Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Pancake Day

I forgot one very important thing when I posted my menu.. Tuesday being Pancake Day !!. How could I forget one of my favourite culinary connected celebrations?

So we had pancakes tonight. Traditionally you eat pancakes with sugar and lemon juice but we had savoury ones.. Noodles and Treestump had cheese and I had cheese and tomato, actually cheddar, feta and tomato.

I always find it hard to explain how to make pancakes as I make them by eye and never measure anything so I will give you the amounts Delia Smith suggests for standard gluten pancakes. I would expect gluten free flour to use slightly less flour to liquid as it tends to soak up more but of course your specific mix will vary a bit. We normally use Dove Farm's plain white flour though a mix of that and buckwheat works well to, buckwheat being another very traditional type of pancake though more on parts of the continent than here.

So Delia says
110g/4oz plain flour, sifted (replace with GF flour)
pinch of salt
2 eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water

I don't add anything like Xanth gum or other binders it really isn't needed. You are looking for a batter that is like thin cream, still very liquid but with just a bit of body.

Heat your frying pan or griddle and use just a little butter or oil to lubricate it, very little is needed and too much results in a fried pancake not what you are after.. you just want to stop it sticking.

Pour a small amount of batter into the pan and swirl around you are aiming to cover the base of the pan with a thin layer.

This is what it should look like once it's started to set.Wait till the top side is basically dry and shake the pan to loosen the pancake then either flip with a spatula or more traditionally flip it by flicking the pan upwards to make the pancake jump out the pan, flip over and catch it with the pan.. this can get very silly and end with lots of messed up pancakes :)

The cooked side will look something like this.Let the second side cook till it is colouring.
Something like this.Put on a plate add any filling be that sugar and lemon juice or chocolate and cream or indeed anything else then roll up into a tube..
We normally serve them up as they cook so they are nice and hot but if you want to make a plate full put a layer of greaseproof paper between each one as you go or they will all stick together.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Weekly Menu 23rd to 27th Feb 2009

My first ever waffles !

We got tempted by a very reasonably priced waffle maker this last week and the boys love them so we came home with it. It was under £10 from Lidl so worth a go and the picture above is the result fo trying one of the recipes that came with it all be it with GF flour. These are honey sweetened ones Very nice indeed. I've never had them before as they weren't common here when I last ate gluten. We have since tried the cheese waffles which were great too though did stick to the waffle make a bit more.

Anyway on to this week.

The Gluten free menu swap this week is to be hosted by Asparagus Thin who has chosen Umami as our ingredient. I hadn't even heard of this so off I toddle to wikipedia who tells me that it is is one of the five basic tastes sensed by specialized receptor cells present on the human tongue. It's from Japanese meaning roughly "delicious flavor", although "brothy", "meaty", or "savory" So I guess we will probably be having that a few times this week. I will await er blog entry to find out if I right with interest!

I am still trying to eat up the rest of the food from the bigger freezer so we can defrost it. I've moved the icecream and some other bits to the smaller freezer and there is still some room so we are nearly there I think.

Monday - Pasta with meat sauce, probably beef mince, tomatoes etc with maybe a bit of liver depending what it looks like when defrosted properly.

Tuesday - Something made with puff pastry for the gluten eaters and the pizza base mix from a few daring baker challenges back for me as I have some of each in the freezer.. probably some sort of turn over type things, cheese, cheese and chicken, mushroom depending on what people want.

Wednesday - eat up day of anything that doesn't fit in the smaller freezer.. so probably burgers, pizza, random potato based things and so on..

Thursday - Something veg based as by then we will have had far too much meat.. probably a veg stir fry or curry.

Friday - omelets or tomatoes and eggs.

Monday, 16 February 2009

weekly menu 16th to 20th Feb

Spent another good bit of time down the allotment this weekend and no snow this time though it was wet underfoot.. we now have a shed up however. If you want to know more visit our allotment blog. Still be a while till we get any vegs from it though.

