An oldie but a goodie and gluten free… Florentines
In a light bulb moment in our early days of gluten free, I realised that there WERE some of my favourite recipes that I could still use. This is one of those recipes that I hadn’t made for a long, long time but it has now resurfaced as a favourite gluten free item.
You can make this recipe as a slice as per the recipe or alternatively drop spoonfuls onto baking paper or spoon mixture into lightly oiled patty cake tins. The last time I made Florentines, I used a scone cutter and spooned and tampered the mixture for a more uniform Florentine. Once cooled spread or drizzle with melted chocolate.
You can change the mixture according to the fruit and nut mix you have in the pantry.
185 g (gf) dark chocolate
3/4 cup sultanas
2 cups crushed (gf) cornflakes
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
60 g glace cherries
2/3 cup condensed milk
1. Line base of lamington tin 28 cm x 18 cm with greased aluminium foil.
2. Melt chocolate over double boiler or in microwave.
3. Spread chocolate into tin and refrigerate until set.
4. Combine sultanas, cornflakes, peanuts, chopped cherries and condensed milk into bowl and mix well.
5. Using back of spoon, spread mixture over chocolate base.
6. Bake in moderate oven 15 – 20 minutes.
7. Cool, refrigerate until set and then cut into squares.
(the Australian Women’s Weekly, “The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits”)
My sons have warmed to the idea that this chicken IS better than KFC… so if you can’t buy LFGF Chicken Seasoning locally, then order it on-line.
500 g chicken cut
LFGF Chicken seasoning
Oil for frying
In bowl mix egg and water.
On a plate place LFGF Chicken seasoning
Dip chicken in egg mix.
Roll chicken in seasoning mix to cover.
Heat oil in deep fryer on high and fry chicken in batches until half cooked.
Put chicken to drain on kitchen paper towel.
Return chicken to deep fryer until cooked.
Drain chicken on paper towel.
Serve chicken with salad.
My favourite fruit cake is the boiled fruit cake. I love it for its rich colour and overall moistness. Saying that I have found two fruit cake recipes using packet mixes which are well worth the baking effort, which I also include below.
1. The Boiled Fruit Cake is an oldie but a goodie and it converts well to gluten free.
375 g mixed fruit
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
180 g butter or margarine
1 cup gluten free SR flour
1/2 cup gluten free plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 level teaspoons baking soda
1 dessert spoon hot water
1 tablespoon rum
1. Place mixed fruit, sugar, water, spice, salt and butter in saucepan.
2. Allow to boil for ten minutes.
3. Allow to cool.
4. Beat egg and add to cooled mixture.
5. Fold in sifted flours and almond meal, dissolved soda and rum.
6. Mix well together then pour into a prepared cake tin. For lunch boxes I use muffin tins lined with paper cases as the cake holds together better for the lunch box. Adjust cooking time accordingly.
7. Bake in slow to moderate oven for 1 1/2 hours for cake.
This recipe was featured in the latest yum.com online magazine. I think my oven was the problem as the cake was a little dry. The process of soaking fruit then coating fruit with bread mix ensured that the fruit did not sink but is distributed throughout the cake. The recipe also gives you some suggestions if you wish to bake a bigger or smaller cake. Thank you Decadent Alternatives.
3. Boiled Fruit Cake and Christmas Cake
375 g mixed dried fruit
60 g margarine
200 ml boiling water
1 packet Basco Gluten Free Butter Cake Mix
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180C (fan forced 160C). Grease a 20 cm square cake pan and line with baking paper. (10 muffin papers)
In a medium saucepan, combine dried fruit, margarine and boiling water. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Take off heat, stir and allow to stand for 5 minutes to cool.
In a bowl, empty contents of Basco cake mix sachet together with cinnamon, eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine.
Add fruit mixture to cake batter and beat with a wooden spoon until combined. Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake for 40 – 45 minutes. Alternatively, divide mixture into 10 muffin cases and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Insert a skewer to test when cake is cooked. For cake, allow to stand for 10 minutes before gently turning out onto a wire rack to cook.
From “The Australian Coeliac” and Joy Williams – Gold Coast.
Before you think that my teenager actually eats salads, I must own up: I make salads because I know my son will eat possibly one ingredient in the bowl and I hope one day he might venture out and actually eat the green and red things on the plate as well.
I do know that in a push, when there is nothing else to eat, KJ will eat salad greens, but they are definitely not his first preference.
He does like haloumi so here are a couple of his liked haloumi recipes:
Pan Fried Haloumi with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme
2 x 180 g pkts haloumi, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
Zest from 1 lemon (use a vegetable peeler)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Serve with lemon wedges and rustic gluten free bread
Cut haloumi into 12 rectangular pieces.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the lemon zest, garlic and thyme stirring for 2 minutes to develop the flavours.
Add the haloumi to the pan and cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden.
Drizzle with lemon juice and transfer to a large serving plate.
Season with pepper and serve immediately with sliced bread and lemon wedges.
Haloumi and Pomegranate Salad
Haloumi cheese (pan fry sliced haloumi)
Dressing: 2 tabs honey, 2 tabs lemon, 2 tabs olive oil, 1 tabs oregano leaves chopped, sea salt flakes and pepper. Whisk in bowl and drizzle over salad.
