Monday, January 26, 2015

Gluten-free Spanish Benedict

Gluten-free cooking has been difficult to explain to those who don't have dietary restrictions. 
To my wife, who cannot have gluten in her diet, it is often frustrating when we go somewhere and there are no gluten-free options. Luckily, if we go to our family's house, there is usually rice, beans, salsa and tortillas. But when we go out to brunch for example, options are limited to piecing together a meal from the "sides" menu that is hopefully not cooked on the same griddle as the pancakes. 

I wanted to make a special eggs Benedict that was just as crafted and put together like anything we would find in a restaurant. This recipe for my Spanish Benedict has several components that layer flavor. It is completely delicious on its own, piled high on a Portobello mushroom, leaving the gluten completely out. Serve it with a simple hash of red onions and potatoes, and love its gluten-free-goodness.

Call me old-fashioned, but the first I ever learned of "food science" was from Alton Brown. So now I use his recipe for Hollandaise, and watch this video every time I make poached eggs. They never fail me.

Spanish Benedict 
4 Portobello mushroom caps, cleaned with stems removed.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

1 pound Spanish Chorizo-style links, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
Roasted piquillo peppers, packed in water, and at room temperature.
4 poached eggs
Classic hollandaise recipe, kept warm.
Smoked paprika
12-month aged manchego cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and place the cleaned mushroom caps on top of a baking rack on the sheet.
2. Combine the oil, garlic, and parsley in a small bowl, and with a small pastry brush, apply the mixture to the mushroom caps evenly. Gently sprinkle the vinegar among each, gill side up, season with salt and pepper, and set on the baking rack, gill side down.
3. Bake the mushrooms for 10 minutes on one side, flip and bake for another 10 minutes. You want the mushroom to hold its shape, so make sure not to overbake.
4. While the mushrooms are baking, pulse the chorizo in a food processor, or chop into small chunks. Over medium high heat with a pat of butter, heat the chorizo bits until hot and set aside.
5. By now, the mushrooms should be done. Remove from the oven and set the caps on four plates, sill side up. Warm the poached eggs gently in simmering water and stir the hollandaise to make sure it is still emulsified.

To assemble: 
Fill the mushrooms with half of the chorizo, top with a roasted piquillopepper, then the egg. Pour the hollandaise over, then sprinkle with smoked paprika. Shave thin pieces of manchego over the top, sprinkle with more smoked paprika, and garnish with Italian parsley if desired. Divide the other half of the chorizo over top and onto the plate.

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