Easy Recipes for Summer Cooking by Sheila Kiely [mobi | 9,38 Mb] ISBN: B00F44AYBC

  • Full Title: Easy Recipes for Summer Cooking: A short collection of receipes from Donal Skehan, Sheila Kiely and Rosanne Hewitt-Cromwell
  • Autor: Sheila Kiely
  • Print Length: 65 pages
  • Publisher: Mercier Press
  • Publication Date: September 6, 2013
    September 5, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B00F44AYBC
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format | Size: mobi | 9,38 Mb
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A short collection of recipes from cookbooks ‘Good Mood Food’ by Donal Skehan, ‘Gimme the Recipe’ by Sheila Kiely and ‘Like Mam Used to Bake’ by Rosanne Hewitt-Cromwell. Recipes to enjoy with friends and family during fine summer evenings and lazy weekends.

Reviews for ‘Gimme the Recipe’:

‘…the go-to-bible for easy to follow recipes.’ -Irish Tatler.

‘[A] terrific cookbook- a repertoire of recipes that nourish and delight. I particularly loved the chapter on planning family gatherings and parties at home.’ -Darina Allen. Irish Examiner.

‘…it inspires confidence and makes you feel you can certainly whip up anything you fancy.’ -Lara Bradley. Sunday Independent.

‘You might not be able to have it all but, with Kiely’s recipes, I’d say you can certainly make a decent stab at cooking it all.’ -Fiona Kiely, Sunday Business Post.

Reviews for ‘Good Mood Food’:

“Good Mood Food is a new breed of cookbook that springs from the talent of a passionate home cook. A truly scrumptious read.”, – Ross Golden-Bannon, Food & Wine magazine

“At last… Simple, easy recipes that are healthy and interesting. Donal Skehan’s book reclaims good food from the convenience of supermarket shelves and puts it back where it belongs – in the domestic kitchen.” Paulo Tulio

“Ireland’s answer to Jamie Oliver” – RTÉ.ie

‘Like Mam Used to Bake’ is due to be released in September 2013.


Editorial Reviews



M e n i a l

art of



Studies of Cooking

and Food Preparation

U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s o f C o l o r a d o


© 2012 by University Press of Colorado

Published by University Press of Colorado

5589 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 206C

Boulder, Colorado 80303

All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

The University Press of Colorado is a proud member of

the Association of American University Presses.

The University Press of Colorado is a cooperative publishing enterprise supported, in part, by Adams State College, Colorado State University, Fort Lewis College, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Regis University, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado, and Western State College of Colorado.

This paper meets the requirements of the ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (Permanence of Paper).

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The menial art of cooking : archaeological studies of cooking and food preparation / edited by Sarah R. Graff and Enrique Rodríguez-Alegría.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-1-60732-175-0 (hardcover : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-1-60732-176-7 (ebook) 1. Cooking—History. 2. Cooking—Social aspects—History. 3. Cooks—History. 4.

Cookware—History. 5. Food habits—History. 6. Social archaeology. 7. Ethnoarchaeology. 8.

Archaeology and history. I. Graff, Sarah R. II. Rodríguez-Alegría, Enrique.

TX645.M46 2012



Design by Daniel Pratt

2 1 2 0 1 9 1 8 1 7 1 6 1 5 1 4 1 3 1 2 1 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


List of Figures vii

List of Tables xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Contributors xvii

Introduction: The Menial Art of Cooking 1

Enrique Rodríguez-Alegría and Sarah R. Graff

1. Culinary Preferences: Seal-Impressed Vessels from Western Syria as Specialized Cookware 19

Sarah R. Graff

2. Food Preparation, Social Context, and Ethnicity in a Prehistoric

Mesopotamian Colony 47

Gil J. Stein

3. The Habitus of Cooking Practices at Neolithic Çatalhöyük: What Was the Place of the Cook? 65

Christine A. Hastorf



4. Cooking Meat and Bones at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey 87

Nerissa Russell and Louise Martin

5. From Grinding Corn to Dishing Out Money: A Long-Term History of

Cooking in Xaltocan, Mexico 99

Enrique Rodríguez-Alegría

6. Cooking for Fame or Fortune: The Effect of European Contact on Casabe Production in the Orinoco 119

Kay Tarble de Scaramelli and Franz Scaramelli

7. Crafting Harappan Cuisine on the Saurashtran Frontier of the Indus Civilization 145

Brad Chase

8. Vale Boi: 10,000 Years of Upper Paleolithic Bone Boiling 173

Tiina Manne

9. “Hoe Cake and Pickerel”: Cooking Traditions, Community, and Agency at a Nineteenth-Century Nipmuc Farmstead 201

