Tagged wheat-free

Ddeokguk / Tteokguk / Korean Rice Cake Soup

soup

This soup is one of my go-to Korean dishes that the whole family loves. If you’re gluten-free, look for the rice cakes/ovalettes that are made without wheat. They look like this and usually come vacuum-packaged in the refrigerated section of your Korean or Asian store. There are many ways to make the soup; this is my favorite.

To make it, you’ll need

1 pound of sirloin or tenderloin or rib-eye meat, sliced thinly across the grain, and then into bite-sized strips

It’s easiest to slice meat in semi-frozen state; you can also purchase pre-sliced bulgogi beef at your Korean store, they usually come in 2-pound packages, at least where I live, so if not making straight up bulgogi I divide the package into 1-pound packages to incorporate into stir-fries or soups.

Marinate the beef in a bowl, at least 30 minutes or up to several hours in the fridge, with:

4 large cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and mashed to a paste with a pinch of sea salt
1 inch piece gingerroot, peeled and minced
2 scallions, chopped, plus additional if using for topping
3 tablespoons soy sauce (or use wheat-free tamari
if you’re gluten-free)
2 tablespoons sugar (regular granulated or brown will work here)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
several grinds freshly ground black pepper

To make the soup:

1 1.5-lb. package rice cake ovalettes
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
cooking spray or additional oil for making omelettes and stir-frying beef
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 sheets toasted gim or nori
Fish sauce and/or soy sauce/tamari, to taste
2 scallions, sliced thinly
Storebought or homemade kimchi for serving
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Shichimi togarashi
for serving, to taste

In a large bowl, soak the rice cakes in tap water for 30 minutes.

While the rice cakes are soaking, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. When hot but not smoking, add marinated beef and stir fry a few minutes over high heat until it has turned color. With a slotted spoon, remove half the beef into a bowl. Add 7 cups water into the saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling lower heat to a simmer, 20 minutes or so.

While broth is cooking, heat skillet and coat bottom with cooking spray or oil. When hot, pour in enough of the beaten egg to cover bottom of pan. Cook briefly, just until set, and remove to a cutting board. Repeat with the remaining egg, coating bottom of skillet with spray or oil each time, until all the egg is gone. Julienne and set aside.

Cut nori with scissors into thin strips, or crush into pieces with your hands.

Add scallions to the broth. Taste for seasoning and adjust using fish sauce and/or soy sauce. Add the soaked rice cakes and cook 7-8 minutes or just until tender. Do not overcook.

While rice cakes are cooking, heat skillet and coat with a bit of oil. Over high heat, return the beef that was set aside and stir-fry a few minutes or just until heated through.

Ladle broth and rice cakes into bowls, top with beef, julienned egg, and gim/nori strips. Sprinkle with (optional) chopped scallions and sesame seeds. Serve with shichimi togarashi and kimchi on the side.

Autumn Breakfast Quinoa

autumnquinoa

Here’s a simple, flexible recipe for autumn-themed quinoa. I was out of breakfast ideas and saw pumpkin quinoa on Pinterest, and that was enough to set me experimenting on my own.

I’ve had horrible experiences with overcooked quinoa, so this was carefully watched.

Bring a pot

~4 cups water

to the boil over high heat.

When boiling, add

1 cup quinoa

and lower heat to medium. Let cook ~10 minutes or just until done.

While quinoa is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

When done, drain well (a large sieve works well for me). Transfer to a large bowl and toss with

3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

Spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake 30 minutes, giving it a good stir every 10 minutes or so. Don’t press too much on the grains, you don’t want them all smooshed together as to become pasty. After the first 10 minutes, keep stirring/tossing, but leave them in small flattish clumps, with spaces in between, so that some edges get exposed to air and get nice and toasty. You’re shooting for a nice combo of soft and grainy but with a teeny bit of crunch. What you’re really doing is drying it, kinda like how you would make granola. (If you have more time, you can extend the baking time so the quinoa does get crunchier and drier.)

