Texas Chicken Wing Nibbles

bayview-texas-wings

Sticky.Spicy.Zingy

Found in the supermarket recently were these Texan Chicken Wing Nibbles. Perfect for a Sunday lunch served with a salad or a Footie night snack.

Spicy and sticky and full of flavour, a great standby for the freezer.

 

 

Coconut Flan

 

Coconut Flan 1.JPG

Sweet.Rich.Dense

Ingredients

3 eggs, lightly beaten

395 g an sweetened condensed milk

1 cup (250ml) milk, warmed slightly

1/23 cup (125 g) shredded coconut

Caramel Sauce

1 cup (220g) sugar

1/2 cup(125ml) water

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 21cm x 10cm (base measurement) loaf pan or rectangular pyrex dish.

Method

Caramel Sauce: Combine the sugar and water in a small pan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to boil and cook uncovered until a deep caramel colour.  Remove from heat and pour immediately into prepared pan.

Combine eggs, condensed milk and milk in a large bowl.  Stir in coconut.  Pour mixture into loaf pan.

Place loaf pan into a medium baking dish.  Pour enough boiling water into the baking dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until set and browned lightly.  Remove loaf pan from baking dish and cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

To serve, turn flan out onto a rectangular serving plate and top with fresh fruit.

Taken from Australian Women’s Weekly and submitted by Rebecca Clay, Kallangur, Queensland.

Gluten Free Packet Cakes

Betty Crocker.JPG

Quick.Easy.TimeSaver

In the beginning, I found gluten free baking very confronting.  I had always prided myself in baking my own cakes and slices.  I wanted my sons to know that people really do make meals and cakes from scratch.  I wanted my sons to know that pasta sauce doesn’t come out of a bottle.  I wanted my sons to appreciate family favourites and the stories behind these recipes.

So when I started gluten free baking I resisted making a packet cake.  I was stubborn and thought that I wanted to do things my way… the old fashioned way.  So I baked my way through hundreds of recipes which I found both frustrating and calming.

But what I have accepted is that there is nothing wrong with a gluten free packet cake.  You can dress it up with layering of cream and strawberries.  You can decorate it with sprinkles. You can make it into decorative cupcakes.  The possibilities are endless.  For even more decadent recipes just go to Betty Crocker’s website.

I was speaking with a local restaurateur recently about his predominately gluten free menu and asking about the gluten free bread served with the soup.  We talked a lot about gluten free and then he produced a Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Gluten Free Cake Mix from under the counter…his standby gluten free cake for when a ‘booking’ asks if he can do a gluten free dessert cake for a special celebration.

I keep a packet mix in the cupboard. It is my standby for the ‘just in case’  times when I have run out of plain flour or almond meal or special ingredients.

Lesson to myself is: it is okay to use a packet cake mix.

Spanish Roasted Tomato, Chorizo and Chickpea Soup

IMG_0012 (2)

You know you are in Spain when the buffet breakfast showcases salami, chorizo and jambon. Our first breakfast in Madrid made me forget (very quickly) my  standard yoghurt and fruit breakfast as I quickly filled my plate with tasty morsels of pork products.  Many years ago, I was told by cousins that they “the Spanish” use everything from the pig.  This accounts for Paella recipes calling for pig’s ear.  On that holiday 29 years ago Terese, my sister ordered a pork menu item… at least we could translate the word ‘pork’. What she didn’t realise was that she had ordered Pork Cheek – still on the jaw so once she ate the tender meat, a row of teeth appeared.

This soup recipe is not so confronting but chorizo, chickpeas, paprika, tomatoes and capsicums combine to make a  hearty Spanish Style soup.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 chorizo sausages, cut into 1 cm pieces

1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 litre chicken stock

1 cup water

400 g can chickpeas, drained

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Gluten free bread to serve

Roasted vegetables

500 g Roma tomatoes, halved lengthways

2 red capsicums, quartered and deseeded

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Roasted vegetables : combine all ingredients in a roasting dish and cook in a very hot oven (240C) for about 25 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly and then chop coarsely.
  2. While vegetables are roasting, in a large stockpot, heat oil and then add chorizo. Cook, stirring for about 3 minutes or until golden.  Add onion and paprika.  Cook, stirring for a further 5 minutes or until onions are soft.
  3. Add roasted vegetables to stockpot together with stock, water, chickpeas and vinegar. Bring to boil.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

(New Idea: from the New Idea Test Kitchen)

