Chicken Adobo

This classic Filipino dish is also a classic chicken dish: chicken, vinegar, rice (and a few other things). A friend who detests vinegar makes an exception for chicken adobo — it reminds him of home.

Traditionally, this recipe is made with bone-in chicken, but I will confess that I’ve used boneless chicken breasts or thighs. This has the effect of making the sauce less rich — the effect of cutting the bone-in chicken into smaller pieces is the release of marrow, the stuff that makes this dish more delicious.

The large amount of vinegar in this recipe creates a tangy sauce. Adjust as necessary (remembering that it’s the vinegar that makes this adobo!) or substitute a mellower vinegar for the white vinegar. Cooking reduces the harsh edges of vinegar, just leaving the tanginess.

Butternut Squash Curry

Fall in Southern California is more a concept than a season. While my East Coast and Midwest friends talk about cooler temperatures and extol the virtues of casseroles and other cool-weather dishes, I often grill until January.

Still, I am not immune to cravings…and an overabundance of squash. And while I love a good soup, sometimes something more hearty, yet still light, is necessary. This curry — which can be made with any squash, to be honest — is filling, just spicy enough, and perfect for warm or cool evenings.

As a bonus, this recipe is vegan, making it a perfect dish for dinner parties or potlucks.

Everything Gumbo

For the gluten-free eater, gumbo is one of those foods we will likely never enjoy in a restaurant. At the heart of this dish is the classic New Orleans-style roux — a mix of flour and oil cooked until it is a rich, deep brown. Roux is synonymous with gumbo.

But I love gumbo, and knew I could make an excellent dish using gluten-free flour, specifically, in my case, Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF flour. I also borrowed a trick from Alton Brown, using my oven to build my roux. This allowed me to do all my prep work while the roux turned a gorgeous shade of chocolate brown.

You can make chicken gumbo, shrimp gumbo, vegetarian gumbo, gumbo with okra, without okra. It’s your gumbo. This recipe has everything but the okra (which I prefer served on the side, lightly fried rather than in the stew itself). As a bonus, gumbo served over steamed rice makes an impressive they’ll-never-guess-it’s-GF party dish!

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