Naan (Regular or GF)

Whenever we make naan, Jeff says, “I always forget how amazing naan is. I just want to eat the whole batch!” Haha. This recipe is adapted slightly from Aarti at the Food Network, and it’s so delightfully soft and buttery. Her recipe calls for added seeds, but I find that it doesn’t need it. Also, I usually like to double the batch so I can use my whole envelope of yeast (with a little extra added)–then I just freeze the leftovers. When I’m ready to use the frozen leftovers, I just put them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes, and they’re just as good as fresh made. Make sure to eat the naan hot for the best experience.

I’ve made these regular and gluten free, and both are amazing. If you’re making these gluten free, just make sure to use gluten free cup for cup flour with a little extra, and some extra baking powder (they included a note in the Food Network recipe, and I’m so grateful). Actually, the original recipe says to use gluten free all-purpose flour with an added 1 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum, but I only had the cup for cup. So I used that with no added xanthan gum and it was just fine. Of course like any gluten free bread dough, it ends up looking more like Play D’oh or frosting than stretchy bread dough. But that’s normal. You don’t need to roll it out with a rolling pin–I just use my hands. The edges are a little more ragged than the regular one and it’s not quite as fluffy, but it’s still amazing and soft. I still don’t think I would’ve known it was gluten free. If you eat the gluten free ones after freezing or letting them cool down, make sure you heat them up very thoroughly or the edges can be almost crunchy. But when they’re fully warm, they’re delightfully soft and chewy. Here’s a picture of the gluten free version:

Naan

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Soft, warm, and buttery–make extra and freeze for later.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. Yeast

  • 3/4 c. Warm Water
  • 2 tsp. Sugar

  • 2 c. Flour (or 2 1/4 c. gluten free flour with xanthan gum)

  • 1 tsp. Salt

  • 1/8 tsp. Baking Powder (or rounded 1/8 tsp. for gluten free)

  • 3 Tbsp. Plain Yogurt

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

  • Melted butter for slathering on the finished naans

Directions

In a large glass, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with 3/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees F). Let it sit on your counter until it’s frothy, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl.

Once the yeast is frothy, add the yogurt and the olive oil into the glass, and stir to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and gently mix the ingredients together with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to mix. It will feel like there isn’t enough flour at first, but keep going until it transforms into a soft, slightly sticky and pliable dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, place in a warm area, and let rise for 2 to 4 hours.

When you’re ready to roll, the dough will be extremely soft and sticky. Separate the dough into 6 equal portions and lightly roll each one in extra flour. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a teardrop shape, narrower at the top than at the bottom. It should be 8 to 9-inches long, 4-inches wide at its widest point and about 1/4-inch thick. Once you’ve formed the general shape, you can also pick it up by one end and wiggle it; the dough’s own weight will stretch it out a little. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough. (If you’re making them gluten free, just use your hands instead of rolling.)

Heat a heavy pan over high heat, then lay the naan on the skillet. Let it cook and bubble for about 1 minute per side. It should be blistered and somewhat blackened, as is traditional. 

Remove the naan from the skillet, brush with butter, and cover with a towel to keep warm. Serve warm.


 

Wonton Soup

The best part of wonton soup is the pork balls. Even if the wonton falls off while cooking, it’s still delightful to eat the pork balls. This is a fun soup, but we don’t make it very often because it takes a long time to make the wontons. And be careful that you keep the wontons covered with a damp cloth, so that they don’t crack (both the wonton wrappers in the pile and the finished ones with pork inside). The part of wonton making that takes the longest is shaping them–dipping your finger in water and sealing all the edges.

If you’re making this gluten free, make sure to use tamari or gluten free soy sauce (since soy sauce is usually made with wheat). And you’ll have to make your own wonton wrappers. I actually made mine the other day, and they turned out surprisingly well. They were a little thicker than usual, but I was so pleased. And they didn’t fall apart in broth like so many gluten free pastas do. I’m going to try making egg rolls with these wonton wrappers as well.