Beef Stroganoff

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Retro.Classic.Oldie

Like most classic recipes there are many variations of Beef Stroganoff. Below is a simple version because I really only have to buy in  mushrooms and rump steak as all the other ingredients are generally in my pantry or fridge.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

600 g rump steak, thinly sliced

20 g butter

1 large brown onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

200 g button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/2 – 1 tablespoon paprika

1 cup sour cream (can reduce to 1/2 cup)

½ cup beef stock

2 tablespoons gf Worcestershire sauce (Spring Valley or Beerenberg)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Gf fettuccine and chopped parsley to serve (I find the strands of GF fettuccine can glug together so I use gf spaghetti or gf elbows or serve it on a bed of rice)

Method

Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook beef in batches for 2 – 3 minutes or until browned.  Transfer to bowl.

Melt butter in pan with pan juices.  Add onion and garlic and cook stirring for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add mushrooms.  Cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

Add paprika, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.  Add sour cream and stock.  Cook, stirring, over low heat for 2 minutes or until combined.  Return beef and beef juices  to pan.  Stir to combine and beef is heated through.

Served with fettuccini tossed with chopped parsley.

Open Letter to Dietitians – Gluten Free

 

gf

Newly diagnosed – then you will referred to a dietitian to help you will your transition to gluten free. From experience, I would like to offer a few words of advice for dietitians consulting with those new to coeliac disease.

To the Dietitian supporting a newly diagnosed Coeliac disease sufferer…..

  1. Know a little about your client  and be prepared – the dietitian we visited bumbled his way through his notes mumbling that he wasn’t quite sure the condition my son was referred to him for but as he was a teenager and was referred to by a gastroenterologist then it was most likely one of two conditions. The fact that he knew my son was a teenager and the specialist who referred him meant that he did in fact receive the referral and should have been prepared but ….
  2. Remember that one size does not fit all– have age specific literature at hand – our dietitian showed us a pamphlet, said he only had one copy and would post a copy in the mail.  The pamphlet we received was actually targeted for those aged 6 – 10 year old and was not the one we had been shown. My son was 15 years old. Be mindful that a client with coeliac disease is different to a client who is going ‘gluten free’ for other reasons. Be mindful that an 80 year old eats and cooks differently to a 20 year old uni student.  Be mindful that emotionally a 55 year old will deal with a diagnosis differently to a 10 year old.
  3. Acknowledge that you have two clients in your room – the parent and the child.  Both have specific and very different needs.  Address the primary client – the person with coeliac disease. Our experience saw my son largely ignored with little attempt to engage him in conversation or ask questions of him.  My son felt alienated as was clear by his body language as he pulled the hoodie of his jacket over his head and slumped down into the chair. A friend had the dietitian eye her other child  and launch into the urgent need for him to also be screened. In an instant my friend had two insecure children and she felt even more overwhelmed than she did before her visit.
  4. Acknowledge that in the short to medium term the journey is difficult and confronting and time consuming – Never say “but there are some many products you can buy these days that are gluten free” or “a gluten free is relatively easy to adjust to if you make a few little changes” or ‘there is a whole aisle of gluten free products in the supermarket”.
  5. Speak from Experience – purchase a range of gluten free products and taste test them. Have a staff taste test. Have a family taste test.   Experience for yourself how disgusting ‘Aussie Mite’ tastes or maybe have one of your own children taste test for you and get their honest feed back.  Try some of the gluten free biscuits and experience how different the texture and taste is.  Try a sandwich using gluten free bread to see how well it handles. Have a go at baking gluten free bread and experience how different the texture is. And please please don’t suggest to a teenager gluten free weetbix – taste it and see what I mean.
  6. Be Realistic – Is it really realistic to send a teenager off to school with a can of baked beans and a fork and expect them to sit with their friends on the school oval and eat cold baked beans for lunch?  This suggestion we were given was wrong on so many levels and certainly did not take into account how different the teenager with coeliac disease is already feeling and at a time when teenagers don’t want to be conspicuous, the dietitian was suggesting the teenager make themselves even more conspicuous. This suggestion was not one of transition and small changes but a total shift from what used to be “normal”. It was like telling someone they need to fly to the moon to get a cup of water.
  7. Support the guidelines of Coeliac Queensland – A friend told me that the dietitian said that it was okay to eat products with the statement ‘may contain gluten’.  FYI – Coeliac Queensland’s statement is : ‘It is also important to avoid cross contamination by avoiding products with statements such as ‘may contain gluten’.  More importantly, it is one thing as an adult with coeliac disease to ‘take risks’ but it is another thing for a parent of a child to encourage their child to ‘take risks’.  As the parent, we have a duty of care to teach our children about the importance of their need to be ‘gluten free forever’.  We have a duty of care to teach our children to take responsibility for their life long gluten free diet and therefore we should NEVER EVER encourage our children to take risks. We must teach them so much about their new gluten free lifestyle and ‘taking risks’ is certainly not one of those lessons.  An adult coeliac who takes a risk can then honestly evaluate if they suffer from the possible contamination.  A parent encouraging their child to take a risk cannot honestly evaluate the possible side effects of contamination.  More importantly for a sufferer of coeliac disease who is asymptomatic then how can they judge whether their health is being compromised other than another round of blood tests and gastrostrophy.
  8. Don’t Give False Hope aka Don’t Give False Information – My friend  told me that Allens Red Frogs were okay because the dietitian told her daughter that she could eat them.  My response was that I was 99% sure Red Frogs contain wheat, because if  they didn’t,  then I would have a jar full of them at home.  I also do acknowledge that over time companies do change recipes and that possibly this had happened with Red Frogs. However: Ingredients of Red Frogs: Glucose Syrup (Wheat or Corn), Cane Sugar, Thickener (1401 or 1420) (Wheat), Gelatine, Food Acid (Citric Acid), Flavour, Colours (120, 122). When one consults Coeliac Australia’s Ingredients List it identifies 1400-1450 (wheat): meaning that the thickener in Red Frogs contains gluten and is therefore a ‘no go’ item.
  9. Don’t Confuse – It is all well and good telling  someone about Teff and Quinoa and Sorghum and Millet and Buckwheat as a way of communicating that there is a range of grain options out there that are gluten free, but when the newly diagnosed is struggling with restrictions and major changes to their lifestyle and diet, then they are not going to want to experiment with ‘new’ produce.  One really needs to be a confident cook to branch out, especially in the beginning.  Don’t say: if you like your porridge then you can cook quinoa porridge.  This is not a substitute in any shape or form; it might be trendy, but it is most definitely not palatable.
  10. Set Your Client up for Success and Confidence – Additionally to the advice and guidelines and list you provide your client with,  tap into another valuable resource: other coeliac disease sufferers or mothers of children with coeliac disease.  It might be worthwhile contacting your local Coeliac Support group for some grass roots advice: easy and simple recipes, tried and tested handy hints, a list of realistic and acceptable lunch box suggestions, seeing if there are members with whom you could pair your client eg another mother of a teenager, another adult who has Type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease.

