Monday, August 10, 2009

Kay's Fish Pie

This is a "fishy" version of Shepherd's Pie from Kay, and it's amazing! I've only made it once so far, and I used tilapia instead of cod, but we loved it! Hubby ate some of the leftovers for breakfast the next morning! :)

Please visit Kay's site to see her wonderful step-by-step pictures of this recipe.

It was very easy to convert it to be gluten and casein free.

UPDATE (9/1/09): I've made it twice more, the last time with cod, which was wonderful too!


Mashed potato topping:

1 1/2 lbs potatoes
roughly 2/3 cup of milk (rice milk works if you prefer)
2 T butter (omit butter if casein free)
salt, pepper, nutmeg

Fish/Vegetable Filling:

14 - 16 oz white fish (cod and tilapia both work)
1 1/2 cup milk (again, rice milk or almond milk or whatever will be OK)
2/3 cup vegetable (or fish or chicken) broth
1 1/2 cups green peas
1 small onion
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1 large carrot
1 lemon
flat-leaf parsley
cheese (you'll have to omit the cheese or use rice or soy cheese to be casein free)

White Sauce:

4-5 T sweet rice flour
3 oz butter (or organic shortening or coconut oil if casein free)
1/2 tsp salt
white pepper


Peel, salt, boil and mash the potatoes. Season them with butter, a pinch of salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg, and set aside.

I used frozen tilapia; Kay used frozen cod. NOTE: according to Kay, what really gives a fish pie a major boost is adding some salmon, about 5 oz or so.

Place the fish in a deep pan—Kay always uses her Dutch oven for this—and pour in the milk and broth. You can use vegetable, chicken, or fish broth for it. I used chicken broth because that's what I had on hand.

Peel the medium onion, cut it in half and stick 3 cloves in one half. I know it seems a bit different, but this is how Kay's grandma did it.

Put the clove-studded onion in with the fish, clove side down, and season the liquid with 1/2 tsp salt and one fairly large bay leaf. Bring it to a boil and simmer covered over low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes. Until the fish starts to flake.

In the mean time peel and coarsely grate 1 large carrot and dice the other half of the onion.

Another frozen item: 1 1/2 cup green peas. Kay says that she absolutely prefers frozen peas over fresh ones. I used frozen peas as well.

Chop a big handful of flat-leaf parsley. About 4 T. chopped.

In the mean time the fish should be done. Move it to a plate. Don't pour the cooking liquid out! You'll need it to make the sauce with. Discard the onion and bay leaf and sieve the liquid.

To make the sauce, melt 3 oz of butter and whisk in 4 to 5 T sweet rice flour. Cook the roux for a minute or two (over low heat), then slowly whisk in the sieved cooking liquid until you’ve reached a sauce consistency you like. You may or may not need all of the cooking liquid.

Season the sauce with salt (1/2 tsp for me), white pepper and simmer for another 3 minutes. Just set it aside while you prepare the vegetables. Tip: you may add a splash of white wine for a more adult type of fish pie! :)

Heat a small amount of oil and saute the carrots and onions for about 5 minutes, until soft. Don’t let them brown, though. Add the green peas and let the veggie mixture heat through for a few more minutes.

Grate and add the zest of half a lemon and squeeze in some lemon juice as well, about 1 or 2 tbsp. Also get the chopped parsley in there.

Transfer the vegetables to the oven dish (I used a round glass baking dish with fairly high sides), add the fish and carefully break it up with a spatula. Be gentle, though, don’t stir that poor fish like a maniac. You want the fish to still be in chunks when you're done. Pour the white sauce in there and mix it in gently.

Top it with the mashed potatoes. Kay says she always uses a fork to draw some stripes on the top of the potato layer. Top the mashed potatoes with a generous amount of cheese. Cheddar and Gouda both work really well for this, but I wouldn’t go for a very sharp (aged) cheese. It just doesn’t really add to the laid back flavors of the fish pie. NOTE: I used a mixture of medium cheddar and gruyere.

Bake the casserole at 350F (175C) for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown.

Wow....this is REAL comfort food!! My whole family loved it, even my three-year-old son! Good way to get him to eat vegetables....

The Perfect Meatloaf

This recipe probably came from a magazine....the title of this post, "The Perfect Meatloaf", was the name of the original recipe (wherever it was that I found it). "Perfect" may be a little bit of an exaggeration but it is a good recipe!

