The Ramblings of a Mad Man

Posts tagged “delicious

Gluten Free Liver & Onions

1¼ lb calves liver (be sure to use calves or veal liver, not mature beef liver), thinly sliced
½ to 1 cup of rice flour, seasoned with
Salt, pepper, paprika, dry mustard to taste
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 yellow onions, sliced thin
1 Dredge the calves liver in seasoned flour. Set aside.

2 Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add a teaspoon of butter. Sauté the onions until translucent, a couple of minutes. Remove onions from pan with a slotted spoon. Set aside onto a serving dish.

3 Add a couple teaspoons of coconut oil to the skillet. Add the calves liver slices, working in batches. Fry until browned on both sides.


Rum Soaked Chicken

My chicken was hot and rum soaked. I can’t decide if I want to call it Pirate Chicken or me. 😉

Okay, the original recipe calls for marinating the breasts overnight or slapping them on the grill. Me, being ever impatient, placed them in a vaccum seal bag, pressed the marinade into the chicken for about 4 hours, and then baked them in the bag. It comes handy if you buy the vaccum bags that you can put in the oven. It owrked out for me.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup CPT Morgan Private Stock
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 chicken breasts

Why is the rum gone? The rum is always gone...

Why is the rum gone? The rum is always gone…

The original cooking instructions from had this to say:


  1. To Bake:  Spray a 9 X 13 glass cooking dish with olive oil cooking spray coating it entirely.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a glass baking dish, cover and marinate overnite.
  3. Bake in the same dish, covered @ 375 for 45 minutes, stir.  Cover and continue baking for another 45 minutes.  Stir and continue baking for additional 10 minutes, uncovered.
  4. Serve over Jasmine rice.
  5.  BBQ:  Spray a 9 X 13 glass cooking dish with olive oil cooking spray coating it entirely.
  6. Combine all ingredients in a glass baking dish, cover and marinate overnite
  7. Spray BBQ grill with olive oil cooking spray and grill chicken for 5 minutes on each side, until chicken is no longer pink & juices run clear.  Be sure to  baste continuously with Caribbean marinade. Enjoy!

I followed the Bake instructions, minus the 24 hours of marinating time. Vacuum sealing removes the long wait time. Love it.

As a side, I made green beans and Rosemary-Garlic Red Potatoes:

Roasted baby red potatoes, partially smashed down, drizzled with a mixture of butter, garlic and rosemary, then roasted again until browned and crispy.

Roasted baby red potatoes, partially smashed down, drizzled with a mixture of butter, garlic and rosemary, then roasted again until browned and crispy.

Hallacas: These Venezuelan Tamales are a Christmas Favorite

My inlaws came info town last night and the brought an awesome treat called “Ayacas”. These things are absolutely delicious so I looked up a recipe for me to try in the future.


Hallacas are THE traditional dish for the holidays in Venezuela. This tamale-style dish is more than the center of the Christmas table in Venezuela. It is the dish every family finds a way to afford, prepare and enjoy. A Christmas table without hallacas is not a Venezuelan Nochebuena Dinner. No matter how rich or poor you are, there is a way to enjoy them: They can be prepared with friends or family, given by relatives or bought pre-made. And let’s not get hung up on the spelling: hallacas can also be spelled as hayacas.

“Ha-ya-ca” is believed to come from the Spanish expression meaning “Here there is”; other people would say the name means “from here and from there” referring to the ingredients that made the food: a meat stew with ingredients from various origins, native to Europe and Latin America, wrapped in a corn dough which in turn is covered with green plantain leaves and boiled in water. Each family’s recipe is different, typically passed from mothers to daughters, but sons get to help and learn the secrets of the hallaca.

Hallacas are prepared in groups and are lead by one person who usually gets the rest of the family together for the celebrations. Since moving to the U.S., the various family recipes, my mother’s, my mother-in-law, the friends we shared the cooking with… all have influenced this recipe. For the last 8 years or so my daughter has helped in keeping the tradition alive in our small family group, and because of the extraordinary labor required. My daughter’s friends are usually invited to the “assembly” line: Amanda who is Cuban-American, Samantha who is Jewish, Nancy Chinese… and last year my daughter’s boyfriend, Juan.

