Saturday, February 23, 2013

Park City 2013

It was ski week again and we headed to Park City, Utah.  You can see my old post here.  Luckily Park City has a few good GF options.  But to make matters easier we always try to find a place with a kitchen so we can cook ourselves.

Where we stayed was in New Park which is located right next to a shopping center with a Whole Foods.  This was perfect to stock up on GF snacks, bread, OJ, milk and fresh fruit.


So have food ready to eat during the week I made my vegetable soup and pulled pork.  We would come home from skiing and heat up a bowl of soup and the kids ate pulled pork a few nights for dinner as well as a quick snack after returning from the slopes.



One of the great finds of Park City is Park City Pizza.  They have been serving pizza since 1985 and the owner has celiac disease I was told.  They offer great GF pizza.  It is prepped in the walk-in frezzer to prevent cross contamination and has its own oven.  We had it a few nights after a hard day on the slopes.  You can eat in, pick up or have it delivered.  They also have GF cheesy bread and GF pasta.



Another of our favorites is Loco Lizard.  My wife and I ate here one afternoon.  Almost everything is GF and they are very knowledgable.  The only thing not GF are the flour tortillas.  The corn chips are GF and the fryer is 100% GF so enjoy the fresh chips and salsa.  I like their salsa verde and they also have a smokey tomato salsa that has some chipotle in it.  I had my favorite - chili verde.  This is a bowl of pieces of pork in a spicy verde sauce served with black beans and rice.



What about skiing?  We ski at Park City Mountain Resort.  Their snowmama's site has this short post about their GF options.  Kristi's is the coffee shop at the base of the resort.  It is a great stop for coffee, hot cocco and snacks.  The have some packaged Udi's snacks and cookies from the local company New Grains which is located in Provo, UT.  They make a wickedly good Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookie.  When it comes to eating we stopped in at Legend's one day.  Although I am not a huge fan of Redbridge beer it did hit the spot midday on a ski vacation.  They have a number of GF options on their menu and have a number of other items that can be prepared GF upon request.  I had the ahi tuna salad.  Very good and tasty.



We had lunch at Legend's which is right at the base of PCMR.  The list on their menu what items are GF and they were very aware of the menu and the risk of cross-contamination.  I had the ahi tuna salad which was good and a nice mid-day meal.  They serve Redbridge, and although its not a favorite beer of mine, it hit the spot after a morning on the slopes.

Speaking of beer, we had to stop by Epic Brewery for some of their Glutenator.  They said that will be opening a brewery in Colorado soon and would then possibly be distributing to California.  This is a great GF beer made with sweet potato and molasses.


We went out one night to 350 Main on Main Street in Park City.  The restaurant is now under the control of Chef Carl Fiessinger.  We have eaten their before when Chef Michael LeClerc was the reason to go.  I missed his Immunity soup and you can tell that a change has taken place.  For starters no more GF menu, and the menu does not identify what items are GF.  I was told to ask our server.  She was clueless.  She started by saying that basically the whole menu is GF.  Well, the farro, fried chicken, gingerbread and fried items raised a concern.  When I asked to speak to a manager or the chef she went back to the kitchen and came out with more useful information.  Yes, the fryer is NOT GF and I choose to have the quinoa cakes which were made with peanut butter and baked in the oven.


For dinner I had the salmon.  This was served over corn and beans.


The overall was that it was not as good as the restaurant had been and I overhead similar comments at nearby tables.  The food looked better than it tasted and their GF knowledge appeared to be lacking.

So there you have it.  Eat at Loco Lizards for your GF mexican fix, Park City Pizza for GF pizza and pasta, PCMR for mid-day lunch and treats, and stop by Whole Foods to keep your energy up for skiing & snowboarding all week long.



Now its time to rest my legs,

The Un-Gluten Guy


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Endangered Species Chocolate

In the spirit of Valentine's Day I thought chocolate was a good topic to discuss.  My new love is Endangered Species Chocolate. 

Who doesn't like chocolate?

But what about gluten?  Cocao is naturally gluten free but you have to be concerned about what is added to make the specific chocolate confection or what manufacturing line it is prepared on.  You can find information about Hershey's, See's and others online to determine which items may be safe.  Unfortunately, Godiva states that all of their products may contain gluten and states that anyone with allergies should NOT eat their chocolate.  I was looking for something that is safe across an entire product line to make my life easier - and it needed to taste good.



Then I saw Endangered Species Chocolate.  Are they GF?  This is what they say on their website:

Endangered Species Chocolate products are CERTIFIED GLUTEN-FREE™ by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. This certification allows us to feel 100% confident in recommending products to customers with Celiac Disease. Look for the “Certified Gluten-Free” symbol on each label. Seasonal and specialty items may not carry this certification; please consult our Gluten-Free certificate for a listing of all products that hold this certification.

