Archive | October, 2013

Toad in the hole

24 Oct

As you might have noticed from previous posts, we love sausages in our house! So further delight ensued when I popped into M&S the other day and discovered their own brand sausages are gluten free! I also noticed that their “Free From” section is getting better all the time, with the addition of biscuits, cakes, a wide selection of breads (in the “real bread” section), crackers etc. I don’t shop there often, but its good to know.

20131023-095340.jpg

I much prefer the “finest” or whatever premium sausages are on offer, but as I was using these in addition to a pack of Debbie and Andrew’s Harrogate Sausages, I thought they would be OK, but they paled into insignificance when compared to Debbie and Andrew’s which were recommended to me via Twitter, and are delicious – definitely a rival to The Black Farmer, in fact I might actually prefer them. Debbie and Andrew’s have added herbs and are very meaty, which in a Toad in the Hole work really well!  The M&S ones were similar to any of the cheaper sausages, a slightly breadier, as opposed to meaty, texture, but the flavour was nice, and as I had bought the low fat version, very little fat came out, which is a plus in my book!

So after my sausage discovery I decided to make a great winter dish, Toad in the Hole. A personal favourite! Believe it or not, there are 9 sausages in the below. I was very impressed by the rise achieved from the  yorkshire pudding, and it was just perfect, crispy on the outside but really soft and squishy in the middle. My first Toad in the Hole had the same texture, which was great, but not the rise, so here I got the best of both worlds! I’m not a fan of gravy, so I had it as is and it was moist enough.

I used 2/3 of my dad’s yorkshire pudding mix (de-glutened of course!) and I decided to experiment a little with it, I initially thought about adding some mustard to the mix, but as I was planning to serve the toad with some mustard sweet potato mash, I thought that might be overkill, so I decided to add a bit of spring onion to the mix. I then panicked that the spring onion might be so heavy and knock the air out and leave me with a flat pudding but thankfully that was not the case!

I popped the sausages in the oven to brown for about 15mins, made up the yorkshire pudding mix and left it to rest, giving it an occasional mix. Once the sausages were browned, I turned them and then gave the mix another whisk poured it over, popped it in the oven for 30 mins and voila!

20131023-095322.jpg

Best of all, I have some leftovers for my lunch today!

Tesco finest All Butter Triple Chocolate Cookies…

18 Oct

20131018-112702.jpg

Wow… just… wow. These are incredible, gluten and wheat free and taste like “real” cookies. Well done Tesco. I applaud you!

I was on my way home from the gym last night and popped into Tesco to grab some bits for dinner (Jerky pork and veg with sweet potato mash) it was a tiny little Tesco Express by Queens Road Peckham, once I had found everything for dinner it was about 20.00 and I was starving so was scouring the shelves for something to eat on the way home, and I was utterly failing. I couldn’t even find their Free From section and came very close to buying a chunk of cheese (lactose intolerant, but with a ridiculous love of cheese, the cheese always wins…). But then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted the distinctive ds brand on a tiny shelf so I popped over and my eyes were immediately drawn to some cranberry and white chocolate cookies. I obviously thought someone had mistakenly put them on the wrong shelf, but then, there were lots, and then there are triple chocolate versions? I then spotted the free from branding… Tesco finest does free from?? Well this was news to me! I quickly chucked some of the triple choc ones into my basket and ran to the checkout!

I barely made it out of the shop before ripping open the packet and shoving a cookie in my mouth, the first cookie I took out was snapped in half and my first thought was, “oh no, I am just going to have a box of crumbs”, but then cookie shoved in mouth I realised just how wrong I was…

20131018-112807.jpg

The first thing I realised was that the bottom of the cookie was covered in delicious milk chocolate (Belgian, I discovered when I finally actually looked at the packaging) and they have that perfect crumbly yet soft texture, that is extremely rare in gluten-free cooking. They hold together perfectly (the reason for the breakage was possibly my over-enthusiastic chucking of cookie box into basket!).

20131018-120209.jpg

I shared them with my housemates (one GF the other not) and both agreed that you would never know that they were made without wheat and that they were actually, quite possibly the best cookies we have ever tasted.

If you spot them in tesco’s I would recommend picking up a couple of packs, especially if you live with other people, GF or not, these cookies will not last long!

I am disappointed for two reasons – I only bought one pack, I should have at least bought the white chocolate and cranberry ones for comparison, obviously. And there are now no cookies left…

20131018-112740.jpg

 

Sundried tomato & basil focaccia

14 Oct

20131009-222028.jpg

I accidentally bought gluten free bread flour rather than plain flour a few months ago, since then I’ve always thought about attempting to bake a loaf but having tried so many questionable gf bakes I wasn’t sure it would work…

Anyway I got home early from work last week and thought I’d give it a go. I searched for recipes, I love sundried tomato and/or olive bread so decided to try a sundried tomato and basil focaccia as its one of my faves and I had all the ingredients. I found this recipe but made a couple of changes to make it FODMAP-friendly. I watched Great British Bake off while trying it, and low and behold Becca was cooking a very similar bread on their “alternative grains” challenge.

