The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

A website celebrating and enumerating Juneau, Alaska's food culture

Posts Tagged ‘recipes

Gluten Free Banana Walnut Pancakes

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flap jacks

I’m not the biggest pancake fan in the world, but I woke up with a craving for banana walnut pancakes. I suppose I was thinking of the pancakes at the Cup & Sauce in Portland, Oregon – even though they’re made with real flour. It’s been ages since I had a flap jack. Even more challenging than the gluten free aspect of these tasty rounds, is the fact that I made them dairy free. I used organic low-fat coconut milk instead of milk or water.

Fear not Dear Feedbag Reader, these aren’t tasteless hippie frisbees. These delicate perfect rounds are loaded with tiny banana and walnut bits in almost every bite. They’re made perfect with a little smart balance spread and a smatter of maple syrup.

This recipe makes enough pancake batter to feed your friends. If you’re not feeding a crowd, get an empty yogurt container to put the extra in the fridge. I’m even thinking about using the left over batter for muffins.

Dry Ingredients:
– 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour
– 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 3/4 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Wet Ingredients & Extras:
– 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
– 1 banana, diced
– 1/2 cup of apple sauce
– 2 cups of organic low-fat coconut milk (or 1 cup regular milk, one cup water)
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon honey or raw agave nectar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 or 2 dashes of cinnamon


Combine the dry ingredients first – mixing well before integrating the wet ingredients, bananas, and nuts.

I used a non-stick pan and I’d recommend it. A nicely greased up iron skillet would work just fine too. Get your pan greased up, heated up on medium heat, and ready for a ladle full of this delicious batter. When little bubbles start forming on top of your pancake, it’s probably time to flip that bad boy over. I’d say I found a 1.5 – 2 minute interval for each side made the perfect pancake.

These gluten free flap jacks are better when they’re hot off the press.

Serving Suggestion: Top with a little smart balance spread and some warm maple syrup for a delicious breakfast treat.


Written by Patrice Helmar

November 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Cate’s Fantastic Roasted Chickpeas

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Roasted Garbanzos

Cate is well-known in Juneau for her skill in the kitchen. I’d long heard about these roasted chickpeas and how delicious they are from more than one local. I’m so glad I ran into Cate and asked that she email me her highly revered recipe. Sure, I could google good old Mark Bittman, but I actually know Cate and have heard first-hand how awesome these bad boys are. I can say with true spring-cleanse conviction, that these roasted chickpeas are true perfection.

Roasted chickpeas are enjoyed all over the world as a snack or appetizer. In Spain, where tapas reign supreme, roasted chickpeas are a favorite. In Turkey, roasted chickpeas are often hulled and sugared for a sweet treat on the go.

I decided to mix up the spices a little bit adding 1/4 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper & 1/4 teaspoon of Greek oregano and omitting the cayenne. I sprinkled a little Aleppo pepper after the chickpeas were roasted. Each tiny bite is full of spice, heat, and flavor.

Cate’s Recipe ->

– 1 can garbanzo beans rinsed and dried (I use a bath towel)
– 2 tsp. olive oil

Then the fun begins — use whatever combination of spices you want.
I use:
– 1/4 tsp turmeric
– 1/4 tsp cumin
– 1/4 cayenne
– 1/4 salt
– 1/8 tsp pepper (actually I just grind some in to the mix until it feels right)

– I mix all the spices together and then mix into the beans so it’s more evenly distributed.
– Put on a cookie sheet and pop it into a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.
– Shake the pan every 10 minutes or so.
– You want the chickpeas to be crunchy so, depending on the size of the beans, you may wind up leaving them in longer.

Enjoy this fabulous snack!

Serving Suggestion: Have a glass of spicy smooth Rioja wine and find a chunk of Sheep’s milk Gouda cheese for an elegant appetizer.

