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Cover: Gluten free cooking

June, 2012

30Jun 12

Bacon and Potato Rosti

Bacon and Potato RostiRosti is a traditional Swiss dish consisting mainly of potatoes and was originally eaten for breakfast by farmers.  Somewhat similar to the more familiar hash browns, they are usually fried, although I prefer them baked.  These bacon and potato rosti are oven-baked and while I don’t think I’d want to eat them for breakfast very often, they make for a wonderfully satisfying snack or starter.

 

I like bacon, but you could also try this salmon and rosti bake. Or if you prefer to make them vegetarian-friendly, you can leave out the bacon or alternatively replace it with some cheddar cheese or even apple if you’re the adventurous type.

You Need:

  • 450g potatoes, whole and with the skin left on
  • 2.5tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 rashers of back bacon, diced
  • 1tbsp potato flour
  • 1tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley or basil to decorate the plate.

Steps:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  3. Parboil the potatoes in abundant, lightly-salted water for 6 minutes.
  4. Drain and set aside to cool.
  5. Once the potatoes have cooled enough to be handled, peel them and grate with a coarse cheese grater.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over low heat until it is hot but not smoking.
  8. Add the chopped onion and bacon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep them from sticking.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Add the bacon and onions to the grated potatoes along with the rest of the olive oil, potato flour, parsley, chives, salt and pepper.  Mix well.
  11. Divide the mixture into eight small portions and press into patties using your hands.
  12. Arrange the patties carefully on the baking sheet, leaving a little space between each patty.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the rosti turn golden brown and crunchy.
  14. Garnish with the sprigs of fresh parsley or basil and serve immediately.

Ready In:  45 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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27Jun 12

Corn Tortillas

Corn TortillaMexican-style corn tortillas for making burritos, quesadillas or chicken fajitas.  They’re surprisingly easy to make and taste so much better than the store-bought variety!

 

You Need:

  • 500g cornflour
  • 250ml to 300ml warm (45°C) water

 

Steps:

  1. Blend the cornflour and warm water with a food processor until a soft ball forms. Remove the dough from the food processor. You should be able to knead the dough in your hands without it sticking to your hands or falling apart. If it isn’t right, put the dough back in the food processor. If it is too sticky, blend in more flour, a tablespoon at a time; if it falls apart, add more warm water, a tablespoon at a time.
  2. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. Cover tightly to prevent them from drying out.
  3. Cut 24 pieces of baking paper, each about 7 inches square. Place one ball of dough between two pieces of baking paper, roll with a rolling pin to a 15cm diameter, and stack on a plate.  Don’t remove the paper.
  4. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  5. To fry, heat a cast-iron frying pan over high heat until hot. Hold the tortilla in one hand and peel off the top layer of wax paper with the other hand (starting with side nearest your wrist) and pull the wax paper up toward the ceiling.
  6. Carefully invert the tortilla onto the griddle. Wait 3 seconds and then peel off the remaining baking paper. (Do not leave the wax paper on the tortilla for longer than 3 seconds or it will permanently stick to the tortilla.)
  7. Cook the tortilla about 2 minutes on each side until it looks dry and has golden flecks on it. Transfer the cooked tortilla to a plate to cool between clean sheets of baking paper.
  8. Cook the remaining tortillas. These are best eaten right after they’re cooked, but if you have leftovers, let them cool, and refrigerate them between layers of parchment paper in a re-sealable plastic bag.
  9. Reheat tortillas in the microwave on low 1 to 2 minutes.

 

Ready In:  45 minutes

Serves:  2-4

Difficulty:   4 out of 5

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25Jun 12

Mashed Potatoes with Onion Gravy

Mashed Potatoes with Onion GravyMashed potatoes and gravy, so yummy, and so many memories!  I’ve been trying to stay away from beef and chicken lately, and the ingredients list on most gravy mixes just make me shiver, so I decided to come up with a vegetarian version of this traditional favourite.  This mashed potatoes and onion gravy recipe is the result.