But how does it taste? Really, really good.  I like dark chocolate and they have many varieties.  They have dark chocolate in both 72% and 88% cocoa, and both are really good.  The natural dark chocolate with mint is awesome - just the right amount of mint.  I also like the dark chocolate with 72% cocoa with espresso beans and another bar with cacao nibs.  If you are not into dark chocolate they offer 43% cocoa milk chocolate.

They also sell boxes with individually wrapped 3.5 oz pieces.  These are great for a special snack to put in the kids' lunches, or to take to work, or if you fear that you'll eat a whole bar at one setting.

While researching this post I saw they have a dark chocolate with peppermint crunch that I'll have to try and they have a new dark chocolate with sea salt & almonds.

So pick up a bar and enjoy,

The Un-Gluten Guy

P.s. Happy Valentine's Day


Monday, February 11, 2013

Indigo Grill Restaurant

We haven't been out in a while, so it was time.  With Valentine's Day coming up this was our Valentine's Night out.  Got a babysitter.  So where should we go?  We have narrowed our restuarants to a select few that have been safe from a gluten free standpoint.

I was looking for something new and we gave Indigo Grill a chance.  It is one of the Cohn family restaurants in San Diego and they offer a GF menu.

We used to go to KemoSabe before it closed and loved it.  This was another restaurant by Deb Scott.  I had been to Island Prime / C Level, another of the Cohn restaurants but almost ran into trouble when I ordered the GF seared albacore stack.  They brought it to the table with fried taro chips (it has since been changed on the GF menu).  We had been told by one person that they had a GF fryer.  When I questioned the dish the manager quickly took the dish away (I had not eaten anything yet) and came back with a newly prepared plate, this time with cucumbers.

So I was a bit leery but was willing to try to take another run at one of their restaurants.  I emailed them early on because I had some questions about their GF menu, and they were quick to respond.

The manager, Michelle Kveen, addressed all of my concerns and was willing to speak by phone before our visit to assure me that they could accommodate my diet restrictions.  She came by the table and was very helpful and had a strong working knowledge of the GF menu and actually asked for my thoughts as they were getting ready to revamp the menu.

Looking at the GF menu online I found two dishes, 2, that were truly GF.  All of the other dishes, and they were a lot, had omissions.  The grilled romaine lettuce on the GF menu has the flatbread and fried capers omitted.  The rojo chicken dish is dredged in flour on the main menu but you do not get the flour dredge on the GF menu.  The pork porterhouse comes with fried onion rings on the main menu but they substitute a salad on the GF menu.  On the flat iron steak the GF menu states that they omit the chili honey glazed quesadilla.

We arrived and we were seated.  I got my GF menu.  Our waiter knew the menu well and was able to answer questions about ingredients.  The manager came over to talk and discuss the menu and the education of the staff.

I started with the butternut squash soup. (bowl $9, cup $7)


WOW!  This is made with roasted butternut squash in cream and roasted corn piece, beet puree, creme fraiche and a cilantro pesto.  It was so good, smooth, velvety and you were hit with multiple textures and flavors.  When they brought it to the table they stated that it was GF.

My wife had the tortilla soup, and she enjoyed it, but when she tried mine she said that the butternut soup blew her soup away.  The butternut squash soup is GF from top to bottom and is offered the same on the regular menu and the GF menu.  The tortilla soup on the main menu comes with tortilla strips, on the GF menu they omit the tortilla strips.

For dinner I was hoping to have the whole roasted fish.  The online GF menu lists is as a whole tilapia but when we arrived at the restaurant it was listed as a whole stripper - even better.  This was the only other item on the menu (besides the butternut squash soup) that was GF without some omission (flour dredging, onion rings, fried capers, etc) - But they were out of it.

Instead I ordered the salmon.  The Alderwood smoked salmon ($28.50) is served with a cucumber dill moleto and I choose pan roasted vegetables.  On the main menu it is also served with housemade flatbread and squid ink pasta but these are obviously out on the GF version.  I asked and was told that no breaded products are used on the planks but to be extra safe they used a new plank for my food.  This dish was good, the salmon, seasoned with paprika and brown sugar I believe, was cooked perfectly and the vegetables were a nice accompaniment.  I used to like squid ink pasta and the taste of squid ink in general, so I missed out on that, but the dish was good and when it was served I asked if it was GF and they confirmed that it was.

For dessert we split the coconut creme brulee with pot de creme.  The creme brulee was good and not overly coconuty (if that is a word).  As for the pot de creme it was a bit over the top with mint, so I only had a bite.

