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Fish/lamb/game in SF with dietary restrictions?

I've been wading through searches, but I'm getting a little swamped, so I thought I would ask for some chowhounder assistance.

My husband's birthday is next month, and he's asked for either local seafood (but not sushi), lamb or game. He'd be delighted with offal, which might be asking too much. The tricky part is balancing our restrictions.

1) We're both gluten free. It's a serious medical issue for us, but we're not really demanding about it. I don't care about gluten free bread, gluten free pasta, gluten free chocolate cake, whatever. I'd like to be able to explain myself, order a steak and have it not come out with a breaded onion ring on top, or with the remnants of breading after they've plucked off the offending onion ring. Anything else is a bonus.

2) I have a slew of other dietary "I shouldn't eat that's" - None of them are serious, and they can all be left at the side of the plate, but I need to be able to make a meal out of the parts I -can- eat, and a restaurant that's willing to make substitutions or has flexible side options would be a plus. (If it's relevant, no potatoes/beans, and I am limited to very small servings of most fruits/vegetables/fungi.) This has much more "give" than the gluten free. The worst case is that I have an excuse to indulge in dessert.

3) Since gluten free often means no sauce, no seasoning, no whatever (and then I leave even more aside) - we have a strong bias toward high quality ingredients that are well prepared. They seem to stand up better to having elements stripped away.

4) Location - He'll be in the Financial District, and I'll come up on Caltrain. Neither of us will have a car, so it needs to be relatively easy to get to via transit. Technically, anywhere near Caltrain as far south as Palo Alto or Mountain View is probably fair game, but there's a preference for in SF.

I'm not picky about price. I'm not picky about ambiance. Being able to get a glass of wine with dinner would be nice, but isn't required. I just want us to have some delicious food. Help? Please?

How do people end up leaving so much food out for extended periods?

I nearly did it tonight. I have family in from out of town, so I cooked a turkey - roasting the dark and wings and poaching the breast. Started the back and oddments simmering for stock, and as the rest of the meat finished cooking and people ate what they wanted, I deboned the leftovers and added the bones to the stock. Once the poached meat was done, I added the poaching liquid to the stock and cleaned the kitchen.

People ate dinner. I cleaned the kitchen and admired my stock. People ate dessert, I cleaned the kitchen and admired my stock. Everyone went back to their hotel, and I cleared away all the spare dishes, then collapsed in a chair with some water. An hour later I said "I should turn off the stock, or it's going to be too hot to strain and refrigerate tonight." I admired the stock, turned the pot off and went back to my chair, content that it was "done" and just waiting to be put away. When I was ready for bed I went to put my water glass in the kitchen and said "Why is there a pot on the stove? Oh! I had turkey stock! I need to fridge that!"

If I'd just said "Oh, I'll put that in the dishwasher in the morning...." I'd have come down in the morning to very cold, very bacteria-laden turkey stock, and had to toss it all, despite having been in and out for hours, including several times in the hour or so between turning the stock off and rediscovering it. I'd just gotten used to seeing a big pot on the stove.

Dec 22, 2011
flourless in General Topics

Ideas for Christmas Day long drive

I can't eat wheat anymore, I'm afraid, so my recipes are unlikely to be what you're looking for. I can give you the general idea, though. I do them as whatever cooked sausage sounds good, an appropriate sharp cheese, a smear of dijon. I wrap them in whatever bread-like dough I've been working with lately, roll them up and bake them off.

Since you can presumably have wheat, I'd suggest using frozen puff-pastry or another enriched dough.

Dec 10, 2011
flourless in Home Cooking

Ideas for Christmas Day long drive

If you eat breakfast before you leave, I'd think you'll really just need some snacks/small meal to tide you over.

Peter Reinhart's soft cheese bread, or a cheese and sausage bread and clementines.
Portuguese sweet bread, some firm good cheese and coffee.
Sausage rolls, using a hiqh-quality sausage and sharp mustard with some apple slices.
Small sandwiches of thinly sliced charcuterie, apple, sharp cheese and mustard.
Croissant with good ham and cheese or chicken salad.