You can serve it as a side dish to accompany pretty much any meat if you want, or alternatively you could throw some bangers into the mix for a quick and easy bangers and mash.  If you want to keep it vegetarian-friendly, just use veggie-bangers or serve alongside some seitan or veggie burgers.  If you’re a vegan, substitute the butter for margarine or oil and replace the milk with soy or rice milk – just make sure you choose one that’s not too sweet as that can ruin the taste.

You need:

For the Gravy:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 500ml water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the mash:

  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 50 grams butter

Steps:

For the gravy:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent but not brown.
  3. Add the vegetable stock cube and thyme and sauté another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the water and bring to the boil.
  5. Mix the cornflour with 1.5 tsp water to form a thick paste.
  6. Add the cornflour mixture to the boiling liquid a little at a time, stirring continuously, until the desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Let simmer on lowest heat possible until you’re ready to serve it.

For the mash:

  1. Boil the potatoes in abundant water with a little salt until they are very tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and place the boiled potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the butter and milk.
  4. Mash it all together with a potato masher.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

  1. Spoon the mash onto a deep plate and pat down the middle so that it forms a bit of a bowl.
  2. Pour the desired amount of gravy on top.
  3. Serve hot!

Ready In: 30 minutes

Serves: 3

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

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22Jun 12

Coconut Pancakes

Coconut PancakesThese coconut pancakes are made with coconut flour, which lends a delicious and intense coconut flavour and is also a great ingredient for gluten-free baking because of its high fibre, high protein, and low carbohydrate content.  The addition of the shredded coconut and coconut-flavoured extract make the pancakes even more delicious and sweet.

It can be difficult to get these pancakes right the first time, so make sure you follow the instructions carefully, mix all the ingredients very well and don’t skip any steps, such as letting the batter set.  For best results, make sure you use a good non-stick frying pan whose surface isn’t scratched or worn. (For mini treats, try these mini pancakes with mozzarella, spinach and pine nuts.)

 

You Need:

  • 65g sorghum flour
  • 65g cornflour
  • 50g tapioca flour
  • 60g coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 200ml to 250ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut-flavoured extract
  • 65g sweetened shredded coconut
  • Additional butter or oil for frying

 

Steps:

 

  1. In a mixing bowl or large measuring cup, sift together the sorghum flour, cornflour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
  2. Gradually whisk in the milk, butter, egg, vanilla, and coconut extract.  Mix well until very smooth.
  3. Mix in the shredded coconut. Let the batter stand 5 minutes and then add more milk, if necessary, just until the batter is thin enough to pour.
  4. Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large non-stick frying pan until hot but not smoking. Pour 65ml of the batter onto the frying pan and cook until bubbles appear on top of the pancake, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the pancake over and cook until it has browned on other side.
  5. Repeat step 4 with the rest of the batter to make the rest of the pancakes.
  6. Serve immediately, either plain or with maple syrup or your favourite pancake topping.

 

Ready In:  25 minutes

Serves:  2

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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20Jun 12

Home-made Dried Fruit and Nut Muesli

Home-made Dried Fruit MuesliThis home-made dried fruit and nut muesli makes a great breakfast cereal or can even just be eaten by hand as a snack.  It also works well for making a base or crispy topping for baked fruit desserts like this apple crisp recipe.  I like to put a handful or two in a small plastic bag or container and take it with me to snack on at work or in the car.

 

You Need:

DRY INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g gluten-free rolled oats
  • 250g unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 65g sunflower seeds
  • 60g almond slices
  • 65g pumpkin seeds
  • 60g walnuts or pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

LIQUID INGREDIENTS:

  • 125ml honey
  • 65ml very hot water
  • 65ml canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DRIED FRUITS AND NUTS:

  • 125g whole almonds
  • 65g dried bananas
  • 65g raisins
  • 65g finely chopped dried apricots

 

Steps:

 

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 150ºC.
  2. Line a baking sheet (not non-stick) with baking parchment paper or lightly coat it with cooking spray or canola oil.
  3. Place the dry ingredients in a very large bowl and toss them well to thoroughly combine.
  4. Combine the liquid ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the honey is dissolved.
  5. Pour the liquid mixture over top of the dry ingredients and toss with a spatula to thoroughly combine. The mixture should be fairly wet.
  6. Place the muesli on the prepared baking sheet and spread out to form a thin layer.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes and then stir. Bake another 15 minutes and stir again.
  8. Continue baking in 10-minute increments until the muesli is browned to the desired degree. Keep a very close eye on it in the final stages as it can go from lightly browned to burnt in a matter of seconds!
  9. Cool the muesli on the pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack.
  10. Stir the dried fruits and nuts into the baked mixture.
  11. The muesli will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

