Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Terrible Turnover

     So many cooking blogs and shows tell you things to do in order to create amazing dishes.  Well, I'm going to tell you a something NOT to do, which I discovered today when I attempted to make a spinach turnover.  This is a pastry filled with spinach, mushrooms, and ham; which has a beautiful, lattice crust and looks amazing.......when Julia Child does it.
     I am on a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free diet so I thought that I would substitute rice flour for wheat flour, soy milk for cream, and agave syrup for sugar.  Good plan, right?  I figured Julia would approve because she said once on her cooking program, "Instead of cream, you can use milk if you're on one of those hideous diets!"  Yes, Julia, I am on a hideous diet so I thought it would be okay to use whatever substitutions I needed.
     Actually, the rice flour-soy milk combo worked great for the bechamel sauce.  It was just as creamy and delicious as the real thing.  (I thought.)  As it turns out however, rice flour is TERRIBLE for pastry!  Apparently, the gluten in wheat flour is what gives it it's elasticity and lets you roll it out and shape it.  My rice-flour dough crumbled when I tried to roll it out.  Not to be outdone, I gathered the crumbled dough, added hot water, and squished it together.  This made a sticky mess which wouldn't roll out.  So, I stuck it in the freezer for 10 minutes.  It kinda worked.  I rolled it out onto the cookie sheet, added the filling, and folded it over.  (With the help of wax paper.)  Then,  I took the leftover crumbly bits and fashioned them into a sort of lattice crust.  The result, as you can see, was rather ugly.  Unfortunately, the crust did not taste good either.  It was too crumbly, and stuck the roof of your mouth.  The filling was good though.  Since I had so much filling left over, I made a weird casserole by slicing a potato, then layering the spinach, ham, sauteed mushrooms, and bechamel sauce into a casserole dish.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Or, as in this case, when life gives you ugly, terrible turnovers, make weird casserole!


  1. Shea, is there a bandage on the side of your head on your profile pic???

  2. Yeah, I was hoping people would be too taken with the view to notice. :P I had minor surgery, then got a staph infection, and had to wear that thing forever!

  3. Oh my word...I was just looking at you and then noticed it....You poor thing