Remove from oven and serve hot. I topped mine with a sprinkling of brown sugar, chopped pecans (which would be really yummy made into a praline first, but who’s got time for that, right?), and raspberries, after which I drizzled a bit of almond milk all throughout.

Walnuts would work too, roasted 5-7 minutes first in a 350 degree F oven
Raisins
Cranberries
Fresh chopped apples, or apples cooked in a bit of butter or Earth Balance, lemon juice and cinnamon
Hemp seeds, YUM!!
Butter! (if you’re not avoiding dairy), or maybe a little cream
Any other autumny fruit or nut topping you like
Maple syrup would be sensational

Happy Fall!!!

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Quinoa is grown in the Andean region, so this dish would be suitable for celebrating the feast days of any of the following saints. A simple variation of toppings — for instance, strawberries for the spring or summer saints, or an Andean-grown fruit, like dried papaya — will work here.

St. Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran, August 30
St. Teresa of the Andes, July 13
St. Francis Solano, July 14
St. Laura Montoya, May 13
St. Martin de Porres, November 3
St. Rose of Lima, August 23

Chocolate Chocolate “Luna Bars” (DIY, Homemade, Yummy)

Who doesn’t love Luna Bars, right? I would eat them everyday, but my family can’t. So I got to thinking — they’re really just rice krispies (TM) with a layer of chocolate or other creamy sticky sweet goodness. The sad thing is my allergy-sufferers can’t really enjoy them because these bars usually have stuff in them my people can’t/shouldn’t eat. Enter the DIY Luna Bar.

chocchoc

1/2 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/4 cup raw honey (can use less if you’re trying to cut down on sugar)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups chocolate-flavored crispy rice cereal — I used EnviroKidz but you can use Erewhon if you want a purer product made in a completely allergen-free facility
2 tablespoons soy protein shake mix (use another type of protein powder if you can’t have soy)
1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Kirkland’s)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
cooking spray, for your hands and for the pan

In a saucepan, combine almond butter, agave nectar, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Stir over low heat until runny (it will still be very thick). (You can microwave instead, if you like — we got rid of our microwave a few years ago.)
In a large bowl, combine cereal and soy protein shake mix or other protein powder. Stir in the almond butter mixture and fold-fold-fold until well-combined, using sprayed hands if need be to make sure everything is incorporated well.
In a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together until smooth.

Line a small rectangular pan with parchment, making sure that it’s long enough so you’ve got it overhanging on both sides. I used one that’s roughly 5 x 7 as it’s the one that was most suited for this. If I had used a larger pan the bars would be too thin and I didn’t want that. So my bars came out thicker than I would have liked, but hey, who’s complaining. 😀

Spray pan and parchment with cooking spray, very lightly.
Pour in melted chocolate and spread evenly to edges. Pour in cereal mixture and press down with a spatula and/or your hands. Take a second piece of parchment or some waxed paper and put that on top. Press to smoosh everything just a bit even if you crush some of the cereal. Weigh down with a heavy something, like a marble mortar or a brick.

Chill in the fridge 30 minutes or so. Run a hot knife along edge of pan to loosen, and turn out onto a cutting board.

chocchoc2

Cut into bars or squares, whichever you prefer. Ours didn’t turn out as “pretty” as we would like, but with all that chocolatey crunch, no one cared.

chocchoc3

Prepare to be inundated with requests to make this again and again and again.

Habemus Papam!!

Well, that was a short conclave!! Thank You, Holy Spirit!

waiting with bated breath for the Pope's appearance, ready for screenshots
waiting with bated breath for the Pope’s appearance, ready for screenshots

I don’t know what we were expecting, but we sure didn’t expect the text from Pope Alarm telling us about the WHITE SMOKE!! We all rushed in front of the computer and forgot all about lunch. It was already a late lunch as I was teaching my 14-year-old how to make a spicy tofu stir-fry, and it was made even later because we found ourselves glued to EWTN online and couldn’t look away. Consequently, lunch wasn’t served ’til ~3:30 pm. But no matter. We were jumping up and down, hungry and teary and just joyful and thankful all around. What a beautiful day! We ended the day with a late dinner after the kids’ various activities.

