Catchya later Sydney. Bring on Hong Kong.

It’s a surreal feeling when you finally sit down at the airport, all packed, ready to go. It’s especially the case when your travelling with any Bennett. I don’t know what gene must run in the family but things just cannot go smoothly the day of an airport departure. This morning was no different. After the usually running around making sure everything is there, we go to get in B’s car and what do we get greeted by – a smashed window and a car full of glass… Well there goes my ride to the airport…

Whilst we do have the worst luck, we are quick learners. On my last international flight I wasn’t aware that gluten-free meals had to be ordered 48 hours in advance. Now you can take it from me – flying 11 hours without proper food is NOT fun. Luckily a air hostess took pity on me and delivered chocolate regularly and a little first class fruit and cheese. Still, eating that much chocolate and cheese just makes you feel sick. Thankfully I learnt from this lesson and was utterly relieved to hear the lady at the check in say – ‘we have a gluten-free meal for you!’. Not sure how its going to taste but its got to be better then nothing!

Alas, I am calmly sitting, sipping my mimosa, waiting to board and getting excited for my HK adventures! Wish me luck!

G.E.B.

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Chicken Risotto

Coeliac’s – Risotto is your new best friend! It is delicious, and only gets better when you add a whole lot of white wine. This is also great with seafood but lasts better in the fridge to be re-microwaved when its chicken. It also makes A LOT, you could feed 6 easily.. A great, easy option to make for a dinner party.

Ingredients:

1&½ litres gluten free chicken stock

300ml dry white wine

100g butter

1 onion, finely chopped

600g chicken breasts cut into 2cm cubes

600g arborio rice

1 cup frozen peas

100g mushrooms, sliced

90g parmesan cheese

3 tbsp fresh parsely, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Heat the stock and wine over medium heat in a saucepan.
  2. In a deep heavy-based pan, melt half the butter over low heat and cook onion until soft. Add chicken and stir for a minute or so, or until chicken is just browned. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add remaining butter and once melted add rice and increase heat to moderate. Add vegetables and 250ml of the stock and wine mixture and bring to a simmer whilst stirring constantly. As the liquid is absorbed, add another 250ml of stock and continue until all stock is used.
  4. After 15 minutes, taste the rice and check it is cooked.
  5. Remove risotto from heat, stir through parmesan, parsley and chicken, cover and leave to rest for 2 minutes before serving.

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Enjoy!

G.E.B.

Apricot Slice Coeliac Style!

I know I have said this before but I need to reiterate – I have the most amazing and tolerant family in the world. I mean, yes they have to love me anyway, but the support and care that they have shown me with my diagnosis has been unbelievable. Today’s recipe was made for me by my grandma, ‘Janma’, and proved to me that even the old can be taught new tricks! My grandma is a pro gluten-free baker! The recipe hails from a fellow coeliac; Mandy Vains, so a huge thank you for passing it along, I love it and it will definitely feature in my family’s up and coming gluten-free cookbook!

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Ingredients:

100g butter

1 Gluten-free packet cake mix

1 Large tin or 2 small tins of pie apricots or apples (strained)

300ml sour cream

1 egg

Method:

  1. Melt butter and add to cake mix, stirring until well combined. Press mixture into a pyrex dish.
  2. Top with pie apricots (or apples).
  3. Beat the egg. Add the sour cream and beat until combined. Pour this over the apricots (apples).
  4. Sprinkle with nutmeg (or cinnamon/ mixed spice).
  5. Bake for 1 hour in a moderate oven, or until golden on top.

Best served with a frothy coffee (Read: A cappuccino from a sachet you buy in boxes at the supermarket).

p.s. Doubting how cool my grandma is? Or how legit she is as a cook? Take her Micky Mouse interpretation for some evidence and get baking!

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Enjoy!

G.E.B.

Beef in Coconut with Spinach

Today’s recipe is one of my family favourites. Since my diagnosis as a coeliac, my entire family has been digging up recipes that are either naturally gluten-free or can easily be made so. Beef in Coconut with Spinach is not only gluten-free by nature, but delicious too.

Ingredients:

Pepper and coriander paste:

-1 tbsp garlic

– 2 tsp salt

– 2 tbsp cracked black peppercorns

– 2 cups whole fresh coriander

– 2 tbsp lemon juice

The rest:

Bunch of spinach, green bits roughly chopped

500g of rump, finely sliced

4 cups of coconut milk

2 stems finely chopped lemongrass

1 tbsp galangal

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp sugar

Method:

  1. Put all the pepper and coriander paste ingredients in a blender and pulse until finely chopped and combined.
  2. Put coconut milk, pepper and coriander paste, lemongrass, galangal, fish sauce and sugar into a non-stick frypan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the beef, and cook gently for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach and cook for eight to ten minutes.
  4. Serve with rice.

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Enjoy!