My son’s experience at his dietitian’s appointment will most likely mean that he will never again visit a dietitian. He felt alienated, he felt ignored and he realised that ‘the experts’ really don’t understand how frightening and confronting a diagnosis is. Unfortunately, this is not the outcome I wanted for my son.  I wanted my son to be guided and supported and should in the future he need advice about his diet, then he would have no qualms about booking another appointment with a dietitian.

Please also take time to undertake a little self-evalutation and put yourself in the client’s shoes and walk around in them for a week or a day or for just a lunch and try to see their gluten free journey through their eyes.

Sincerely

A Mum of a teenager with coeliac disease

gluten free preparedness clarity REALISTIC

honesty PERCEPTIVENESS coeliac disease

Donna Hay – gluten free bakes

I have slowed down the number of recipes I cut from magazines to bake lately.  After three years of gluten free baking, I have found ‘good’ and ‘suitable’ gluten free recipes as substitutes for old favourites.

BUT I couldn’t help but notice Donna Hay’s three gluten free biscuits in the Sunday Mail two weeks ago: Choc-chip Hazelnut Cookies, Lemon Crackle Cookies and Orange and Almond Florentines.

A quick search highlighted a number of recipes on Donna Hay’s website. Her Jam Drops using buckwheat flour and almond meal has caught my eye as did the Flourless Carrot Cake. *

With a family luncheon in a few week, I think I have the perfect reason to bake a few new gluten free recipes.

You can find the Choc-Chip Hazelnut Cookies Recipe on Donna Hay’s website and I have included her other two recipes below.

