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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Recipes with butter

29Sep 12

Beer and Cheddar Soup

Beer and Cheddar SoupI’ve always been a huge fan of beer, and it was probably one of the hardest things to give up when I first embarked on my gluten-free diet.  Luckily, these days it’s fairly easy to find gluten-free beer, and I’ve finally been able to add it back in to my diet (although I have to admit it wasn’t so lucky for my belly!).

Another of my all-time favourite foods is cheddar cheese, so I just knew that this beer and cheddar soup was going to turn into a new favourite even before I tried it.  It’s creamy and sweet, very satisfying, and frankly one of the most delicious soups I’ve ever tasted, if I do say so myself!  You can use strong cheddar if you prefer, but the mild cheddar seems to melt much better. Besides, the beer gives it plenty of kick anyway.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

For more creamy soups, have a go at this cream of asparagus soup, without the cream.

 

Beer and Cheddar Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 75g finely diced onion
  • 50g finely diced celery
  • 75g finely diced carrot
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash ground cloves
  • Dash white pepper
  • 500ml gluten-free chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
  • 250g grated mild Cheddar cheese
  • 1 bottle (330ml) gluten-free beer
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Dash paprika, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, celery, and carrot and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, around 5 minutes.
  4. Add the salt, nutmeg, cloves, pepper and 425ml of the broth.
  5. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  6. In a bowl, whisk the sweet rice flour with the remaining 75ml of broth until smooth. Then add it to the pot, stirring constantly until the soup thickens slightly.
  7. Remove soup from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until it is completely melted.
  8. Just before serving, open the beer, add it to the soup and bring it up to serving temperature over low heat.
  9. Garnish the soup with the parsley and paprika and serve immediately.

 

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06Sep 12

Curried Apple Soup

Curried Apple Soup
I don’t think I can be enthusiastic enough about just how much I love this sublimely delicious curried apple soup!  Who ever would have imagined that apples and curry would go so well together!?  It was certainly a surprise for me the first time that I tried it.

Red apples are really the ideal type for this recipe. But as with any dish, you can play around and change things to suit your own personal preferences.

You can use either chicken or vegetable broth – it won’t matter much to the final taste. And if you want to make a slightly lighter (low calorie) version,  you can replace the double cream with single cream or milk and use oil rather than butter.  But be warned: this will take away from the taste, at least a little.  After all, Indian food is meant to be a bit decadent!

And for dessert, munch on this hot apple tart with cream. Delicious!

 

Curried Apple Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A decadent mix of apples and curry
Ingredients
  • 2 large Spanish onions, coarsely chopped
  • 55g butter
  • 2tbsp curry powder
  • 2tbsp cornflour
  • 60ml cold water
  • 1 litre vegetable or gluten-free chicken broth
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 250ml double cream
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Thin slices of unpeeled apples for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cook the onions in the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until soft but not brown.
  2. Stir in the curry powder.
  3. Blend the cornflour with the cold water in a glass, making sure there are no lumps and all the cornflour is dissolved.
  4. Add the cornflour paste to the onions and curry powder.
  5. Add the vegetable or chicken broth.
  6. Cook over low heat, stirring continuously, until slightly thickened and clear.
  7. Add a little bit of the hot liquid to the egg yolks, let sit a few seconds and then return the liquid and egg yolks to the pan.
  8. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute.
  9. Add the double cream and then remove from the heat.
  10. Add the diced apples.
  11. Process in an electric blender or food processor until smooth.
  12. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  13. Serve either hot or chilled.

 

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23Jul 12

Winter Vegetable Pie

Winter Vegetable PieSomething like a fancier, vegetarian version of traditional shepherds pie, this winter vegetable pie recipe makes for a great Sunday lunch and is a good way to trick younger kids into eating their turnips and parsnips without them even realising it!  I usually prepare this in one large oven-safe dish, but an interesting presentation alternative is to bake individual portions in small, round dishes and give everyone their own.  If you find your kids still make faces and don’t want to eat it, try doubling the amount of cheese; in my experience, this seems to work just as well as the proverbial spoonful of sugar!