Heirloom Tomato and Haloumi Salad
140 ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons shiraz vinegar or red wine vinegar
50 g unsalted butter, 2 garlic cloves, crushed and 4 sliced and cubed gluten free multigrain bread (to make croutons or use Glutino Bagel Chips)
250 g haloumi, sliced, pan fried
500 g mixed heirloom tomatoes sliced (or use a colourful variety of tomatoes)
1 cup rocket, baby spinach and basil leaves
Whisk 1/3 cup oil, garlic and vinegar together in a bowl, season and set aside.
To make croutons, heat 2 tabs oil and butter in a frypan over medium heat. Cooked bread for 4 minutes until crips. Add garlic and remaining 1 tabs oil and cook for 1 – 2 minutes. Drain on paper towel. Cool.
In a serving bowl or platter, combine croutons, dressing and remaining ingredients.
(Delicious Dec 14/Jan 15)
But we have to have lasagne for Christmas?
And so goes the story. Each year we try to vary, even if a little, our Christmas menu. And each year my sons protest loudly if I dare remove a family favourite from the menu.
So my lasagnes are assembled and frozen. This is the beauty about this meal and then into the fridge for defrosting on Christmas eve and into the oven for 45 minutes on Christmas day.
And what of our other menu? There will be a nut encrusted baked ham and a marinated rib fillet plus the salads and sweets.
It is ‘beginning to feel a lot like Christmas’.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion diced finely
3 rashers bacon diced
1 celery stick diced finely
2 cloves garlic diced finely
1 carrot grated
500 g mince
2 tins 470 g diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Heat oil in large frying pan and add onion. Cook until soft.
Add bacon and cook until brown. Add celery and garlic.
Add mince a little at a time and cook until brown.
Add remaining ingredients, bring to boil and then simmer for 45 minutes or until liquid has reduced and all but evaporated.
60 g butter
4 tablespoons gluten free plain flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
200 g grated cheese
Melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour and cook for 1 minute gently while stirring.
Gradually add in milk, stir until sauce boils and thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted.
Using gluten free lasagne sheets, line the bottom of a rectangular oven proof dish (30 x 20 cm) with lasagne sheets. ( I use disposable aluminum foil trays lined with baking paper)
Spread half the meat sauce over the sheets and then cover with 1/3 cheese sauce.
Repeat the layers of meat sauce and cheese sauce.
Top with another layer of lasagne sheets and remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle a further 50 g grated cheese on top. Bake in moderate oven for 45 minutes.
This is a Margaret Fullerton recipe found in both the taste.com.au December 2013 magazine and online at SBS – Food.
Easy to make, the recipe uses gluten free ingredients that most of us have in our cupboard: hazelnut meal, almond meal, icing sugar and egg white.
An Open Letter to GPs and Paediatric Gastroenterologists
From a mother of a teenager with Coeliac Disease
LISTEN, DON’T JUDGE AND LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE
Six months ago#, I took my 15 year old son to the doctor’s for yet another bout of gastro and stomach cramps. He had been off school for three days which had been preceded by a day off school 10 days previously.
Luckily this doctor, not our usual GP, listened. I was convinced that my son must have had some bacterial infection or parasite that just wasn’t going away, as 6 months previously he had missed some 10 – 12 days from school over a period of a month. And this GP listened when my son tried to put into words what his cramps felt like.
This doctor did not judge: he did not judge me or my son and sent my son off for tests.
And he listened.
As I glanced at the request for blood testing, I saw that the doctor was screening my son for Coeliac Disease.
Suddenly, the last 12 – 13 years all made sense.
In September the previous year, I had taken my son to our GP twice to discuss the latest ongoing or recurring bout of gastro and debilitating cramps and to obtain medical certificates for the school. We discussed the normal treatment which included hydration and a gradual return to food with a dry biscuit or toast. As well, a stool sample was taken. But I do remember the look I was given: that look which bordered on, this mother is overly sensitive to the workings of her son’s bowel movements and/or maybe this teenager is avoiding school.
Our visit to a Paediatric Gastroenterologist some 12 years previous also saw my son’s problems summarily dismissed. After some 1 – 2 years of ongoing bouts of gastro, my toddler’s stomach cramps had escalated to the stage that my husband and I took him to the hospital in the early hours of one morning. From there, our GP referred us to a specialist who took a summary of our boy’s health, asked pertinent questions about milk, cordial and fruit juice consumption and then explained that gastro bugs tend to spread among toddlers at Day Care.
“ But our son doesn’t go to Day Care” we said and I then remember the look I was given: that look which bordered on, this mother is overprotective of her son and/or overly sensitive to the workings of her son’s bowel movements. Suddenly, my son’s health outcomes were judged on how the Paediatric Gastroenterologist saw me. Did he listen to find out that on the days I worked, my son was cared for by a nanny or that at home I also had a preschooler and two teenagers? This judgement was further reinforced by his parting comment at the end of our second visit : “And when is your son going to Preschool?” Our boy was only 3!*
On our return visit to the specialist, and after blood tests which all seemed fine, he commented that he could send us off for more blood tests but he didn’t think this was necessary or he could do an endoscopy but he also believed that this intrusive procedure was not necessary. I cannot remember him ever mentioning our son being screened for Coeliac Disease. And the specialist did not mention endoscopy in any context. And off we went, still without answers as to what our son’s health problems were.
