Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gluten-Free Caribbean Red Papaya-Coconut-Pecan Bread

Easy to make, this bread isn’t too sweet to serve beside the meal but is sweet enough to bring in as dessert. It has a crumbly texture, like a light banana bread.

1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups Caribbean Red papaya, puréed or mashed (approximately 1/2 a papaya)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease 9" x 5" loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans.
- With an electric mixer, cream together oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Add next 6 ingredients, then add the papaya.
- Beat until smooth. Stir in coconut and pecans.
- Pour into loaf pan(s).
- Bake 1 hour if using full-size loaf pan or 45 minutes if using mini pans.*

Serves: 9-12
Prep time: 30 minutes (excluding baking and cooling time)

Gluten-Free Papaya Mini Cakes

This recipe originates from France, where these mini-cakes are called financiers because the rectangular tins they are baked in make them resemble bars of gold. These mini-cakes are baked round with papaya providing the look of gold.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
36 small pieces Caribbean Red papaya, about 1 cup

Preheat oven to 325°. 
- Line muffin pans with cupcake liners or coat with nonstick spray.
- Melt the butter over low heat and then cool. 
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Stop short of making soft peaks. 
- In a food processor, combine the almond meal, corn flour, shredded coconut and sugar.
- Pulse until texture is fine.
- Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites. Drizzle the melted butter over the entire mixture and stir. 
- Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and put into the oven. 
- After 20 minutes, top each with 3 pieces of papaya. 
- Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- Serve at room temperature. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

Makes: 12 muffin-sized cakes
Prep time: 30 minutes (excluding baking and cooling time)

Gluten-Free Caribbean Red Papaya Muffins

With the texture and look of carrot cake, these muffins deliver a sweet taste without a lot of sugar. Everyone serves blueberry and corn muffins, so why not Caribbean Red papaya muffins?

3/4 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups Caribbean Red papaya, mashed or puréed

Preheat oven to 350˚.  
- Line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
- Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl scramble egg then add butter, vanilla and sugar. Mix with an electric mixer on medium until smooth.
- Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
- Add the papaya and mix completely.
- Bake full-size muffins for 20 minutes and mini muffins for 10 minutes.

Makes: 1 dozen full-size muffins, 2 1/2 dozen mini muffins
Prep time: 30 minutes (excluding baking time)

Gluten-Free Caribbean Red Cookies

These cookies join the ranks of gingersnaps – not too sweet but still hard to resist. Don’t let the number of different flours put you off. I’ve baked it several times with fewer flours (just using more of the other flours to equal the total amount).

1 1/2 cups Caribbean Red papaya, mashed into a purée
1/2 cup light olive oil
3 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp almond milk
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
2 1/3 cups gluten-free flour OR 1 cup sorghum flour, 1/3 cup gluten-free cornmeal, 1/3 cup buckwheat flour and 1/3 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans

- Combine the first four ingredients. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the rolled oats and all the flours together.
- Combine all remaining ingredients except the eggs and pecans.
- Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add pecans.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350˚.
- Form 1" balls from the dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, loosen cookies and move to a wire rack to cool.

Makes: 24 cookies
Prep time: 45 minutes (excluding baking and cooling time)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gluten-Free Papaya Spice Cake

Spice cake has a downright cozy taste. If there’s fruit in a spice cake, odds are good that it’s apple, and it makes you think of sitting in front of a fireplace. The fireplace becomes a beach when the fruit in spice cake is Caribbean Red papaya. Although Caribbean Reds provide a different taste sensation, this fruit can also be the catalyst for relaxing thoughts.

1 1/2 cups almonds
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup light olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups Caribbean Red papaya, cut up and mashed into purée
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350˚. Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with greased parchment paper.
- Using a food processor, pulse the almonds into a fine meal. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
- To the almond meal add the rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and sea salt.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the remaining wet ingredients. Beat well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the larger bowl’s dry ingredients. Whisk until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 33 to 35 minutes, until done.
- Cool the cake before frosting.

Lime-Nutmeg Icing
The sweetness of Caribbean Reds in the cake creates a sharp contrast with the lime icing. It’s a sweet-tart treat.
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp vanilla
3 dashes nutmeg
Combine ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat until smooth and glossy.
- Frost the cooled cake.
- Chill for 30 minutes in the freezer before slicing.
Serves: 15
Prep time: 30 minutes (excluding baking and cooling time)

Gluten free, naturally sweetened Caribbean Red papaya recipes

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sweet Heat - what makes it hot

Adding the heat to the Caribbean Red papayas was an assortment of peppers and chilies.

