Sunday, March 25, 2012

Look Again, It's Gluten Free

When I first started eating Gluten Free, I was terrified of the bread choices. I remember having to create breads from scratch. Breads made with a bread machine and an oven which couldn't bake evenly. I even remember baking biscuits in tuna fish cans, biscuits which wouldn't rise. The bread choices.. they were dry, dense, had a terrible aftertaste - to put it simply, gluten free bread was inedible.

On the day I stopped eating the foods I was allergic to (wheat, oat, soy, milk and peanuts, at the time), I made a trip to York with my mom. We stopped for my last McDonald's Sausage, Egg & Cheese sandwich and went across the street to Natural Choices, our health food store of choice. The lady at the store quickly recommended Udi's products, she claimed that it was the only bread she could eat. Despite my rolled eyes and doubtful thoughts, she was right. I started eating Udi's products then and haven't looked back since. I even worked for a semester as an intern with their college ambassador's program.

And today? Today I entered their "Look Again, It's Gluten Free" contest with a fabulous recipe that Trevor and I have cleverly named "Twice Baked Red Potato Gratin with Crab". While you will be able to see the recipe on the contest page, I thought I would post it here for everyone, as well. I won't deny that it's an extensive recipe but I will tell you that it is well worth the time and effort. I fall more in love every time we make it.

This recipe will produce ten to twelve servings and will take approximately 30 – 45 minutes to prepare and 1 hour and 40 minutes to bake. Overall, allow two and a half hours to prepare from start to serving time.

You will need the following ingredients:

6 tablespoons of butter
2 teaspoons of bacon grease, if available
1 red onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of table salt
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
1 cup of whole milk
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
8 medium-sized red skin potatoes
1 pound of fresh lump crab meat
1/3 cup of grated Parmesan
6 - 8 slices of Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain bread
fresh chives, chopped
fresh ground sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
Old Bay seasoning
garlic powder

To Create Gluten Free Breadcrumbs:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cut 6 – 8 slices of Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread into cubes, no larger than ½ inch in size. This can be done straight from the freezer.
3. Place the bread cubes on a plain baking sheet and bake for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, until the bread is dark and crispy.
4. Immediately after baking, place the bread cubes in a food processor. It is key to do this right after removing the bread from the oven because gluten free bread tends to get softer as it sits.
5. Process the bread until you achieve your desired size and texture of bread crumbs.
6. Season the breadcrumbs with equal parts fresh ground pepper, oregano, garlic powder and thyme.
7. Measure out 1 ½ cups of breadcrumbs and combine with 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese.
8. Cover the breadcrumbs with plastic wrap and set aside.

To Prepare the Gratin 
1. Oven should be set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Wash 8 medium sized red skin potatoes and proceed to create thin slices. For best results, a mandolin should be used but this recipe was prepared by hand slicing the potatoes to a similar thickness.
3. Place the potato slices in a large mixing bowl and season with equal parts fresh ground sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and Old Bay seasoning.
4. Mince three cloves of fresh garlic. One minced clove should be added to the potato slices.

5. Spray a 9 x 13 (3 quart) glass baking dish with non- stick spray.
6. In the baking dish, layer your thin sliced potatoes into two overlapping layers covering the bottom of dish completely. On top of this, evenly distribute ½ pound of fresh crabmeat. On top of that crab, place another single layer of sliced potatoes.
7. Melt three tablespoons of butter, careful not to burn.
8. Add two minced garlic cloves and one minced red onion to the hot butter in saucepan and sauté until translucent.

9. To your saucepan with the onion and garlic and melted butter already translucent, add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves. Stir slowly until ingredients are incorporated. Let this mixture simmer for three minutes.
10. At this point, add one cup of whole milk and one cup of heavy cream to the saucepan, stirring slowly every 30 seconds. Let the mixture return to a boil to thicken. Still stirring occasionally.
11. Add two cups of shredded white and yellow cheddar cheese to the mixture, stirring slowly until cheese is incorporated smoothly into mixture.
12. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
13. Pour ½ of the sauce over your potato and crab layers in baking dish – spread evenly.

14. Repeat the same layering as before; add the rest of the sauce.
15. Layer your remaining potatoes on the top.
16. Cover the gratin with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour covered.
17. About ten minutes before taking the gratin out of oven, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and 2 teaspoons of bacon grease in a small saucepan.
18. Fold the melted butter and bacon grease with the breadcrumbs made earlier.
19. Remove the gratin from the oven and evenly spread the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the gratin.

20. Continue to bake covered for twenty more minutes.
21. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another twenty minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
22. Let the gratin cool for ten minutes before serving. After plating, sprinkle with fresh chives.

For dinner, I recommend serving the gratin with steamed green asparagus, which is just coming into season. You can also make roasted tomatoes to give your dish some color!

We made these with:
olive oil
fresh chives
lemon pepper
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

We always seem to have left overs when we make this dish, it's pretty rich. But, the great thing is that the gratin makes the perfect breakfast when topped with a poached egg!


  1. don't forget to post the link as to where to vote

  2. also if you have so much left over how comes you never invite me to diner