Holiday Recipe's From a Gluten Free Chef and a Guitar

Part I

I love the holiday season. The music, the food, and the cheery attitude that seems to spread like the plague are just a few reasons it’s my favourite time of the year. It is a great time to visit family and friends and catch up on time lost. If you’re anything like me, that means you will be in the kitchen a lot over the next couple days. Every year I come up with my own recipes for different dishes based on what’s in the garden and fridge, and what’s in season and fresh. I rarely repeat the same dish and usually come up with some excellent recipes.

Yesterday, I began prepping so that on the big day I will be able to spend most of my time visiting with family instead of in the kitchen. These are the first recipes to unveil themselves this year and there will be a few more today. It is a rule in my kitchen that the chef needs to break often, and play guitar. This is the best way to create a harmonized menu of dishes and flavours.

Winter Butter

Cinnamon, allspice, cloves, 2 tbsp demura/brown sugar, cayenne pepper, mace (nutmeg if you have no mace).  Grind all the above with a mortar and pestle, or mixer. Scant 50g of butter, cut and mix cold butter with the above mix until butter is a consistent warm, dark colour.

After the yams have baked for about 2 hrs (until they are soft), you can remove from heat. Let yams sit in their foil while you prepare the toffee.

On the bottom of your yam pan you will see butter, fat, and sugars caramelizing. Put the pan on med high and add about a cup of sugar. You will need to let this heat up for about 3-5 mins until it dissolves into a thick, dark caramel. Keep the heat on and don’t burn the butter; if it smells like it’s burning or smoking then turn down the heat. Add a bit more sugar if some of the butter fat is resting on top of the toffee in the pan.

Spoon the hot toffee into two heaps on parchment paper. Roll out with another piece of paper on top, forming three sheets of yam toffee. This will harden in mins.

In a bowl mash the yams with a bit of whipped cream. Grab one of your toffee rounds and grate it into the Yam mixture. Most of the toffee will dissolve but some will be left to add texture to the final dish.

Use a saucier or equivalent thick pan to heat back up your two remaining toffee pieces over low heat. Add whip cream and mix. Keep applying heat until toffee and cream combine to make a golden brown caramel sauce.

Yam Toffee and Caramel Bake

The idea here is to use butter and a bit of sugar to draw out the juices of the yam to create a caramel.  The natural sugars of the yam produce a wonderful caramel that can be used in many ways to compliment the completed yam dish.


  • Peel the yams
  • swirl a steak knife into the yam to make two “butter wells” per yam
  • Plug the well with salted butter
  • Rub and massage the “winter butter” mix all over the yam (see below)
  • Wrap in tin foil, slit at the bottom to capture the Yam Caramel
  • place on elevated rack with collection pan below with a tiny bit of water in the pan
  • start at 360, then turn down to 270 immediately after putting in the oven
  • Bake until tender


Wild Blueberries and Saskatoon Pie

  • 600g Blueberries
  • 300g Saskatoon Berries
  • 1/2 -3/4 C White Sugar

On low heat bring all ingredients to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 mins. Pour into a bowl and cool the mix. Pour the cooled mix into two pie pans. Bake 45 min to hour at 360 until golden brown and the berry mix looks set. Once cooled and set, can be served with ice cream or whipped cream.

Wild Blueberry and Saskatoon Gluten Free Pie

Gluten Free Pastry

  • 2 Cups of GF All Purpose Flour mix (make sure includes xantham or guar gum)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • pinch salt
  • Guar Gum approx 2 tbsp
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cut together with pastry tool. Will take about 5 mins. Roll out on parchment with parchment paper on top. Flip the paper with the flattened pastry into the greased pie pan. Let the GF pastry fall into place, try not to force or repair. If you don’t like the desired outcome of this shape, then remove from pan and roll out again, flipping the parchment paper to make sure it doesn’t stick. Make sure to rewash the pie pan and grease it. If you do not, the GF crust will not take properly.

Gluten Free Pierogies

  • 5 potatoes
  • Half red onion
  • Sauerkraut 1/4 cup
  • Cheddar cheese 1/4 -1/2 C, shredded
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • dram of cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Dill
  • 1/4 Cup sliced aged and your favourite dry sausage
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic

Peel the potato’s and bring to boil. Once cooked, drain the water and add the remaining ingredients. Let set and prepare dough.

  • 3 Cups Gluten Free flour mix
  • 2 tsp guar gum
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4-1 C water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp oil

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and most of the water. Mix and knead. Should be a sticky, workable round of dough; add more water if needed to get enough moisture in the mix. Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment. Try to get the dough as thin as you can. Cut circles out of the dough. Dip your fingers lightly in a bath of water and moisten the circle a bit before working it. Add the filling, seal and fork the outside. Place finished pierogies on a tea towel that is on a baking sheet. Move the baking sheet into the freezer once finished wrapping the remaining dough. Put the finished pierogies and their baking sheet into the freezer. Let set for about 30 mins. Come back and carefully lay the wraps into a freezer bag to enjoy when ready.

Classic Mash Potatoes

  • Peel potatoes
  • slice in half
  • bring to boil until tender
  • drain (save water for gravy or broth)
  • butter, whip cream, cream, salt, fresh pepper
  • chop up and mince 4-6 gloves garlic
  • Start mashing until desired consistency
  • Let the garlic and cream set into the potatoes in a warm place with a plate on top to keep it warm