Gluten-Free Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner

The following guest post is from NFCA volunteer Annette Marie of Best Life Gluten-Free.

Here we go! Make this for the whole family, those who are gluten-free as well as everyone else: Gluten-Free Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner!

Here in the USA, we typically see Corned Beef Brisket sold in supermarkets just around St. Patrick’s Day, but some specialty markets will carry it all year round.  So, if you’re spotting it during May or September, grab it & know you’re a lucky one!  Make this dinner and savor the flavors many times over and over.  It’s easy to prepare, don’t be intimidated by the time element. It mostly does all the work while it’s simmering along.  Let’s get you started.

Gluten-Free Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner

Gluten-Free Corned Beef Dinner

Make this dish and get ready for the compliments!

Serves 4 to 5
Prep time: 20 min.
Cook time: 3 hrs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 2 ½ lbs. gluten-free corned beef brisket
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed.
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into big chunks; about 2 in. long
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced in quarters
  • 5 potatoes, peeled of skin (I used 3 medium sized Yukon Golds and 2 medium sized Red Potatoes, just to have both flavors and tastes in there.)
  • 1 cabbage, cut into quarters or fifths (Leave spine attached or it will fall apart while simmering.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns (Leave whole, don’t crush)
  • Dash of thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
  • Few parsley sprigs
  • Water, enough to to cover meat well.
  • Mustard (for serving at meal time as a garnish. A must for everyone I know!)

Directions:

(It’s easy, so please don’t be discouraged!)

  1. Remove meat from packaging and briefly rinse under water .
  2. Take a large pot or Dutch oven and place meat inside. Add enough water to cover it well. Don’t skimp on the water, since it will be simmering for a long time. Cover it by approximately 2 inches.
  3. Throw in (well, not literally,) the bay leaf, parsley, salt, peppercorns and thyme.  Cover and bring to a boil. When you see it’s come to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 2 hrs. Occasionally, check to be sure it’s simmering on a light boil and after 1 hour, using 2 large spatulas or spider tool, gently turn over to reverse side. Be gentle. It’s getting very soft.
  4. After 2 hours, stick a fork or knife in the meat and it should be very tender and pierce right through.  Using that spider tool or spatulas, remove to a large platter and cover meat with foil.
  5. Add all of the vegetables to that pot and simmer for ½ hour. Veggies will be getting nice and soft, soaking up the flavors of that “broth.”
  6. Re-position meat into the pot for another 15 minutes to reheat.
  7. Remove meat to a carving board and slice to the thickness you prefer.
  8. Serve on a large platter with the veggies along-side and provide your favorite type of mustard to accompany each bite. You can drizzle a little of the broth on top of the slices if you like. So good. Get ready for the compliments!

- Annette

February 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm 1 comment

A Nakama Dinner with a GREAT Gluten-Free Chef

I was lucky enough to be invited by Chef Jehangir Mehta, NFCA GREAT Kitchens Ambassador, to a “Nakama Dinner” held at Mehtaphor in New York City. A Nakama Dinner is an intimate gathering of close friends and this was a wonderful opportunity to join about 25 chefs, bar owners, restaurateurs, mixologists and food writers for the introduction of Ao Vodka, distilled from Japanese rice.

Nakama Dinner Drink

One of the many cocktails served at the Nakama Dinner.

The evening featured a seven course pairing of mixed drinks developed by Shingo Gokan and delicious dishes by Chef Mehta, most of which were naturally gluten-free. The evening began with an “Eastern Gibson,” which was a mix of stirred Ao, sake and sliced cucumber, paired with tapioca chili oysters.

A Nakama Dinner with a GREAT Gluten-Free Chef: Shingo Gokan and Chef Jehangir Mehta

Shingo Gokan and Chef Jehangir Mehta

This was a light start to an evening that built with every course. The cocktails included all types of fruit and vegetable ingredients, including the flavorful “Beets Mule” made with Campari, beets, ginger and lime, “Sweet Lorraine” in which Gokan combined Ao, tomato water, green tomato confiture and basil.  My tasting partner, Firoza Mehta, favored the “Pandan Banana Cup,” which included Pandan and banana-infused Ao, raw coconut water and mint.

A Nakama Dinner with a GREAT Gluten-Free Chef: Firing up cinnamon

Shingo Gokan firing up a plate of cinnamon.

Many flavors and spices were also used including ginger, lemongrass, dill, cardamom and thyme. A highlight for me was the “Earl Grey Sour” where I was able to witness Gokan firing up a small plate of cinnamon to smoke the fifth course and the cocktail under one glass hood.

