Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Favorite Potato Bread

This recipe is one I made from several recipes, really.  I never have potato flour or potato flakes on hand, so I use potato water.  What is potato water? The left over water from boiling potatoes.  I often store it in a jar in my fridge for up to a week. 

3 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dry whole milk
1 1/8 cup potato water

Combine all ingredients and knead together until you have a soft, smooth dough.  Add more potato water or flour to make the dough the proper consistency.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.  Shape dough for loaf  and place in loaf pan or on sheet. Cover and let rise about an hour. For potato rolls,  I like to add 3 small balls of dough to each muffin in a muffin pan to make clover shaped rolls. Let rise for one hour.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven. For loaf, approximately 60 minutes, tenting in the last 15 minutes, if needed.  For rolls, bake approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.  I thought I had a picture of my potato rolls to share. May have to add one next time I make them!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Zero Net Carb Turkey or Chicken Gravy

As I just posted in my Low Carb Roux post, Xathan Gum is the magic zero net carb thickener.  Xanthan gum has 7g of carbs per serving and 7 g of fiber per serving for a 0 net carb rating. :)

When making gravy from my roasted/baked turkey or chicken, I add one teaspoon of xanthan gum at a time.  Xathan gum soaks up much more liquid than flour and thus thickens with far less!  I use a mixture of Xanthan gum and water to make a thickening gel for my youngest (he has Mitochondrial Disease, which causes him to have swallowing problems). Xanthan gum is also used in gluten-free baking to give products more of a wheat texture and helps the products rise.

This is really something you'll have to play around with. Since my baked turkeys and chickens never yields the exact same amount of liquid, I've learned to add a little at a time until the desired gravy thickness is reached.

Happy low carb eating!

Low Carb Roux (0Net Carbs)

Being from Louisiana, going low carb was difficult. So many recipes start with, ahem, ROUX! I've found a wonderful, tasty solution with 0 net carbs. That's right, 0 net carbs. I've been using it for about 6 months and it hasn't failed me.  Even my non-low carb friends didn't notice a difference in my gumbo or sausage and gravy recipes.

What is the secret ingredient? Xanthan gum! Xanthan gum has 7g of carbohydrates per serving and 7g of fiber per serving for a 0 net carb total. The biggest trick to using Xanthan gum as opposed to flour is to remember that you use FAR less Xanthan gum than you would flour. I use one tablespoon of Xanthan gum for recipes calling for 1/2cup - 1 cup of flour. So, for gumbo, I heat 3/4 cup oil and then add one tablespoon of Xanthan gum. I brown it to the desired color and make my gumbo as I would with regular, flour based roux.  I also use this ratio for my sausage and gravy recipe. 

For recipes using a butter roux (etoufee, etc) use one to two teaspoons per stick of butter, depending on the amount of liquid you will be adding.  The first roux I made with Xanthan gum, I substituted the same amount of Xanthan gum for the flour in the recipe, and I couldn't add enough liquid! The Xathan gum roux just soaked it up. I had so much roux after that, that I cooked with it for a week and ended up throwing away what was left.  Melt your butter, add the teaspoon of xanthan gum and darken to desired color.  I usually go with a peanut butter color for my etoufee.

Last tip: Xanthan gum darkens faster than flour, so be sure to stir constantly!  It does seem to burn a bit faster, too, so have your other ingredients ready to add or space on the stove to push it aside.

Happy Cajun Cooking!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Chocolate Doughnuts

Christmas morning, I made our favorite chocolate doughnuts from a recipe I tweaked years ago.  I bake mine, but they can also be fried.

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup double dutch dark cocoa
4 tablespoons butter
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup milk ( slightly more if you are baking doughnuts - add enough to make a thick batter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate, stir to combine. In large mixing bowl combine the butter and chocolate mixture with the eggs and sugar. In separate bowl, mix together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour and cocoa. Add this mixture to the egg mixture. Add milk and vanilla.  If frying, wrap dough with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least one hour.  Roll dough and cut into shapes before frying in 350 degree oil.  If baking, place in doughnut pan and bake at 350 degrees until doughnuts spring from sides of pan and to touch (about 20 minutes).   Glaze and  Enjoy!  I use a simple glaze of glazing sugar, milk and vanilla.