This week we have an ill baby in the house and it's half term so the older one is home too. Plus we need to clear the freezer as it's getting rather iced up so this week is very much a week of using stuff from the freezer which will also mean it is more meat heavy than normal as most of the stuff in the freezer is meat based.

This week's gluten free menu swap is hosted by celiacs in the house who picked comfort foods as this weeks subject. I was thinking of doing fruit gobbler again which even after one time I think I can count as a comfort food which will always go down well. Otherwise for me dishes like bangers and mash and fish fingers are very much comfort foods.. things i had as a kid growing up. Chicken kievs are another favourite of mine so all in all we may well have a good few comfort foods this week almost be accident as they are also the things we have in the freezer ! Another which we all enjoy is Yorkshire puds and I seem to be close to cracking make those well gluten free so next time I make them I'll try and remember to measure the ingredients as I use them and post the recipe.

We had a great meal yesterday inspired by a suggestion on the gluten free recipe group.. half a large red pepper each stuffed with mince and onions (quickly fried off to make sure it was well cooked), topped with some tomato sauce, then cheese, then some pepperoni and tomato slices. It was a really good dish and we had it with garlic potato and broccoli.

Monday - lamb chops, potatoes and green vegs,

Tuesday - Spare ribs, probably in an easy barbque sauce.

Wednesday - chicken kiev for me and garlic chicken steaks for everyone else, with rice and vegs..

Thursday - Spicy lentil soup and cheese scones

Friday - kedgeree

Baking.. Fruit gobbler and possibly a blackberry and apple crumble as I know there are still both those fruits left in the freezer from the autumn.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Late menu - 9th to 13th Feb 2009

Roast veg Frittata

I'm late this week but I just didn't get a chance over the weekend but we did get the greenhouse weather tight, well all but one pane. A lot of the roof has been covered in a stiff plastic and we have had snow since so I will be interested to see how it has held up. Don't think I'll go today unless I park in the top carpark and walk down though cos if you look at the photos on my craft blog you will see the ground around here is rather sodden.

Anyway on to food. The picture above is of the frittata I made last week which is full of spare roast potatoes, parsnips and some cooked carrots plus a little onion and bacon. The vegs all from the freezer after being left over from Christmas dinner !

This week we may or may not have more snow. we had probably a couple of inches over night but it had turned to slush before the school run but still I'm going to plan for not getting out much but we have lots of vegs and stuff in so it's not a problem.

Monday - Had fish fingers and potato croquettes from the freezer, very basic and easy.

Tuesday - beef stew.

Wednesday - leek gratin with roast vegs.

Thursday - Not sure yet.. depends what vegs are left but have various things in the freezer.

Friday - If I can get some nice peppers I fancy trying a version of stuffed peppers Carrie suggested on the gluten free Yahoo group.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

The Fruit Gobbler

Last night I tried out a recipe that Carrie had posted to the gluten free recipes group. It was for something she called a fruit cobbler.

Carrie and I have regular conversations about the differences in food and indeed naming across the pond and this is one of those times. To me as a Brit a cobbler is some sort of dish, often fruit but can be savoury topped with scones (or for the americans biscuits) However Carrie's dish is more like a sweet toad in the hole ie a batter base with fruit added. Either way the recipe sounded extremly simple and quick which with a grumpy baby and a hungry five year old seemed a very important point :)

The recipe calls for a large tin of fruit as I only had a medium tin of pineapple I added one and a half bananas and a couple of pears that needed eating. The batter is made up using the juice from the tin and added sugar which I would never have though of as batter always has milk in it but it worked very well. I also plan to try adding a bit of baking powder to my next Yorkshire pud as this one rose much better than my toad in the holes do currently and it is one dish I really miss.. I've added the recipe to the end of this post as much so I can find it again as anything.

So why Fruit Gobbler.. well my five year old declared the dish to be magic !!! but he also miss heard me and thought it was called a Fruit Gobbler.. the question is which do you think the name fits best.

This?or this?