Although it’s only vegetables, this dish can be quite heavy. For a lighter cheesy recipe to “fool” kids into eating their veggies, try this baked fennel with tomato gratin. For dessert, I recommend this carrot halwa.

Serve this dish with cheesy bread for dipping. I also like to set aside a little ramekin with the tomato sauce to pour over the mashed potatoes right before serving. But that’s because I really love tomatoes. Most people tell me that the tomatoes inside the pie are plenty, but I just never can get enough!

 

Winter Vegetable Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 450g potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 400g turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 50g Puy lentils
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 200g leeks, washed and sliced in rings
  • 200g parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 75g chopped walnuts
  • ½tsp dried thyme
  • ½tsp dried oregano
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Boil the potatoes and turnips in a large pot of salted water for 20-30 minutes, or until very tender.
  3. Drain off the excess water and mash the turnips and potatoes together with half of the butter.
  4. Cook the lentils in a pot with abundant water for 30 minutes, or until nice and tender.
  5. Drain and set aside.
  6. Heat the rest of the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onions, leeks and parsnips over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the walnuts, thyme, oregano, the cooked lentils and the tomato.
  7. Mix well and season to taste with the salt and pepper.
  8. Place the vegetable mixture in a deep oven-proof dish and cover with a layer of mashed potato and turnip.
  9. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese over the top and cook in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the mash turns golden brown and a bit crispy.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 

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19Jul 12

Baked Asparagus with Feta and Parmesan

Baked Asparagus with Feta and ParmesanI remember one time  as a kid being given some lukewarm, mushy canned asparagus for lunch and thinking it was the absolute worst thing in the world and vowing never to eat asparagus again!  Fortunately, I eventually grew up and tried some grilled asparagus at a restaurant. Imagine my surprise when I realised it was nothing at all like that mushy stuff I remembered!

Since then I’ve become quite a connoisseur of this wild green vegetable, although I have to admit I’m still not much of a fan of the canned variety.  In any case, this baked asparagus with feta and parmesan recipe is made from sweet and crunchy fresh asparagus, and the tangy cheese highlights the juicy baked goodness of the vegetable astoundingly well. (I also recommend this asparagus and cheese pudding.)

 

Baked Asparagus with Feta and Parmesan
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 300g fresh asparagus, washed
  • 150g feta cheese, finely crumbled
  • 25g Parmesan cheese
  • 25g butter
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Cut the hard, thick ends off the asparagus.
  3. Steam the asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are just tender.
  4. Grease an oven safe dish with the butter and lay the asparagus lengthwise along the bottom of the dish, with the tips all pointing in the same direction.
  5. Sprinkle the feta cheese over top of the asparagus, then the Parmesan and the oregano.
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  7. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted and brown spots form on top.
  8. Serve hot.

 

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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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24May 12

Creamy Cheese Blintzes

Creamy Cheese BlintzesThese creamy cheese blintzes are great for dessert or brunch.  The sweet cherry topping is both colourful and tasty. For a saltier flavour, you could also try these crepes stuffed with ricotta and courgette.

You Need:

For the crepes:

  • 190ml milk
  • 30g sorghum flour
  • 30g cornflour
  • 25g tapioca flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Additional butter for frying

 

For the filling and topping:

  • 230g ricotta cheese or firm silken tofu
  • 90g cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar + 125g for dusting
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 can (about 500ml) cherry pie filling

 

Steps:

 