Wonton Shapes. We made 1.5 pounds of pork the other day, and I tripled the recipe from glutenfreeclub.com. It still wasn’t enough. But I included the recipe below so you don’t have to find it. I tried two different shapes when I made the gluten free wonton wrappers. It doesn’t matter what shape you use, as long as it tastes good. We traditionally made what I think my mom called “little nuns”, where you roll it in a tube, then bring down the two bottom corners of the tube and join them under her “chin”. But I also tried making one that’s more like a fancy ravioli or something. They were both great–I felt like the ravioli one shaped like an X was a little easier to make with the gluten free wonton wrappers. You just bring all the corners of the square to the middle. 

Wonton Soup

  • Servings: 5?
  • Difficulty: medium-hard
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Delicious pork balls–and don’t forget the green onions for the broth (that makes it good).

Ingredients

  • 1 qt. Chicken Broth
  • 1 bunch Green Onions, sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lb. Ground Pork
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Ginger
  • 2 Shakes Soy Sauce (or gluten free soy sauce/tamari)
  • Wonton Wrappers (or gluten free wonton wrappers)

Gluten Free Wonton Wrappers (from glutenfreeclub.com)

  • 3 c. Gluten Free Flour (with xanthan gum), plus extra for rolling
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt
  • About 3/4 c. Water (adding a Tbsp. at a time)

Directions

In a small pot, combine broth, green onions, and salt to taste. Heat until steaming but not boiling. In a medium bowl, mix the pork, 1 tsp. salt, ginger, and soy sauce together. Place a small ball in the middle of a wonton wrapper and fold the wrapper into wonton shape, using water to seal edges (you can dip your finger in a small bowl of water to do this). Keep finished wontons under damp paper towel to prevent drying/cracking. When a large pot of water is barely boiling, place wontons in water and cook until they float and the pork is no longer pink in the middle (generally a few minutes). Don’t let them stay in the water too long or they’ll start to fall apart. Scoop out finished wontons with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl, then cover with broth and serve.

For gluten free wonton wrappers: In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flour, eggs, and salt. Add the water 1 Tbsp. at a time until the dough is the consistency of Play Doh. Generously flour your work surface and place a small ball in the middle. Flour your rolling pin and roll out the dough as thin as you can without cracking. Cut off the rough edges so you have a square, then use a pizza cutter or bench scraper to cut into squares about 2″ x 2″. Brush any extra flour from the wontons and place in a pile, then cover with a damp paper towel to prevent cracking. (Refer to glutenfreeclub.com for more pictures if needed.)


Mulligatawny Soup

The first time I tried mulligatawny was from the Harmons hot soup bar. Normally I’m not a fan of curry, but the soup was delicious, so I searched out a recipe from Food Network and found one from a restaurant owner in Massachusetts. I made a few modifications, like adding more chicken, potatoes, and curry powder. The additions make it more like a stew because it gets thicker, but I love it that way. And it’s even better if you serve it with naan and dip the naan in the soup.

This is naturally gluten free, and I’ve even made it dairy free before by using a can of coconut milk instead of cream (the picture below is made with coconut milk). You couldn’t taste coconut at all, probably because of the curry powder–I was delightfully surprised. And this freezes well in a gallon bag.

Mulligatawny Soup

  • Servings: 8?
  • Difficulty: medium
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Indian flavors in a hearty soup, perfect with naan.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Onion, diced
  • 4 – 6 Carrots, diced
  • 4 Celery stalks, diced
  • 4 Small Potatoes, diced
  • ½ c. Butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp. Curry Powder
  • 8 c. Chicken Stock
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/2 c. Uncooked rice (then cook)
  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken, broken down into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 c. Cream, hot (or 1 can of coconut milk)

Directions

In a large stockpot over medium heat, add the onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, and butter. Cook until tender but do not burn. Stir in the cornstarch and curry powder, and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and let simmer for 30 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients except the cream. Let simmer for 15 minutes, then add the cream. Add more spices or liquid as needed. Serve with naan.


Orange Chicken (Panda Express)

This is adapted from the Original Orange Chicken by Panda Express recipe on Tasty. It’s very delicious. But in typical Tasty fashion, there were things wrong with the recipe that they don’t show in the video. Like the fact that you have to double the liquid for the batter or you’ll basically have biscuit dough. But it’s a really great recipe that I’ve made many times, gluten free and regular. I’ve even made the chicken and just served it with sweet and sour sauce for a sweet and sour chicken. And frankly the chicken is so good and salty that we have a hard time not eating it all like popcorn chicken as it comes out. I usually make a huge batch and freeze one gallon bag of leftovers because it takes quite a while to make.