My Star Rating
GF menu: 1 out of 1
Staff Knowledge:  1 out of 1
Presented the dish as GF:  I have to give 1/2 a star.  The soup was presented as GF but I had to ask on the salmon dish.
Food taste and presentation: Out of 2 stars I give it a 1 1/2.
Total for Indigo Grill : 4 stars out a possible 5

We will return.  My wife enjoyed her food and I felt comfortable that they were aware of the GF menu and dietary restrictions.

Bon Apetit,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Yummy Fried Rice

What do you do with leftover rice?  Make fried rice, of course.



What you need (serves 2)
leftover rice (one takeout container (about 1 1/2 cups))
2 eggs
1 large carrot chopped
1/2 onion diced
oil
GF soy sauce
seasame seeds

1.  Heat a wok or similar large pan on medium high heat.  Add a small amount of oil if you are using a non-stick pan or about 1/2 tablespoon if not.  I like to use grapeseed oil.  Peanut oil or any oil that will not burn under high heat will work.

2.  Whisk eggs and add to pan and keep stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula in a circular motion.  Once the eggs are scrambled remove them from the pan and reserve for later.

3.  Clean pan with a paper towel and add some more oil.  Add the carrots and onions and cook until softened.  Then add the rice and toss to mix.  Let it cook (don't disturb it) so it gets a nice crispy edge to some of the rice and onions.  Then mix again, or toss if you have the skills (you don't want rice all over the floor).  Once the rice has fried (it will make some popping noises) you are getting close.

4.  Add the soy sauce over top and mix.  Add a bit at a time and stir.  Add more soy sauce until the rice is all coated.  Then mix in the scrambled eggs.

5.  Plate and sprinkle on top with seasame seeds (if you have time pre-toast them in a hot dry pan before you cook the eggs).

Enjoy,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Gluten Free Superbowl 2013

What did I eat for the Superbowl?  Almost like a grade school project - What I did for my summer vacation.  Being the biggest day in America for junk food I had to partake.

First things first - you need beer.  My favorite New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale.


Appetizers to get you going.  Onions + tomatoes + lime juice + avocado + cilantro + salt = yummy guacamole.  Served with Blue Corn Food Should Taste Good Chips.


First quarter is over, time to dig into some baby back ribs coated in Bone Suckin Sauce.  Made these in the pressure cooker and finished on the grill. You can see the old recipe here (http://www.ungluten.blogspot.com/2012/03/ribs.html), I've tweaked it a little and I'll update the new version soon.

Gotta have some salty, crunchy snacks.  One of my favorites is Snikiddy Baked Fries.


Can't be a Superbowl without my wings.  Dry rubbed with garlic and onion powder, paprika and salt and cooked until crisp on the grill and finished in my sauce.  You can see the sauce recipe here - (http://www.ungluten.blogspot.com/2012/05/buffalo-wings.html)


What about dinner?  Maybe something somewhat healthy.  Lettuce wraps!  Mixed chicken, mushrooms, water chestnuts, carrots, onions and walnut in the work with some seasonings.  We made a GF soy sauce & rice wine vinegar sauce as well as a tamarind, chestnut and cilantro sauce.  (I'll have to put this recipe up on the blog soon).


Game is over, time to put the kids to bed.

Until next Superbowl,

The Un-Gluten Guy

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Review - The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen

What cook does not have a lot of cookbooks.  I rarely follow recipes but I like to read through them to get ideas.  If I am following a recipe exactly it is usually a baked good.

But when it came to making asian dumplings, pot-stickers, gyoza or whatever you want to call them I was failing.  I tried my own concoction and after they failed I tried some online recipes that I found and nothing worked well.

I got a gift for the holidays.  The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen by Laura B. Russell.  You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.

This fills a great void in the GF cooking world.  I am lucky enough to have a great oriental restaurant that offers a great GF menu right down the street but for those that do not have that luxury you can now make everything at home.

The book covers sauces, skewers, noodle and rice dishes along with other entrees of meat, poultry and seafood.  The book is fun to read and just browse.   There are many pictures to help you choose what to make for dinner and she offers a "heads up" with each dish to help you out.

We tried her Thai Coconut Chicken Soup and it was good, not great.  Her Kung Pao Chicken looks and sounds great so that is next on my to-do list.

What I was really looking for was a great pot-sticker recipe, and I found it on page 58.  The flour combination is sweet rice, tapioca and millet and it was easy to make.  I rolled it out and cut out circles with a large round glass.


The filling is made with pork, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger.  Add just a bit, too much and you won't be able to fold it and keep the good stuff in.


A bit of water, some pinching with your fingers and viola.


Into a hot pan to sear the bottom then add water, cover and steam.


These were delicious and I will be making them again.

Thanks Laura,

The Un-Gluten Guy