Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Book Review - Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook

Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook by Robert M. Landolphi

I feel like I'm a proper blogger now as I was recently contacted by the publisher of this book to see if I wanted a review copy! I've never had one offered to me before and after confirming they realised I was in the UK I said yes please.

The book duly arrived and I settled down to look through it. I love cookery books, gluten free or otherwise and I actually prefer ones like this which are mostly writing rather than lots of glossy pictures it always feels you are getting more somehow. The style is nice and easy to read with the information about how and why it came about being a lovely bit of personal interaction with the author.

The basics chapter at the beginning is particularly useful and I'd suggest it to anyone as one of the best lists of flours etc and their uses I've seen in a book including standard nutritional data and the tips on how to use a recipe are really useful as well. The one downside for me as a Brit is that he does use a bunch of pre-prepared items which are not available here but that would be far less of a problem for Americans and I understand entirely why he has used them. I could probably find substitutions but it might be a little trial and error to get the right version as he has picked specific brands for the effect they give. Therefore for testing out the recipes I picked a couple that didn't used pre-prepared ingredients to give the book a fair try.

The recipes are well laid out and varied and there were quite a few I was tempted to try. In the end I decided to start with a pastry recipe as that is an area I always struggle with so I picked Flaky Single Piecrust on page 92 as we have lots of apples and I wanted to make an apple pie. The dough came together easily and I duely put it in the fridge as instructed. The next day I rolled it out between greaseproof paper again as instructed and lined a tin with it.. that was far easier than other methods I've tried and will certainly be used again.

Then I managed to over bake it a bit so please ignore the slightly burn edges in the photo. In future I will use a shallower pie dish as this one was far too high for the filling and the pastry that was sticking up burnt (again my fault) so was rather solid and unpleasant, the pasty lower down however worked extremely well, it stayed soft but not soggy and did what pastry should do which is hold the filling and give structure to the dish.. it tasted good to and my eldest has already asked for me to make it again. As long as you don't over cook it and have random pointless pastry sticking up I am sure it will be wonderful in other dishes !

The other recipe I tried was Luscious Lemony Chestnut bars, page 142. These have jumped straight into my regular make list. They are extremely flavoursome, easy to make, hold together well and use ingredients I am very fond of to good effect such as chestnut flour in the crest and a lemon filling. I really can't think of anything bad to say about them at all !

I have a request to try the maple-pecan bars next as that combination is a favourite of a certain family member and I am definitely going to try some of the more distinctly American savoury dishes such as corn bread, the parmesan popovers next to them sound good too. Tri-spiced onion rings with horseradish dipping sauce sound fabulous and will probably get tried as soon as I do a bit of a search on on of the seasonings so I can replace it with something available here and we definitely want to try the baked bean recipe.

So in summary a very interesting and useful book with some very useful information and great recipes. Distinctly American in feel but that isn't a bad thing as we love trying new dishes. I am sure this will be a stable book for us from now on.


  1. That review is great and very honest! It is very very hard to bake pies and slices that are gluten free and yours look fine to me and it seems the tasters like them also. You have a nice blog and I going through it at the moment. Yes it does feel you when you are asked to review a book.

    OBTW don't click on that link in the first comment it might be a 'bad' site I've heard that this is the latest trick to get people to go to bad site. So if you must go to it use the internet cafe and then open your blog and click on it so your computer will be safe. Better to be safe than sorry. Everything about that comment screams 'badness' the poor English and the site name all bad signs,

    Cheers from Audax in Australia

  2. I have just found your site. That book looks really good. I will have to find out if it is available in Australia. My daughter is a coeliac so I do everything GF. The only problem I find is that the flours tend to make cakes and biscuits very crumbly. Have you found that at all?

    Warmly, Mrs. M