G.E.B.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t know about you, but I have a compulsive thing about going to dinner parties with something in hand. I just can’t stand the thought of rocking up without taking something with me. Normally it’s easy to just take a bottle of wine or two, however, it gets a little more tricky when the house your going to has a huge wine cellar and oodles of wine. I made the mistake of taking wine there once and got a very strange look followed by ‘you know we have lots of this, my dad works in wine’.. duly noted… So last night I was off to a dinner party there. Now don’t get me wrong, this is one of my best friends and I love her family dearly, but taking things is HARD, especially when you want to do something nice as they are making the entire meal gluten-free just because you are coming. So, I figured I would help out and make some gluten-free cookies that people could have for dessert! Pulling out all my gluten-free cook books I found an easy and quick recipe for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, always a crowd-pleaser! They tasted delightful and the non-coeliac’s couldn’t even tell they were gluten-free. For me, thats a win!

Ingredients:

115g butter, softened

175g caster sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

175g gluten-free self-raising flour

60g rice flour

85g chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees (Celsius). Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy using an electric whisk (I used my new Kitchenaid – worked a treat!) Add the egg and vanilla and whisk again.
  3. Sift the flours into the mixture and combine. Add the chocolate chips and stir through until evenly divided. Image
  4. Roll the dough into about 1 inch diameter balls and place on the baking trays about 5 cm apart as they will spread as they bake. Flatten each ball with your fingertips until they are about 1cm thick.
  5. Bake for around 15 minutes, or until golden. Leave on the baking trays to cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: Don’t worry if the cookies seem a bit soft when they first come out of the oven, they will harden and crisp up as they cool.

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Enjoy!

G.E.B.

Olive and Sun-dried tomato Stuffed Beef Rolls

I have a feeling I should have been born Greek as my love for olives is pretty much indescribable. I can sit and literally eat the whole jar and am a firm believer that a salad isn’t a salad, and a pizza isn’t a pizza, without olives. Thus, when I stumbled across the notion of rolling olives inside steaks, my mouth instantly started watering and I jumped into the car to go get the ingredients. This dish is full of strong flavours and a must do for any olive lover!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes – either buy dry-packed or pull off most of the oil with your fingers

25 kalamata olives, pitted

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 steaks (I used scotch fillet but you can pretty much use anything – the original recipe calls for top round steaks)

1 tsp + 2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

Handful of chopped fresh basil

Note: You will need kitchen string

Method:

  1. Put the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, garlic, oregano, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Pound the meat until is about 1/4 of an inch think – you can do this how ever you like – between sheets of baking paper, with a mallet or a rolling pin – pick your weapon and have some fun :)
  3. With a sharp knife, lightly score the steaks on one slice in a crosshatch pattern.
  4. Evenly divide the olive filling between the 2 steaks. Form into a roll about 1/3 of the way down the steak from one end, leaving a 1/2 inch border from the end. Fold the short end over the top of the filling and roll the steak up. Tie the rolls in 3-4 places with kitchen string.
  5. Place a large non-stick frypan over a medium-high heat stove and warm the 1 tsp of olive oil. Cook the steak rolls for 5-8 minutes, turning often to ensure all sides are browned and sealed, including the top and bottom. Note: If the steaks still don’t look cooked enough increase the time and remove when they are cooked to your taste. I like mine medium rare so only cook for a shorter time. Once cooked transfer to a plate.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the basil, lemon juice and remaining olive oil (2 tbsp). Spoon evenly over the steaks and cover the plate with aluminium foil.
  7. Allow the steaks to rest for 10 minutes before slicing in 1 inch think slices.

Enjoy,

G.E.B.

Lemonade Scones

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I made these scones last year when I went through a huge gluten-free baking spree to find what tasted good and filled the growing void where gluteny snacks used to be! However, before posting them up here for you though, I needed to remake them and ensure they were up to deliciousness standards (well… really… C and I needed breakfast whilst writing and this seemed like a great idea)! They are super easy and only use 3 ingredients so get to it! Plus, the lemonade in them makes up for the gluteny ingredients that normally make them all fluffy!

Note: My housemate, B, is sugar-free so I try and take the sugar out of things so she can eat them too! This is really easy to do with this recipe, change the lemonade for sugar-free lemonade and dadaaa, sugar-free!!

Ingredients:

3 cups gluten-free self raising flour

250ml lemonade

250ml cream

A little extra gluten free self raising flour

2 tbsp milk

Toppings (Optional) – jam in your favourite flavour and extra cream

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Combine all ingredients but don’t overmix.
  3. Use a lightly gluten free floured rolling pin or the palm of your hand to roll out the dough until about 2cm thick.
  4. Dip a round 5cm pastry cutter in extra flour before cutting out each scone. Don’t twist the cutter as the scones will rise unevenly during baking. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and then brush tops with milk.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden on top.

To serve: Whip the extra cream until stiff peaks form (careful not to turn it to butter, I have seen this happen) and place this and the jam in little containers.

To eat: Rip the scones open – i prefer to open them so they look like a taco – split down the middle and joined at the bottom – smother with jam (my favourite is rapsberry) and top with cream. If you are doing the taco thing, flip the top back over and eat like a taco – this stops the cream and jam coming out all over you as you eat!

Enjoy!

G.E.B.

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