Over the last 3-4 months I have had several friends begin to realize they need to go gluten-free. Since I have been gluten-free for over a decade now, they have all asked me questions at some point in the process. Great! It’s always good to seek advice from someone in the ‘been there, done that’ camp. I began to realize, though, that there were two key issues going on. First, they were getting a LOT of misinformation from people. Second, they needed more than I could explain in a quick couple of minutes after church or MOPs. They needed a crash-course in gluten-free living! After a lot of thinking and praying, I felt like God was calling me to offer this up for anyone interested. So, this morning I taught my first ever Gluten-Free 101 class!
As I was preparing for the class and planning out the menu of things to taste and cook I checked with my guests about other food allergies and intolerances so I could ensure they could all happily eat (because what’s the fun in food sampling if you can’t sample it, right). Two of the ladies couldn’t handle cow’s milk. Since I was planning on making breakfast pizza, that could have easily interfered with my plans for a creamy Alfredo sauce. Thanks to my stubborn nature not wanting to change my plans, I decided I would just make a dairy-free Alfredo sauce. I mean, people who can’t handle cow’s milk like cream sauces, too! And so my quest for gluten-free, dairy-free Alfredo sauce began. My key problems were going to be that flour is used in a roux to thicken cream sauces, and, well, CREAM is used in cream sauces. Flour and cream were going to be a big NO since this needed to be gluten-free and dairy-free I knew it needed to be soy-free as well, because another guest couldn’t eat soy. Hmm, this was getting tricky. Thanks to The Chew I knew that a roux just needed to be equal parts fat and flour, so I just decided to substitute Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour for regular flour. For the fat? Well, you don’t get much tastier than bacon fat, and since I needed to cook up bacon pieces to use for a pizza topping anyway, I could just use the rendered fat for the roux.
Now the trickiest part, what to use for the for the cream? I could use milk, but it’s not as thick as cream. That makes it hard to get a good, thick, CREAMY sauce. Normally I would use the lactose-free half and half by Organic Valley, but that isn’t free of cow’s milk. As I wandered through New Seasons I stumbled upon this creamer.
Perfect! So Delicious Coconut Creamer is gluten-free, dairy-free, AND soy-free! BINGO! Once I had that I had everything I needed to make some rockin’ sauce. If you’re thinking to yourself, “but I don’t like coconut”, have no fear. This doesn’t taste like coconut at all. I HATE coconut. Like, really, truly, deeply dislike it and I loved this sauce. I couldn’t taste the coconut at all. Since you have been kind enough to read through my ramblings, now you get to have the recipe, too!
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Alfredo Sauce
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (liquid) bacon grease, divided
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (I use Better Batter)
- 1 quart coconut creamer (be sure to get original flavor, vanilla Alfredo would be weird)
- Cook up bacon pieces so that you have bacon fat to use for this. Enjoy your bacon in/on whatever you please and save the bacon fat!
- Heat 2 tablespoons of (liquid) bacon grease on medium-high in a large sauce pot.
- Add chopped onion and sauté until onions are soft and beginning to get some color.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and stir to evenly distribute. The smoked paprika serves to a) give it a wonderful earthiness and b) help balance out the slightly sweet nature of coconut milk.
- Add minced garlic and cook for about a minute.
- Pour onions and garlic into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1/4 cup (liquid) bacon grease in the sauce pan.
- When bacon grease is hot, add 1/4 cup gluten-free flour. Whisk continuously until roux (that is the fat-flour mixture in your pan) takes on a light brown color. You don’t want this white, but you also don’t want it dark brown.
- Add the full quart of coconut creamer, whisking continuously as you pour. This will sizzle.
- Add the other 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Keep stirring your sauce until it begins to thicken. It’s going to take several minutes, so be patient.
- When your sauce begins to thicken, add the onion-garlic mixture back to the pan and stir it in.
- Once your sauce begins to simmer turn the heat down a little to keep it right at the edge of simmering and keep stirring to prevent scalding.
- Cook sauce until it has reduced by about 1/3 and can coat the back of a spoon. You’ll know it’s done when you can run your finger through the sauce on the back of a spoon and the line stays there.