Tag Archives: urban wife

Garlic-cilantro fries with sriracha aioli … Easier than you think!

17 Jan

It is no secret that I love Sriracha. It is a fiery sauce made from chilies and garlic and adds a wonder depth of flavor to just about everything. It may just rip your face off, but it is worth it. I love all things spicy or hot, actually. Another favorite is wasabi. I don’t really eat sushi, but I love kappa maki (cucumber sushi) because it is refreshing and is cooling against a giant glob of wasabi.

Moving on.

Aside from my love of all things hot, I also love cilantro. I know it is definitely not for everyone. I know quite a few people who don’t like it one bit. They say it tastes like dirt, like nothing, and so on. I think it is lovely. And I love it.

Other things I love: fries (doesn’t matter what they look like) and garlic.

Fries + garlic salt + cilantro + mayo + sriracha + more cilantro = Magic.



For this late night snack I used frozen fries (make sure they are gluten free), Kraft mayo with olive oil, sriracha, garlic salt (make sure it is gluten free), and a handful of fresh cilantro.

Bake (or fry) the fries according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl squirt/scoop a few tablespoons of mayo and about a teaspoon of sriracha. Add a pinch of cilantro and a few shakes of garlic salt if you’d like.

When the fries come out of the oven/oil, shake a little garlic salt on them as well (or whatever garlicky seasoning you like – we also love McCormick’s Perfect Pinch salt-free garlic & herb seasoning). Sprinkle with cilantro.

Enjoy the garlicky fries (yes, feel free to use fresh garlic, too) with the spicy, smooth mayo dipping sauce.

Easy, right? 🙂

Biscuits and Gravy, Baby.

29 Jul

Sunday mornings were always something to look forward to when I was little.  Although there was never quite a formal breakfast of any kind (that I can remember) someone was always making something delicious. My mom would make her mom’s paper pancakes, or my dad would make biscuits and gravy. This is all pre-GF of course, so I had to find alternatives. I had tried one biscuit recipe, and although it was delicious it isn’t the type I remember having with my gravy. So, I threw together some ingredients based on the many recipes I’ve browsed over the last two years and I came up with a pretty tasty biscuit. It is even better sopping with rich country gravy. Scroll down for both recipes, and happy eating!


1 c cornstarch

1 c sorghum flour

4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1.5 tsp xanthan gum

4 Tbl butter, chilled and cubed

1 c milk

2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients, and whisk to incorporate thoroughly. Add butter, and using your fingers (or forks or pastry cutter) cut the butter into the dough until the mixture resembles grainy sand … or sand with a few delicious butter pebbles. Add milk and egg whites and combine thoroughly with a fork. I’m sure you could roll the dough out and cut biscuits, but I am always too hungry to do all that, so I spooned 13 biscuits (a baker’s dozen) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake for roughly 15 minutes, or until the tops begin to brown and it feels slightly firm to the touch (be careful, obviously – they’ll be hot). The insides are light and chewy, and the sorghum flour gives them a rich flavor that just screams for honey, or in this case divine country gravy.


1.5 c ground sausage

4 Tbl butter

1/2 c sorghum flour (or any flour of your liking)

4 c milk

Heaping Tbl corn starch

Salt and pepper

1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

1/2 tsp onion powder

Seasonings to taste (whatever you like)

Start off by frying up the sausage, anticipating the delicious fat that will eventually come forth into the pan. I actually used the 4 Tbl of butter only because the sausage I used produced very little fat, so use as needed. Add the 1/2 flour and cook for a minute or two with the sausage. Add 3 (THREE) cups milk and stir to combine. Let cook for a few minutes to thicken up. Add salt, pepper, Old Bay, onion powder, and whatever other spices you may be using. I sometimes add sage in the Fall or seasoning salts if we have them on hand. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining 1 (ONE) cup of milk and add to the pan. Stir to combine and let it cook for a few minutes until it thickens to your desired consistency. Slather your biscuit with the hot, bubbling gravy and enjoy!

