Friday, May 22, 2009

Atkins Revolution Rolls: The Best Cooking Method

As a low carber and someone who is allergic to wheat, I use Atkins Revolution Rolls frequently. They are made from eggs, cream or cottage cheese, a pinch of cream of tartar and a flavor enhancer, either in the form of a sugar substitute or salt and a bit of onion or garlic powder.

The egg yolks are combined with the cheese and the flavor enhance, while the egg whites and cream of tartar are beaten to stiff peaks. The whites are folded into the yolk-cheese mixture and then dolloped onto a baking sheet or a muffin top pan and baked in a moderate oven. A souffle effect occurs and the result are a bready type of roll: perfect for things like hamburger buns or if spread more thinly, tortilla wraps.

The problem is that sometimes the rolls don't remain puffy after it has been pulled out of the oven. Turning off the oven after the rolls have baked and keeping them in there to further set helps a bit....

So how do you keep the rolls, bread like?

Cook them in the microwave. The time is about 2-3 minutes depending on your microwave.

It goes throw a fascinating change. At first, nothing seems to happen, then suddenly the mixture will puff up, threatening to spill over the container. Then it will continue cooking and slowly lose volume. The result is a firmer more stable roll, that is pale yellow in color. But the texture is bready.

The only drawback to this method is that you can't cook more than 1 roll at a time.

A word about containers: the shape of the container will determine the shape of your roll. A microwave safe square sandwich container will do for sandwich bread or even a hotdog bun (split the cooked square bread through the middle.) A 4 inch round bowl will do for a burger bun.

Atkins Revolution Roll (1 serving)
1 egg
1 tablespoon cream cheese or 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
pinch salt
pinch garlic or onion powder (optional, but I think it gives it a yeastier taste.)

Lightly grease a microwave safe container.

Separate the egg white from the yolk. Put the egg white into a perfectly grease/oil free bowl. Set aside.

Combine the yolk with the cheese or mayo and the other ingredients in another bowl. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites to a stiff peak. Then fold about 1/4 of them into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it. Then pour the egg yolk mixture over the egg whites. Fold gently until all the egg white is incorporated, taking care not to over do it otherwise, you'll lose the volume.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cooking container. Put into the microwave. Microwave on HIGH for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the microwave. Cool and use as you would bread.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coconut Gelatin

I'm nuts about nuts. But not so nuts about coconut. It's okay, if (and that's a big IF) the coconut product (milk, water, fat/cream or the meat itself) is superduper fresh. Otherwise it has a slightly rancid taste that tastes, well, slightly rancid and it makes my stomach churn in a very, very, very bad way!

There are a few coconut preparations I don't mind. Coconut gelatin is one of them. A little pinch of salt brings out the flavor. Also, my recipe doesn't add any sweetener at all because I find coconut milk to be naturally sweet.

Coconut Gelatin

1 can of coconut milk (14 fluid ounces)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)

Open the packet of gelatin and pour into a bowl. Add a tablespoon or two of cold water. Stir until the gelatin is thoroughly combined with the water. Meanwhile, bring the 1 cup of water to a boil. Pour over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.

Shake the can of coconut milk and open. If the coconut milk has a layer of coconut cream, don't worry. Simply pour it into a bowl and whisk the cream and the liquid together. Add the coconut milk to the gelatin mixture, stir until well combined. Refrigerate.

When cool and jellified, cut into cubes and serve on its own or with fresh fruit, like berries, melons, etc.