Ready In:  60 minutes

Serves:  4-5

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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18Jun 12

No-egg Caesar Salad

No-egg caesar saladIf you’re like me and you don’t like to eat raw eggs, then this no egg Caesar salad will soon turn into your new favourite salad recipe!  The crispiness of the romaine lettuce and the tanginess of the Worcestershire, garlic, mustard and vinegar in the sauce come together to make a winning combination that’s been a favourite for discerning diners around the world for years.

As for the omission of the raw eggs, I can guarantee you that you won’t even miss them – in fact, I’m having a bit of a hard time understanding what they were doing in the original recipe in the first place! (Also try this chicken salad with roast tomatoes, almonds and balsamic dressing.)

 

You Need:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 65ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 200g chicken strips
  • 375g gluten-free bread cubes, crusts removed, and cut in 1.5cm pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (omit for vegetarian-friendly guests)
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, washed, patted dry, and torn
  • 50g (1⁄3 cup) grated Parmesan cheese or soy alternative

 

Steps:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC and place a rack in the middle position.
  2. Make the chicken: Fry the chicken in a frying pan until cooked thoroughly. If you prefer it hot, you can serve it immediately with the salad. If you prefer it cold, you can make it the night before and store it in the fridge until ready to add to the salad.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mash the minced garlic with the salt and the oil; set aside.
  5. Make the croutons:
    1. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until they are just lightly browned.
    2. Transfer the bread cubes to a large bowl, toss them with half of the garlic-oil mixture, and return to the baking sheet to bake for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until golden brown and crisp.
    3. Remove the croutons from oven and set them aside to cool just a little.
    4. In a large salad bowl, whisk together the remaining garlic-oil mixture, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and anchovy paste, if you’re using it.
    5. Add the Romaine lettuce and toss thoroughly.
    6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, chicken strips and croutons, toss again, and serve immediately.

 

Ready In:  20 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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14Jun 12

Oven-Baked Artichoke Dip

Oven-baked Artichoke DipArtichokes are a wonderfully tasty vegetable that bring an authentic Mediterranean flavour to any dish, and this oven-baked artichoke dip is no exception!  As an added bonus, artichokes are known to have one of the highest antioxidant capacities of all vegetables, are diuretic and even help to reduce cholesterol!

This dip has a sweet roasted flavour and will be sure to impress your guests at your next dinner party.  Serve it in a bowl with a plate of fresh chopped veggies, savoury biscuits, crisps, or my rosemary focaccia recipe.  I guarantee the bowl will be empty long before the night is through!

 

You Need:

  • 125ml fresh lemon juice
  • 185ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package (400g) frozen artichokes, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, or soy alternative
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • A selection of chopped mixed vegetables or crisps or biscuits for dipping.

 

Steps:

 

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 175ºC.
  2. In a large, heavy frying pan, combine 6 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, salt, and pepper.  Mix well until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
  3. Add the artichokes to the lemon juice mixture and toss to coat them in the liquid.
  4. Bring the mixture to boil, remove from heat, and transfer from the frying pan to an oven-proof dish.
  5. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender and lightly browned.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. Place the roasted artichokes in a food processor and add the rest of the lemon juice, the remaining oil, and the thyme, basil, and Parmesan cheese.
  8. Process until thoroughly blended and smooth.
  9. Taste the dip and add additional salt and pepper if required.
  10. Serve immediately with some chopped veggies, crisps or savoury biscuits.

 

Ready In:  60 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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12Jun 12

Raisin Bread

Raisin BreadThis raisin bread recipe may take a bit of work to get right, but it’ll make your morning breakfast oh-so-much better! If you are looking for something crispier, this Biscotti di Prato recipe might also do the trick.

Toast and butter it for best results.