The sriracha used in the Curried Chicken and Papaya Salad is potent with only 1/2 teaspoon giving the pronounced jolt of heat. It's a Thai hot sauce made of a paste of chili peppers, vinegar and garlic. In Thailand, sriracha is popular as a dipping sauce for seafood, topping for sushi rolls and glaze for chicken wings. It may not be at your local grocer's. Besides an Asian market, you'll find this at Whole Foods.

Bird's eye chili (or bird chili) is a dried pepper used as a spice to deliver fiery zing in Filipino, Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese cuisine. It measures around 50,000-1000,000 Scoville units which is in the lower range of the hotter habanero chili. It got its name because birds like to eat it. This chili is popular in marinades and sauces for meats, poultry and seafoods. It may not be at your local grocer's. Besides an Asian market, you'll find this at Whole Foods. 

For the heat in the Frozen Papaya Coconut-Rum Cocktail and the Chilled Papaya-Watermellon soup, I used habanero peppers. In Central American, pureed or in a salsa, this pepper accompanies most dishes served at meals.

For my friends who are the milder sort, I used hot cherry peppers for chili in the Frozen Papaya Coconut-Rum cocktail. These peppers have one of the lowest Scoville scale rating of any chili pepper. These peppers are juicy and a bit sweet. Rumor has it, these peppers are the secret ingredient in authentic Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches where they are sliced, grilled or sauteed with thinly sliced meat. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Caribbean Red Spring Rolls

I’m new to the rice wrapper; I was somewhat intimidated, but no more. It’s a great way to ‘wrap’ things, particularly delicious things up.

1 cup Caribbean Red papaya (approximately 50% color with the fruit giving to a gentle squeeze.)
1 cup cucumber
½ cup baby carrots
1 tsp basil or mint
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp ginger
1 tbs rice vinegar
½ tsp bird's eye chili or other dried pepper
6 long strands of chive (optional)
6 rice wrappers

·      Thinly chop papaya, cucumber and carrots. You’ll want to chop pieces so none is larger than ½” on any dimension.
·      Finely chop fresh basil or fresh mint and combine with the produce in a large bowl.
·      In a medium bowl, combine fish sauce, grated ginger, rice vinegar and finely diced dried bird chili pepper.  
·      Moisten rice wrappers until pliable. Add filling, drizzle with sauce and roll up. Tie with strands of chive. 
·      Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.
Serves 4

Curried Chicken & Caribbean Red Papaya Salad

After years of lifelessly boring deli chicken salad, it’s time to take this salad on a different direction. The change agent being sriracha, a Thai hot sauce typically seasoned with garlic, vinegar, sugar and spices. No one will ever again say chicken salad is boring.

2 tbs mayonnaise
2 tbs plain greek yogurt
1 tsp lime juice
½ tsp curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp Sriracha
1 cup shredded or cubed cooked chicken
1 cup Caribbean Red papaya (approximately 50% color with the fruit giving to a gentle squeeze.)
2 cups your choice lettuce

·      Mix together mayonaise, plain greek yogurt, lime juice, curry powder, salt, pepper and Sriracha.
·      Combine this dressing with leftover shredded or cubed cooked chicken and semi-ripe papaya chunks. Serve on a bed of greens.

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes

For information about chilies and peppers used in Sweet Heat recipes

Chilled Caribbean Red Papaya-Watermelon Soup

Combining my two favorite summer fruits is a no-brainer; it’s the addition of habanero pepper that defines the genius behind ‘sweet-heat’. Whatever the stove’s heat could’ve added to the taste is instead sublimely provided by the habanero pepper’s flavor acting as a catalyst in the midst of summer’s fruit.
1 cup Caribbean Red papaya, diced
1 cup watermelon, diced
½ cup coconut water
2 tbs lime juice
dash of salt
½ tsp cilantro
½ tsp finely diced habanero pepper (optional – for sweet-heat!)

·      In a blender or food processor, combine papaya, watermelon, coconut water, lime juice, salt and cilantro.
·      For a sweet-heat addition, process in finely diced fresh habanero pepper.
·      Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with cilantro.
Serves: 2

Frozen Caribbean Red Papaya Coconut-Rum Cocktail

Adding Caribbean Red papaya to your choice of coconut milk* or rum makes the summer’s heat is not that bad. But adding a hot chili pepper to take the edge off the sweltering temperature is mind-boggling. After the first sip, it all makes sense. Now that’s sweet heat!

½ cup Caribbean Red papaya, chopped
1 tbs pineapple juice
1 oz. coconut milk or spiced rum
½ cup ice
½ tsp finely mined dried hot chili pepper
dash nutmeg

·      In a blender, process ripe papaya, thinned with a little pineapple juice, spiked with coconut or spiced rum and ice.
·      To make it a sweet-heat cocktail, add just a small amount of finely minced, dried hot chili pepper, like a bird chili or something similar.
·      Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Serves: 1
Prep time: 10 minutes