Mom’s Ginger Molasses Cookies for AB

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Ginger Cookies

A co-worker brought these amazing rounds of delight to our office the other day. Dear Reader, I advise you to bake these cookies immediately, leave work if need be, call in sick or hungry, borrow spices from your neighbor, and make this recipe for your family & friends.

Imagine if you will, a cookie in Juneau, Alaska not bearing the consistency of a hockey puck. AB’s cookies are round, dimpled, slightly squishy, fragrant with notes of citrus, ginger, clove, molasses, and cinnamon. AB’s mom sent this recipe and encouraged him to integrate orange zest into the cookies, a wise addition making this dessert worthy of documentation.


– 2 cups of flour
– 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
– 2 tsp. baking soda
– 1/4 cup unsalted butter (or salted butter works too)
– 2 tsp. ground ginger
– 1 cup of dark brown sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp. ground cloves
– 1/4 cup dark molasses
– 1 tsp. of salt
– 2 tsp. orange zest (or more)
– handful of granulated sugar for dusting


– Sift the dry ingredients and set aside.

– Combine shortening, butter, and sugar mixing until fluffy.

– Add egg, molasses, and orange zest. Beat until blended, add flour mixture, and mix.

– Refrigerate for one hour.

– Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

– Butter baking sheet or use parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

– With wet hands roll dough into balls 1 1/4 inch round and roll balls into the granulated sugar.

– Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake for approximately 12 minutes

– Let cookies cool for 1 hour, if you can.

Yield: 2 1/2 dozen (easy recipe to double)

Serving suggestion:

Serve with a stove top espresso drink made with the best coffee you can buy, a cup of fine black tea, or a spicy gorgeous glass of red wine.

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Written by Patrice Helmar

March 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Mid-Winter’s Day Chai

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Winter Day Chai

Chai is one of those beautiful things that hippies have ruined. Store bought Chai is like putting a Phish sticker on a hybrid car, it adds insult to injury. I can’t afford a hybrid car, even though in theory it’s a great idea; even hearing the word “Phish” makes me want to ritually cut off a blonde dreadlock and destroy a Dijembe for the good of the global community.

Chai’s great but I’m not willing to order it at a coffee shop for several reasons. The first being I’d have to pay 5 dollars for some douchebag with a recently pierced nose and a new copy of the Art of War to make me a cup and call me, “Ma’am”.

Secondly, most premade chai that you can buy in stores and in cafés is really loaded with sugar. It’s nice to make things yourself and kinda have some idea of what the ingredients are and where they came from.

Traditionally, really great chai is made by steeping spices and tea for hours. I’ve had the chai of my dreams at my friend Grace Elliott’s house. Grace’s chai is the kind of drink that warms the belly and makes your whole body feel alive. It’s even better if you get to enjoy said of cup of chai while listening to some of Grace’s favorite blues tracks. Originally hailing from Chicago, “Sister Grace the Blues Goddess”, as she’s lovingly referred to locally, has extensive knowledge of the blues and had a public radio show for years.

This recipe takes minutes not hours, but serves as a fix for chai when you want a cup on the quick. I adapted it from this recipe from Gourmet, changing and adding a few things to suit my taste. My recipe isn’t very sweet, which is perfect if you want to serve it to guests, offering them additional sweetener of their choice.

– 2 tablespoons of cardamom seeds
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 5-8 black or white peppercorns
– 1 piece of star anise
– 1/8 tsp salt
– 2 cups milk or your choice
– 1 Tablespoon of honey
– 2/3 pieces of fresh ginger, cut in 1 inch dice
– 2 cups water
– 5 teaspoons loose black tea

– Grind together cardamom, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, with mortar and pestle or coffee/spice grinder.
– Bring milk just to a simmer in a saucepan.
– Stir or whisk in honey, ground spice mixture, star anise, fresh ginger pieces, and 1/8 tsp salt.
– Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring often, 3 minutes to infuse milk with spices & sweetener.
– Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add loose leaf tea, and boil 1 minute.
– Pour tea through a fine-mesh sieve into hot milk mixture, throwing away tea leaves, and cooking over low heat 1 minute.
– Stir, and strain mixture before serving.