(apparently I'm in a meat, bread and cheese mood. Maybe I need breakfast.)

Apple or cherry turnovers or hand-pies.
mini-quiche or muffin-size frittata

Although, the more I think about it, the more my answer is: eat breakfast first, take some emergency rations in case you have car trouble, drink some coffee on the road and show up hungry for lunch. I probably would splurge on a fancy coffee instead of my usual black, though.

Dec 10, 2011
flourless in Home Cooking

Cream-top milk at Trader Joe's

It is. I looked up the dairy code online.

Adults at a childrens birthday party

If my child broke her arm, I wouldn't drive her even if I'd had one glass of wine in the last hour or hour and a half. And I might have one glass of wine, expecting that I'd be there for another hour before I left. But the combination of even slightly-affected mental processes, worry and trying to keep the child calm would not feel safe enough to me.

In addition, there's no need to rush full-speed to the ER for a broken arm unless it was a compound fracture. When my daughter broke her elbow, it was a couple of hours before we realized that was the problem and took her to urgent care. They wrapped it in a splint and told us to go have a cast put on in three days. No concerns about the delay. For a compound fracture I'd be even less inclined to drive if I'd had anything to drink in the last couple hours.

If it's not serious enough to call an ambulance, give the child some ibuprofen, and call a taxi. Problem solved.

Nov 22, 2011
flourless in Not About Food

Dinner Party Etiquette: Bringing AND cooking your own food?

Even two people in a small kitchen can be way too much. Would it be an option to say "Homemade stuffing would be wonderful, but the kitchen is just too small for all of us. Could BIL reheat the rest of dinner while he's in there? The instructions are all on the packages, and you just put it in the oven/micro...."

I don't know if you could distract/occupy your mother enough to make that feasible though.

Nov 22, 2011
flourless in Not About Food

Gluten and corn free thickeners? Help!

I like to use sweet rice flour for gravy. I make a roux, just like I would with wheat flour.

Nov 22, 2011
flourless in General Topics

Gourmet gluten-free hors d’oeuvres

More ideas than recipes

Seafood salad (shrimp and mango, with a little thai-style sweet-chili-lime dressing is good, maybe herbs on top) in endive leaves.

I toast thin slices of Against The Grain baguette brushed with olive oil under the broiler. An optional rub with a raw garlic clove and they're ready for anything. The most popular one here is some local charcuterie, a bit of mustard or horseradish, sharp cheese (aged cheddar or gouda) and thinly sliced apple. Sauteed greens topped with a bit of fresh ricotta is excellent, too. If you can't get (or eat) the baguette for whatever reason, you could try a thick-cut potato chip.

Dried apricots topped with a sage leave and wrapped in bacon. Broil, then brush with a little maple syrup if you want.

Asian-chicken salad on little wedges of lettuce leaf (or green cabbage, which is sturdier - just make sure it isn't too strongly flavored)

Small pieces of a spanish tortilla

Cucumbers topped with smoked salmon mousse or smoked salmon and cream cheese might be a bit dated, but they're still popular.

Fresh fruit and cured meat. The old standby is cantaloupe and prosciutto, but there are plenty of tasty combinations if you can get the meat sliced thinly enough.

Shrimp/chicken/beef/pork skewers - a million ways to spice and sauce

Summer rolls (I can get quite small wrappers, or you can trim them down)

Polenta sandwiches with stuff - spread the polenta thin and let cool, cut into 2 equal-sized pieces. Layer in a chilled, thick, savory filling. Cut into diamonds. When you're ready to serve, reheat in a very hot oven on parchment.

Goat cheese with herbs wrapped in softened strips (cut with a veggie peeler) of carrot or zucchini

I could go on for ages, and most of the food-sites have massive collections of appetizers listed now. A great many are either originally gluten free, or trivially converted.

Nov 19, 2011
flourless in Home Cooking

Homemade yogurt. Is there a caloric difference when milk turns to yogurt???

Calories and nutrient breakdown for a cup of whey.