Venezuelan Hallacas – My family’s style

Tip: Since making hallacas is time intensive and ingredient-intensive, make sure to read through the recipe thoroughly before starting!

Yield: About 50 Hallacas

Ingredients for the stew:
1. 2-3 lb of finely chopped stew beef
2. 1-1½ lbs of finely chopped pork meat
3. 1 small jar of capers
4. 32 oz jar gardener’s pickled vegetables
5. 1 cup of raisins
6. 1 cup of green olives
7. 2 leeks, washed and dried
8. 2 bunch of green onions
9. 1 head of garlic, peeled
10. 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
11. Bunch of parsley
12. Bunch of cilantro
13. 2 big onions
14. 2-3 chopped tomatoes
15. 2-3 cups of chicken broth
16. Hot peppers or ají (chile) to taste
17. Salt, seasoning cubes or chicken broth cubes to taste
18. Black pepper
19. Sugar
20. Sweet red wine
21. Olive oil

Chop the meats into very small bits, mixing in a portion of 2 parts beef, one part pork, and seasoned to taste. Cut all other ingredients, either in a food processor or by hand, combining all ingredients on the list from 3 to 12 and half of the onions. In a big, deep frying pan, heat olive oil to sear onions, tomatoes and ají until half cooked then start adding the meat and vegetable mixture in alternating lumps. Use the wine and broth to keep the mixture wet and saucy. Add salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle a bit of sugar too. Once the meat is cooked, turn off heat and let it cool. When possible, I like to mix the raw meat mixture with half the condiment mix, wine and seasoning, and keep it in the refrigerator overnight to be cooked as above the following day before assembly. The assembly process can last 6 hours or longer, depending on the experience and amount of helpers.

Ingredients for the dough and assembly:
1. 2 packages of pre-cooked corn flower used for arepas brand name PAN
2. 8-10 cups of chicken broth
3. 1-2 cups of vegetable cooking oil
4. 1 cup of annatto seeds
5. Salt
6. Thinly sliced red or green peppers (about 2 cups)
7. Sliced onions (about 2 cups)
8. 32 oz jar of olives – without pits
9. Raisins
10. Parsley leaves cut in small branches
11. White peeled almonds
12. 1-2 cans of cooked chickpeas (garbanzos)
13. Cooked chicken shredded into small size pieces – from cooking the broth
14. Plantain leaves, rinsed and dried with a cloth.
15. Twine to tie the plantain leaves wrapping the dough

Assembly of the hallacas:
Once you’re ready to proceed, there are 4 big steps to follow: cook the stew, make the dough, clean the leaves and assemble the hallacas. Once the stew is cooked, start on the dough. Heat the vegetable cooking oil with onoto (annatto/achiote) seeds until the oil turns deep orange/red from the annatto. Add 2/3 of that oil to half the chicken broth, and about 2 cups of water and 1 package of corn flour. Add salt to taste and keep adding more flour, broth, water and oil until achieving a soft consistency that can be molded easily. Separate the dough in fist-size balls and keep them covered with a damp cloth. Even if you have access to fresh plantains leaves, it is much better using frozen ones. These are usually available at the frozen food section of most supermarkets. Defrost them outside the refrigerator, rinsing them with a clean, damp cloth. Separate the covers by size since you will need to wrap them at least in two layers. Keep them moist by covering them with a damp cloth.

In different containers, place ingredients 6-15 from the assembly list. Arrange people helping with the hallacas to work in stations around these ingredients. In a clean plantain leaf, drop some annatto oil and spread the dough very thin, add a big spoonful of stew and a bit of each decorative ingredient from list 6-15; fold the dough with the help of the leaf. Close the hallaca; cover it with another leaf and tie it with several lines of string, finishing with a knot.

Once all hallacas are tied, bring them to boil in a big pan with water and salt for about 1 hour. Repeat as needed until all the dough and stew is used. Depending of the size of the leaves, dough and generosity of the assembly line workers, the result would be about 4 to 5 dozen hallacas.

When there is left over dough, is customary to combine some stew and other ingredients and make what is called “bollitos.” Everything is mixed together and wrapped into smaller hallaca size items, tied and boiled in water for about 45 minutes. Now the tradition is to open a few hallacas from the first batch to taste and try among the cooks, and to share some with those who helped making them, as well as with family and friends. ¡Felices Fiestas!

