Sorry, but I just got this off the McD's website.
Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), dextrose, sodium acid
pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to
preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK.
*(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).
It's that natural beef flavor that gives McD's fries their distinctive taste, but unfortunately, we can't eat it. BTW, TBHQ is a toxin that has some rather nasty side effects.
Okay, similar to the pork chop thread, what do y'all do given a pound or so of frozen chicken breasts and a basics-supplied pantry?
My favorite [which I haven't done in years, but I may have to soon, now that I'm thinking about it] is to do a simple sear on both sides, get them to 165 degrees, sprinkle on some fresh shredded parma or asiago and drizzle them with brown butter.
What to do with pork chops:
1. If you have chops that are thin to medium thin [1/2 to 3/4 inches thick] you'll want to get as much of the silverskin off as possible. Silverskin is the layer of fat around the outside of the chop. Leave a very thin layer for flavor and make perpendicular cuts through the remaining fat down to the actual meat, repeating about every 2 inches around the perimeter of the chop. This will reduce the cupping effect that happens when the fat layer shrinks during cooking. This is especially important if you are cooking boneless chops.
2. A simple sear is the easiest way to cook them. Start with a little oil in a skillet and get it to just below the smoke point. Season the chops as desired and lay them about an inch or so apart in the heated oil. Flip them after about 5 minutes. Cook until the juices run just clear when pierced, or to 160 on a cooking thermometer. [N.b.-- the USDA has recently reduced the recommended temp from 160 to 145, but that still seems a little underdone to me]. You can also find numerous recipes online for various methods of glazing the chops at the end. One favorite of mine is a raspberry jam/hoisin sauce combo, and another is to mix a little honey and mustard together, which also works really well with chicken breasts.
3. The best way to get gravy is to braise them-- brown them lightly on both sides, toss a chopped onion over the top, add about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of stock to the pan, bring to a light boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the meat, add about 2 tbs butter to the braising liquid, and then stir in about 2-3 tbs corn starch [VERY IMPORTANT: premix the corn starch in a little COLD water first] and simmer until thickened as desired, stirring frequently.
4. There are myriad other ways of dealing with chops:
a. slice them thinly and stir fry with an onion and other veggies of your choice [though spring onions are rather de riguer with pork]
b. Slow cook them with tomato sauce and bechamel [approximately equivalent to a can of tomato soup] and an undrained can of mushrooms. Works better with bone-in, thick chops.
c. Carnitas: Slow cook them with a little stock and some taco or fajita seasoning [i make my own instead of chancing the packets you get from the store]. Cook them about 10-11 hours on low. When they're done, pull them apart into chunks and serve on corn tortillas. You can add some chopped chiles to this, too.
d. Tossed in an oven bag with slice apples. Bake according to the chart that comes with the bags.
e. Thick ones can be stuffed and baked [apples, walnuts, and feta?]
f. Grilled-- basically searing on a grill instead of a skillet.
g. Leftover chops can be cubed and used as a base for fried rice.
h. Thin chops are good with eggs for breakfast. I've also used cubed, leftover chops with cubed potato and diced onion as the base for a fritatta.
Going to Branson in a couple of days. The kids want to see Dixie Stampede, but knowing that they use the communist-horde-server system how does one go about checking for gluten-free and CC? They have vegetarian tickets, so should I ask when we make reservations or wait until I can talk to an actual server?
McD's you can have ice cream without nuts, drinks, yogurt parfaits, hamburger patties, and eggs and sausage a la carte. And that is IF they understand about CC. Forget the fries, the frying oil is not gluten-free.
Burger King, though, is actually quite flexible. They will do any sandwich as a "low carb" item in a bowl. My daughter calls it a hamburger salad.
Subway salads are iffy because of how their serving line is set up-- always bread first, and the Sandwich Artists have been touching bread, spreading crumbs, and reaching into the veggie bins with the same gloves for every customer in front of you. About the only way that you can ensure clean food is if they get out entirely new bins of every veg. that you want on your salad. Good luck on that, especially at lunch rush.
In small amounts for thickening, I've found that corn starch substitutes pretty much 1:1 for wheat flour. For me, that's the easiest thing because it's readily available in the general grocery section. It's also already pretty much the thickener of choice in many Asian dishes.
