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Want to make an easy romantic dinner that will fill the house with wonderful aromas? Try this recipe for steamed fresh lobster. Ingredients: 2 large onions, quartered 4 shallots, quartered 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 2 lemons, quartered 2 oranges, quartered 6 stalks celery, quartered with leaves 4 tablespoons black pepper 4 tablespoons seasoned salt 2 fresh live lobsters or 4 (6 ounce) lobster tails ½ cup butter, melted Directions: Pour about 1 inch of water in the bottom of a large pot. Add all ingredients except lobster and butter. Bring to a boil. Add the salt and place a steamer insert inside the pot so that it is just above the water level. Put the lobster tails on the rack and cover the pot. Cover and steam for 8 minutes. Keep covered and do not lift the lid! While the lobster is steaming, set the table, pour a glass of white wine, and light a few candles. Serve with melted butter for dipping.
In France, shops that serve mussels in broth with pommes frittes, or french fries, are ubiquitous. Mussels are delicious, nutritious and quick and easy to make. They go great with fried potatoes and a good gluten-free beer. I cut corners even further by dashing out for my favorite french fries while the mussels finish simmering. Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 pounds of fresh, high quality mussels 1 cup of dry white wine 1 cup of chicken stock 2 tablespoons minced parsley 1 cup sliced shallots 2 cloves of garlic 2 tablespoons butter Dash of fresh cream Lemon wedges Directions: Wash the mussels thoroughly, discarding any broken shell or dead mussels. Preheat a large pot to medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add the sliced shallots, a little salt, and pepper then saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add wine, chicken stock and mussels, then cover the pot. Steam the mussels for about 10 minutes or until all the mussels open. Discard any mussels that do not open. Stir in cream and parsley. Season to taste and serve with lemon wedges and french fries or fried potatoes.
Sure, lots of the meals I make are variations on meals that traditionally contain gluten. However, I also make many that just happen to be gluten-free. Here's one of my favorites. Grilled pork chops are an old stand-by. Cheap, easy to prepare, and delicious. I serve this version with steamed fresh broccoli and carrots, along with mashed white sweet potatoes. The result is a quick, delicious summertime meal that is easy on the budget and leaves plenty of calories for wine or a nice dessert. Ingredients: 3-4 Pork chops 12-16 broccoli or broccoli spears (3-4 per chop) 3-4 white sweet potatoes (cubed) ¼ cup butter Splash of milk Splash of Balsamic vinegar Directions: Place pork chops on a hot grill (475-500 degrees) After 1 minute or so, rotate chop 90-degrees. Making sure chop is well-seared, after 1 more minute or so, flip chop. Repeat the process, rotating the chop 90-degrees again after about 1 minute. For thicker shops, use longer sear times. When chop is done, remove to a plate and let rest five minutes. White Sweet Potatoes and Carrots: Just before the putting the chops on the grill, place sweet potatoes and carrots on separate sides of a large steamer pot with hot water. While chops cook, steam sweet potatoes until soft enough to easily slide a fork though. Remove carrots when tender, but firm. Place carrots in a dish with a bit of butter, and cover. Place in a large bowl. Do not rinse. Broccoli: While chops are resting, and before mashing sweet potatoes, place broccoli into steamer and cover. Mash sweet potatoes. Add butter and/or a splash of milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Place sweet potatoes on plates next to chops. Remove broccoli when tender to fork. Place on plates with chops. Splash broccoli with aged balsamic vinegar. Serves: 3-4 persons Note: By 'white sweet potato," I do NOT mean the red-fleshed, orange-skinned tuber that Americans call a "Yam." I mean the white-fleshed, paler-skinned version that often appears alongside the at the market, both of which, according to botanists are actually sweet potatoes, not yams. Sweet potatoes are low-glycemic, which makes them ideal for diabetics. They also taste really good mashed with butter, salt and pepper. And, yes, if you're feeling particularly potato-ish, you can use good old regular potatoes instead.
The following recipe is in it's most traditional form. However, don't be afraid to experiment. For example, try replacing the ground pork with chicken or shredded cabbage and slivered carrots. Adding ginger or garlic will produce a spicier dumpling. For those that are intolerant of corn, experiment with flours that you can use-I prefer tapioca or rice flour myself. Don't forget to make sure all of you ingredients, including your soy sauce and spices are gluten-free. Ingredients 1 bag (3-1/2 cups) gluten-free bread mix including yeast packet ¼ cup oil of your choice-sesame oil works well 1 ¼ cups warm water 1 pound ground pork 1 tablespoon corn starch 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy or tamari sauce 6 green onions, chopped 1 teaspoons red pepper flakes-or to taste pinch salt To Make 1. Combine bread mix, yeast packet, oil and water (reserve a couple of tablespoons of mix for dusting dough later). Mix well to form dough. Let rise 60 minutes. 2. On plastic wrap sprinkle reserved mix and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough into 4-by-4-inch squares. 3. Mix pork ( or alternate ingredients) with corn starch, soy sauce, green onions, red pepper and salt. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons in the center of each square and fold dough over the top of the meat mixture. Place into lightly oiled steamer and steam 20 minutes. 4. Cook in batches until all dumplings are ready to serve. 5. For a crispy dumpling, lightly fry your steamed dumplings in a pan with 2 tablespoons oil over med-high heat until brown. 6.Serve with soy sauce or your favorite dipping sauce. 7. Add a side of steamed rice, and some miso soup and dinner is served!