Nov 19, 2011
flourless in General Topics

How can Americans incorporate more fruits & vegetables in their diets on a budget?

For kids I tend to keep it simple. Boil/saute/steam with some simple seasonings. A mandatory sample/serving goes on the plate and they can eat it with whatever topping they'd like. A dusting of romano cheese is popular in our house, along with balsamic dressing or just balsamic vinegar. Some things get cheese sauce, or ketchup, or tartar sauce. If it's around, they can have it, and dip makes everything more tolerable.

Eating out - I choose restaurants where I can get a lot of vegetables, or I chose vegetarian options. Asian restaurants are often happy to bring a side of steamed broccoli instead of rice (sometimes for an extra charge). Or we order a dish with meat and one with just vegetables and share them around. Start with salads or a vegetable soup, then split an entree and a side or two of vegetables. If the vegetables sound good, it's easy to work in ways to order them. If you aren't the type to share, order a side of vegetables and take more of your entree home for lunch the next day.

I do most of my eating at home. The single best tool for eating more vegetables is good cookbooks that have a focus on vegetables. Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday and Lynn Rosetto Kasper's Italian Country Table occupy prime space on my cookbook shelf. They both offer easy ways to make vegetables taste every bit as enjoyable as the "main attraction". The more I cook with those books, the more vegetables start to drive the meal creation process. It's not "Oh, I have pork chops, what should I make with them?" It's "Gosh, brussel sprouts. I love the way the loose leaves get crunchy and caramelized when I roast them with garlic. What could I eat with that?" I see greens and I think of corn tortillas stuffed with sauteed greens and onions. It's a change of perception that I don't think is possible if "vegetable" means boil it and plop it on the table.

Toward the end of the week, accumulated leftover veggies (cooked and uncooked - anything that's lingering) are made into vegetable soup. A can of plum tomatoes and a good simmer go a long way toward melding disparate seasonings.

Fruit is what I use to fill in the gaps of the day. I often have yogurt in the morning, and instead of sweetening it, I break open a pomegranate and sprinkle a good handful of arils on top. Or a sautee an apple or pear with a little cinnamon. Or I slice a banana. If that doesn't tickle my fancy, I have dried apricots, dried unsweetened cherries, raisins, etc. Not much of the dried fruit, you have to remember what it looked like fresh or you're going to overdo. Some nuts or seeds for crunch and I'm set.

After school snack? Banana or apple with peanut butter. Or fresh mango, sliced pear, pineapple strips.. It's easy, and takes no more time than dishing out some cookies.

Looking for something to nibble on after dinner? Baked apple, clementines, pear with walnuts and blue cheese, citrus supremes, poached pear with ricotta cream, berry soup, whatever fresh fruit is in season blended with lots of ice and a little citrus or sugar to balance it.

Oct 27, 2011
flourless in General Topics

Latkes - Matzoh Meal or Flour, Your Preference?

I don't use either one. Grated potatoes, onion, egg, salt, pepper, oil. They stick together fine, and tend to be light and crisp. I just either mix before scooping each panful, or leave the liquid in the bottom.

Dec 21, 2008
flourless in Home Cooking

$100 limit. Nine people. Help.

Pupusas (bean and cheese, pork or chicken and cheese), curtido (slaw), and some good salsa. They can be a little time consuming, but it's really not bad - and they're really cheap. I use this recipe but I mix about half of the cheese into the dough because it gives a product more like my local pupuseria.

If you can find some of reasonable quality, sliced avocado goes very well, and we serve them with lime agua fresca and a fruit-based dessert, although a rice pudding or flan would be reasonable as well.

Dec 14, 2008
flourless in Home Cooking

Glut of apples, but no-sugar, no-flour diet. Ideas?

Baked apples with blue cheese.