I've had it for many years and have made it many dozens of times. I've made a few changes to the recipe to make it "mine", but if anyone recognizes it and knows where the original came from, let me know so I can give credit where credit is due! :)

Note: I usually omit the ground veal and just use 1 1/2 lbs of ground chuck and 1/2 lb ground pork.


1/2 cup gluten-free ketchup (Heinz is gf)
4 T. brown sugar
4 tsp vinegar (I usually use either cider or white)

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 med. onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is gf in USA, but not in Canada!)
1/4 tsp gf hot sauce
1/2 cup milk (can use rice milk, almond milk, soy milk, whatever)
1 lb ground chuck
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground veal
2/3 cup gf cracker or bread crumbs (I have used Glutino crackers, crushed, or my own homemade gluten free bread, finely crumbled)
1/3 cup finely minced fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Glaze: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Meatloaf: Heat oil in skillet, add onion and saute until almost soft (5 min), then add garlic and saute another minute or so. Set skillet aside to cool.

Mix eggs with salt, pepper, thyme, mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and milk. Add to meat in large bowl along with cracker or bread crumbs, minced parsley, and onion/garlic mixture. Mix with fork until well blended and mixture doesn't stick to the bowl. Add a little more milk if it sticks.

With wet hands pat into approximately 9" by 5" loaf shape, place in foil-line baking pan for easy clean-up. Brush with 1/2 the glaze and bake until top is crisp, about an hour. Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with remaining glaze.

NOTE: This recipe is casein free if you use non-dairy milk (such as rice or soy) and if the bread or cracker crumbs are casein free. We frequently use Pamela's Amazing Wheat-Free Bread Mix, which is casein free.

Edit (10/20/09): for a grain free version, use grain free bread crumbs. For example, smash up almond or coconut flour biscuits to make the crumbs. You can also substitute 2 T agave nectar for the 4 T brown sugar in the glaze (a little healthier).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kay's Pasta Gratin (gluten free version)

This recipe is from Kay, and as is usual with her recipes, it's awesome!! It was very easy to modify to be gluten free.


1 pound sausage (I used gluten free Italian sausage)
1 pound broccoli
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp chicken broth
1/2 pound gluten free shell pasta
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
gluten free breadcrumbs
grated Parmesan

Cheese Sauce:

3 tbsp butter
3-5 tbsp sweet rice flour
3 cups milk
4 oz cheese
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt


Mince the onion and grate or mince the garlic cloves. Cut the broccoli in small florets. (You could also make this dish with cauliflower btw.)

Heat a tsp of olive oil and cook the onions in a large skillet, over medium heat, for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add 2 tsp oregano and 1 tsp dried basil to the onions. Cook for an additional minute to get the flavors going.

Remove casings from the Italian sausages and add the sausage to the pan; break it up with a spatula. Cook over low to medium heat, until it starts to lose its rawness.

In the mean time cook the pasta. You can use any type of gluten free shell pasta for this. Cook the pasta in salted water according to the instructions on the package.

If there’s a lot of fat coming out of the sausage, drain it. Add the broccoli and cook for a few minutes while stirring. Spoon in 4 tbsp chicken (or vegetable broth), pop the lid on and simmer the meat and broccoli over low heat for about 5 minutes.

Time to whip up the sauce. Heat 3 oz butter and add 5 slightly heaping tbsp flour. Cook for a minute to neutralize the rawness of the flour.

Pour in 2 cups of milk and keep a third cup nearby. Bring the sauce to a boil while gently stirring. Bit by bit, add the third cup of milk until you reach a consistency you like. You may or may not use all of that third cup.

Spike the sauce with 2 tsp Dijon mustard and add salt to taste—I’ve added 1 tsp salt, just keep in mind we’ll also be adding cheese! Let the sauce simmer, over very low heat, for a few minutes.

The pasta and meat should be done by now. Drain the pasta and remove the meat from the stove and set aside.

Finish the sauce with pepper, a good pinch of cayenne and the grated cheese. You can use Parmesan, Gouda, Gruyere or even cheddar for this. Any type of cheese you like. Or be adventurous and mix two types of cheese (I have used a mixture of Parmesan and white cheddar).

Now either add the pasta to the meat & broccoli in the skillet, or add the meat and broccoli to the pasta pot, or even transfer things to an oven dish and mix it there. Your call.