A Nakama Dinner with a GREAT Gluten-Free Chef: Shingo Gokan

I couldn’t believe how many delicious flavors I was able to try at this event!

All in all, the meal and the drinks lit up every part of my palate and left me quite sensitized to the brisk New York City evening.  I had a fantastic time and especially enjoyed meeting the President of the Culinary Institute of America, Dr. Tim Ryan and his lovely wife Lynne.

If this sounds like a luxurious treat that most people can only dream about, you’re right. Thanks to Chef Mehta and my friends at Ao for sharing the experience with me.

Suntory, the creators of Ao Vodka, shared this drink recipe with me so you can share in the experience:

Eastern Gibson Martini:

Ingredients:

  • Ao Japanese Rice Vodka (2.5 pars)
  • Junmai Daiginjo Dassai 50 Sake (1 part)

Directions:

  1. Stir.
  2. Serve up.
  3. Garnish with a thin slice of cucumber.

Enjoy responsibly!

- Jennifer

February 13, 2014 at 2:57 pm Leave a comment

Ageing Out

Watching your children turn into adults is an interesting process. I suppose it hits all of us differently and certainly each child is different. While my daughter, Molly, has been independent for some time now, I noticed during this holiday season that she really doesn’t want me to mother her anymore…at all.

She doesn’t want my help in packing her food or vetting the choices when we are guests in somebody else’s home. This is especially hard when the personal and professional collide.

Molly just turned 21 and will graduate from college in only a few months. I am about to schedule her final check-in at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) where she will get her periodic round of blood work and she will visit with the registered dietitian to review her eating habits.

Having a healthcare team that I can put my complete trust into has been such a comfort to me over the last five years since Molly’s diagnosis. I know that I have been blessed with easy access to a great team of physicians, nurses and dietitians. I can only hope that Molly is able to find a new team of doctors that share knowledge without speaking down to her, listen to her instinct (which is usually right) and value her as a true partner in her care.

Ageing Out: Alice Bast Gives Award to Dr. Ritu Verma

NFCA President Alice Bast presents Dr. Ritu Verma with an honoree award at our annual fundraiser, Chez Gourmet.

Thankfully, my professional relationship with the team at CHOP will continue. I have come to rely on feedback from Dr. Ritu Verma, a member of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’ (NFCA) Medical and Scientific Advisory Council and her nurse Patty Bierly when we develop patient materials, need expert advice on patient questions or need to bounce new ideas off someone in the field who sees patients every day, all day. Their patients are from all walks of life and live diverse experiences with a wide range of personal perspectives.

Ageing Out: Dr. Verma and Temira

Dr. Ritu Verma with my niece Temira

My six year old niece now visits the CHOP team since her celiac disease diagnosis last year. In seeing my family through two diagnoses, and in observing many different diagnoses within my family, from lactose intolerance to cancer, here are my tips to ensure a positive experience with your healthcare team.

1)      View your healthcare providers as a team. Each specialty may provide a unique piece of the puzzle, but make sure you provide your entire health history to each provider. Symptoms may or may not be related, but the more thorough you can be, the better.

2)      View yourself as the captain of the team. Or the most valued player. Ask questions and make sure you fully understand what your healthcare team is saying. If you have a provider that doesn’t have the patience to listen or the vocabulary to respond in a way you can understand, find another provider.

3)      Be diligent. Don’t wait for the answers to come to you. Make sure you know all the tests that are being ordered and when they will return. Call for results – every day if you have to. Review the results yourself to ensure you understand them. Learn when new medications, supplements or dietary modifications are supposed to take effect.

4)      Have a good attitude. Smile therapy works. If you can see the glass as half full you will be more content with the life that you have. It was the only one you were given, so make the best of it for you and for those around you.

When you are an educated and empowered healthcare consumer, you can more easily navigate what can be a treacherous road of obstacles. And you can conquer the course.

- Jennifer

January 10, 2014 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

Palm Trees, Sunny Skies and Gluten-Free: The GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chefs Table Tour Visits Los Angeles

The fall leg of NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table tour wrapped up in Los Angeles this week with two restaurant events and one trip to Loyola Marymount University.  As with other stops, the focus of the this stop on the tour was to educate chefs and foodservice professionals on the importance of proper gluten-free training and protocols.  For those with celiac disease, gluten-free food isn’t enough; it is a necessity for restaurants to avoid cross-contact so that those diners with celiac disease can eat safely.