B.L.T. Salad with Creamy Pesto Dressing – Gluten-Free

12 Apr

This recipe was inspired by my lack of motivation for brunch. My first idea was to make individual B.L.Ts with gluten-free bread, but I am just too lazy. Instead, I figured I’d turn it into a salad. Why? Salads are great ways to feed a lot of people, are versatile, and are pretty inexpensive to make. I left the gluten-free bread out, but croutons could easily be added.

Note: this recipe fed 12 people and there was still a ton left over. You could easily reduce the quantities to suit your needs.

3 small heads of romaine lettuce

1 pint grape tomatoes

1 c bacon bits (I fry up a few pounds and make my own, that way they are extra crispy)

Couldn’t be easier: chop the lettuce however you like for your salads, halve the tomatoes, and combine in a big giant bowl. Add bacon at the last minute so your lettuce doesn’t get too soggy. I bet it would be delicious with bleu cheese crumbles, too. Mmm, the possibilities.

Serve with the deliciously easy Creamy Pesto Dressing!

Creamy Pesto Dressing – Gluten-Free

12 Apr

This recipe couldn’t be easier.  Most people who are familiar with the Old Spaghetti Factory (which offers gluten-free options) know that they serve up a creamy pesto salad dressing. I’m generally a fan, but everything is better if you can tweak the ingredients to your liking. This recipe was an experiment and it turned out perfectly. Lucky for me, my mom made the pesto and brought it over, but you can used store-bought pesto as well.

1 c sour cream

1 c mayo (you can make your own or use store-bought)

4 Tbl grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 c pesto (made or store-bought)

1/2 c milk

Black pepper to taste

In a bowl combine sour cream, mayo, pesto, and Parmesan. You don’t need the milk just yet. Taste it. I added plenty of black pepper, some extra garlic salt, and good amount of extra Parmesan. Add the milk slowly to reach your desired consistency. If I were making this into a dip I’d leave the milk out completely.

This recipe was great on our B.L.T. salad we had over the weekend!

Mashed Potato Cakes – Gluten-Free

9 Apr

Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, this recipe will blow your mind. Well, hopefully. I made these for a brunch on a whim and they were everyone’s favorite. Out of all the leftovers we had, these were nowhere to be found. They’re easy, make use of left over mashed potatoes, and can be made with or without gluten (depending on the flour you use).

Note: I made enough of these to feed 11+ people, but the recipe can easily be halved. Although I didn’t have any left to freeze, I bet freezing them for later would be just fine.

8 c mashed potatoes

1 c cheddar cheese, grated

2-3 eggs (if you halve the recipe try 1-2 eggs)

1/2 c gluten-free flour (I had Pamela’s Bread Mix on hand, but you can use anything as long as it helps hold the patties together)

1 Tbl dill weed (I used dried, but fresh would be delicious)

2 scallions, finely sliced

1 tsp garlic powder

1+ tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and stir thoroughly to combine. I added my eggs one at a time and mixed well after each addition until I got a the consistency I was looking for. I actually added a bit of the flour at a time as well, totaling about 1/2 c flour.

Heat a skillet or griddle on medium heat. I am still getting used to my electric stove and burned the first batch, but hopefully you will have more luck. Since I was using a non-stick pan I didn’t use butter or oil, but feel free if you find it necessary. Next, using a regular spoon to help, form balls with the potato mixture about the size of an eyeball (yeah, I said it). I did this as I went, but it probably would’ve been much more efficient to form all the balls, then fried them. Next time. You can use extra flour on your hands to help you with this, but I found it to slow me down (since I was hard-pressed to crank out brunch).

Flatten the balls slightly and place in/on your pan. I flipped mine as soon as they came loose from the pan on the first side without any coaxing. If I was able to slide the pan around and the patties came free, I flipped them. They don’t take long to cook at all, maybe a couple minutes on each side. Some of mine turned out brown, some turned out burnt, but they all tasted great. I got some feedback after brunch about adding more pepper, but other than that they were glorious.