Previous to attempting to bake it, I had no idea that focaccia was fairly easy, almost knead free and it doesn’t take much rising. Perfect for a novice!

ingredients

  • 7g x fast action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp x caster sugar
  • 200ml x warm milk (I used soya, but you could use rice, normal, other)
  • 250g x gluten free plain flour
  • 1 tsp x xanthan gum
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ tsp. x bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar (this is what was in the recipe, but I didn’t have any so, after a quick google consult I used a bit of white wine, but apparently lemon juice will work just as well)
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling (I used the oil from my sundried tomatoes for the drizzling part)
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • small bunch of fresh basil
  • approx 8 sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  • Ground black pepper

20131009-222106.jpg

Method

  • Grease a 9-inch square cake tin with oil ( I also lined mine with greaseproof paper)
  • Mix the yeast, sugar and a little of  the milk together – it should start to foam a little.
  • Mix together the flour and xanthan gum, add the egg, oil, salt and the rest of the milk and whisk the lot together. At this point my whisk snapped in half, so I used a fork and it was just as effective!
  • Add in the foaming yeast mixture and whisk together until smooth, sticky and fully combined.
  • Add the vinegar (or lemon, or white wine, depending on what you have to hand!) and fizz up the bicarbonate of soda.
  • Fold the fizzing bicarb into the mixture,
  • Then smooth the dough out into your prepared tin  – it’s a good idea to lightly oil a spatula or palate knife to do this.
  • Cover with a sheet of greased cling film and pop in the airing cupboard, or somewhere warm, for an hour to prove.
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan)/375°F(350°F fan)/Gas Mark 5
  • Once the bread has proved – it should be about double in size – take off the cling film and use your fingers to make dips into the dough, I used my sundried tomatoes to do this!
  • Drizzle some oil over the top (I used the oil from the sundried tomatoes, but olive oil is great.
  • Sprinkle some coarse sea salt and pepper over the top and pop in the oven for 30mins or until golden brown.

I’m already looking forward to making my next batch, and will attempt to leave it to rise a little longer! I am thinking rosemary for the next attempt, or olive and sundried tomato… or both.

20131009-222049.jpg

 

Image

Mary Berry does Salad Dressing

11 Oct

20131011-115108.jpg

Who knew that Mary Berry, of cake baking and Great British Bake Off fame made salad dressing too? I assumed that this was made by some other Mary Berry, but after a very quick google search I discovered it is the one and same Mary Berry! And it turns out they make Chutney’s and all sorts too. Every day IS a school day.

Unfortunately the website doesn’t list the ingredients of each of the products, but when I found them, I had a quick look, the Salad dressing and light salad dressing are both onion, garlic, gluten, nut and dairy-free, Not only are these a FODMAPpers dream, but really tasty! They remind me of the Pizza Express dressing that you can also buy in the shops, but without the garlic and other intolerable ingredients! It’s a good thick sauce and would work well as a dip as well as a salad dressing, so when you find yourself with a rather dry GF offering, or a salad that could do with a bit of something other than oil and balsamic, or you find yourself wishing you had a good sauce for your steak – a splash of this makes the world of difference!

I’m not sure about the ingredients in their other products (lets be honest a chutney without onion is unlikely) but I will be keeping an eye out for them!

YUM!

20131011-115123.jpg

20131011-115116.jpg

FODMAP Thai green curry

10 Oct

20131009-205750.jpg

I adore all Thai food, I went over when I was 18 and developed a total addiction to Pad Thai, Thai Green Curry and Massaman Curry. I did a Thai cookery class during my next visit, but then along came the FODMAP diet, no garlic, no onion, no thai green curry. This was actually one of the first things I searched for a FODMAP recipe for when I started the diet and the first “adventurous” thing I attempted to make, and to be honest, it’s pretty easy and tastes great! The paste can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. Last night I grabbed some chicken and paste from the freezer and 30 mins later I had a delicious Thai green curry for me and my housemates – easy peasy!

I found the recipe on the Cooking with Noting Blog and have made it a few times now. I made a few changes to the recipe, either due to struggles with finding the ingredients or personal preference (or occassionally, being too lazy to go back to the shop when I realised I had forgotten something…).

The curry paste is the bit that takes the longest to prepare, but it is well worth it as curry paste from the supermarket seems to be chock full of garlic and onions. We have a great little blender which cuts down the prep time considerably.

Ingredients

Curry paste:

  • 2 x lemon grass stalks, or I am personally a big fan of these from Gourmet garden: so about 2 tblsp
  • 1-3 green chilis (depending on your spice preference)
  • 1 bunch spring onions, green part only
  • 2-4cm of galangal or ginger, also available from gourmet garden (again approx 2tbsp)
  • 1 bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves – I do think this is best fresh and I love coriander so generally find myself adding some of this too!
  • 1 bunch thai basil – I admit both times I have made this I have been unable to get thai basil so I have used normal italian basil and it has been fine, though I think you need less of it otherwise it can be a bit overpowering
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • juice of half a line

Dish:

  • Chicken thighs (I use chicken thighs as they tend to have more flavour, but any chicken will do, you can even use leftovers from a roast chicken!)
  • half bunch spring onions
  • butternut squash
  • 2 peppers (red and yellow – I am not a fan of green ones, but obviously it would work just as well – I particularly like the colours in my food!)
  • baby corn
  • green beans
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1tbsp oil

The vegetables can be changed for other vegetables depending on your preference, and for a vegetarian option you can just leave out the chicken and add extra veg or replace it with tofu.

