Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Taco spice mix

Although you can buy commercial mixes that are GF (check the Coeliac FoodandDrinkDirectory) it's much nicer to make your own and very Simple.  Most recipes use powdered garlic and onion, but I don't keep these in the house and fresh work fine. Shallots have a more concentrated flavour than normal onions and work well:

1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 shallots
salt to taste
mixed pepper, to taste (red and black peppercorns)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Home made Corn Tortillas

Oh my! I just discovered that my home town has a mexican shop that sells tortilla flour and presses.  They also sell ready made GF Corn tortillas.  Thanks UK Gluten Free Blog for your posting!  Must make some pronto.  I haven't had a corn tortilla since Discovery started putting wheat flour in theirs, so about 4 yrs!! Okay so I could just buy tacos, but they aren't even mexican and are pretty oily and salty so it's kind of like having crisps for your dinner!  Authentic Tortillas are much nicer and healthier:

Corn Tortillas
2 cups Corn Masa Harina (specially treated corn flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1 and a bit cups of water

Mix the ingredients together, adding more water if needed to make a soft, pliable dough.  These quantities should make 6 tortillas - make into balls a little bigger than a ping pong ball.  Flatten each ball using a tortilla press with sandwich bags/parchment to stop them sticking - Otomi sell these).

Dry fry each tortilla until it bubbles and then turn over and fry until the second side browns.

Fill with your favourite filling and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Polenta balls

I had some yummy polenta balls and dips at Bristol Watershed yesterday.  They were fried polenta balls flavoured with peppers, mint etc. These ones were deep fried, but I baked mine to make a healthier version...

Basic Polenta recipe
2 cups water or milk
1 cup cornmeal (polenta)

Polenta Balls
Boil the salted water and add the cornmeal.
Stirring occasionally, cook until it thickens  (10mins). [mix in any extra flavours]
Leave to stand for 15 mins.
Divide the mixture (into 10-15 pieces) and roll into ping pong sized balls, placing [a filling] in the middle if you want.  If the mixture sticks to your hands too much, fill a bowl with cold water and keep dipping your hands and the spoon in it.  You don't need to coat the balls in flour or anything as polenta will hold it's shape.
Bake the balls on a baking tray for 20mins, turning once to cook them evenly.

You could stir in a tbsp of sundried tomato paste, olive tapenade, pesto  or 2 tbsps of grated hard cheese. Or you could blitz some herbs in a blender and add those e.g. coriander, basil, parsley.

Cubes of cheese (if soya choose a melty one)
Small pieces of salami

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce Recipe

So I watched Rachel Allen's homecooking programme this weekend and got a hankering for
those chinese takeway style crispy duck rolls.  Her recipe is quite a healthy way to cook them.

To make them gluten free I would use  chinese rice spring roll wrappers.  You could pre-wrap them before serving with Hoisin dipping sauce (see recipe below).  Alternatively, assemble them at the table: Pour hot water into a wide shallow bowl and soak each rice wrap for 30secs-1min (until soft). Place on a chopping board and filling with the duck, spring onions, cucumber and sauce. Roll like a parcel - fold in top and bottom and then roll (like a spring roll parcel).

Hoisin sauce isn't gluten free (as it contains soy sauce and, often, black bean paste), but it's easy to make and most supermarkets now stock GF soy sauce:

GF Hoisin Sauce
8 tbsp GF soy sauce
2 heaped tbsp smooth peanut butter (the more bland the better!)
2 tbsp honey or molasses
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or half a clove I guess!)
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
a dash of hot sauce or chilli (to taste)

Serves 2-3

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lamb and Plumb Tagine

Normally, you'd use apricots in this recipe, but with an abundance of plumbs this time of year, they make a great substitution.  If you want to be authentic, you'd cook the rice separately  but I'm a big fan of one-pot cooking.

1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Cayenne (or to taste)
ground pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Ground coriander
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnammon

500g lamb, diced
onion, chopped
yellow pepper, chopped
butternut squash, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 pints lamb/beef stock
2 cups uncooked rice.

Brown the lamb in a little oil in a casserole dish and add the onions and spices.  Add half the stock and slow cook in the oven (with the lid on) on a medium temperature for 2 hrs.  Add in the rest of the stock, the veg and the uncooked rice and return to a hot oven for 30 mins or until the rice is cooked.

Serve hot.