You could add bacon bits, omit the dill, omit the scallions and make them cheddar-dill, etc. Feel free to add what you like.


Bountiful Brunch

8 Apr

Brunch has always been a bit of a mystery to me since it seems to usually be eaten around lunch-time, but it is always fun. I hadn’t hosted brunch until this year and it was a hit! I wanted something low-maintenance, delicious, fresh, and pleasing to everyone. I don’t usually toot my own horn, but I think I succeeded. We fed eleven people total, with multiple helpings, and had food to spare.

Note: not everything in the meal was gluten-free. I am usually hyper-sensitive about that, but because I didn’t do all of the shopping it was out of my control. You know what? It was just fine.

On the menu (recipes to come):

Farmer John glazed ham – this was not gluten-free. The ham itself had modified food starch, which always makes me nervous, but the glaze contained wheat starch. Shame, but no biggie. Next time we will be more careful.

Mashed potato cakes – gluten-free, delicious, and made from left over mashed potatoes.

Spinach-parmesan frittatas – gluten-free, quick-cooking, and EASY.

Silver dollars with blueberry compote (which I’ve made with my crepe recipe) and ginger syrup – gluten-free thanks to Gluten-free Bisquick. The compote was homemade and the ginger syrup was an awesome find at Whole Foods.

B.L.T. salad with homemade creamy pesto dressing – gluten-free, fresh, and pretty darn good.



Hollandaise sauce – not gluten-free, from a packet. If I had more time or energy I would’ve made my own.

Strawberries with basil and honey – gluten-free, unique, and beautiful.

Rolls – not gluten-free, and (again) if I had more time or was a bit more organized I would’ve made my own for sure.

Here is what I had (and had two more times):

What did we drink, you ask? A deliciously refreshing grapefruit-gin sparkler. Yes, it is gluten-free. I’ll be posting that A.S.A.P. as well.

Fried Bananas – Gluten-Free

5 Apr

I have missed fried bananas from my favorite Korean and Thai restaurants ever so much. Then I realized the recipe doesn’t even call for anything containing gluten. Boy, did I feel behind on the times. Here’s my version:

3/4 c rice flour

1/4 c tapioca starch

2 Tbl sugar

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 c coconut milk


Oil for frying

Whisk together flour, starch, sugar, salt, and coconut milk in a medium bowl. Slice a few bananas into whatever shape or size you’d like – I cut them pretty small since I was using a shallow pan and the last of my oil. Make sure your oil is nice and hot (no, I don’t have a specific temperature for you – sorry). It should be hot enough to quickly turn the bananas golden brown, but not so hot that they burn up immediately. Coat your pieces in the batter, drain any excess, and carefully place into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides (feel free to flip as you see fit). Drain on a paper towel and serve with whatever you’d like. I am addicted to Nutella, so I drizzled it all over my fried bananas. Yum!

Slow Cooker Sesame Chicken – Gluten-Free

4 Apr

I’m not very good at this slow cooker/crock pot thing, but I thought I’d give it a try. Not too shabby! I served this chicken with saffron rice and a fresh salad with Thai peanut dressing (gluten-free, of course).

4.5 lbs chicken drumsticks (or chicken pieces of your choice)

1.5 c gf soy sauce (I use GF Tamari)

1/2 c honey (or agave syrup)

1/2 an onion, diced

ÂĽ c ketchup

6 Tbl sesame oil

2 Tbl minced garlic

2 tsp powdered ginger (or 1-2 tsp freshly grated ginger, ideally)

4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional – we like things spicy around here)

1 c water

½ c water

4 Tbl cornstarch

Sesame seeds, for garnish

In a bowl combine soy sauce, honey, ketchup, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, onion, and pepper flakes. Whisk to combine. In two large sealable bags (or a large container) combine marinade and chicken pieces, seal, and marinate for roughly 2 hours. (You can marinate them longer, or not at all.) When you are ready to start your slow cooker, turn it on to high. Pour your chicken, marinade, and one cup of water into the slow cooker and let cook for roughly 3 hours, or until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Remove chicken, set aside.