20131009-205818.jpgMethod

  • Finely chop all of the ingredients for your curry paste.
  • If you have a blender, blend them all together, if not use a pestle and mortar, if you don’t have either, chop as finely as you can and combine – it’ll be a little more chunky, but will work just as well! I never get my paste to be quite as paste like as those you buy from the shop!
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan
  • Add the curry paste and heat for 1 or two mins, until the flavours are released
  • Add the chicken, and if you are using it, butternut squash to the paste and cook until the chicken has got a little colour and is coated in the curry paste.
  • Add the remaining vegetables and stir through.
  • Add the coconut milk
  • Leave to bubble away for about 20 mins

Serving Suggestions

  • Sticky rice works really well with green curry
  • Or the flavours in Tilda’s coconut, chilli and lemongrass 2 minute rice compliments the curry really well
  • You can add a pint of chicken (or vegetable) stock to the curry to make it into a soup, adding some rice noodles to this works really well.

20130820-144721.jpg

20131009-205829.jpg

SF’s Dad’s Yorkshire Puddings

6 Oct

20131006-213237.jpg

Anyone who has ever visited my dad’s house, or indeed is a friend of his on Facebook, will be well aware of his expertly made Yorkshire puddings, certainly not to be enjoyed with Roast beef, but any kind of roast or, and they are especially good, in toad in the hole, another family favourite, or (when he’s not looking) stolen out of the fridge and eaten cold, my step-mum claims that a bit of jam on a cold Yorkshire pudding is a treat, but I am not convinced!

It’s Sunday so I am currently in the middle of cooking up a FODMAP-friendly Sunday Roast. I had big visions of spending my day attempting to bake bread and cooking a roast for a couple of pals, but following news of a house inspection, the day has been spent cleaning, so now I am onto the roast dinner, though I do intent to attempt a sun-dried tomato and basil foccacia at some point this week… what this space!

Dad’s Yorkshire puddings have a great, almost spongy texture, I used his recipe to make a toad in the hole the other day, and although there wasn’t the rise of a normal gluten-filled Yorkshire pudding, there was the texture, and it tasted amazing so I am hopeful that it will work as well today!

The recipe is a bit different from the one I posted before and you can use it to either make one giant Yorkshire pudding, several smaller ones, or lots of tiny ones or with sausages in a toad in the hole. You can also split the recipe easily depending on pan size. Since there were supposed to be four of us for dinner and JM and I love Yorkshire puddings, I decided to use the whole lot, but would you believe it, two of them bailed.. oh well more for us! No matter the amount of mix you are using, I always add the extra egg white – it really helps with the rise.

Ingredients

  • 8oz plain gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3/4 pint of milk (I used soya, but use whatever you prefer – rice, soya, normal)
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg white
  • pinch salt
  • cracked black pepper

20131006-213257.jpg20131006-213249.jpg

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C
  2. Put a splash of oil into the tin/muffin tin you are using and pop in the oven to heat up
  3. Measure out all the ingredients and whisk together – if you have an electric whisk great! If not (like me) a good whisk by hand works just as well
  4. If you have the time, leave to rest for approx. 30 mins giving it an occasional whisk
  5. Give the mixture a good whisk and then pour into the tin – be careful the oil will be very hot, so don’t splash yourself!
  6. Cook for 35 minutes if you are making one big toad in the hole, or 25 for smaller ones.
  7. Serve immediately!

20131006-213319.jpg

Halloumi & pesto pasta salad

5 Oct

20130820-144007.jpg

This is another of my “what have I got to hand to make something tasty for lunch tomorrow” kind of dishes. I quite regularly find myself knocking this up after I have returned home at about 11pm and want to be in bed by 11.30 but not having to spend another day surviving on plain rice and corn cakes.

It’s much the same as the Chicken, Pesto, Pasta but for once a vegetarian dish, which for us is quite unusual!

As mentioned before, pesto often contains garlic but, as long as you can tolerate a bit of dairy Sacla basil pesto is good for FODMAP diets

Ingredients

  • 40g x GF pasta (per person)
  • 30g x Halloumi (per person)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • peppers (mixed colours) chopped
  • rocket
  • 1/2 tbsp x pesto (per person)
  • Any other salad vegetables you fancy
  • A sprinkle of parmesan

Method

  1. Boil hot water and add the pasta, cook according to instructions on the packet, approx 12 mins.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, slice the halloumi and cook – I do this in a frying pan, generally rule of thumb for when it is done is after the liquid has come out and then evaporated, remember to turn it half way through. Put to one side to cool.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked drain the water and run under cold water to ensure it cools quickly.
  4. Add the pesto to the pasta and mix through – the oil will stop the pasta sticking together.
  5. Add the salad to the pasta, mix well and then pop in a container ready for work.
  6. Try to remember to take it with you when you go!

20130820-144035.jpg