Guido Pezzarossi, Ryan Kennedy, and Heather Law

10. Great Transformations: On the Archaeology of Cooking 231

Kathleen D. Morrison

Index 245



1.1. Map of Sites in Western Syria Discussed in Chapter 23

1.2. Globular, Corrugated, Straight-Rim Jars from Qarqur and Ebla 24

1.3. Cylinder Seal Impression of Raised Arms from Hama 25

1.4. “Squatting Woman” Motif from Ebla 25

1.5. Animal Husbandry Scene on Seal-Impressed Jar from Tell Qarqur 26

1.6. Rosette Motif on Seal-Impressed Jar Rim from Tell Qarqur 26

1.7. Top Plan of Food Preparation Facility at Ebla 28

1.8. Globular, Corrugated, Straight-Rim Jar Fragment from Tell Qarqur 31

1.9. Calcite from Rosette Motif of Seal-Impressed Jar Rim 33

2.1. The Near East in the Fourth Millennium BC and the Main Sites of the Uruk Colonial Network 49

2.2. Topographic Map of Hacınebi 50

2.3. Locations of Butchery Cut Marks on Sheep/Goat Skeletons at

Hacınebi 56



2.4. Width of Butchery Cut Marks on Animal Bones in Local Late Chalcolithic vs. Uruk Contexts 56

2.5. Local Late Chalcolithic and Uruk Storage Vessels 57

2.6. Local Late Chalcolithic and Uruk Serving Vessels 58

2.7. Local Late Chalcolithic and Uruk Cooking Vessels 59

3.1. A Daily Meal at Çatalhöyük 68

3.2. Looking South into a Çatalhöyük House 70

3.3. Aerial View of the Çatalhöyük Site 71

3.4. View of the Settlement at Çatalhöyük 72

3.5. Peopling Building 5 at Çatalhöyük 73

3.6. Storage Room in Building 5 76

3.7. The Cook by Building 5 78

3.8. Viewsheds of the Cook by Building 5 80

4.1. Map of Anatolia with Location of Çatalhöyük 88

4.2. Proportions of Major Mammalian Taxa at Çatalhöyük 89

4.3. Types of Cut Marks on Sheep-Size and Cow-Size Bones at Çatalhöyük 90

4.4. Fragmented Articulations from a Sweepings Deposit in Building 17 92

4.5. Mandibles from Space 181 94

5.1. Aztec Jar Rim, Xaltocan, Mexico 101

5.2. Mano and Metate Set, La Vent
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he animal one could consume. My guess is that the process of elimination led the species Homo sapiens to follow its taste buds to the most flavorful options between the parenthetical snout and tail. Add some fire to the process and you can see why the pork chop would stand out immediately to our ancestor.

First of all, with its T-shaped bone, the chop comes with its own handle. This is no small thing. Just as with their very good friends, the teeth, opposable thumbs were created for using. Food that came with a built-in place to grab made eating dinner easier while running from things that wanted to eat us as well. It’s the circle of life. It flows through us all.

Yes, the ribs are delicious. But you have to eat a hundred of them to make a meal (not that there is anything wrong with that). Indeed, the leg offers a handle, but there are only four of those per pig and only two of them are tasty. The belly is the tempting candy jar of the animal, but you can only eat so much of that before the pigs start looking at you like dinner. Primitive man may have been primitive, but he found the tender part of the porker in the chop region and made it work for him.

I learned to cook pork chops by watching my father. I was lucky enough to grow up at a time when gas grills were starting to be affordable. My dad, who did not make an enormous sum of money as a car salesman, nonetheless installed a Charmglow grill in the backyard in the early 1970s. Because this was the Stone Age of grilling, back when an ankle-high hibachi or a campfire was the most you could hope for, he built a concrete platform for it and bolted the grill down, weather be damned. A grill with wheels might as well have been from The Jetsons.

My dad fine-tuned his grilling expertise over the years until he finally figured out the precise combination of tenderizing marinade, spice, and heat to apply for the best results. Steak was an occasional luxury and fish hit our plate only when it hit the bait on his hook. Chicken parts always made the fire flare and my father curse. For the family of a guy selling Chevrolets and Buicks, pork was the affordable—and delicious—option while he learned how to get the most out of the family grill.