Serving suggestion:
– Make your own chai latté, by incorporating a stove top shot of espresso into your freshly brewed chai tea. The coupling of chai with espresso is delicious and sure to wake you up on a busy work day.

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Written by Patrice Helmar

January 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Jacques Pépin’s Roasted Split Chicken with Mustard Crust

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Jaques Pépin

Watching Jacques Pépin butterfly a chicken with a pair of kitchen shears was a revelation to me. Coming from a master of technique the shear method of butchering is indeed technically awesome. This is a recipe that eases cooking time and the processing of butchering the bird. The result is a beautifully browned and juicy pan roasted chicken that will knock your socks and shoes off.

butterflied chicken

I battled a chicken last night with a pair of kitchen shears last night and won. Think of this process as simply de-turding the chicken, cutting the backbone out of the bird, and then making small cuts under the joints of the drumsticks and wings. I used a Foster Farm’s natural chicken weighing about 5 pounds for this recipe.


– Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Mustard Crust

Mustard Crust:
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Louisiana hot sauce)
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon salt

-Combine ingredients in a small metal bowl and whisk together.

– Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut alongside the backbone of the chicken to split it open. Spread and press on the chicken with your hands to flatten it. Using a sharp paring knife, cut halfway through both sides of the joints connecting the thighs and drumsticks and cut through the joints of the shoulder under the wings as well. (This will help the heat penetrate these joints and accelerate the cooking process.)

– Put the chicken skin side down on a cutting board and spread it with about half the mustard mixture. Place the chicken flat in a large skillet, mustard side down.

split chicken in iron skillet

– Spread the remaining mustard on the skin side of the chicken. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, then place the skillet in the oven and cook the chicken for about 35 – 40 minutes. It should be well browned and dark on top.

chicken and potatoes

I added small rounded red potatoes to my iron skillet when I put my bird in the oven putting a little olive oil and salt on top. They cooked beautifully in the chicken fat and drippings of the mustard crust and were a perfect side. Don’t be afraid to use the drippings from the roast to make a delicious pan sauce for your dish.

Make sure you let the chicken rest in the skillet at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting it into pieces with your kitchen shears or a carving knife. I served my roasted chicken with the little awesome pan roasted red potatoes and a green side salad with a nice shallot balsamic vinaigrette. Happy cooking!

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Written by Patrice Helmar

July 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Making chicken tortilla soup is easier than it might seem. The Porkchop test kitchen pumped out a pot of it tonight for the first annual Fantastic Mr. Feedbag Feed, much to the delight of the entire staff.


Ingredients include:
2 chicken breasts
2 cans of chicken broth or 32 ounces of homemade chicken stock
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 stalks of diced celery
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper
2 poblano or pasilla peppers
2 green, red, or yellow peppers
2 cups of frozen corn
2 teaspoons of cumin
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1-2 teaspoons of New Mexico chili powder
1 can of diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chili (preferably Glen Muir brand)
2 cans of tomato sauce
2 teaspoons of sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to your taste

Optional Toppings:
Sour cream
Grated cheese
Fresh cilantro
Diced avocados
6 corn tortilla julienned
Fresh limes

1. In a medium sauce pan: boil 2 chicken breasts in 2 cans of chicken broth for around 15 minutes or until falling apart.
2. In a large soup pot: sauté onion, garlic, jalapeno, and other peppers in oil with spices until soft.
3. After the chicken breasts have been cooked completely (about 15 minutes) shred the chicken using two forks.
4. Add cooked chicken, remaining chicken broth, and all other ingredients to soup pot and bring to a boil.
5. Julienne corn tortillas, lightly coat in olive oil, toss in sea salt, and put under the broiler for a few minutes until browned.
6. After soup has been brought to a boil, let sit until cool enough to eat, serve, and enjoy!


Written by Patrice Helmar

June 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm