweet pepper.
• Taste and adjust seasoning then chill.
• You may serve the soup just as it is or with some fresh chopped basil or mint and but it is especially good if you make the garnish and top it with a spoonful before serving.
• Prepare garnish by mixing yogurt, lime jiuce and rind and spoon on top as desired! Finish with a sprinkling of fresh mint, basil or chives or a combination of any.
• Makes 8 servings

Pork Schnitzel

Pork tenderloin is on sale and corn on the cob is fresh at the market or farm gate – a perfect pairing for summer! Just add a baked sweet potato or a slice of vine ripened tomato, some applesauce on the side and dinner is complete. Satisfyingly simple and suitable for a single person or a family. Freeze any remaining schnitzel for another quick meal after a hard day.

Pork Schnitzel

Ellen La Marre taught me this quick and easy way to prepare my own schnitzel so I am able to use gluten-free crumbs and enjoy this simple meal again.

Cut a pork tenderloin into pieces about 2-3 inches long and flatten to ¼ inch. I use a wooden rolling pin with good results.

Dip pieces into a beaten egg then coat with fine gluten-free cracker or bread crumbs. Lay flat on waxed paper.

Fry in a little olive oil and butter until slightly browned and meat is cooked through. This only takes about 5 minutes on each side. If you have any extra schnitzel freeze them separately on waxed paper.

 

Tip:

 I always keep a bag of crumbs from the crusts of bread and broken crackers in the bottom of the package. When you have a cup or more just throw them in the food processor or blender so they are uniform. Sometimes you have to heat the crumbs and dry them a little before they will crumble properly.

 

Black Bean Brownies

I needed a gluten-free, vegan brownie recipe for my niece’s shower and found two excellent recipes.

Check them out on these blogs:

Vegan, Gluten-free Black Bean Brownies from the Minimalist Baker – Who would believe that a can of black beans and some cocoa could taste this good!!

Vegan Zucchini Brownies from Chocolate Covered Katie, The Healthy Dessert Blog

I made these in mini muffin pans and topped them with a small swirl of vanilla “butter” cream frosting (made with margarine and almond milk)


 

 

 

Gluten-free Breakfast Mix

This nutritious mixture of grains and fruit was inspired by Holy Crap to replace my morning oatmeal or muesli after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. The Canadian Celiac Association recommends avoiding oatmeal, even the gluten-free products, the first year or so after diagnosis until normal blood indicators are obtained.

 

I mix a large container of this whole grain cereal blend and stir a quarter cup into a bowl of yogurt with a cup of whatever fruit is in season or some chopped apple, banana or frozen berries. I have mixed applesauce or leftover cranberry sauce with plain Greek yogurt for a nice change in the winter. I think it is a great way to start the day!

 

Gluten-free Breakfast Mix

 

  • 1 3/4  cups hemp hearts (227 g)
  • 2  cups chia seeds, black or white (330 g)
  • 3  cups whole buckwheat or kasha (500 g)
  • 1  cup ground flax seed
  • 2  cups dried cranberries and /or raisins
  • 2  cups chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts (optional)

 

Stir everything together in a large pot or bowl then store in a sealed container. Mix with yogurt and fruit for a nutritious and delicious breakfast!

 

Barbequed Brined Turkey Breast

  • Russ introduced us to technique of brining the turkey after being taught by his Mother-in-law, Maria. When we tried it we found it took turkey to a whole new level of flavour and moistness which is even more noticeable in the leftovers! The first year I tried it for an O’Neil Thanksgiving celebration for about 50 relatives and had a panic attack since you must realize the extra moisture retained by the bird makes the roasting time longer! The 26 pound turkey did not start cooking until the guests were already arriving. Luckily they stayed long enough to enjoy the results. Now we use a simple brine for our chicken and turkey whenever we are roasting it.

Brined turkey 2

When I saw a recipe online that brined a turkey breast before barbequing I was on my way to a new favourite that would rival Marg’s pork tenderloin and Dad’s flank steak for a “go to” recipe for family and friends. It is equally appropriate for a week night dinner as it is as a main feature for company but more importantly it is so simple and always delicious. I could not imagine finding another recipe for the new gluten-free cookbook I am working on that would be on that level right down to the added bonus of providing leftovers for lunches that cannot be beat.

For our Mother’s Day gathering with family we brined up 3 large turkey breasts and marinated 2 flank steaks and took them to a Mother’s Day gathering for our family where Cliff was able to enjoy one of the first beautiful days of spring while he barbequed and visited! They were so delicious but there was only enough leftover for Grandma and Grandpa today.

You do not have to wait for special occasions to enjoy roast turkey for dinner you just need for your local grocer or butcher to have it on the meat counter. Thank you to Knechtel Food Market for having this specialty available so often. I was too busy enjoying the day yesterday to get a good photo of the turkey and sweet potatoes on the BBQ so the photo I have was taken in the middle of winter when Cliff could not reach the BBQ for 4 feet of snow – no problem – this turkey is lovely roasted in a slow oven for several hours too!

If you see turkey breast at the grocer my advice is to buy two because you will want to try it again soon!

Barbequed Brined Turkey Breast Brined Turkey
Brined Turkey or Chicken

2 turkey breast halves, with or without bone
1 cups water
2 Tbsp pickling salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
1 cups ice
1 bay leaves
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme leaves if you have them or 1/4 tsp of any or all of the above dried as desired

  • Boil water, salt, sugar and peppercorns together until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and add ice to cool
  • When brine is cooled to room temperature cover turkey in a plastic bag with liquid and turn to coat. Place in a pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours before cooking.
  • Preheat BBQ to 325 degrees F and place drained turkey breast skin side up on the grill for 45 to 60 minutes until a meat thermometer reaches 150 degrees F.
  • Turn the breast over and continue to grill for another 10 – 15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 172 – 180 degrees F.
  • Remove from grill and let sit at least 10 minutes before slicing.

I love to serve this with baked sweet potatoes and homemade cranberrie sauce!
Serve 8

Triple Chocolate Cookies

If you are looking for a gluten-free cookie to make this March break and you like a little chocolate then these Triple Chocolate Cookies should be a hit. They took very little experimentation to come up with a gluten-free version of the original recipe. I just switched my gluten-free all purpose flour mix for both the wheat flours and added 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum and 1 Tablespoon of sour cream.

I made a double batch so I could share but they were so good they disappeared before they could be delivered to the deserving parties!
IMG_9861

Triple Chocolate Cookies Triple Chocolate Cookies GF2014
These are a hit with the chocolate lovers and I have found they disappear quickly from a plate of assorted cookies. You can bring these to a party and not have to apologize for being gluten-free!

1 cup margarine or butter or a mixture
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant coffee granules (optional)
2 Tbsp sour cream, yogurt or milk
2 cups GF all purpose flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white chocolate pieces
1 cup semi sweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

• Beat margarine with both sugars until smooth, being careful not to over mix.
• Add egg, vanilla, coffee and sour cream, beating until incorporated.
• Sift flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder into sugar mixture and beat until smooth. .
• Add white and dark chocolate and pecans, stirring until evenly distributed.
• Drop by dessert spoon or 7/8 oz scoop onto an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
• Bake for 10 -12 minutes at 365°F.
• They are done when the tops begin to crack and centres are somewhat set but still a little soft.
• Hide until needed!

Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies
Anne’s Favourites, Food for the Heart and Soul