I grew up in the same city where Ray Lampe now lives. That Ray and I just so happen to live in the exact part of the world where the pig first came ashore in the Americas is no happy accident. Pork is a magnet that attracts all men.

But make no mistake: Geography has nothing to do with Ray’s expertise. Across this delicious nation and around the world, he has honed his skills at cook-offs, throwdowns, and smokefests at a champion level that approaches ninja status. Simply put, Ray is a global master of the pig.

In this book, you will find—as I did—that there are more ways to enhance your chop-eating enjoyment than you ever thought possible. Ray’s sense for making pork even more delicious than it comes in its original packaging is calibrated more acutely than that of mortal cooks. In his hands you can feel secure that not only are you making the tastiest and most tender cut of the pig, you’re doing so in the company of an expert.

He is, after all, a doctor of barbecue.

Jeff Houck

The Tampa Tribune



I once had a bumper sticker that read “The World Is My Pork Chop.” Needless to say, I made a lot of new friends because of it. Maybe I’m a little over the top, but I believe we all have a love affair with pork chops. They may not be the high-end meal at great steak houses, but they’re always on the menu. And on those pricey menus, pork chops are the best value, and they’re delicious! When Mrs. Cunningham wanted to butter up Howard on the classic sitcom Happy Days, she served him pork chops. In Mayberry, Andy’s favorite meal from Aunt Bee’s kitchen was pork chops. The dish that started the “on-a-stick” craze at state fairs was the pork chop on a stick. I could go on.

Pork chops are just about everyone’s favorite cut from the beloved pig. They come from the loin area up on top of the pig. That’s the part we’re talking about when we refer to something good as being “high on the hog.” Pork chops are lean enough to be healthful, but flavorful enough to stand up to a wide variety of preparations, both in the kitchen and on the outdoor grill. And while we all love to cook and eat pork chops, we’ve only just scratched the surface of their culinary potential. I love pork chops grilled or breaded and fried. But I also love them on a Philly-style sandwich with cheese and onions, or with Spanish rice in a dish I call Arroz con Puerco Chops (page 91). They’re savory-delicious when cooked long and slow with white beans or jerk-style on the grill. But we’re not done there. Pork chops are low enough in fat to top a chopped salad or jump in a wrap with spinach and feta cheese. I like them on flat bread, in stir-fry, as Buffalo Hot Chop Sandwi
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ft and fluffy with the added decadence of butter and cream. Use top-quality eggs here—farm-fresh if possible.

2 large free-range eggs

1 tablespoon heavy cream

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon salted butter

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and salt.

Heat a medium skillet over low heat, and melt the butter in it. Lower the heat to very low, add the eggs, and scramble constantly, using a wooden spoon, for about 10 minutes. Remove the eggs from the heat while they are still custardy but not runny. (They will continue to cook once removed from the heat.) Top with pepper, and serve.



Use fresh market greens for this breakfast side: kale, spinach, chard, or collards all work nicely.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup chopped Lacinato kale

1 tablespoon water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and kale and cook, tossing frequently, until the greens begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the water and continue to cook for 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Green Juice



Green, fresh, and subtly sweet, this juice includes olive oil and lemon juice to up the ante. We juice daily at the studio and find it to be a light, clean way to kick off the day.

3 kale leaves

1 apple

½ large English cucumber

Juice of ½ lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

Press the kale, apple, and cucumber through a juice machine. Stir in the lemon juice and olive oil, and serve.

COOK’S NOTE | If you do not have a juicer, use a blender. Core the apple, and blend all the ingredients on high speed. Strain the juice into a glass through a piece of cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve.


WE ARRIVE EARLY ON A CHILLY SPRING MORNING and watch the crowds trickle in—families and friends set up their stations for the day. We take photos and hike up trails. As morning turns to noon, we slowly make our way back, bringing home rocks and pebbles as tokens.





This meal is decidedly straightforward and easy to transport. The breakfast bread is a fun play on an egg sandwich, topped with bacon, egg, and cheese. Cinnamon iced coffee, granola, and yogurt are packed in a beach bag.

Rodeo Beach, San Francisco

Breakfast Bread



This bread is a classic combination of flavors packed in a slightly more utilitarian form. You could certainly expand on the ingredients here—asparagus, mushrooms, and tomatoes would all work quite well. For transport, cut the bread into squares or simply bring along the pan.

1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

½ cup warm water (105°F)

1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tablespoon milk powder

1½ teaspoons salt, plus extra for seasoning

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for the bowl and for drizzling

4 strips bacon

4 to 6 large eggs

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ red onion, chopped into large pieces

1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh thyme

½ bunch fresh chives, chopped, for garnish

Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, and set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes, until bubbles form.

Combine the flour, milk powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Knead in the bowl for 5 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rest in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a 9 × 12-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add the bacon, and cook for about 1 minute on each side, until partially cooked. Set aside.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface and then transfer it to the prepared baking dish, stretching it to fit into the corners. Make four to six indentations in the dough, and crack an egg into each one. Season each egg with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the onion pieces and bacon strips over the bread. Sprinkle with the cheese and thyme leaves and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown, the bacon is crisp, and the egg whites are set. Top with the chives.




Some recipes age well over time as you tweak them again and again. This one has been tested and retested in our home. The granola breaks perfectly into crisp chunks with just the right bite of sweet and salt. We recommend you serve this with a creamy sheep’s-milk yogurt.

¾ cup vegetable oil

⅓ cup honey

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoon
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urs instead of wheat flour. The only “scary” ingredient in this recipe is xanthan gum, which is a sugar-fermented plant bacterium that gets ground into a powder to act as an emulsifier, thickener, and gluten imitator. Don’t be afraid.

This bread holds up when toasted, grilled, fried, and rubbed with garlic; it’s fantastic with all the toasting methods. It’s highly absorbent and very forgiving. It serves as a base for making sweet and savory versions and stays soft for 4 to 5 days.

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1½ cups warm water (between 90˚F and 100˚F)*

1 tablespoon honey

1½ cups brown rice flour

½ cup quinoa flour

¼ cup flaxseed meal

¾ cup potato starch

½ cup millet

4 teaspoons xanthan gum

2 teaspoons salt

¼ cup olive oil

3 large eggs plus 3 large egg whites

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, water, and honey. Let sit for 10 minutes. It should get foamy.

2. Meanwhile, to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the brown rice flour, quinoa flour, and flaxseed meal. Stir until tan and toasty, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then mix in the potato starch, millet, xanthan gum, and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, egg whites, and cider vinegar together.

4. Transfer the flour mixture to a standing mixer. Add the yeast mixture and pulse a few times until combined. Add the oil mixture and continue to mix for 2 to 3 minutes (or mix by hand for 8 to 10 minutes) until a smooth dough forms.

5. Lightly oil a 10-inch loaf pan. Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan. Let rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.

6. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

7. Bake until the bread is golden brown and baked through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. The internal temperature should be 160˚F if you have a thermometer; otherwise, just vibe it—stick a toothpick in the center to see if it comes out clean, or press the top to see if it’s bouncy. Cool before slicing. THIS IS GOOD.

*Microwave room-temp water for about 1 minute to reach 100˚F . . . it should feel like a not-that-hot hot tub when you dip your finger in. If the water is too hot, you risk killing the yeast, which will keep the bread from rising.


brekky toasts

Avocado Classic

Smoked Trout and Grapefruit

Togarashi Egg Salad

Oyster Omelet

Smoked Salmon


Harissa Scramble

Bacon and Date

Madagascar Banana

Apricot-Stuffed French Toast

Green Guru Eggs

Tomatillo Egg

Ricotta Part I: Lavender Ricotta

Ricotta Bonus Round: Jam-Swirled Ricotta Pancakes

Avocado Classic


Super simple but perhaps the gateway drug to a book full of toast, the avotoast is a way of life. I first experienced it at Cafe Gitane in SoHo in 2002. There’s since been a proliferation; no one’s complaining. Give yourself this gift as often as possible.

2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled

3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

4 ½-inch-thick slices highly grainy bread, pan-toasted

¼ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, quartered

1. In a medium bowl, using a fork, half mash the avocados with the lemon juice and salt.

2. Top the toasts with the citrusy avocado. Sprinkle with chili flakes and a drizzle of oil.

3. Serve each toast with a lemon quarter, to be squeezed aggressively at the table.

Smoked Trout and Grapefruit


One of the nicest things a boyfriend has done for me was to break into my apartment. The guy busted in, supremed enough grapefruit to fill a quart container, cleaned up his mess, and exited unseen. A supremed slice of fruit is simple decadence, and it’s a pain: Juice. Gets. Everywhere. Never mind all that juice (or awaiting another boyfriend break-in); here is the lazy lady supreme. It provides a similar effect, plus it’s lawful and especially convenient when preparing breakfast.

1 grapefruit

¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives

2 teaspoons agave nectar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons crème fraîche

4 ¼-inch-thick slices whole wheat, rye, or spelt bread, oven-toasted

¼ cup small-diced peeled cucumber

4 ounces smoked trout

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1. Lazy lady supreme the grapefruit by slicing off both ends, then the rest of the peel, removing all the pith. Slice in half, top to bottom. Then slice into half-moons. Pull the segments apart. You’ll use half the grapefruit.

2. In a food processor or with an immersion blender, mix the olives, agave nectar, oil, and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the crème fraîche.

3. Spread the olive crème on the toasts. Lay on the grapefruit sections. Top with pieces of cucumber dice and smoked trout. Sprinkle with the lemon zest.

Want to pi
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Lowfat graham crackers



Olive oil

Nonstick cooking spray

Natural peanut butter (I love the Peanut Butter & Co. brand, carried at most major and gourmet supermarkets)

Reduced-fat low-sodium chicken broth

Reduced-fat low-sodium beef broth

Canned tomatoes—crushed and whole

Canned chickpeas

Canned beets

Canned navy beans

Canned kidney beans

Solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie mix)

Crushed pineapple (packed in juice)

High-quality bottled pasta sauce

Unsweetened coconut

Breadcrumbs: panko,

Italian-style whole wheat, or regular

Balsamic vinegar

Reduced-sodium soy sauce


Worcestershire sauce

Pure maple syrup







Step 1

Set aside time every week.

Plan to go grocery shopping once a week to buy all the fruits and vegetables you need for the week’s worth of purees. In addition, plan to spend one hour a week making the purees. I have a standing date with my husband in the kitchen every Sunday night after the kids have gone to bed. We do a good catch-up and planning meeting for the week ahead while I puree the night away (really, it only takes an hour to make a ton of purees). And when I’m done, I feel so virtuous.

Which vegetables do you buy? Decide which you think your child is most likely to eat. If he is very picky about green vegetables, I’d suggest starting with cauliflower, butternut squash, zucchini, and yellow squash, because they’re easier to conceal.

And how much? Start with one pound of each vegetable, or one head of cauliflower, or one butternut squash. Once you get a stash of purees in your freezer, you can simply replenish it as necessary each week.

You can steal a few minutes here and there at other times during the week, too: when I’ve got the oven on for baking, for example, I’ll throw in a couple of sweet potatoes to roast alongside whatever else I’m cooking.

Step 2

Prepare vegetables and fruits.

1. Wash the veggies and fruits and drain in a colander.

2. Lay out a sheet of waxed paper, a dish towel, or a recycled paper shopping bag (cut so that you can open it out) to collect the trimmings.

3. Prepare the vegetables and fruit as shown.

Sometimes, instead of using fresh produce, I’ll use frozen veggies or just open a can. Canned beets and pineapple, for instance, make fine purees (buy pineapple that’s packed in natural juices, not sugar syrup). Drain before pureeing.

If I’m really in a hurry, I’ll sometimes use the cut-up fresh vegetables that are sold in supermarkets. Check that they look fresh, not dried or discolored.

4. Remember that the good thing about fruits is that they don’t need to be cooked. In certain recipes, even the vegetables don’t need to be cooked—just finely chopped in the food processor. You’ll see that I’ve noted this in recipe headnotes, wherever possible.

Step 3

Cook the vegetables.

Steaming is a great way to cook vegetables because it preserves their nutrients. You can use a rice steamer, a collapsible steamer basket, or a pasta pot with drainer.

1. Peel, trim, and cut up the vegetable as shown.

2. Put about 1 inch of water in the bottom of a pot. Add a steamer basket (without the vegetables), cover, and bring the water to a boil. (Or follow the instructions that come with your rice steamer.)

If you don’t have any other type of steamer, you can also steam in a saucepan: bring ½ inch water to a boil, add the veggies, cover, and steam. But be careful—the water evaporates quickly; if it does, the vegetables may burn.

3. Place the vegetables in the steamer—up to a double layer will steam well—cover, and steam the number of minutes recommended.

If you’re steaming several different batches of vegetables, start each batch with fresh water. Particularly with green vegetables, the steaming water gets bitter and it will turn the vegetables bitter, too.

4. Drain the vegetables in a colander.

Roasting is our friend. It is an easy way to cook sweet potatoes, beets, and butternut squash—just throw the vegetable unpeeled in the oven, set a timer, and forget about it while you go check your e-mail or make a fort with your kids.