In a small bowl combine ½ cup cold water and cornstarch, stir to combine. Add the slurry (cornstarch + water) to the simmering marinade to thicken. I added it a little at a time until it reached a thickness I was looking for. You can either add the chicken back to the sauce to coat, or serve it on the side as a sauce. I served it on the side and everyone enjoyed it on everything we had for dinner.


Thai Peanut Dressing – Gluten-Free

3 Apr

There is no shortage of amazing Thai restaurants here in the Sacramento area. In fact, there is no shortage of Thai restaurants willing to serve food without the soy sauce (which usually contains wheat), so I am pretty fortunate in that regard. However, I don’t always have the funds to hop down to my favorite place for lunch. Instead, I made my own peanut dressing using gluten-free soy sauce and it came out EXACTLY like my favorite restaurant’s version. Try it, you’ll love it.


For the dressing:

1/2 c peanut butter

1/4 c gluten-free soy sauce (I use GF Tamari)

1/4 c brown sugar (I used a bit more)

1 Tbl rice vinegar

2 tsp lime juice + zest to taste

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp minced garlic

Water, as needed

Combine everything, except the water, in a small sauce pan. Heat through until peanut butter and sugar have melted down and dissolved. Simmer for a few minutes more, taste for flavor. I added a bit more sugar, lime juice, and garlic towards the end, but you can flavor it however you’d like. As it sits on the stove (or in the fridge) it will thicken up. Here is where the water comes in – add water as necessary to thin the dressing to your desired dressing-like consistency. I think I actually ended up adding nearly a cup.

For the salad (roughly):

Chopped romaine lettuce

Cucumber, thinly sliced

Celery, thinly sliced

Carrot, shaved

Big handful of cilantro, torn

Using any amounts you have or like, combine in a large bowl. Let chill in the refrigerator before serving. When you are ready to serve, pull the salad out and serve with your delicious peanut dressing!



Sweet Potato Chips with Sriracha-Lime Aioli

30 Mar

I woke up this morning inspired to try something new. I love the flavor combination of cilantro and lime, also happen to love Sriracha (a hot chili sauce), and sweet potatoes. Well, lucky for me, this recipe was born.

For the chips:

1 sweet potato, scrubbed and cut in half lengthwise (you don’t have to cut it, but it made it more manageable on my mandolin)

Olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash and dry your sweet potato. I left the skin on, and cut it in half lengthwise (the long way) to make sure it didn’t get out of my control while slicing. Plus, my mandolin is pretty narrow. Slice the sweet potato and place raw slices on paper towel to dry. Place slices on a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for 1-2 minutes more. Make sure you don’t burn them, like I did on my first attempt. I tried one batch with olive oil, one without olive oil, one batch in the microwave, and burned my fair share. The ones with olive oil in the oven for roughly 10 minutes turned out the best.

For the aioli:

Note – I did try to make the aioli from scratch, but failed miserably. My blender is old, my food processor is too small, and my whisking wrist is not up to par for the job. As soon as I figure it out, I will post an authentic aioli recipe, but here is a version that is delicious nonetheless.

1 c mayo

1-2 Tbl lime juice

1 clove garlic, grated

1 tsp Sriracha

1 tsp honey

Pinch of salt

Fresh cilantro

Combine everything except the cilantro in a bowl. Taste for flavor and add more salt (or Sriracha or lime juice) as needed. Tear or chop the cilantro and toss it in just before serving. Serve with sweet potato chips, on a delicious sandwich, or with a spoon. Yeah, it is that good. Next time I’ll try it with fresh, grated ginger.