Allergen-Free Dinner in honor of the Pope
Allergen-Free Dinner in honor of the Pope: Argentine “Fried Rice”, Roasted Shrimp with Chimichurri Sauce, Sauteed Spinach, a 2011 Malbec, and some Dulce de Batata con Chocolate

This is such an exciting time!!!


I am gathering here a collection of pictures and articles that caught my eye/our eyes yesterday and today.

Pope Francis the Liberal or Pope Francis the Conservative…

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Viva Il Papa from Teresa Tomeo

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Pope Francis’ first 24 hours: Doing it his way

awestruck

Francis offers his second blessing as Pope to pregnant woman

catholicchurch

Pope Francis pays his hotel bill, avoids pomp and visits chapel revered by Jesuits from Radio Vaticana

catholicmemes

“What is that banana peal doing on MY SIDEWALK?” from Fr. Zuhlsdorf

catholicmemes1

The First American Pope from George Weigel

catholicmemes2

Traditionalists and Pope Francis: Can We Take a Deep Breath and Please Calm Down?

catholicsistas

Pope Francis on Same-Sex Marriage: ‘A Move of the Father of Lies;’ ‘A Total Rejection of God’s Law’

dennisbrown1

Pope Francis to cardinals: ‘I hope God forgives you’

domenicobettinelli

Pope’s 1st Trip Was to Lay Flowers in Front of Image of the Virgin Mary

ewtn

Pope Francis presides first Mass of his pontificate at Sistine Chapel

from L'Osservatore Romano on FB
from L’Osservatore Romano on FB

Pope Francis’ First Homily

The Waffle Adventures (Allergen-Free), Part 1

First attempt:  not enough batter, but excellent flavor and crunch.
First attempt: not enough batter, but excellent flavor and crunch.

Our whole family loves waffles. My personal love affair with the waffle started with the cheese-filled waffle-on-a-stick at our school cafeteria in high school. When Aisa was little I bought us one of those waffle iron – grilled sandwich combo makers, the kind that pressed the edges of bread together, creating a seal so the sandwich filling stays in. That got old after a while, as cleaning that machine proved to be too tedious, and eventually you couldn’t get every bit of batter off, so it developed an icky sort of sticky coating that tended to attract dust and… we got rid of it. Back to Eggo waffles we went, until in 2004 several family members were diagnosed with wheat, dairy and egg allergies. We missed waffles terribly so every now and then we’d just throw caution to the wind and eat them anyway, especially on the occasional trip to the Original Pancake House. More recently Van’s waffles became available in area supermarkets, so we’d give in to the waffle craving every now and then. Van’s waffles are okay but they are about as satisfying as eating filling-less wafers. :/ Since part of my Lenten resolution is to recommit to recipe development for my allergy-sufferers, we’ve started on a new series of experiments, and hopefully this time we’ll “get it”. Here’s part 1.

Attempt 2:  too much batter (3/4 cup as recommended) but spilled through the sides as iron was turned and while waffle was baking.
Attempt 2: too much batter (3/4 cup as recommended) but spilled through the sides as iron was turned and while waffle was baking.

The Waffle Adventures

3/4 cup brown rice flour (I used freshly-milled organic short-grain brown rice)
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 cup almond milk
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy protein shake mix (see note)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Whisk everything until smooth. Pour into preheated waffle iron and bake according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Excellent crunch, all spaces filled, but batter still too lacy and light, and burned too quickly.
Excellent crunch, all spaces filled, but batter still too lacy and light, and burned too quickly.

Note: I used soy protein shake mix because

a) I wanted to increase the protein content of the recipe, for better nutrition. I had my culinologist/chef daughter look over the ingredients. She didn’t find any questionable ones and told me they were mostly vitamins. I understand that many people are allergic to soy, so I’d recommend either whey protein powder if you’re not avoiding dairy, or rice protein powder (which I haven’t used but have been told that it’s interchangeable with other protein powders), or a tablespoon of some bean flour or starch such as garfava flour or quinoa or some other protein-rich source.
b) we had it and I wanted to use it up.

I also used a Belgian waffle maker because that’s our goal — not the square kinds — if you’re making a thinner waffle, this recipe may work for you as is.
I used the recommended setting of “4” on the Belgian waffle maker, baking the first side until the machine beeped, and then let it bake another 2 minutes after turning. This produced varied results depending on the amount of batter. When we used the recommended 3/4 cup, the batter spilled out the sides as we turned the iron and while it was baking. Maybe 2/3 cup will work better. If protein is added so that the batter is thicker, a setting of 3 and a longer baking time may be just right.

the waffle, off the iron
the waffle, off the iron

As you can see, the experiment wasn’t quite as successful as we were hoping it would be, but we’re hopeful because of several things:

a) we’ve got the crunch right.
b) the batter may need a bit more heft/thickness, which I think is easily achievable with the addition of some quinoa or amaranth or teff or garfava flour as mentioned above. In tiny amounts they shouldn’t affect the flavor/texture too much.
c) the batter may need a bit more heft/thickness so it fills up the waffle iron easily, but doesn’t flow too quickly out of the waffle iron sides as you turn it. I think (b) would solve that problem as well.
d) we’ve got the flavor right.
e) the kids ate every single one of this “failed experiment” — so in this respect, it’s already a success.

back to not enough batter, but at least we've still got the crunch right, and this time color is perfect.
back to not enough batter, but at least we’ve still got the crunch right, and this time color is perfect.

Murphy’s Law: Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer

coeuralacreme

Yesterday, Valentine’s Day, was as horrible as it could possibly be. This happens every Lent, like clockwork. If you start writing about how holy your kids are, by the time you hit publish at the end of you day, you’ll be wishing you didn’t have kids. If you ask for patience, your patience will be tried. The more you try to be humble, the more you fall into pride. It’s that paradox again.

I think that Murphy’s Law is God’s way of giving non-believers their own version of Lent, they just don’t recognize it as such. Maybe when they fall victim to it, they are actually just suffering in some way as part of their redemption. I wouldn’t be surprised if it really is all just part of the Lord’s economy of salvation.

Perhaps it’s to reach a new level of humility. Why do I write about my kids doing holy things? Is it to point to God’s everlasting goodness, or to my awesomeness as a parent? Do we do what we do for God, or for ourselves?

Quoting my friend,

To this day, I’m sometimes still figuring out whether I am using for the benefit of the world whatever knowledge and skill I have developed or for my own vainglory.

I go back and forth between those moments as well, and I doubt we’re the only two people questioning ourselves. Perhaps what really counts here is awareness, which is the first step to holiness. Perhaps what He’s really asking from us is a sincere seeking for the Truth. God takes what we have and works with it. He makes all of it beautiful.

The human condition, unfortunately, wraps us up in so much doubt — we ask this question because we recognize just how far we are from loving unconditionally and we worry whether it will ever be within our grasp. We look with wonder at those great conversions, and wonder, is there something like it for me? Do I need some Damascus moment, or to get pummeled with a spiritual 2 x 4? I sometimes wish God would just pluck me out of the latest mess I’ve gotten myself into, and drop me on some virgin land, where I can stand in the open air and breathe… just pick one moment, like when winter ends and spring begins, cool air seeping through my lungs at the same time that the sun warms my face. If only salvation were that easy….

It’s embarrassing to admit that I have asked God to send me a cross, and then begged piteously for Him to take it away when it came. He must be endlessly amused at my false bravado. These days I ask instead for Him to shatter that cross into a million toothpicks to prick me and wake me up every moment for the rest of my life, because it’s probably the only way I can manage to say yes to it all. It’s obvious I am not like Papa Ben who can turn away from something as huge as the papacy. (I wonder if he’s turned away from Fanta as well.)

All this musing reminds me of our journey through the world of food allergies. My husband was diagnosed with allergies in 2004. But eight years later, it seems I still have not been able to love him through it perfectly, the way I ought to, the way only God can.

So yesterday, for Valentine’s Day, I made him two desserts: one that’s healthy for him, because it contains no wheat, but is really a half-hearted effort because I know I can do better and just haven’t expended the effort to do so; and another that I know is bad for him, because of all the dairy, but is sooooo delicious and which he loved last year. It’s also my farewell to the world of wishy-washiness, and a step into the world where I embrace this cross that’s been given us, because I’ve given the Lord enough excuses.

dessert

Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry Sauce

3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1.25 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

10 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed
3 tablespoons sugar

Wet cheesecloth, wring it, and line mold.
Melt white chocolate in double boiler and set aside to cool.
Combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup cream and the confectioner’s sugar in mixer bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, then add the white chocolate and beat a couple more minutes until smooth. Transfer to bowl.
Beat remaining 1 cup cream to stiff peaks and gently fold into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into prepared mold, smoothing the top with a spatula. Fold cheesecloth over. Place on a rimmed sheet pan or dish. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
To prepare the puree: Blend raspberries, including their juice, plus the sugar, until smooth. Transfer to sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids. Cover and chill ~4 hours.
Unmold creme onto rimmed serving platter. Pour raspberry sauce around creme.

Wheat-Free Brownies

4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
Chopped almonds, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare 8-inch baking pan (round or square, doesn’t matter, but know you’ll have to cut them differently 🙂 ) by spraying, lining with parchment, and spraying again.

Melt coconut oil and unsweetened chocolate in double boiler. Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract into melted chocolate, whisking until smooth.
Combine melted chocolate mixture, dry ingredients and Greek yogurt, until smooth.
Pour into prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before turning out onto cutting board. Let cool completely before cutting.


In typical foodie fashion, this represents a kind of conversion as well. This next year I will do my best to refrain from running away from this cross, or from meeting the challenge only halfway. Fr. Dubay talks about two levels of excellence, and by doing this I hope to aspire to both.

Lesson learned: While there are those of us who can embrace the cross wholeheartedly the second it hits their shoulder, I am clearly not one of those people. Pride said, “Where’s my cross, Lord? Bring it!” I hope I’ve learned enough to whisper softly now, “Bring it, Lord, please, but if You would, only bit by bit. And with a hearty helping of grace as well, because there’s no other way I can do it.”

Grain-Free Muffins

from Meals that Heal Inflammation

Recipe can be found here.

But here’s my adaptation:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line muffin tin.

Whisk together 2.5 cups almond flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp cinnamon.
Add 3 large eggs, 1/2 cup EVOO, 1/2 cup honey, 1 tbsp vanilla extract.
Stir in 1 cup berries or diced apples, or chopped dried fruit like figs.

Bake 15 minutes, rotate pan, bake 20 minutes more. Test for doneness (toothpick should come out clean). Let stand 15 minutes, then cool on rack. Store airtight, 3 days.

Braised Fresh Ham, Szechwan Style

Feeds a family of 7, easy. For at least 2 meals. Perhaps more if you accompany with rice or steamed bread and LOTS of vegetables. In the Philippines we have a somewhat similar dish called Pata Tim, though that one’s made with pork knuckles or trotters or hocks. I prefer those for deep-frying, as in Filipino crispy pata, but for this I like using fresh ham, the part of the leg that hasn’t been cured or smoked.

Half of a fresh ham (got one from my local farmer, about 6.5 pounds)
4 scallions
5-inch piece ginger
10 large dried shiitake mushrooms
water
3 whole star anise
4 dried cayenne peppers
1 tablespoon Szechwan peppercorns
3/4 cup soy sauce (use wheat-free tamari if you want wheat- or gluten-free)
1/2 cup xiao xing wine
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons salt

Put ham in a large pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. I really would have covered mine with water, but the ham was BIG and came up to about 1 inch from the top of my 7.25-qt. Le Creuset, so I added however much water I could, keeping in mind that as the water boils it will tend to splatter and overflow. I simply turned the meat over a couple of times during cooking to make sure the whole thing cooked evenly.

Add scallions, ginger, mushrooms, star anise, dried cayennes, and Szechwan peppercorns.

Bring to a boil, then skim off whatever scum rises to the surface. Bring down heat to medium and cook 2 hours, turning meat a couple of times as necessary.

Add soy sauce, wine and sugar. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 2 hours more.

Add sesame oil (I forgot to include it in the pic) and salt, give the liquid a good stir and cook over medium heat to reduce liquid to about 1/3 of original amount.

Serve with rice or huajuan (Chinese steamed scallion rolls, recipe coming) and lots of veggies. We like steamed or blanched spinach or bok choy, or anything that’s sprightly green.

It’s a dish that can be easily adapted to a crock pot. You’ll just need smaller pieces of meat.

Brazilian Cuisine: Pao de Queijo

Pao de Queijo made from mix
Pao de Queijo made from mix
the kids making pao de queijo balls
the kids making pao de queijo balls

paodequeijo3

paodequeijo4


Pao de Queijo from scratch
Pao de Queijo from scratch

Pao de Queijo from scratch: mixing the dough. Working with this dough was such fun — because it’s made from starch, the feel that’s most similar is working homemade playdough — have you ever made some? It’s made with flour and cornstarch and salt and oil (the salt is so that kids don’t eat it). Because of the oil in playdough, and in this pao de queijo dough, it is not necessary to flour the board and kneading the dough reminded me once again of why I love to bake, and bake bread specifically.

paodequeijo6

Pao de Queijo made from scratch — yummier according to my kids — I didn’t realize their palates were that refined, as I hardly noticed the difference myself; but the pao de queijo made from the mix did have a different aftertaste, though very slight. There was also a vaguely discernible powdery feel to the outside of the mix-bread, though I don’t know if this quality is desirable or not. I’d definitely choose to make this from scratch anyday of the week, even if it’s just to avoid any bad fats or preservatives.

paodequeijo7

The inside of a Pao de Queijo, where you can see the stretch — similar in appearance to gluten strands, but of course this bread is gluten-free. I would describe it as gelatinous, except that the word makes me think of icky goo, from which this bread is miles apart. Biting into it is akin to biting into a gougere, except that the exterior offers more resistance and does not have the typical almost-crumbling of a good gougere. The cheese smell is pleasing and not overpowering at all, making these adorable little balls an excellent accompaniment to some tomato or tomato-based soup.

Paco, 10, with his Pao de Queijo Man
Paco, 10, with his Pao de Queijo Man

The recipe I used — but modified just a wee bit — can be found here. I did half-and-half sour and sweet tapioca starch, used only 2 eggs, and 125 grams of grated Romano — I was out of Parmesan. I would have used a fresh Mexican cheese which I’ve heard is best for this if you can’t find Brazilian cheese, but I wanted to use up my Romano. Perhaps next time.

paodequeijo9

another recipe, from recipezaar

The dough is very sticky to work with at first, but once you add the eggs in and work the dough it turns into this pliable, smooth, fragrant cheesy mass — the kind of dough I like to call baker-friendly:). Because it’s warm dough (like I said, it’s like working with playdough) it’s a particularly fun bread to make during winter. And there’s enough oil to keep it from sticking to your work surface.

Tapioca starch comes from the manioc root, a.k.a. cassava a.k.a. yucca or yuca, a tuber — botanical name manihot esculenta found all over South America and also in Aisa. There are two kinds: the bitter, poisonous kind — which is also eaten but processed differently — and the sweet kind, which we can buy here in the US fresh, or frozen, or processed. It is made into flour and starch, and it’s also where tapioca balls comes from. Interestingly, manioc flour or harina de mandioca is very coarse, the texture similar to cornmeal rather than flour. Here in the US look for it in Mexican or other Latin American stores (Yoki or Goya brand), or health food stores — Bob’s Red Mill I think makes it too.

Look for

  • Tapioca Starch
  • Manioc Starch
  • Yuca Harina
  • Almidón de Yuca
  • Polvilho Doce
  • Amido de Mandioca

For the sour starch, if using, look for:

  • Sour Starch
  • Almidón Agrio
  • Polvilho Azedo

.