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Prepare the vegetables as recommended, place them on a foil-lined baking sheet, and roast until tender.

3. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Then peel beets, or scoop sweet potato or squash out of the peel with a tablespoon—it should glide right out.

Microwave cooking is fast and requires no special cooking equipment. Since all microwave ovens are different, it’s impossible to give hard and fast cooking times, but you’ll get a handle on it quickly with a little trial and error.

1. Peel, trim, and cut up the vegetables.

2. Put the vegetables in a glass or ceramic container (no metal!). Add 2 tablespoons of wa
he water and creates a pseudoplastic substance (i.e., a slurry). Though untreated pure starches are insoluble in cold water, some starches are “modified,” which means that most are chemically treated so they absorb cold water and remain stable under a variety of mixing, baking, freezing, and thawing conditions. But starch can also be modified physically through cooking and drying to stabilize it. Functions of starch, whether it is pure starch or a component of a higher-protein flour:

REINFORCE STRUCTURE: As the starch heats during the baking process, the starch granules begin to absorb moisture and swell. This is the process of gelatinization, in which the starch granules swell and thicken into a gel, trapping air bubbles and adding volume and structure to the baked good. Pregelatinizing the starch (heat-treating it before mixing) increases the elasticity of the dough prior to putting it in the oven and, to some degree, mimics the action of gluten in trapping air bubbles.

CREATE CRUMB OR TEXTURE: Yeast feeds on sugar during the fermentation process, and the starch, when it comes in contact with water, releases enzymes that break the starch down into sugar. As the yeast eats the sugar, it produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. The CO2 leavens the bread and gives it its crumb and bubble-like texture. Meanwhile the alcohol evaporates during proofing or is burned off during baking. Starch in nonyeast breads also adds to the crumb by gelling and trapping air and water in the dough, as described above.

AID IN MOISTURE RETENTION: When starch granules are heated, they swell and absorb liquids, infusing the dough with moisture. As the bread cools, the gel created by water absorption begins to return to its granular state. When stale bread is reheated in an oven, the starch once again absorbs water and gelatinizes, improving its taste.


Gluten, which we are all avoiding, is protein. Proteins are chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of life. Proteins are also the building blocks of baked goods, both wheat-based and gluten-free. Xanthan and guar gums are routinely used as gluten replacements, yet neither contains a measurable amount of protein. Some gluten-free flours are high in protein, which certainly can help, but they often are included as a percentage of an overall flour mixture and often require some type of binder like eggs or starch gels to retain moisture. Flours made from rolled oats (14%) and flax meal (23%) are high in protein and have good binding properties.

Ingredients like eggs, dried milk powder, and whey protein are often added to gluten-free bread recipes. (For the dairy-free recipes in this book—they’re flagged with this icon —it may be coconut milk.) These are all good sources of protein and act as building blocks in developing structure. This section describes the function of protein in general; eggs, which have very specific functions, are described in the section that follows. Functions of protein in baked goods:

BUILD STRUCTURE: Proteins do the opposite of tenderizers. They toughen the dough and build the framework for the structure of baked goods. Remember in the old gluten-heavy days when high-protein wheat flour worked great for breads, but made tough, rubbery pie crusts? That is because of the high protein content. After many years of baking gluten-free, I’ve found we definitely have the advantage when it comes to pie crusts and other tender baked goods.

ENHANCE BROWNING: During the final stages of baking, when the crust has reached a high enough temperature, the carbohydrates (in the form of sugar) and the amino acids (in the protein) combine to brown the crust and produce the aroma we associate with baked bread. This process, known as the Maillard reaction, is also responsible for the browning and flavor of roasted meats. Baked goods like cakes and muffins will remain pale and not develop a crusty, flavorful exterior with low-protein gluten-free flours.


Eggs are proteins in a category all their own when it comes to baking, particularly gluten-free baking. Eggs are the basis of many flourless recipes, custards, meringues, and angel food and sponge cakes, and are an excellent multipurpose source of protein that, depending on the recipe, binds, tenderizes, moisturizes, dries, and/or leavens baked goods. Whole eggs are good for certain recipes; some recipes call for just yolks or whites; and some call for both, but added separately.

WHOLE EGGS: Egg proteins in their natural state are separate little coils. When exposed to heat, when vigorously mixed, or when in contact with acidity, the coils unwind, attach themselves to other proteins, and form a web. This is how liquid raw eggs become solid and how egg whites are whipped into a meringue. These webs are the reason eggs are not only superb leavening agents and binders but also an important source of struc


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