Palm Trees, Sunny Skies and Gluten-Free: The GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chefs Table Tour Visits Los Angeles: great schools signs

Loyola Marymount University is one of NFCA’s GREAT-trained schools

The trip to Southern California first brought NFCA President Alice Bast and Chef Ambassador Jehangir Mehta to Loyola Marymount University, a GREAT School that has implemented NFCA’s training in all of its foodservice establishments.  The NFCA team visited The Lair, the largest dining hall on campus, to tour the dining hall and provide a dish for the Be Well station, which not only serves gluten-free options, but also healthy options as well.  Jehangir Mehta served up a delicious gluten-free shrimp wrap for students with celiac disease or those students choosing to eat gluten-free.  In addition, Alice Bast sat down with select students and administrators to talk about the tour and bring awareness to NFCA and GREAT Kitchens.  The dining staff and team are taking great strides in being accommodating for all students and the GREAT training program has helped them to implement safe, gluten-free cooking protocols in dining halls and convenience stores across campus.

Palm Trees, Sunny Skies and Gluten-Free: The GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chefs Table Tour Visits Los Angeles: The Lair at Loyola Marymount University

At the Lair, the largest dining hall at Loyola Marymount University

Palm Trees, Sunny Skies and Gluten-Free: The GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chefs Table Tour Visits Los Angeles: Shrimp Wrap

Chef Jehangir Mehta’s gluten-free shrimp wrap

After lunch with LMU students, the NFCA team headed to RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen for a dinner event with Los Angeles media/bloggers.  Executive Chef Mohan Ismail worked with NFCA Chef Ambassador Jehangir Mehta to create a delicious, gluten-free meal.  The meal started with Chef Mohan’s lobster and papaya amuse, followed by a tapioca chili lime oyster dish by Chef Mehta.  The next course was a coconut chicken soup, followed by two family-style main courses, onion seed lobster with shishito fries by Chef Mehta and a Vietnamese duck curry by Chef Mohan, as well as three side dishes.  The meal was completed with a dessert course, a mango sticky rice.  The evening served as a great platform to educate attendees about the GREAT Kitchens training program and the importance of restaurants getting behind serving gluten-free safely in their establishments.

Palm Trees, Sunny Skies and Gluten-Free: The GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chefs Table Tour Visits Los Angeles: Menu at Rock Sugar

The gluten-free menu at RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen

Palm Trees, Sunny Skies and Gluten-Free: The GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chefs Table Tour Visits Los Angeles: Chefs Mehta and Mohan

Chef Mehta and Chef Mohan of RockSugar

The fall leg of the tour was an extremely educational experience and allowed NFCA to get in front of media, bloggers, restaurateurs, chefs and foodservice professionals in five of the country’s largest cities.  Stay tuned for more information about the spring leg once planning commences.

- The GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour Team

November 15, 2013 at 7:02 pm Leave a comment

GREAT Kitchens Gluten- Free Chef’s Table Tour: Stop 4: Ethnic Flavors Reign Supreme in San Francisco

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table continued its journey this week with its fourth stop on the fall leg of the tour, San Francisco.  An eclectic, foodie community, San Francisco proved that bold flavors and authentic cuisine could be created safely for the consumer with celiac disease.  With the goal of educating the Bay Area’s top chefs, restaurants and foodservice professionals regarding gluten-free protocols and training, NFCA Chef Ambassador Jehangir Mehta and NFCA President Alice Bast set out to speak to media, bloggers and professionals regarding becoming ambassadors and bringing awareness to this important cause.

The first stop in San Francisco was a visit with Joel Riddell with KKSF-AM’s Dining Around program.  Joel often speaks to chefs about their restaurants, dishes and provides tips to diners on San Francisco’s most popular dining establishments.  While NFCA was in town, Joel took the time to sit down with Jehangir and Alice to discuss the Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour, as well as the importance for the Bay Area foodie community to rally behind serving the gluten-free consumer safely.  The airing of that program will take place in early December on iHeartRadio and KKSF-AM.

Ethnic Flavors Reign Supreme in San Francisco: Chef Mehta at KKSF-AM Studios

Chef Jehangir Mehta at KKSF-AM Studios. GREAT job, Chef Mehta!

Ethnic Flavors Reign Supreme in San Francisco: Alice Bast and Jehangir Mehta on KKSF-AM Radio

NFCA President Alice Bast and Chef Jehangir Mehta on air with KKSF-AM Radio

In the early afternoon, the NFCA team took a short break to visit One Ferry Building and its incredible marketplace. Mariposa, a gluten-free artisan bakery, was found inside and the team took the opportunity to sample sweets, including cookies and brownies.  If you are ever in the area, we recommend trying Mariposa or Zest Bakery, two bakeries that are 100% gluten-free and tasty.