Hazelnut cookies 2

Happy Gluten-Free Baking

Lemon Crackle Cookies

2 cups (240g) almond meal

1 cup (220) caster sugar

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp finely grated lemon rind

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 egg whites

1 cup (160g) icing sugar sifter

Preheat oven to 160C. Place the almond meal, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda, lemon rind and juice in a large bowl.  Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk to soft peaks.  Gently fold the egg whites into the almond mixture until smooth. Toll 1 tbsp dough into a ball.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Place the icing sugar in a small bowl.  Toss the dough balls in the icing sugar to coat.  Place on lightly greased baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper leaving 5 cm between each to allow room for spreading.

Cook for 14-16 minutes for until lightly browned and cooked through.  Allow to cook slightly on trays before transferring to wire racks to cook completely.  Makes 14.

Orange and Almond Florentines

50 g unsalted butter, chopped

1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar

1/4 cup (90g) golden syrup

1 tbsp finely grated orange rind

1 cup (140g) slivered almonds

1/2 cup (100g) rice flour

Preheat oven to 160C. Place the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes or until thick and syrupy.

Place the orange rind, almonds and flour in a large bowl and mix to combine. Pour over the butter mixture and mix until well combined.

Place tablespoons of mixture on lightly greased baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper, leaving 8 cm between each to allow room for spreading.

Cook for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden.  Allow to cool slightly on trays before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 12.

*Post Script: The Flourless Carrot Cake was moist, dense and scrumptious and would have been even better had I remembered to include the sunflower oil… I was distracted…I put the cake in the oven and then realised why the bottle of sunflower oil was on the bench… oh dear….but my guests still enjoyed the cake. And yes, I will make it again.

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Risotto

 Risotto

OnePot.Hearty.Comforting

Risotto has as many definitions as there are recipes but I like this simple one: an Italian dish made with rice and often vegetables or meat

Reality TV programs can make the home cook frightened of trying a risotto  which has been labelled the ‘death dish’  and even restaurants can get it wrong but the important thing is to remember is that you are making a meal for your family and your family might like risotto a little on the dry side or without parmesan  or quite soupy.

So grab a risotto recipe, put your stock on the boil and go for it.  With experience: you might adjust your recipe, you might prepare your meat separately and plate with the risotto and garnishes at the end or you might find your own combinations of meat and vegetables.

Rice is a versatile staple for the gluten free diet so add risotto to your list of favourite gluten free meals.

Step by step to Risotto

  1. In a saucepan bring the required quantity of stock to the boil, then reduce the heat so the stock is kept at a gentle simmer.
  2. In a wide heavy based pan, heat butter or oil, a combination of both, or as per recipe.
  3. Add chopped onion and garlic (as well as other ingredients as per recipe) and cook over low heat until soft, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the rice and stir to coat with fat. Sauté for 1 – 2 minutes over a moderate heat, stirring.
  5. Add ½ cup simmering stock (and wine if used in recipe) and stir well. Simmer, stirring until the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid.
  6. Continue to add simmering stock, ½ cup at a time. Cook and stir until almost absorbed .
  7. Continue adding the stock until the rice is tender but still firm and the risotto is creamy but not runny.
  8. The risotto with take 20 – 30 minutes to cook in total.
  9. For a creamy result, stir in ½ – 1 tablespoon butter at the end.

 

 Risi e Bisi – Rice and Peas

1 onion chopped finely

1 stick celery chopped finely

60 g butter

2/3 cup Arborio rice

½ cup white wine

3 cups simmering chicken stock

Stir through toward the end

500 g frozen peas

30 g butter extra

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

 

Risotto Milanese

60 g butter

1 onion chopped finely

½ cup dry white wine

375 g Arborio rice

3 cups simmering chicken stock infused with ¼ teaspoon saffron

 

Stir through toward the end

30 g butter

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper


Leek and Chorizo Risotto

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 chorizo halved lengthways and sliced on an angle

1 large leek thinly sliced (remove outer layer and bottom and top of leek)

2 cloves garlic crushed

6 cups simmering chicken stock

2 cups Arborio rice

 

1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

 

Heat oil in heavy base pan and cook chorizo until cooked and browned.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Chorizo is to be returned as a garnish at serving.

 

Prepare risotto as normal.

 

Chicken and Prosciutto Risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 slices prosciutto

 

60 g unsalted butter

400 g chicken, chopped in small pieces

½ onion chopped finely

1 ½ cups Arborio rice

6 cups simmering stock

1/3 cup dry white wine

 

1/3 cup finely grated parmesan

Parsley chopped to serve

 

Heat oil in heavy base pan and cook prosciutto until crisp.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Roughly chop  prosciutto to garnish at serving.