After the pasta, meat and broccoli mixture are well blended, dump it all into a 13" by 9" non-stick baking pan and pour the cheese sauce over all. Yum!!

Sprinkle some gluten free breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan on top of everything.

Put the pasta in a preheated oven and bake at 400F (200C) for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly hot and golden brown on top.

I've made this recipe twice now, and it is FANTASTIC! My family loves it!

Crockpot Pesto Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is from Stephanie, who has SO many wonderful gluten-free Crockpot recipes on her blog! If you're not already familiar with her, you should visit her blog site immediately! :)

I'm making this today!


for the pesto:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
4 garlic cloves
2 cups fresh basil
2 tablespoons pinenuts, or walnuts, or sunflower seeds
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 - 6 chicken thighs, or breast halves
sliced mozzarella cheese
aluminum foil or parchment paper
4 small sweet potatoes, well scrubbed, skin on


In a food processor or blender, combine the ingredients for the pesto. When liquidy, taste. If you need to add more citrus or salt or pepper, do so now.

In the bottom of a large slow cooker, arrange chicken pieces. You can use frozen chicken. Layer on slices of mozzarella cheese. Pour pesto evenly on top. Cover with a layer of foil or parchment paper. Scrub sweet potatoes well, prick with a fork, and lay them on top of the paper or foil. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4-5. If your chicken is frozen it will take a bit longer.

If you're using fresh chicken, and your sweet potatoes are quite large, you may choose to swap layers, and put the sweet potatoes on the bottom. Newer slow cookers cook from the sides as well as from the bottom, but some people swear the stuff on the bottom cooks faster.

Carefully remove the sweet potatoes with tongs, and remove foil or parchment. The steam that comes out will be quite hot, keep small children away.


Beef Stroganoff

I found this recipe on RecipeZaar and altered it slightly to be gluten free. I should mention that Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is gluten free in the United States, but (oddly enough) is NOT gluten free in Canada!

You can cook it on the stove in the traditional manner, or use the Crockpot. Instructions for both methods are included.


1 1/2 lbs stew meat (tenderized works best)
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (or gluten free substitute)
1 container sour cream, divided
white wine (as needed for taste)
Worcestershire sauce (as needed for taste)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
milk (if needed)
sweet rice flour (if needed)
cooked gluten-free egg noodles

Directions (stove top):

Heat butter in large skillet. Add stew meat, cook on medium heat until browned, stirring often. Remove meat from skillet and set aside. Add onion and saute in the butter until almost soft, a few minutes. Add mushrooms, and cook until onion is soft but not browned and mushrooms are slightly wilted.

Put meat back into pan, add cream of mushroom soup, wine, worcestershire sauce, garlic and pepper. Stir constantly until soup thins out. Decrease heat to low, cover and simmer.

This can simmer anywhere from 1 to 4 hrs depending on the texture of the beef; you want it to be tender. Towards the end of the cooking time, you can add sweet rice flour to thicken it or milk to thin it out as needed. When almost done add half of the tub of sour cream.

Serve over cooked egg noodles (or rice or mashed potatoes) with the remainder of the sour cream as a topping.

Directions (Crockpot):

Add meat, chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup (or gluten free substitute), wine, worcestershire sauce, garlic and pepper to the Crockpot. Stir well.

Cook for approximately 8 - 10 hours on Low, or 5 - 6 hours on High. You can add sweet rice flour (or cornstarch dissolved in a little milk or water) to thicken it or milk to thin it out as needed. At the end of the cooking time, turn off the Crockpot and allow to cool to the point where the stroganoff is barely simmering, then add half of the tub of sour cream.

Serve over cooked gluten free egg noodles (or rice or mashed potatoes) with the remainder of the sour cream as a topping.

Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup - gluten free substitute

This sauce can be used in recipes as a substitute for condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup. I found it at this site and modified it to be gluten free.


1 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. sweet rice flour

1/2 cup any broth

1/2 cup milk (can use regular, soy, rice, almond, or whatever you have)

mushrooms, chopped and sauteed (I used about 1/2 pound)

salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter in a saucepan over med-low heat.
Whisk in flour a little at a time until smooth, then remove from heat. Add broth and milk a little at a time, stirring to keep mixture smooth. Stir in mushrooms.

Return to heat and bring sauce to a gentle boil; stir constantly until sauce thickens.
Add salt and pepper to taste.