  1. Make the crepes: In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the additional butter, and process until smooth. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 205°C.
  3. Coat a glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Just before frying the crepes, blend again to reincorporate ingredients.
  5. Heat a 20cm frying pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water dances on the surface.
  6. Brush the surface of the pan with butter.
  7. Pour 60ml of batter into the pan and immediately tilt and swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly with the batter.
  8. Cook until the underside of the crepe is crispy brown, then flip with a thin spatula and cook the other side for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the batter sets.
  9. Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the remaining batter.
  10. In a medium bowl, beat the ricotta cheese/tofu and cream cheese together on medium speed until smooth.
  11. Gradually beat in the 3 tablespoons icing sugar, lemon zest, and egg until smooth.
  12. Spoon 60ml of the cheese mixture in a line along the lower third of each crepe.
  13. Fold the bottom to just cover the cheese filling and keep rolling, ending with the seam side down.
  14. Place the blintzes in the baking dish and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the egg is cooked and the cheese sets.
  15. Dust with icing sugar, spoon cherry pie filling on top, and serve warm.

 

Ready In:  90 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   4 out of 5

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22May 12

Indian-Style Brown Rice

indian style brown riceLately I’ve been trying to eat more whole-grain foods, but at first I had a hard time getting down plain, whole-grain brown rice.  It’s just so heavy and seemed to always get stuck in a ball at the back of my throat.  I’ve always loved Indian pilau rice, so I decided to try and make something similar with organic brown rice.  This Indian-style brown rice recipe is the result.

As with most Indian dishes, you need a lot of ingredients that you might not have in your kitchen, so a trip to the shops might be in order before you can start making it.  In any case, I’ve tried to keep the ingredients list as short as possible and only use the most common Indian herbs and spices.  I also added frozen peas to the mix to try and make it into a full meal in itself, although the best thing to do is to top it off with your favourite curry.  It also goes quite nicely with my baked tofu in peanut butter sauce recipe.

You Need:

  • 500g organic brown rice
  • 1.5L water
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • Seeds from 8 green cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  •  2 tbsps fresh chopped coriander

Steps:

  1. Melt the butter in a 3 litre pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic slices, cardamom seeds, fresh ginger, bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon sticks and sauté for about 2 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown.
  3. Add the rice and sauté for about a minute, stirring constantly and making sure all the rice gets coated and toasted with the butter and spices.
  4. Add the water, salt and turmeric and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the frozen peas.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.  The exact time varies greatly depending on the brand of rice used.
  7. Drain off any excess water.
  8. Mix the fresh coriander into the rice and serve with your favourite curry.

Ready In:  30-45 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:  2 out of 5

Note: Now that I enjoy brown rice, I also eat this brown rice salad with pecans and sultanas. Simply scrumptious!

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29Mar 12

Lime Cheesecake

 

Lime cheesecake

Tangy and cheesy and sweet, get ready for a taste bud explosion with this lovely lime cheesecake! Or for a more bite-sized option, try these mini lemon cheesecakes.

You Need:

For the crust:

  •  200g gluten-free vanilla or lemon-flavoured biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted,
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest

For the filling:

  • 700g cream cheese
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 65ml sour cream at room temperature
  • Juice and grated zest of 2 limes
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 250ml whipped cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons of very fine sugar and 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 165°C.
  2. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 23cm nonstick spring-form pan and set aside.

FOR THE CRUST:

Place the biscuits and sugar in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs.

  1. Add the butter and lime zest and process until the mixture is crumbly.
  2. Pat the crust onto the bottom of the pan.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or just until the crust is fragrant.
  4. Cool the crust while preparing the filling, but leave the oven on.

FOR THE FILLING:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the sugar and beat 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the lime juice and zest, vanilla extract and salt and beat until smooth.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one a time, just until blended.
  5. Pour the filling over the crust and smooth with a spatula.
  6. Bake 1 hour or until the top is firm.
  7. Cool the cheesecake 15 minutes on a wire rack.
  8. Run a sharp knife around the outer edge of the cake to loosen the edges and remove the sides of the pan.
  9. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  10. Slide a thin knife between the cheesecake and the pan and slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate.
  11. Bring the cheesecake to room temperature; slice with a knife dipped in hot water, then dried.
  12. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with a lime slice.
  13. Refrigerate leftovers.

Ready In:  60 minutes + overnight setting

Serves:  10-12

Difficulty:   4 out of 5

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