 

Prepare risotto as normal.

 

 

Change it Up

mexicanlasagna

Versatile.Creative.Easy

I am always on the look out for ways to up-style family favourites and while Spaghetti Bolognese    Pie and Mexican Lasagna are not new,these recipes torn out a Woolworths Fresh Food Magazine, reminded me of simple ways to change up old recipes. If you want to be more adventurous then you will find that Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson also have a few creative variations on this theme.

Spaghetti Bolognese Pie =  cooked gluten free spaghetti combined with 2 whisked eggs and 1/2 cup grated parmesan which has been pressed into the base and sides of a greased pie dish +your favourite spaghetti bolognese sauce layered over spaghetti base + topped with whisked egg and 1/2 cup smooth ricotta + topped with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella + bake for 30 minutes

Mexican Lasagna  = (gluten free corn tortillas + Mexican meat sauce+salsa + grated cheese) layered into a greased round pan + top with tortilla and grated cheese + bake for 30 – 40 minutes

Chickpeas -4 Variations on a Theme

Sherry Glazed Chorizo and Chickpeas 1

FullofFlavour.Versatile.Earthy

We have a family favourite chickpea dish that connects us to our roots in Catalonia Spain: Cigrons. Unfortunately, our recipe has two complications: we prepare dried chickpeas by soaking overnight and then cook them in a pressure cooker and the recipe is difficult to commit in the written form.  The quantities of olive oil, vinegar, bacon, garlic and salt and pepper all rely on taste and feel and sight and smell. Those who have shared house with me always reminisce about Cigrons and it is one of those meals that is prepared for when all the family is home.

You can however make chickpeas your way or try one of the recipes below.  Canned chickpeas doesn’t have to only be used for Hummus.

Be adventurous.

Sherry-Glazed Chorizo and Chickpeas

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil

125 g dried chorizo, sliced

1/3 cup dry sherry* for extra depth of flavour use a Sherry Vinegar

400 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Chopped flat leaf parsley to serve

Method

Heat oil in fry pan over medium to high heat.

Add chorizo and cook, turning for 3 – 4 minutes or until crisp.

Add ¼ cup sherry, then cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until chorizo is glazed and the liquid has evaporated.

Add chickpeas and remaining 1 tablespoon sherry then cook stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes or until chickpeas are warmed through.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Smoky Chicken, Chorizo and Chickpeas

Ingredients

600 g chicken thighs, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

250 g chorizo, sliced

400 g can chick peas, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tomato chopped

1 long red chilli, sliced

¼ cup chopped parsley

Method

In a bowl, combine chicken, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, paprika and cumin.  Toss to coat.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan over high heat.  Cook chicken for 2 -3 minutes each side or until golden.  Remove from pan.

Cook chorizo and chickpeas in same pan, stirring for 2 – 3 minutes or until golden.

Return chicken to pan with any juices.

Drizzle over balsamic and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked and heated.

Stir through tomato, chilli and parsley

Louise’s Chickpeas in Spanish Sauce

Ingredients

2 cans drained chick peas

1 green capsicum

1 red capsicum

1 onion

1 clove garlic

1 red chilli

1 tablespoon parsley

2 cans tomatoes

Method

Chop the capsicums, chilli, onion and garlic.

Lightly fry in olive oil for a few minutes.

Add the parsley, tomatoes and chick peas.  Season.

Cool on a low heat for about half an hour, stirring occasionally.

 

Chickpea and Chorizo Hotpot

Ingredients

4 chorizo, sausages, thickly sliced

100 g jamon Serrano, diced

100 g salami, diced

100 g pancetta, diced

5 pink eschallots, quartered

5 garlic cloves, sliced

1 bunch of thyme, leaves only

2 x 400 g chickpeas, drained

500 ml chicken stock

1 bunch parsley, chopped

Method

Heat a large saucepan. Add all the meats.  Cook stirring occasionally, over a medium heat for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fat in the meat has started to break down.

Add eschallots, cook stirring occasionally until soft (5 minutes).  Add garlic and thyme.  Cook for a further 2 minutes.

Stir in chickpeas.  Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes so chickpeas can absorb the flavours of meats and herbs.

Stir in stock.  Bring to boil.  Simmer for about 20 minutes until slightly thickened.

Garnish with parsley.