Some caveats [copied and pasted from ChefTalk.com forum, dated 12/8/05]:
Appearance: flour makes a gravy opaque and can dull or lighten the color, while cornstarch (when used properly) yields a clear, shiny sauce.
Flavor: flour needs to be cooked enough to lose its raw flavor; cornstarch doesn't have much flavor on its own. And if you use a cooked flour (such as a long-cooked Cajun-style roux, or roasted flour), you ADD a roasty-toasty flavor you can't get with cornstarch.
Cooking time: Flour needs relative long cooking, both to lose its raw flavor and to unleash its thickening powers; cornstarch needs only a short cooking time to thicken. In fact, if you cook cornstarch too long, it lets go and the sauce thins out again.
Also, I've found that if you're using a corn starch slurry to thicken a pan sauce, corn starch can deaden flavors just a bit, so recheck and adjust seasonings accordingly before adding the slurry.
A couple of other things to look for:
1. Good, proper soy sauce is almost universally made with wheat, as is teriyaki. Cheap, imitation, low-sodium ["lite"] store brands often are not.
2. When buying gluten-free bread, yeah it is expensive, but you get what you pay for. Frozen loaves are, generally, of better quality. No matter what, you will likely find that it is much better when toasted than when not. Also, corn tortillas [check for gluten-free status first] are much cheaper and make an okay substitute for a sandwich/wrap.
3. Taco seasonings need to be checked. If possible, find a recipe to make your own to be safe.
So I made cheese dip for tomorrow's bowl games. Needless to say, it isn't going to make it that long [actually, it's been 30 minutes and it's already pretty much gone].
What are you making for your parties/thingies this season?
Some things to remember:
1. Check pre-made cheese dips for ingredients/thickeners.
2. McCormick's taco seasoning, last I checked, was gluten free, but may bear checking again.
3. If you use canned chili in your dips, Hormel's chili with beans is gluten free, but the Hormel vegetarian chili is NOT. I do not know about the turkey or no-beans varieties.
4 T. butter
4 T. corn starch
3 c. milk, warmed 90 seconds in microwave
pinch or so salt, pepper to taste
1 can diced green chiles [as hot as you want them] or 2-3 diced fresh chiles
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar or to taste [for white dip, queso or fontina work fine]
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
Cayenne powder or bottled hot sauce to taste
1. Melt butter in saucepan [do not brown] over medium heat. If using fresh chiles, saute them now until partially softened over medium-high heat.
2. Add corn starch and whisk to form a roux, and let cook until just softened.
3. Whisk in milk until incorporated. Add salt, pepper, and canned chiles, if using [the chiles flavor the sauce in the same way a classical bechamel sauce steeps a clove-studded half onion in the sauce as it cooks].
4. Cook 10-12 minutes over medium heat, whisking frequently to avoid burning the bottom [this isn't as bad as making fudge, but you do need to be rather attentive] until it comes to just under a boil.
5. To test thickness, dip a soup spoon in the sauce, turn it over and rub a stripe across the back with your finger. If the stripe holds and doesn't fill back in, go on to the next step.
6. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese and whisk to incorporate. Fold in tomatoes and add seasoning to taste.
[i know, I know, I could just use velveeta and Ro-tel, but I find that it is too rich for my taste and too difficult to control the heat to my liking.]
This is easy.
1 T. butter
1 1/2 T. [that's 4 1/2 tsp.] cornstarch
1 c. plus 2 T. milk
2 T. tomato sauce.
melt the butter over medium heat. When it begins to foam, add cornstarch and blend well to form a thin paste. Let cook 30-60 seconds (this should be rather foamy). Drizzle in the milk while whisking. Heat until thickened [do NOT let this boil], stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in tomato sauce. This replaces 1 can of tomato soup, though you'll need to add extra salt to your recipe to make up for this not having any.
We tried AFN in November, through our church. Some of the items were a no-go, but still wound up getting passed on to my in-laws or to a food pantry. The Allergy-Free box was good, not great. I liked the chicken nuggets and the chicken burgers, but the steak fingers were mediocre and the bone in chicken wings were somewhat nasty [and there were only six]. I haven't tried the chicken strips yet. If I could get a box of just two bags of the chicken burgers, and three bags of the chicken nuggets, I'd be more impressed.
