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Ecuadorean Ecuadorian Tamales De Navidad - for Christmas

This is our family recipe for traditional Christmas tamales. They are nothing at all like Mexican tamales. The dough is smoother and slightly sweet. The filling is also completely different from any other kind of tamale I have ever eaten. I have given the family recipe but, of course, I have made a few changes to it. I use all butter instead of using any lard, though everyone says that they taste better if you use the lard. I usually use 4 lbs of masa flour and 12 cups broth. I use 2 large whole chickens for that quantity of masa, and 2 1/2 lbs butter, no lard, and it works out well. Of course you have to increase all other ingredients accordingly. Some stores carry Maseca instead of Masa Harina. It is just as good. Though these are very fattening and very labor intensive, they are worth it. I make the increased quantity so that I can give them away. Even the people at work like them. We make them only once a year, so forget about the diet. We all love these!
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Restaurant Style Red Beans and Rice

"Believe it or not the secret to many bean dishes is lard. Red beans are simmered, slowly, with ham hock. Then the beans and meat are processed in a food processor with spices and lard. The beans are reheated and served over rice."
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A Quick and Different Fried Fish Recipe

A Quick and Different Fried Fish Recipe

From a cottager at a northern lake, left with a pile of fresh caught fish, and no cornflake/breading material on hand!Admittedly, we use a "heart unhealthy" "lard" to fry this in, but its fantastic on tasteSize of fillets has a lot to do with the amount of breading and eggwash, so adjust accordinglyFish must be both boned and skinned!If doing as a "shore lunch", eggs and milk travel well in a stainlees thermos!
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Approaching the Perfect Pie Crust

This recipe combines my mother?s original pie crust recipe (she made the best pies in the world!) with some other experts? tricks and my own experiments. The egg and the vinegar were Mom?s secrets. The vodka is an idea from Cooks Illustrated magazine?it lets you use more liquid for an easier-to-handle dough, without promoting the development of gluten, the way more water would. The 2:1 ratio of butter and lard comes from a story in the New York Times food section, where they experimented with all sorts of different fats and proportions. The lard gives the crust a flaky texture, and the butter gives it a wonderful flavor. Of course, you may not be as obsessive as I am. A lot of these directions and ingredients may seem a little over-the-top to you. You can take whatever shortcuts you like. Just don?t expect the results to be as good as if you did it the hard way! I?ve tested and compared all these nitpicky instructions to the easier, cheaper alternatives, and I?m convinced they really do make enough difference to be worth it. Try it my way just once and see if you don?t agree!
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Carnitas Michoacan

Carnitas Michoacan

There are many variations on this classic Mexican pork dish. This is the way my ex, who is from Michoacan, prepares it. We served this in our Mexican restaurant and it was a BIG hit! The nice thing about making it daily for the restaurant was that we could reuse both the cooking water and the lard multiple times, which multiplied the flavor! It's very simple to make. The short list of ingredients doesn't make for bland eating here! Substitutions can be made for the lard, but the result won't be quite the same. I think it has to do with the sensitivity of the various fats to heat, but frankly I'm not sure. This is NOT a low fat food! In fact, we refer to it as a "cholesterol nightmare," so we eat it seldom, but we REALLY enjoy it when we do!
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Colombian Frijoles

Every Sunday, my Colombian friends get together and have a big cook-out for lunch, and they share in fellowship. I like observing the merriment. They make group cooking a lot of fun. Today, they made a kidney bean stew which tastes absolutely wonderful. I think the flavour was in the lard. This is one of those dishes that tastes better if kept for the next day.
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Arroz Mexican Rice Recipe

Arroz Mexican Rice Recipe

Sopa de Arroz, or Mexican Rice is a staple in Mexican Cuisine. It is prepared a hundred differt ways but basically it remains the same. Only if the rice is browned in lard can you acheive the authentic flavor. Prep:15m
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Turta - Italian Cheese Bread Recipe

Turta - Italian Cheese Bread Recipe

Submitting my dad's "special" recipes has been causing me quite a bit of angst so I've decided that I'd do them in spurts, when my nerve is up. This is my grandmother's Easter bread which my dad turned into an "any time" bread. He always made one for the "kid" on her birthday every single year! Don't mind the lard... it's only 1/2 cup and truly necessary for flavor! Enjoy, my friends. PS This is the least complicated of the three "angst" recipes. Prep time more than covers rising time.
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Marias Authentic Mexican Pork Carnitas Using Wild Hog Or Domestic Pork Recipe

Authentic carnitas are "boiled" in lard - not braised, not baked, and not roasted. We have made this several times and it is fantastic. The technique is the most important part. It is what gives this dish the moist and tender inside with the authentic crispy crunch on the outside. So, please pay special attention to the notes within the steps. This recipe is not difficult, but there are several important things to keep in mind for the best results. I got the basic recipe from a lady whose English is not so good, but her cooking is fantastic!
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Frijoles Refritos - Refried Beans - Tucson's El Charro

Traditionaly, lard is selected over bacon fat or canola oil.This recipe uses the pinto beans of
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