3 T melted butter
6 apples
1/4 C apple juice or water (I've been using black cherry/pomegranate juice to use it up)
1 Cup port, red wine or more juice
1.5 Cups crumbled blue cheese (I used closer to a cup, just because my holes were small)
1 T minced fresh sage leaves
salt and ground black pepper

Butter a 9x13 pan with 1T of the butter
Halve the apples and remove the core/seeds with a melon baller or sharp teaspoon
Put the apple cut-side down in your buttered pan and pour the first 1/4 cup of liquid over, followed by the rest of the melted butter
Bake @ 350-375 for about 20 minutes, or until they start to soften
Add the rest of the liquid and turn the apples over, basting them with pan juices
Fill the openings with crumbled blue cheese, sprinkle with sage, salt and pepper
Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the apples are fully cooked and the cheese is melted
Remove the apples from the pan and reduce the pan juices until syrupy

They're excellent hot, cold or at room temp. I particularly liked them as part of a salad. Salad greens, poached egg, toasted walnuts, blue cheese apple and a bright vinaigrette.

Dec 13, 2008
flourless in Home Cooking

Gluten-free replacement for bread crumbs?

We do something similar (we're all gluten free and DH and I do low carb). Adding grated, salted, squeezed zucchini works pretty well for us, too. I thik that any not-too-watery veggie would work.

Oct 19, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Gluten-free replacement for bread crumbs?

Heh, DD loves the pancakes (and I find them about as offensive as average gluten-containing toaster pancakes) but the waffles are vile. My recollection is that the pancakes are soy-free, but I couldn't swear to it because we don't strictly avoid soy. :)

TJ carries food for life brown rice bread that is cheap enough (around $2/loaf) that I'm willing to use it for crumbs/etc.

Oct 19, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Non-dairy Rugelach?

From the Jewish Food archive -

It uses margarine and non-dairy whipped topping (which I can't find where I live - but lactose free whipped topping should be easy)

Sep 21, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Making gelato with non-dairy milk?

Coconut milk works wonderfully for dairy free ice cream. You can use a cooked custard recipe or a non-cooked recipe. Light coconut milk (or about 50/50 water and regular coconut milk) works fine too. I just used nomal dairy recipes and subbed in the coconut milk. It does add a slight coconut flavor (less so if you use half water), but it's pretty easy to work with the flavor.

Rice and soy milk tend to get grainy IME, but you might have good luck with almond or hazelnut.

Jun 17, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Passover brunch

My daughter's birthday frequently falls during passover, so we do a lot of this kind of thing. Last year we had a larger group than usual and we did...

Cucumber slices topped with a bit of cream cheese, a sprinkle of de-seeded and finely chopped tomato and smoked salmon. Garnished with some fresh chive
mini sweet potato pancakes with green chili and shallot
Strawberries (DD's request, as always)
a wilted spinach salad (we had non bacon-eaters and used hot olive oil instead of bacon grease with good success) with poached egg (or maybe it was soft boiled, I don't recall, we do both) - you could add blue cheese or parm crackers
broiled fish (we did a mild white fish, just because it's what everyone would eat) with an optional sort of mediterranean salsa/sauce - chunky with zucchini, tomato, peppers, onions, etc
I'm fairly sure that we did grilled potatoes or perhaps home fries as a side with the fish, and there was matzoh for those that wanted it and could eat it.
Dessert was more strawberries, sorbet and apple charoset (large pieces of apple, finely ground walnuts)

Mar 03, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Uses for hardboiled egg yolks

My preschooler has a new favorite food. Hardboiled eggwhites, with no yolks. Today she ate 7 egg whites and wanted more. Now, none of us really need more egg yolk in our diets - but I also hate to throw them all out. Any suggestions for things to do with cooked egg yolks?

Mar 02, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Flourless Brownie Recipe

I do a flourless brownie based on ground walnuts. You really need a powerful food processor to get them to the right texture though.

Feb 16, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Gluten-free (and delicious!) meal ideas?

I only eat the home cooked variety. Cross contamination is my big concern, as is poor understanding of the issues. My Sister's MIL for example thinks that rice noodles are rice - so they're gluten free. Except she buys ones that have wheat flour in them. It's just hard to explain issues like that when they don't speak the language. I've reacted to some brands (squid brand, IIRC) of fish sauce even though there isn't anything strange on the label, etc.