I mentioned the Mexican Mix above. Here's the recipe:
In a food processor, add 1/4 c. cornstarch, 2 T. chili powder, 1/4 c. onion powder, 2 tsp garlic powder, 4 tsp. salt, 4 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 2 tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. cumin, and 2 tsp. oregano. Pulse for 1 second five times. Do not over blend. Keeps 6 months in an airtight container [i use an old Argo cornstarch canister]. I use 2 T. to replace 1 packet of taco or chili seasoning. You can adjust the heat by raising or lowering the amount of cayenne.
[adapted from "Healthy Meals for Less" by Jonni McCoy, Bethany House, 2009.]
I'm the main shopper in my family and I share the kitchen with my non-gluten-free family [my wife and two kids, ages 4 and 5]. I do a lot of cooking, too, and lately I've been trying to trim my grocery costs as a way to reduce spending overall.
Here's my main rules:
1. Avoid little money wasters. Mostly this means little to no drive-thru's, no more Starbucks, and limiting grocery runs. Since I eat gluten-free, avoiding drive-thru's is not as big of a deal as it could be.
2. Read ads before shopping and plan meals and lists from them. This saves time later in the week, too.
3. Shop at more than one store. The stores that have the best loss leaders [sales designed to get you in the store in the hope that you stay with your whole list] generally have the worst overall prices. Read the ad, run in, get the sale items you need, and leave. 15 minutes, tops. The stores hate it, but it's their system. No one can make you stay.
4. Limit convenience food [again, easier done as a celiac since a lot gets taken out already] and make your own where you can. A convenience food is anything that has had any measure of preparation made on it before sale. Where I really save here is that I don't buy nearly as many mixes as I used to. I learned to make my own Mexican mix, which works for tacos, burritos, or chili, and I know there are recipes to make other mixes, too. My only question is when the mix calls for flour as a thickener-- I know corn starch can sub in for it, but is it a 1:1 ratio? The consistency always seems to be a bit different.
5. Limit snack foods and soda. This is one of the biggest markups the stores have.
6. Store brands are not evil.
7. Coupons are not a panacea. Use them, but only when they give you the best overall deal, and not when they are an excuse to buy convenience foods. You can still get about 10-12 dollars a trip out of them, but you probably aren't going to ring up 200 bucks, hand over coupons, and walk out having paid 13.85.
8. This one I'm still working on: have a written reference for prices on items you buy often. This will let you compare prices from store to store and sale to sale.
9. Bring a calculator and figure out the unit prices on items.
10. Grocery stores are for groceries. Walmart or similar for non-groceries like shampoo, garbage bags, and such.
One of the independent pizza places near here [Lake Hamilton school district, west of Hot Springs] has said they would start stocking frozen gluten-free crusts from the local HF store. I haven't been back in a couple of weeks, so I don't know if they are actually following through or not.
Where is U.S. Pizza, Latteda? Is it in LR, or the surrounding area? If there's one within an houof Hot Springs, we may have to make a trip....Bacon and mushrooms for me.
The health food store I shop at has the flours away from most other things, but it really depends. The yogurt covered raisins and the like are on one wall and most of the flours are kiddiewhumpus on the next wall, or around the wall in the next room. The dried fruit is okay, as is the sea salt and the quinoa. I won't touch the teff or the buckwheat because these are interspersed with rye, barley, and wheat.
My dd, age four, just finished three days of allergy testing. She came up postive allergic to wheat, milk, barley malt, potatoes, tomatoes, pollens, soy, and chocolate. So apparently we will have another special diet in the house.
So the question is, should she basically go Gluten-free Casein-free? Wheat and milk were essentially her strong reactions, comparatively [not counting her behavioral reaction to chocolate, which in a clinical setting was so blazingly obvious it's a wonder we'd never twigged to it before]. Ever since I've been gluten-free I've been able to tolerate milk, so I'd really rather not have to do substitutes myself. Soymilk may be an option for her since her soy reaction was less pronounced than the dairy.
The clinic [a D.O., not an M.D.] also suggested a four-day rotation diet for her, after a strict wheat free, dairy free week to ten days. I'm not sure how that would work with me already being gluten-free and my dw and ds not following a special diet. How much crossover is there between a gluten-free/Gluten-free Casein-free diet and a rotational?
One last concern: she starts school [junior kindergarten] in the fall. Should we expect much from the school [a medium size Catholic school] or should we just figure on packing a lunch?