If you’re making it gluten free, of course use gluten free flour and gluten free soy sauce or tamari. Luckily it fries up and tastes the same if it’s gluten free or regular.

Orange Chicken (Panda Express)

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: medium-hard
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Wonderful, but it takes lots of time.

Ingredients

  • 4 lb. chicken breasts, cubed into 1″ x 1″
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 c. Cornstarch
  • 3 c. Flour (or gluten free flour with xanthan gum)
  • 1 Egg
  • 3+ c. Water
  • 2 Tbsp. Oil
  • 6 c. Oil for frying (or however much to fill the electric skillet appropriately)

Orange Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp. Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
  • Pinch of ginger (optional)
  • 3/4 c. Sugar
  • 3/4 c. Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 c. Orange Juice
  • 3/4 c. White Vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp. Soy Sauce (or gluten free soy sauce/tamari)
  • 1/4 c. Water
  • 1/4 c. Cornstarch

Directions

In large bowl, mix salt, pepper, cornstarch, flour. Add egg, water, and oil until it reaches consistency of pancake batter (may need to add more water). Add chicken to batter and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Heat oil to 375° in electric skillet. (You  may want to go below the max fill line because it takes longer to heat the oil and doesn’t hold the heat as well if it’s fuller, I’ve found.) Add chicken and cook 5-6 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove chicken from pan with a slotted metal spoon or tongs and transfer to a paper towel lined cookie sheet.

For sauce, heat heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat and add oil. Once the oil shimmers, add red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Careful, the garlic turns dark quickly. Add sugars and stir to combine. Add orange juice and allow sugars to dissolve, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar and soy sauce and stir to combine. In a small bowl, add cornstarch to water, and whisk to combine. Add to pan with sauce and stir (if it thickens too much, add more water). Continue to cook sauce until it’s thick like maple syrup. Spoon a little sauce over the chicken and see how strong the sauce tastes on the chicken, adding more as desired.

To freeze leftovers, keep chicken and sauce separate. Freeze the chicken in a gallon bag and the sauce in a quart bag. You can also freeze a quart bag of cooked rice and put all the bags together in a grocery bag in the freezer.

To reheat from frozen, I find that the chicken holds up the best and retains its breading best when you microwave for 2 minutes, then heat on the stove. Heat some oil in a pan and warm up the chicken. Try not to stir a lot because the breading does tend to fall off if there’s a lot of movement. Place the sealed bag of sauce in water to thaw. You may need to add some water to the chicken pan and cover with a lid to steam. Once the chicken is hot, add the desired amount of sauce and heat through. To reheat frozen rice, poke some holes in the bag with a fork and microwave for 5 minutes at a time until hot.


Fried Rice

This is a good side for an Asian dish, or it can even be a main dish with chicken added and served with egg rolls on the side. This isn’t the most amazing or specific fried rice recipe, but I haven’t found a better one yet of the recipes I’ve tried. As soon as I find a better one, I’ll update. I have found that it’s better when you add chicken flavoring, like broth or Members Mark Chicken Base.

If you’re making it gluten free, make sure to use gluten free soy sauce or tamari.

Fried Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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To make it a main dish, just add a few chicken breasts, cubed and cooked.

Ingredients

  • 4 c. cold cooked Rice (or prepared Minute Rice- 2 c. Rice, 2 c. Water)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 2-4 Eggs
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • Ham Slices, cut in small squares
  • Soy Sauce (or gluten free soy sauce/tamari)
  • Members Mark Chicken Base
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Green Onion, sliced to top (optional)

Directions

Most recipes say fried rice is best with cold cooked rice. In frying pan, heat oil and scramble eggs, then set aside in a bowl. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in the pan, cook onion, then add rice and ham. Add soy sauce, chicken base, salt, and pepper to taste. You can even add some frozen corn or peas if desired. Garnish with green onion as desired.