 

You Need:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 250ml warm (45°C) milk
  • 55g dark brown sugar
  • White rice flour for dusting
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 435g potato starch
  • 90g sorghum flour
  • 90g cornflour
  • 70g tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 85ml canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 170g raisins tossed with 1 teaspoon of potato starch

 

Steps:

 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, and 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar. Set aside to foam 5 minutes.
  2. Generously grease a non-stick loaf pan. Dust the bottom and sides of the pan lightly with white rice flour.
  3. In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, beat eggs until light and frothy, about 30 seconds. Add the potato starch, sorghum flour, cornflour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, oil, vinegar, and remaining brown sugar and beat on low speed until blended.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  4.  Increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds, or until dough thickens slightly. Stir in the raisins. Dough will be slightly softer than most yeast breads.
  5. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and smooth the top with a wet spatula.
  6. Cover the dough lightly with foil and let rise in a warm place (about 25ºC) until the dough is level with the top of the pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  8. With a sharp knife, make three diagonal slashes (1/3cm deep) in the  loaf so steam can escape during baking.
  9. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes or until temperature reaches 205°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into centre of loaf. Do not under bake. Cover with foil tent after 20 minutes of baking to reduce overbrowning.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool in pan the 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  11. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.

Ready In:  150 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   4 out of 5

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10Jun 12

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry MuffinsThese lemon blueberry muffins are mouth-wateringly delicious and make a great snack or only slightly decadent breakfast.  The crispy lemon and sugar topping is the icing on the cake, or in this case, the muffin!  If you manage to not eat them all in one sitting, they will keep in the refrigerator for up to ten days. (I would also recommend these raspberry and cinnamon muffins.)

 

You Need:

LIQUID INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 185ml milk
  • 125ml canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 180g + 25g sorghum flour
  • 180g + 20g cornflour
  • 140g + 15g tapioca flour
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 175g (1 cup) fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry

TOPPING

  • Cooking spray
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

 

Steps:

 

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 190ºC.
  2. Generously grease the cups of a standard 12-cup non-stick muffin pan, or line with paper liners coated with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on low speed until light yellow and frothy, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the milk, oil, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat just until blended.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients except the blueberries. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients until the batter is smooth and slightly thickened.
  6. Gently stir in the blueberries.
  7. Divide the batter evenly in the muffin pan.
  8. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the muffin tops are firm and the edges start to pull away from the pan.
  9. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack.
  10. Spray the tops with cooking spray.
  11. Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest.
  12. Dip each muffin top into the sugar mixture and let stand on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  13.  Serve warm.

 

Ready In:  60 minutes

Serves:  10-12

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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07Jun 12

Courgette and Leek Fritters

Courgette and Leek Fritters

Known in Turkey as Mücver, these absolutely scrumptious courgette and leek fritters are typically eaten as a snack in the mid-afternoon between lunch and supper, but they also make for a great appetiser or side dish, and you could even make a full meal out of it by serving them alongside some salad and (gluten-free) bread. (I also recommend these potato and Gruyére cakes. Absolutely delicious!)

Fortunately, the original Turkish recipe only calls for one tablespoon of flour, so it was no problem whatsoever to substitute that for cornflour and make these gluten-free.  They are traditionally eaten plain, as far as I know, but I like to eat them with a bit of sour cream or Greek yoghurt, as I find the tartness offsets the earthy flavour of the fritters quite nicely.

 

Courgette and Leek Fritters
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml plain yoghurt
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 2tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3tbsp cornflour
  • 250g courgette, diced
  • 250g leeks, minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Grease a large baking tray and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and then mix in the yoghurt, the feta cheese, the baking powder, the parsley and the mint and stir well.
  4. Add the cornflour, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper and blend well.
  5. Add the courgette and leeks to the mixture and stir well.
  6. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray, leaving a few centimetres between each heap, and press down lightly with a fork.
  7. Bake the fritters in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
  8. Remove the tray from the oven and turn the fritters over.
  9. Return the tray to the oven and bake for 2 or 3 more minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
  10. Transfer the fritters to a serving plate and repeat the process with any leftover mixture.
  11. Serve warm, with a bit of sour cream or yoghurt if you like.

 

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