Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Gluten-free Chicano Bakes Breads, teatro news

The Gluten-free Chicano Bakes
Banana Raisin Oat Bread
Michael Sedano

The first food a Celiac or gluten-sensitive person gives up is bread. Desperate, you buy a loaf of gluten-free bread. Once or twice, then rarely. Analogs satisfy only in desperation, with rare exceptions, so diners opt for work-arounds.

Work-arounds satisfy in their own way. The zucchini tortilla, for example, makes its own side dish. Lettuce burgers are fun. Tortilla de maíz isn’t the same as tortilla de harina, but darned good.

As exceptions to the analogs-don't-work rule, the Gluten-free Chicano offers a pair of breads with their own satisfactions. There’s a dessert-snack bread analog that’s beautifully-textured and keeps for a week. There’s a stretchy chewy dinner bread that's its own genus, not a make-do. Plus, you can bake it for puffy goodness, or fry it for immediate gratification.

The Gluten-free Chicano’s Banana Bread
1 old soft banana
2 eggs
1 cube butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup almond flour
½ GF baking flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon ground
½ cup walnut halves
¼ - ½ cup raisins
¼ cup oatmeal rolled
1 tbs granulated sugar / sprinkle cinnamon

Have butter and eggs room temperature.
Grease a glass baking pan, set aside
Preheat oven Bake setting to 350º F
Bake 50 minutes~1 hour then test

Diabetics will consume this advisedly.

The Gluten-free Chicano uses a KitchenAid stand mixer whose powerful motor turns the ripe banana smooth and creamy, and works equally effortlessly to completely blend the ingredients.

Banana hint: put an old banana in the freezer overnight. Defrosted, it’s half-smooth already.
Brand: I use Bob’s Red Mill flour blend and Simple Truth almond flour.

Cream the banana on medium to high speed.
Add two eggs, continue blending.
Add softened butter in quarters.
Add the cinnamon.
Add baking powder and baking soda.
Stop. Scrape the beater and sides of mixing bowl into the mass.
Reduce speed.
Add the almond flour and blend for a few seconds.
Add the GF baking flour and blend for a few seconds.
Scrape the bowl and beater. Scrape the bottom and corners of the bowl.
Add the walnuts, raisins, oats.
Blend for a half minute.
The batter has a thick smooth texture that flows easily off the beaters. Beat in a teaspoon of warm water if you think the batter doesn’t flow easily.
Scrape everything into the greased baking pan.
Sprinkle granulated sugar across the top. Dust the top with cinnamon.

Depending on the heat of the oven, 50 minutes should be enough for the first test. If the top of the loaf jiggles, you’re twenty minutes from done. If the top is solid enough, put a knife blade into the deepest part of the bread. If the blade isn’t coated with wet dough, it’s done.

There will be crumbs, but no coating. Be patient and give a still-wet-but-crumby bread another ten minutes in the closed oven with the heat off.

Let the bread cool for half an hour to an hour in the pan. Leave it there or invert it on a platter or board to slice. Wrap or bag tightly what’s left.

Eat it plain, with a cold lemonade or leche on the side.
Spread a bit of cream cheese on warm Gluten-free banana bread and serve.
À la mode your warm Gluten-free banana bread with vanilla ice cream.

Dinner Bread: “Brazilian Bites”

Yuca. Manioc. Cassava. Boba. Tapioca. Tapioca flour.

That’s what caught The Gluten-free Chicano’s eye the other day. Desperate for a breadlike substance, el GFC sprung for La Brea Gluten-free analog bread and after one grilled cheese sandwich, la chickenada got the remainder of the loaf. el GFC should know better. Analogs don't satisfy. Tapioca isn't analogous to anything. Yuca belongs in its own world and in the gluten-free kitchen.

Then el Gluten-free Chicano remembered this Brazilian steak house that served gluten-free bread puffs. They were made in the restaurant's kitchen. No wheat, the puffs are yuca. These orts have that chewy consistency of fried yuca wedges, and so delicious you over-eat and take home half your unfinished entrée.

Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour comes with the recipe on the heavy gauge plastic wrapper. The Gluten-free Chicano had jaula-fresh eggs so he doubled them, and world-class olive oil. Ingredients always enrich a manufacturer’s recipe.

A half cup of tapioca flour has around 50g of carbohydrates. That's about six mini-puffs, a whole meal's allotment, so take it easy.

The Gluten-free Chicano’s Version of Bob’s Red Mill Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread

Spray-coat a mini-muffin pan (2 dozen holes)
Heat the oven to 400º F

2 eggs
¼ cup extra-fine olive oil (Canto Sol Arbequina, from here link)
2/3 cup whole milk
1 ½ cups tapioca flour
½ cup grated asiago cheese
(cheese has lots of salt so el GFC omits the package recipe’s salt)

Bake 20 minutes or until suitably browned. They will be puffy and beautiful.

This recipe is like mixing super putty when you were a kid: Corn starch, white glue, viscosity.

That’s this dough. Make it thin so it pours generously out of a ladle into the pan, not drip in globs. Fill each hole in the mini-muffin tin nearly to the top. You have to move the filled pan to the oven!

The package recommends a blender. Good idea. The Gluten-free Chicano used a wire whip and that was fun--use a deep bowl. The key is getting a homogeneous mix that pours easily into the vessel. Play it by eye and by feel. Add a bit of powder if it’s too thin, a dribble of milk if too thick.

Any cheese will do. Dried parmesan. Yellow cheddar. El GFC is thinking minced garlic and parmesan next time, or pouring half a pan, mixing savory herbs into the batter, pour the remainder.

Left-overs are fabulous treats. Refrigerate for several days. Some will puff out like a Yorkshire pudding or a profiterole, if you're fancy, a pop-over for us regular gente. Others will be a delightful spongy globe.

Take a cold one, slice halfway, split it. Daub grape jelly into the middle. Microwave on High for 6 seconds. Careful. Too long a reheat converts them to greasy searing menaces and ruins the texture.

Alternative to Baking: Treat the batter like Arepa dough. Get a cast iron pan or griddle greased and really hot. Pour the masa and fry it like a tortilla or an arepa. Experiment and eat the results.

Left-over batter goes into a jar where it will get thick. It’s really soluble, so a drop or two of milk is all required to get the consistency to where you can pour the jar into a pan and fry up a few Arepas. You’ll love it.

"Many May Not Return" Vietnam Drama by El Sereno Playwright Comes to Long Beach

Back in the 1980s, I directed Teatro a la Brava. We worked out of El Sereno and Cal State LA. David Trujillo was the teatro's creative heart, the playwright who gave the actors their thoughts. Trujillo continues to craft theatrical work, with "Many May Not Return." The staged play comes to Southern California in Long Beach.

The Long Beach teatro box office has a website, link. As noted, tickets will be advertised here next week.

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