I have eaten at PF Chang's a few times and it was "ok". It's sort of sweet and americanized for me.

Feb 07, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Gluten-free (and delicious!) meal ideas?

Heh, I cook every day gluten free and completely dairy free. I'll tell you - dairy free is *much* harder than gluten free. For the OP, we do a lot of indian, thai, vietnamese, mexican, tex-mex, etc.

I'd go with something fairly simple, because I like simple food. Something like a rich pot roast with soft polenta and broiled asparagus - needs a nice crispy salad to go with though. Maybe a european nut-based torte for dessert. Or an indian broiled chicken with zucchini or turkish green beans on rice pilaf and Coco Pista Pasand or a carrot halwa for dessert.

The options are pretty limitless - what would you cook if your gluten-free friend wasn't coming to this dinner?

Feb 07, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Gluten-free (and delicious!) meal ideas?

I suspect it's because the OP mentioned that her friend avoided vinegar. It isn't terribly uncommon. Personally I don't avoid distilled white vinegar. However, I did for awhile when I was newly diagnosed since it was controversial then and the explanations I had heard for why it was safe were bad science. I eventually decided that other risks I took were probably significantly more likely to be a problem.

In addition to malt vinegar however, rice vinegar can also be a problem. I'm cautious with rice vinegar because it isn't distilled and it used to be somewhat common to use wheat to help start the first fermentation. That practice is not currently common in the US, and every rice vinegar I've checked recently is fine - but I continue to check. Some commercial versions of rice vinegar list wheat on the ingredients list, and due to the difficulty in getting production information on them I just avoid those - although it's likely that the wheat is used to make a product that is distilled and then added to rice syrup or rice wine.

Feb 07, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Gluten-free (and delicious!) meal ideas?

Oats and vinegar are pretty common for gluten free folks to avoid. Something like a third of the people who react to gluten have the same reaction to the proteins in oats, which is why the current medical recommendations on oats are to eat them in limited quantity and judge tolerance for yourself.

Quinoa tastes *odd* to me, and I won't eat it, but it isn't really a gluten issue. Some people do find that it accelerates digestive transit though and that can be disturbing.

Feb 06, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Is there such a thing as a creamy dairy-free salad dressing?

Out of curiosity, what kind of non-dairy creamer do you get that doesn't have sodium caseinate (milk protein derivitive) in it?

Jan 29, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

grass-fed and overcooked

When we make chili with corn-fed beef it simmers for 2 hours. Grass-fed or pastured beef simmers for 4 hours. It is fall apart tender at that point. However, pastured beef is generally firmer-textured than corn-fed beef. I *like* the texture, because it feels like you're eating meat instead of tofu, but not everyone does.

Jan 29, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

gluten-free ideas

We're a family of 3 - all gluten intolerant (and I'm dairy intolerant). Breads are generally hard to get used to making gluten free - you might start with some of the mixes to get a feel for what sorts of gluten free flours you like the tastes of and what the textures should be like. Sweets on the other hand are generally easy.

Here's a peanut butter cookie recipe to get you started:

1 cup peanut butter (make sure that you don't have wheat-bread crumbs in your PB)
1 cup sugar (white or brown, brown gives a moister, chewier cookie.)
1 egg

stir to mix. Drop by rounded teaspoons on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until golden and still slightly soft in the middle. Add a hershey's kiss on top after baking if you want a chocolate/peanut butter treat

Jan 29, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Is there such a thing as a creamy dairy-free salad dressing?

Honey mustard dressing? I'm dairy free and if I dip my hot wings in anything I usually do them in Honey mustard.

3/4 C mayo
3T honey
2 T mustard
1T lemon juice
pinch of salt and pepper.

mix well.

Jan 28, 2007
flourless in Home Cooking

Kid Friendly "Cocktail" foods?

chicken or pork satay
spicy hummus with veggies
quiche or frittatta
fruit and a dipping sauce (chocolate, creamy or acidic, depending on your taste and the fruit you have)

Dec 31, 2006
flourless in Home Cooking