Carrie's Easy Fruit Cobbler
My changes in italics

Wet Ingredients
1 large can of peaches, mixed fruit, or pineapple, drained with juice
4-6 tablespoons butter (or cf substitute) (I used less than this and it worked fine)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar (again I used a scant 1/2 cup and it was about right for me)
1 egg

Dry Ingredients
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
(I just used a cup of Dove Farm gluten free flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Place peaches or other fruit in a large greased casserole dish. In a
large bowl whisk dry ingredients together and set aside. In another
bowl mix together reserved fruit juice, sugar, and the egg. Mix dry
ingredients with wet ingredients to form a batter. (Batter should be
the consistency of pancake batter -- add a few more tablespoons of
milk or water if you need it!) Pour batter over the peaches or fruit.
Cut tablespoons of butter into small pieces and dot over the cobbler.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven until cobbler is
hot and bubbly! Serve immediately with whipped cream or ice cream!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

New look

Do you like my new look? Can you still read it OK which is probably my primary concern as to if it works or not.

EDIT.. my bad. should have said this is done with a wonderful kit made by Karen Wallace called Black Eyed Jazz and can be found at Digital Scrap Garden.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Weekly menu 2nd to 6th Feb 2009

February already ! Christmas seems both ages ago and yesterday somehow! It is however snowing here which isn't very common though there isn't enough of the ground to sled down the hill near the school which is a shame as the grandparents recently dropped off their old sleds here.. even more irritating there is plenty of snow in London where they live ! Still we managed to get the hedge in on the allotment just as it started yesterday.. We have put in a mixed native hedge which includes rose, hazel, blackthorn (sloe) and cherry pears so we might even get a harvest from it in later years! Tom is looking forward to more sloe gin!.

We have been warned the schools might be closed tomorrow if the forcast snow hits.. this country stops with stupidly little snow these days I remember walking to school through three foot a lot farther than Noodles school is from here or indeed most of the kids homes.. still if it does we might get to use those sleds!

Yesterday I did a chicken stir fry which Noodles said was the best food ever ! Though to be fair I think that was more because he wasn't expecting Chinese at home, I do cook it fairly often but mainly for the adults after he is in bed plus they had a Chinese new year meal at school recently..

The bit I think works particularity well was the chicken and it occurred to me it would work well on it's own without the stir fried veg as well, so I'll put it here
Soy Chicken.
Cut chicken breast into thin strips. Liberally coat with Tamari (Japanese soy sauce.. GF of course), rub this in then coat with cornflour (corn starch I think in the states). Make sure the strips stay separate as they will tend to clump and add enough cornflour to give them all a coating.

Heat some oil in a wok and fry on a high heat in small batches till golden brown and crispy.

If adding to a stir fry remove from pan and cook the vegs, adding back only at the very end so the chicken stays crispy.
This weeks Gluten Free menu swap is hosted by gluten free goodness and they have picked pineapple as an ingredient.. we do like pineapple here though it's rare to get the fresh stuff. That said the tinned is great too. We have rings of it caramelised in a hot pan with gammon steaks or on pizza or in a rice and stuff dish.. hum all of those are savoury though we do use it in sweets as well honest.. now I'm thinking of a pineapple upside down cake. not had one of those for ages.. if i get time perhaps I'll add it to the baking list this week !

Anyway on to the menu

Monday - Soya chicken again by request of Noodles who has been very tired and not concentrating at school today as his brother has been under the weather as well I hope that doen't mean they are going down with something. Probably with rice noodles or rice and sweetcorn.

Tuesday - Home made fish and chips.

Wensday - fritatta (thick oven baked omelet with left over cooked vegs in it )

Thursday - Oven roast vegs with apples or pears either on their own or with whatever meat I scare up from the freezer !

Friday - Possibly Chinese roast duck as I have a duck in the freezer that needs cooking, want time to do some pancakes though.. failing that sausage and mash.

Baking - early this week some sort of cake for Tom to take to work, it was his birthday recently and it's a common tradition in offices to take cakes in on your birthday.. as he has a GF colleague we always do GF cakes cos it's one of the few times she can have them.

Fruit cobbler (will have to check what tinned fruit we have, you never know it might be pineapple) as discussed on the Gluten free recipes Yahoo group, possibly tonight.