Recipe by: Hispanic Kitchen

Gluten Free Cuban Sandwich



2 Slices of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread
4 Slices of Dill Pickles
2 Thin Slices of Roast Beef
2 Thin Slices of Ham
1 Slice of Swiss Cheese


Toast bread until crisp. Layer slices of ham and roast beef. Top with swiss cheese and pickles. Add some yellow mustard to complete the traditional taste of a Cuban sandwich (optional).

Gluten-Free Pancakes Recipe

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 10 min./batch Yield: 6 Servings

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch


2 cups Old Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Xanthan Gum

3 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, optional

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.

2. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips if desired.

3. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown.

Yield: 12 pancakes.

Note: Read all ingredient labels for possible gluten content prior to use. Ingredient formulas can change, and production facilities vary among brands. If you’re concerned that your brand may contain gluten, contact the company.

Nutritional Facts
2 pancakes (calculated without chocolate chips) equals 242 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 81 mg cholesterol, 464 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 fat.

Vegetarian Borscht

serves 6 | prep 30 min | cook 1 1/2hrs


1 onion
4 tbsp butter or olive oil
12oz/350g raw beet, cut into thin sticks,
And 1 raw beet, grated
1 carrot, cut into thin sticks
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 large fresh dill sprigs, including to garnish
4oz/115g white cabbage, shredded
Salt & pepper
2/3 cup sour cream, to garnish
Rye bread to serve (optional)


Slice the onion into rings. Melt the butter, or heat the oil, in a large, heavy bottom pan over low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes until softened. Add the beet sticks, carrot, celery, and tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes.

Snip the dill sprigs. Add the stock, vinegar, sugar, and a table spoon of dill into the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 35-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.



Stir in the cabbage, cover, and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the grated beet, with any juices, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Ladle into warmed bowls. Garnish with a spoonful of sour cream and another table spoon of snipped dill and serve with rye bread, if desired.

For a more substantial soup, add 2 diced potatoes with the cabbage to the pan. Cook for an additional 10 minutes before adding the grated beet.



Gluten Free Fried Chicken Recipe

Oh yes, this is happening soon!

Gluten Free Fried Chicken Recipe

3 -4 pounds cut up chicken pieces
1 quart buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon Tabasco (or other hot sauce)
1 cup superfine white or brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato or tapioca starch
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus more for seasoning the chicken
½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning the chicken
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
Vegetable oil

Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish and pour on the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and pat dry with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Whisk the eggs together in a bowl with the Tabasco.

In another bowl whisk together the flour, starch, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture then shake off the excess egg and coat well with the flour mixture. Push the flour into the chicken to coat well. Place on a plate and once all the chicken is coated let sit for 5 minutes. Coat the chicken in the flour mixture again.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place a wire cooling rack on top. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Fill a large, deep frying pan or Dutch oven halfway with oil. Insert a frying or candy thermometer. Heat oil to 380 degrees. Once the oil is to temperature, carefully lower the chicken into the hot oil, do not crowd the pan. Let cook for 4 minutes and flip over. Cook for 4 more minutes. You may have to adjust the temperature to keep the oil at 380 degrees. Remove the cooked chicken and place on the cooling rack, sprinkle with a little salt. Place in oven to keep warm while finishing up the rest of the chicken. Let the oil come back up to temperature and repeat with remaining chicken.

This gluten free recipe serves 6-8 people.


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
2 cups chicken stock (or juices from the roasted turkey)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a pan on low to medium-low heat. When it has completely melted, sprinkle in the rice flour in small handfuls. Stir and stir. When you have added all the flour and the mixture has become coherent (see picture above), let it cook in the pan for two to three minutes, stirring all the while. When it has cooked, it will be solidified and have a tinge of brown. Take the roux off the heat and let it rest for a moment.

Put the roux back on low to medium heat. Slowly, in small amounts, add the chicken stock (or turkey juices), whisking the mixture vigorously until all the liquid has been absorbed in the roux. Continue to do this, in small drizzles, until the roux has expanded and liquified into gravy. This will take awhile, perhaps ten minutes or so. Be patient. When you have reached the consistency you desire for the gravy, add salt and pepper. Taste the gravy, and season according to your taste. Take it off the burner and serve it, immediately.