Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category


More to come soon…

June 24, 2010

Life takes over, doesn’t it? I have been so busy since I arrived back from Australia that I’ve had no time to keep you up to date with my latest gluten-free news. Plenty has happened and I have loads to update you with including:

  • Tips for gluten-free travel in Spain
  • My first attempt at gluten-free pork pibil tacos, chipotle adobe and pickled red onions
  • Gluten-free dining at Cafe Rouge
  • The 2010 Allergy & Gluten-Free Show
  • Gluten-free Mexican groceries

I feel hungry just thinking about it. I hope to catch up this weekend so keep your eyes peeled or sign-up for updates straight into your inbox at the bottom right of the page.



Delia’s Rhubarb and Ginger Brûlée Dairy-Free Style

May 17, 2010

Why shouldn’t we be able to partake in the fun?

Today I experimented with Delia’s Rhubarb Brûlée recipe from Waitrose.

For the uninitiated the Delia of whom I write is Delia Smith, England’s home cooking doyenne. In the UK, Delia is known only by her Christian name, a la Beyoncé, and has a legion of loyal followers. Legend has it that Delia taught England how to cook, including simple tasks such as boiling an egg. In the past few years Delia has taught home cooks how to cut corners with her Cheats book and television series. She is famous for the Delia effect – if she recommends something, English supermarkets sell out of the product within days. Recently, she has become the co-spokesperson for Waitrose’s latest foodie campaign with Heston Blumenthal of Fat Duck.

The first recipe of Waitrose’s new campaign was Delia’s rhubarb brûlée. True to form, Delia’s recipe soon caused a shortage of British rhubarb and Waitrose had to import stocks from Germany. In four days Waitrose sold 12 week’s worth of rhubarb. Tesco and other supermarkets also experienced the effect and thanked Waitrose for the extra sales.

I am a little dubious about this recipe being a brûlée because it doesn’t contain a custard or any eggs. The brûlée topping consists of cream, yogurt and demerara sugar. OK so technically it could be a burnt cream but it’s not custard like a true creme brûlée. Something that really bothers me about many yogurts in the UK is that WHIPPED CREAM is the main ingredient. I find that completely disgusting. Obviously Delia doesn’t. I can understand adding a little yogurt to your whipped cream to make it a little healthier in a dessert. But adding whipped cream to your healthy fruit yogurt to make it a little more atheriosclerosis-inducing is just gross. So I don’t mix yogurt with cream. It’s like eating a handful of M&Ms and pretending that a glass of water balances it all out. Anyway, I digress.

I bought a carton of Alpro soya vanilla custard and a pot of Alpro chilled single soya cream intending to mix them together as per the recipe. But I couldn’t bring myself to add cream to custard so just poured the custard over the baked rhubarb and ginger. As I suspected, being a runny custard and not a baked custard, the brûlée just melted and didn’t set into a crackly caramel top. But all was not lost – it was a rhubarb creme caramel! So not an abject failure as I feared. It was delicious but not the same as creme brûlée. Incidentally, I have successfully used Alpro products to make dairy-free baked custards and creme brûlées before and it doesn’t take much effort so will probably stick with that in the future. Nevertheless, the blend of rhubarb and stem ginger is scrummy and worth a try if you like ginger.

The original recipe is:


800g rhubarb
1 rounded dessertspoon Cooks’ Ingredients Organic Ground Ginger
2 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
3 heaped tablespoons demerara sugar
200g Greek yogurt
300ml Waitrose Extra Thick Jersey Double Cream or essential Waitrose Extra Thick Double Cream

For the brûlée
175g demerara sugar

I used a heatproof oval dish measuring 23 x 15cm at the base


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. You need to begin this by trimming and chopping the rhubarb into 2.5cm chunks, then pile them into a bowl, add the sugar and the ground and chopped ginger and toss them all together. After that, transfer everything to the baking dish, pop it into the oven on the centre shelf and bake for 20 minutes. Then carefully stir the rhubarb, turning it over, and bake for another 10–15 minutes or until it’s tender.
  2. When it’s cooked, leave the rhubarb to get completely cold, then tip as much of the juice out by drawing the fruit back gently with a draining spoon and allowing the juice to drain from one end of the tilted dish.
  3. When you’re ready to do the brûlée, preheat the grill to its highest setting for 15 minutes. Now combine the yogurt and thick cream in a bowl, and spoon it evenly over the top, making sure it goes right up to the edges of the dish. Next spoon the sugar evenly over the cream right up to the edges, and when the grill is really hot, place the dish about 7.5cm from the heat, and just let the sugar melt, bubble and caramelise to a rich golden brown. This will take about 8 minutes, but you’ll need to keep an eye on it as it may need a bit more or less time.
  4. When it’s cooled and the caramel has set, you can cover with clingfilm and keep it in the fridge till needed (it can be made up to 8 hours in advance). To serve, tap the caramel with a spoon and serve just as it is – nothing else needed.