In those intervening 12 years, my son continued to have ongoing problems with gastro, vomitting and stomach cramps. And we continued to visit our GP for advice and treatment. Rotavirus. Giardia. Tummy Bug. Virus. He was even tested for Cryptosporidium. We installed a water filter to filter out any nasties but still the bouts continued sporadically. I suppose after a while, I even came to believe these problems were normal. It was just something going around, although I never could fully understand why only my youngest always seemed to get that “something” that was going around.
Luckily for my son, it only took 12 years before we found a doctor who listened and didn’t judge and we thank this doctor for looking at the “big picture” and searching for some answers.
My son’s journey is similar to so many others who eventually find themselves with a diagnosis of Coeliac Disease.
And I am sure that these people also wished that their medical practitioners listened, didn’t judge and looked at the big picture.
Always a Mum
*Preschool age was 5 years old.
# I wrote this six months after our son KJ was given his Coeliac Disease diagnosis. It took many months for my anger to subside and be replaced by disappointment for the many times our family doctor had failed my son.
Dip 1: Creamy Corn and Bacon Dip
This first dip is my second youngest son’s signature dish.
If we are having a family gathering, we ask RC to make HIS dip and it always pleases.
250 g jar corn relish
300 ml sour cream
1. Fry bacon until crisp and allow to cool on paper towel.
2. Mix bacon, relish and sour cream in a bowl.
3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Garnish with chopped shallots or parsley.
5. Serve with bread or crackers.
Dip 2: Cheesy Corn Dip
I put a jar of corn relish in the shopping trolley and spied a recipe on the side of the jar, which I have included below. Just a gentle reminder to myself that often you find a good recipe when you aren’t looking.
250 g light cream cheese
1/4 cup grated tasty cheese
150 ml light sour cream
250 g corn relish
1. Place cream cheese and grated cheese in a small saucepan and cook over low-medium heat until cheese is melted. Allow to cool slightly.
2. In a bowl, combine sour cream, relish and cheese mixture.
3. Serve with vegetable sticks, crackers or corn chips.
This is one of those desserts that people often put in the “too hard basket” and so see it only as a restaurant dessert. Some days, for me, the hardest part of the recipe is the caramel: last time I made it I crystallized the first batch and then I burnt the second batch. I was preoccupied, so the message is to keep your mind on the task when making this dessert. The other problem can be over baking the custard. It needs to be cooked until just set when a knife is inserted in the centre as it will continue to cook and set as the custard cools down.
I thank my mother for this recipe and for making it a dessert not to be scared of. It was always a family dessert, nothing special except for the toffee shards which we scraped out of the bottom of the bowl. Best made the day before.
Serve with fresh strawberries or balsamic strawberries.
Mum’s Baked Caramel Custard
1 cup caster sugar
4 tablespoons boiling water
Combine in saucepan and stir. Boil without stirring until golden in colour. Do not stir as the sugar will crystallize.
Pour into 4 cup ovenproof bowl and swirl toffee around the sides of the dish. Allow to cool.
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon full cream milk powder
2 cups full cream milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat until combined. Pour custard through a sieve into toffee coated bowl.
Line a baking dish with a tea towel. Place bowl into dish and pour boiling hot water into baking dish until 1/2 way up bowl. Place in 180 C oven for 1 – 1 1/4 hours or until custard is just set when knife is inserted in the middle. Remove from water bath and allow to cool. Once cooled down, refrigerate overnight.
Another option is Donna Hay’s Recipe for individual creme caramels.
I have had a bit of fun with blueberries of late, so here are a couple of ideas using either fresh or frozen blueberries.
This comes from the taste.com.au Gluten Free Recipe book. A dessert type cake, this goes wonderfully with custard.
I sprinkled the muffins with demerara sugar before baking.
4. Blueberry Cake
This is a moist and easy to make cake and presents quite beautifully. Because of its high butter content, it is not an every day kind of recipe, but if you are looking for something a little different for an afternoon tea or special occasion, then give this one a try.
butter 250 g softened
caster sugar 2/3 cup
orange 1, zest, 1/2 cup juice
gluten free SR flour, 1 3/4 cup
blueberries (frozen or fresh), 1 cup
1. Preheat oven to moderate 180 degrees C. Lightly grease and line a 14 cm x 24 cm loaf pan with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Beat in zest.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Lightly fold in flour and juice. Fold in berries. Spoon into pan, smoothing top. (I suggest pouring half to two-thirds of the cake mixture into the pan first and then layering the blueberries before topping with remaining cake mixture. It stops the run of colour and the blueberries sinking to the bottom)
5. Bake 55 -60 minutes until cooked when skewer comes out clean. Cool in pan before lifting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Dust lightly with gluten free icing sugar mixture.
(from Woman’s Day Gluten-free baking recipe)