Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Beef Stew with Dumplings - The Food of Winter

Its always good to keep a few recipes in reserve, in case you haven't been able to cook. So here's one I made earlier...

This is a slow cook stew, adapted from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. As is a theme with me, I didn't read the instructions fully before making, and the first time I had a very late dinner - but its
worth its amazing! Jamie has a several variations, but beef is my favourite. But be warned its 3 hours of cooking!

The ingredients to serve 4
2 sticks of celery
2 medium onions
2 carrots
olive oil
1 heaped tbsp gluten free plain flour
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
Salt & pepper
3 bay leaves
500g diced stewing beef
500ml veg or beef stock (gluten free of course)

The method - for the stew
Roughly chop the celery, onions, carrots.

Put a big pan of a medium heat, with a couple of big lugs of olive oil and the chopped veg and bay leaves and fry for 10 minutes.

Add the meat and flour, then the stock and tinned toms. Season and stir well.

Bring to boil, put the lid on & simmer slowly on the hob for 2.5 hours!

Remove the lid for the final 30 minutes of simmering (it may need a little water at this point).

Once cooked remove the bay leaves and enjoy. You will definitely enjoy, it just takes a bit of planning.

For something extra, add dumplings, in the last 30 minutes - when the lid comes off.

The method - for the dumplings
250g self-raising gluten free flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
125g really cold butter or spread of your choice
Salt & pepper

Put the GF flour & gum in a mixing bowl and then grate the butter into the flour, add salt and pepper.

Using fingers, gently rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumb.

Add a splash of cold water to help bind it all into a dough.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces & gently rool into a dumpling ball.

Add to your stew and yummmmm.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Rogan Josh Gluten Free Curry

I have made Rogan Josh the curry-in-a-hurry Jamie Oliver style, that
uses Patak's ready made paste which is great when you need food now. The
paste is gluten free but it contains sugar, I guess as a preservative as it can
last for 6 months in your fridge.

But I recently found another helpful curry making kit without the sugar and also
gluten free... The Hare's Moor D.I.Y. Curry Kit Rogan Josh. This kit, however, is different
as it contains fresh ingredients and simple instructions so you can make your own rogan josh, by adding just a couple more ingredients to the kit. It takes a bit longer, but that extra time is worth it, as it tastes fantastic.

The instructions also help gives you options for how hot you want to make. I was feeling like a mild curry so I followed the instructions and add one whole chilli into the sauce. The instructions suggested for it to be a bit hotter, pierce the chilli, but I went for the most mild option. However... when I was stirring the sauce the chilli exploded all over my hand! Thanks goodness for sudocrem. Methinks next time I'll pierce the chilli, making it a little hotter but saving on the burns :)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Mocha Balls

Healthy snack for all you need a pick up, especially when working away at your desk.
Adapted from a Fit Foodie Finds recipes

The Ingredients
-1 Cup gluten free oats
-1/2 Cup all natural peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
-1/2 Cup honey
-2 tbsp instant coffee grounds
-1 tbsp coffee extract
- couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder

The Method
1. In a small food processor, process oats for 15-20 seconds, turning your oats in to oat flour.
2. Add the peanut butter, honey, instant coffee, and coffee extract and process for about a minute, or until it becomes doughy. (You may need to add a squirt more of honey if its too dry or more oats if too sticky)
4. Using a spoon, scoop out the dough and role between your palms forming a ball. Set balls aside.
5. Add the cocoa to a small bowl and roll the balls until they are covered.

Gravity and heat made by balls into patties - but they still taste good.

Keep in the fridge and you can nibble during the week :)

Great Balls of Mocha

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes

Tea for two, two for tea... Why do we always have to make 12 cupcakes? Especially if you're like me & always 'experimental baking' and are worried about wasting ingredients (because something turns out to be inedible). Or there is only one or two of to eat them, you may not be in a position to feed multitudes of work colleagues. 

So I have adapted this recipe for 'Making Cupcakes with Lola' to make cake for two.

Red Velvet - Vegan Styles

The Ingredients
The cake
40ml soya milk
1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar 
37g of gluten free flour
1/2 tablespoon of cocoa powder 
Sprinkle of salt
33g xylitol
27ml vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon red food dye (vegetable dye) 
1/2 vanilla extract 
1/4 teaspoon gluten free baking powder 

The icing
Vegan butter cream
33g soya spread
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g of unrefined icing sugar (I used Billingtons)
1 tablespoon soya milk
If you want to use piping bag to make your butter cream extra pretty - use these quantities, if your using a palette knife, you only need half this amount.

The method 
Preheat the oven to 190c. 

Mix soya milk & cider vinegar together & set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder into a bowl, adding the salt & xylitol. Mix together. 

Add the oil, food colouring & vanilla to the milk. 

Mix the dry & wet ingredients together. Mixing well to get air into the mixture. 

This is a runny mixture that can easily be poured into the muffin cases. 

Bake for 20 minutes. 

The icing can be made once the cupcakes have cooled. 

But, first slice the peaks of the cakes for & make these into fine crumbs. 

Then mix the icing sugar, spread and vanilla together. Use an electric whisk, at first on a slow speed until they are combined & then add the soya milk & up crank the whisk speed for a minute or two. 

Spread or pipe the frosting on & sprinkle the cake crumbs on top. 

Take a pic before devouring. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

Cauilflower Cheese Bake

This autumnal dish is adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen, a programme I loved and this is the first recipe I've made from the book. Its gluten free but not dairy free, but is definitely tasty and I'm looking forward to playing with different veggie combinations and the lovely bechamel sauce. Rachel Khoo gives the sauce a twist by adding cheese, my own twist is to leave the onion, for extra yumminess.

Makes dinner for 3-4.

The Ingredients 
1.5kg of cauliflower, makes about 1kg of florets 
50g chopped hazelnuts 
1 slice of gluten free bread toasted 

The sauce
30g butter / olive spread
30g gluten free plain flower 
500ml of lactofree milk 
Small onion sliced 
1 bay leaf
Pinch of nutmeg, salt & pepper 
200g grated cheese - whatever you prefer 

The Method 
Toast the bread and let it cool.

Preheat the oven to 180c.
Steam the cauliflower florets for about 15 minutes. 

In the meantime, make the sauce by melting the butter on a medium heat.

Add the flour and stir hard until you have a smooth paste, take it off the heat and leave it to cool for two minutes. 

While off the heat, add the milk gradually, stirring constantly. Put it back on the heat with the onion, bay leaf, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Leave it to cool until the cauliflower is done. 

Stir 3/4 of the cheese into the sauce, and mix in with the cauliflower. And spoon it into two medium sized pie dishes. 

Crumbly up the toast and sprinkle on top of the cauliflower along with the cheese and the hazelnuts. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes and then 4-5 minutes under the grill for extra crunch. 

It also tastes good cold the next day, if you don't feel like sharing too much of it :)