Rick Stein’s oven-dried tomato and thyme tart

April 6, 2010

Saturday mornings in London often involve me sitting bleary-eyed in front of Saturday Kitchen with a cup of tea. I enjoy Rick Stein’s travel segments the most because I always pick up an interesting tip from him. The most recent Rick Stein inspired addition to my repertoire was his oven-dried tomato and thyme tart which he designed around “British food hero” blue vinney cheese. Nope, I’d never heard of it either. It is a hard and crumbly blue cheese.

The method of cooking the tomatoes involves blasting them with a high heat for 15 minutes then reducing the temperature to 150C for 1 1/4 hours until they have shrivelled and the tomato flavour has become highly concentrated.

Obviously Rick’s recipe is not gluten-free. I like to use DS frozen shortcrust pastry which is available in the frozen free-from section at Sainsbury’s. It’s not puff pastry as the recipe calls for but it will do the trick.

I cooked this recently for my parents in Australia. I wasn’t able to procure blue vinney so substituted with an Australian hard blue cheese. Dad went back for seconds.


750g/1lb ripe vine-ripened or plum tomatoes
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
450g/1lb fresh puff pastry
100g/4oz blue vinney, thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
handful of wild rocket leaves
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


1. Heat the oven to its highest setting.
2. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthways and place them cut-side up in a lightly oiled, shallow roasting tin. Sprinkle over
1½ teaspoons of salt and some black pepper and roast for 15 minutes.

3. Lower the oven temperature to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and roast them for a further 1¼-1½ hours until they have shrivelled in size but are still slightly juicy in the centre. Remove and set aside.
4. Increase the oven temperature to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 30×37.5cm (12x15in) rectangle. Lift it onto a lightly greased
baking sheet, prick here and there with a fork and bake blind for 18-20 minutes until crisp and golden.
6. Remove from the oven, carefully turn it over and bake for a further five minutes.
7. Arrange the tomatoes haphazardly over the tart base, leaving a narrow border free around the edge.
8. Crumble over the slices of blue vinney, sprinkle over the thyme leaves and drizzle over the olive oil. Return the tart to the oven for 5-6 minutes until the cheese has melted.
9. Remove the tart from the oven and scatter the rocket over the top. Cut it into 8 pieces, sprinkle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Recipe from


Double chorizo treat!

March 24, 2010

This week we decided to cook a tortilla for dinner; an old Jamie Oliver recipe from Sainsbury’s Magazine. I cooked it from memory so probably got a lot of it wrong but I threw in pan-fried potato, store-bought roasted red peppers, spanish onion, 5 eggs, salt and pepper and some chorizo for good measure. We ate it with a side salad. It was scrumptious and there was plenty left over for later on.

We also had left over ingredients so today I cooked up a delicious chorizo and red pepper pasta with the left over spanish onion, tomatoes, a little olive oil and Salute gluten-free spaghetti which tastes pretty much like the real stuff and holds its form pretty well when cooked. Again it was a tasty treat but not something we could eat too often. I used cooking chorizo which is new from M&S and thankfully doesn’t contain wheat. A few of their versions contain milk which I avoided and all of them contain sulphites which are a bit harder to avoid. I think I should have fried the chorizo for a bit longer so it was crisper on the outside and browned a bit more.

We’ve obviously indulged this weekend so I’ll have to eat salad for the rest of the week. I gave up ice cream in January and chocolate two weeks ago so I’m getting my fix in other food groups!

I’m off to Australia in 9 days. I’ll sure there will be plenty of treats to blog about from home but I’ll have to reconsider an appearance at the beach if I keep eating  indulgent foods with this much gusto!


French Toast with Balsamic Glazed Strawberries

March 24, 2010

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and on weekends I love to cook up delicious Aussie cafe style dishes. I really miss breakfast/brunch choices like muesli with yogurt and poached fruit, pancakes with honeycomb butter or French toast with fruit compote.

I’m one of those people who loves cooked fruit. I know plenty who don’t though and English boy is one of them, so if I cook French toast he gets a savoury version to soak up some worcestershire sauce and I get a sweet, fruity treat. I love throwing bananas in the pan til they are caramelised, or a handful of blueberries until they turn into a jammy, blueberry sauce to drizzle over the plate. Today my treat was balsamic glazed strawberries.

I’m afraid it was so yummy that I gobbled it up without pausing to take a photo so all I have to show for it is this empty plate.

French toast is a really nice recipe to use with gluten-free bread as it makes the bread a bit more tasty and moist than the dry stuff straight from the packet.

To make the French toast, crack a few eggs into a bowl and whisk with a little soy milk (and some vanilla extract if serving with fruit). Dip each side of the bread in the egg mix but don’t leave to soak. Cook in a frying pan over a moderate heat with a little butter so it doesn’t stick.  I also throw some fruit in the pan when the bread goes in. Today I used quartered strawberries, a dash of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of brown sugar and this turned into a lovely strawberry sauce to drizzle over the toast. Cook the toast for 3-4 minutes each side until golden brown. Stack on a plate and top with cooked fruit. Dust with icing sugar if you fancy. Yum.

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