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Gluten-free Blizzard Brunch

December 27, 2010

When a snow storm hits Boston, what better way to celebrate than an impromptu gluten-free brunch? Mark and I decided to take this week off from work to relax and renew after a long semester. It feels like it has been forever since we talked about anything that didn’t have to do with marketing audits, excel spreadsheets, cost accounting and other fun MBA concepts. So this week is about art museums, yoga, sleep, friends and food.

Our fridge is packed with delicious fresh ingredients from Trader Joe’s. Instead of our usual “plan everything” busy schedules, we’ve been taking a “have fun and see where the meal takes us” approach this week. First we thought it would be fun to try baking some new breads from scratch. I’d like to say we were wildly successful, but anyone who has tried gf bread making knows that gf yeast breads are very hard to work with. Two loaves went to the birds, but the Brazilian cheesy bread (yeast free) was quite successful and very tasty. We also broke the Jewish Christmas tradition of Chinese food, and instead had a candle lit dinner of sun-dried tomato, arugula and goat cheese pasta with a side of grilled asparagus. (For the pasta, see America’s Test Kitchen Simple Recipes pg. 252)

Snow bound in our home and happy to stay here for days, we decided to make brunch out of all of our left overs; poached eggs, chilled asparagus, Brazilian cheesy bread, clementines and grape tomatoes.  A simple way to start a delicious snowy day.

Poached Eggs:

I have had many unsuccessful attempts at making poached eggs. Determined to succeed I even purchased egg poaching cups in hopes that these would improve my remedial egg poaching skills. Fail! Finally, after many experiments, success. To poach 4 eggs, boil 4 cups of water and 1 tbl of cider vinegar in a sauce pan. I use my All-Clad braiser pan. When the water is boiling, turn it to a low simmer. Crack one egg into a saucer and quickly slide the whole egg into the water. Repeat with the 3 remaining eggs. If the eggs begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, gently loosen them with a spoon. When the eggs are finished cooking (about 10 min), remove them with a slotted spoon. Place them on a paper towel to fry for a minute before serving.

Grilled Asparagus:

Preheat your broiler or grill. Wash and dry the asparagus. Snap off the woody ends and discard. Lightly spray asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle salt. Place them under a broiler or on the grill. Keep a close watch so as not to let them burn. Turn the spears so that they brown evenly. A little black char is ok. Remove from heat and serve. In the case of this brunch, the asparagus was served cold the next day.

Brazilian Cheesy Bread:
2 egg
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup water
2 cups tapioca flour
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tsp minced garlic
1 teaspoon of salt

Preheat oven to 400 F. Whisk together eggs, milk, water and oil. Slowly incorporate the flour and salt. Using your hands, mix in the cheese and garlic. The texture will feel like cottage cheese. If making a baguette, stretch the dough out onto an ungreased cooking sheet. If making rolls, drop spoonfuls into muffin tins. Bake for 15 min until the bread is golden brown. Allow the bread to completely cool before serving. For this brunch, we toasted the day old cheesy bread before serving it.

So this is how we spent our morning before heading out to shovel the snow. What is your favorite gluten-free brunch? Please share in the comments below.

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