Ethnic Flavors Reign Supreme in San Francisco: Mariposa Gluten-Free bakery

Naturally, we couldn’t resist stopping in this gluten-free bakery in San Fran!

Ethnic Flavors Reign Supreme in San Francisco: Bay Bridge

At the bay bridge

That evening, the NFCA team joined restaurateur Anjan Mitra at his restaurant Dosa.  Dosa, known for its elevated South Indian cuisine, brought a depth of flavor and intricacy to its dishes and media/bloggers raved about the restaurant’s signature menu items.  The evening started with Dosa’s Trumpet Mushroom Uttapam, a traditional South Indian dish that highlighted naturally gluten-free ingredients, including a coconut and tomato chutney.  Chef Mehta then presented his dish of the evening, a mushroom grand marnier duck served with tapioca grits.  The dish was a crowd-favorite and the unique take on grits had Twitter and Instagram buzzing.  The last two dishes were Dosa favorites, including the Salmon Kolumbu and Hyderabadi Lamb.  The event provided Alice with the opportunity to speak with media/bloggers regarding the common misconceptions on serving safe gluten-free dishes and the steps that restaurants can take to implement GREAT Kitchens into their current practices.  A big thank you to Anjan for opening his restaurant to the group and showing NFCA true San Francisco hospitality!

Ethnic Flavors Reign Supreme in San Francisco: Chef Mehta and Chef Mitra of Dosa

Chef Jehangir Mehta and Chef Anjan Mitra of “Dosa”

Ethnic Flavors Reign Supreme in San Francisco: gluten-free dish

This dish was phenomenal! And, of course, gluten-free!

The second restaurant stop on the San Francisco trip brought the team to Pica Pica, an arepa kitchen that is 100% gluten-free.  With traditional Venezuelan cuisine, Pica Pica has made a name for itself across the country for its approach to serving delicious and authentic dishes, all with gluten-free ingredients.  With a personal connection to celiac disease, restaurateur Adriana Lopez-Vermut set out to create a unique experience for the celiac or gluten-free customer.  Several years later, Pica Pica continues to expand with new locations popping up all over the Bay Area, including its latest in the Castro district.

The menu for the day’s event started with a sample of arepas and discussions from Alice, Jehangir and Adriana about their experience with the gluten-free diner and the importance of communication between the Front of the House and Back of the House in every commercial kitchen. The next course was a chickpea pancake created by Chef Mehta, topped with shrimp.    The final dish of the day was a blackened beef, which had been slow cooking overnight.  Pica Pica, a fast casual concept is a great example of a concept that is going above and beyond to be accommodation and the team is excited about its commitment to getting accredited with the GREAT Kitchens program.

Ethnic Flavors Reign Supreme in San Francisco: Pica Pica Team

The amazing team at Pica Pica in San Francisco, including owner Chef Adriana Lopez-Vermut and Chef Jehangir Mehta

Ethnic Flavors Reign Supreme in San Francisco: chickpea pancake with shrimp

A deliciously gluten-free chickpea pancake topped with juicy shrimp

The last meeting Alice and Jehangir participated in was a brief introduction to Amanda Haas, the Test Kitchen Manager for Williams Sonoma.  Over the years, Williams Sonoma has increased its collection of gluten-free products in their retail establishments and are working to include more recipes, tutorials and information.  NFCA looks forward to working together in the future to further increase awareness of gluten-free options for the Williams Sonoma customer.

As the tour wraps up in San Francisco, the team looks ahead to a busy stop in Los Angeles for its final part of the fall leg of the tour.  See you soon LAX!

- The GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour Team

P.S. Follow the last leg of the tour on Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter by following NFCA (@CeliacAwareness), Chef Jehangir Mehta (@jehangir_mehta) and that hashtags #GFChefsTable and #GREATKitchens.

November 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm Leave a comment

GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour Update from Portland & Seattle: Communication is Key

What an exciting time for GREAT Kitchens and gluten-free dining! I can truly say I just had the trip of a lifetime representing the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) on the GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chefs Table tour. Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington were my destinations and the food and conversation were both exceptional and intriguing. I had the pleasure to work along the side of GREAT Chef Ambassador Chef Jehangir Mehta who is a master with spices and showcasing gluten-free ingredients. My favorite dish that he prepared was… well, all of them. But if I had to narrow it down, the halibut with beets and fried onion ring was primo DELISH!

Halibut with gluten-free onion ring

If I could only pick one favorite, I think the halibut dish would be it.

As a true foodie, having the pleasure of tasting some extraordinary gluten-free meals prepared by some of the top chefs in the country was a thrill. In Portland, my favorite dish by Chef Naomi Pomeroy was the quince gallette and Chef Vitaly Paley’s icebox cake… crazy good. Plus, he made me banana bread for a special treat when we arrived for an early morning TV shoot.  How sweet is that?

GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour Update from Portland & Seattle: Icebox Cake

This gluten-free icebox cake was to die for!

Chef John Howie’s tortilla soup’s spicy broth hit the spotand Chef Holly Smith’s cuttlefish ink risotto had such a mild fish flavor and striking presentation. What a contrast! These dishes celebrated fresh, local ingredients and honored key gluten-free ingredients like tapioca, chickpea flour, sorghum and infused flavors proving that gluten-free options should NOT be boring, bland tasting, or blah-looking – EVER!

GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour Update from Portland & Seattle: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour Update from Portland & Seattle: cuttlefish

Perfectly delicious

All of the host chefs had a keen understanding of celiac disease and many had personal connections. Their interest was sparked by friends or family members that had a need for safe gluten-free meals which generated interest and intrigue in preparing their creations in a gluten-free manner to meet the same exceptional standard and quality as all of their offerings. During their presentations to the guests, they explained that when a “GF” request is made, serving gluten-free foods safely is always top of mind and caution in the kitchen is heightened.

GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour Update from Portland & Seattle: Beckee Moreland

That’s me – talking about GREAT Kitchens.

However, I think the GREATest message from the tour was the importance of communication. GREAT Kitchens training emphasizes the importance of communication from taking the order to the serving of the plate. This is an important component in the training for the foodservice community to ensure safe preparation of gluten-free meals for our community. The training stresses continuous communication from host, server, manager, chef and server to get that order right with no mistakes along the way. But the communication doesn’t begin with the host greeting the guest; it really begins with the gluten-free diner. We really need to make our needs known and be clear to the restaurant and chef about what they are. People are eating gluten-free for all kinds of reasons from medical necessities such as celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (‘gluten sensitivity’) or maybe other medical conditions, but it’s quite possible the diner is eating gluten-free for the perceived health benefit brought on by the gluten-free fad diet. This muddles the message that we need to ensure restaurants receive. Chefs have requests for all kinds of allergies, diets, substitutions, and even requests from plain old picky eaters.

When you go out to eat, make it clear. Communicate. Use NFCA’s Dining Tips Sheet as a guide. Say “I have celiac disease and I must eat gluten-free for my health. This is not a choice. Can you serve me safely?” See what sort of response you get – you might be pleasantly surprised.

How do you handle dining out gluten-free? What has your experience been like? Tell me in the comments section below or on NFCA’s Facebook page. The GREAT Kitchens Chef’s Table Tour stopped San Francisco today and we’re hitting Los Angeles on Wednesday, so be sure to check for updates on Facebook, Instagram or follow NFCA (@celiacawareness) and Chef Mehta (@jehangir_mehta) on Twitter. Be sure to search for the hashtags #GREATKitchens or #GFChefsTable!

Safe and delicious dining to you all!
– Beckee

November 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

The Pacific Northwest Tour Continues: The GREAT Kitchens Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour Visits Seattle

After receiving such positive feedback in Portland, the GREAT Kitchens team headed to Seattle for its third stop on Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour. With the same mission of working with restaurants/foodservice professionals across the country, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) set out to share information on the importance of not only providing gluten-free options, but also providing ease of mind for those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (‘gluten sensitivity’) through safe protocols and practices

Upon arrival, the NFCA team headed to KING-TV to participate on the New Day show, alongside one of Seattle’s partner chefs, John Howie.  During the segment, Chef Ambassador Jehangir Mehta created a special gluten-free dish, featuring halibut from Washington, as well as lentils and chickpea flour to showcase alternative gluten-free ingredients.  Chef Howie created a delicious quinoa salad, featuring fresh vegetables and olive oil, a perfect accompaniment to Chef Mehta’s dish. The show’s host, Margaret Lawson, asked questions about the tour, proper gluten-free protocols and how chefs can get involved with GREAT Trainings.  Besides becoming educated through the GREAT Kitchens training program, Chef Mehta spoke on the segment about a call for gluten-free recipes to be featured in an upcoming cookbook.  For restaurants interested in submitting a recipe, they can be submitted at www.GREATChefsChallenge.com.

Want to watch the segment? Check out Chef Mehta on the New Day Show at this link.

Portland Stop: New Day Appearance
GREAT job by Chef Mehta and Chef Howie on the New Day Show!

- The Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour Team

November 5, 2013 at 10:01 am Leave a comment

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