Gluten Free Thanksgiving: Drunken Rum Carrots

Ok, so this is basically a stolen recipe from The Pioneer Woman. She posted a recipe for Whiskey Glazed Carrots last year, and I HAD to make them. Except that I didn’t at the time have any whiskey (and now I don’t get to drink whiskey, thanks to the Gluten Free).

Instead, I make the recipe, following her exact instructions, with Blackstrap Rum instead of Whiskey.

This makes the carrots sweeter, which I don’t mind even a little bit. I’ve thought about adding some finely minced onion and garlic to the sauce as well, since I think that’d be good. And you could probably add some spicy too. Either way though, it’s not hard to do, and Pioneer Woman has the best pictures of her instructions ever!

Drunken Rum Carrots

You will need:

  • 1 stick Butter, Divided
  • 2 pounds (to 3 Pounds) Carrots, Peeled And Cut Into Thick Circles
  • ½ cups Jack Daniels Or Other Whiskey
  • ¾ cups (to 1 Cup) Brown Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add carrots in two batches, cooking for 60-90 seconds each batch. Remove from skillet. (This would be where I would add the finely diced onion and garlic, and cook them until they were golden brown and had let off most of their liquid.)

Pour in whiskey and allow to evaporate 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium, and add remaining butter.

When butter melts, sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Stir together, then add carrots to skillet. Cover, and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Remove lid and add salt and pepper. Continue cooking until carrots are done and glaze is thick, about 5 more minutes.

Pour onto a platter and serve immediately. Sprinkle with chopped chives if desired.

Whiskey Beef Stew

Quick, easy, delicious slow-cooker beef stew. It’s not a hugely exact recipe, but I’ll do my best!

You need:

  • 2 lbs of stew meat (or 2 lbs of cheap beef roast, cut in chunks)
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms – I usually use cremini or shitake – cut into chunks
  • 1/2 lb carrots – cut into slices. Or a bag of carrot slices or baby carrots
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (not low fat)
  • 1 envelope Beefy Onion Soup Mix
  • 1/4-1/2 cup whiskey or red wine (or water)
  • 1 tsp thyme

Dump the mushroom soup, the soup mix, the thyme, and the whiskey in the slow cooker. Stir it up until it’s all evenly blended, then add everything else. Stir to combine and cook for 4-6 hrs on high, 8+ hrs on low, or until the meat is tender. The resulting stew will be thin, so if you want to thicken it, make a slurry of a few teaspoons of cornstarch in a little water and add that right into the hot stew – it’ll thicken up quick!

I serve this either over rice or over slightly smashed red potatoes.

Easy Baked Apples

It’s apple season! Yay! I love apples, and I especially love apples that are fresh, crisp, and on sale. This means you can probably make this dessert for 4 people for around $5, depending on the price of butter. Cheap apples or not, though, this is delicious and very very easy.

You need:

  • 4 medium sized apples – any firm apple will work
  • butter
  • brown sugar or honey
  • cinnamon
  • a square glass baking dish
  • some water

So, the trickiest part of this process is coring the apples while leaving the majority of the apple intact. If you have an apple corer, great! Just make sure you only pull out about 3/4 of the core, leaving the blossom end still attached.

The goal is to take the middle parts out of the apple (as apple seeds are not good eats) but still leave the bottom intact to create a container for deliciousness that we will add later. If you don’t have an apple corer, take a sharp knife and cut around the stem down about 3/4 of the way through the apple and then use a sharp edged spoon (a metal teaspoon or half teaspoon works well) and scoop out the stemmy seedy bits.

When you’re done, you should have an apple “cup” – most of the apple intact with a little plug taken out of the middle.

Set the apples in the baking dish.

Put about half a tablespoon of butter in each apple, followed by a generous shaking of cinnamon. Do not be shy with the cinnamon. Then, top with a spoonful or two of honey or brown sugar, and pour enough water around the apples to fill the pan about 1/2 inch.

Bake at 375F for half an hour to 45 minutes, until the apples are soft. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream or both. You can eat the skins (I do) or just appreciate them as apple containment devices and pitch them in the compost afterward.

As an aside, if you cook them too long, the apples will burst their skins and turn into baked applesmush. This is, while less pretty, still pretty delicious and can be served regardless.

Crunchy Pecan Baked Fish

*crossposted (from awhile ago) from Seven Deadly Divas*

This is a good “weeknight” recipe – you can put the frozen fish in the fridge the night before (please put it in a bowl, so you don’t have thawing fish goo all over your fridge) and it’ll be thawed when you go to make it. Or, if you’re like me and never remember to thaw stuff out the night before, put the fish fillets in a sealed zip-top bag and put them in a sink full of cold water for 20-30 minutes.

Since it’s basically “dump stuff in pan and bake”, you don’t need to worry about a lot of prep time, and it cooks quickly. While it’s cooking, microwave some frozen veggies or toss together a salad and you’ve got a complete dinner in about 20 minutes.

Software:

  • 4 Fillets of White Fish – I usually use frozen cod loins*, but tilapia or flounder work fine
  • Cajun Seasoning and Salt – like Emeril’s Essence – or my personal favorite, Mo’s Mix**
  • Mayonnaise – olive or canola oil mayo, if you are worried about calories, but please, no fat free
  • Bread Crumbs – unseasoned
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Finely Chopped Pecans – you can buy the pecan “cookie pieces” if you don’t want to chop them yourself

Hardware:

Aluminum foil, non-stick cooking spray, a baking pan, spatula, mixing bowl, oven.

The Plan:

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the baking pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray.

Place the fish fillets on the foil so that they are not touching. Season with Cajun Seasoning – but be careful if you don’t like things to be too spicy. I usually start with one good pinch per fillet and go from there. Using the spatula, spread each seasoned fillet with 1-2 TBSP mayo (you don’t have to measure, 1-2 TBSP mostly means “a good spoonful”).

In a small bowl, mix about 1/2 cup each of parmesan, pecans, and breadcrumbs. Smush the breadcrumb/pecan mixture into the fish fillets. Some of it will not stick, and that’s OK.

Bake at 500F for 8-12 minutes or until the fish is done – it will be white (and not transparent) and flake easily with a fork if you try to poke at the middles. When serving, make sure that everyone gets their share of the pan-goodies. Alternately, serve the fish up in the kitchen, eat the pan-goodies with a spoon, and don’t tell anyone.

This is excellent with baked artichoke hearts or lemon and garlic brussels sprouts if you’re feeling fancy, or just some re-heated frozen broccoli or green beans. If you prefer your meals with a grain, brown rice would be a good complement, as would some (previously frozen) whole-grain rolls… but bread-making is a whole different set of posts!

*Cod loins. Heh. Heh heh.
** The Amazing Becky has found Mo’s Mix online, at a store in Missouri. I think I have to call them to order more. But still – Yay!