Bread Sauce, Gluten Free

As promised, here is a quick post with my gluten free bread sauce ( although it can easily be made with most white breads)  I know this is considered an very important part of any Turkey feast but this is also great with chicken dishes as well. 

  
Ingredients 

  • 750 ml milk
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 cloves 
  • 6 slices of bread ( made into breadcrumbs of torn into small chunks) 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Knob of butter. 

Method 

  • Pour the milk into a pan, add the onion, cloves and bay leaves. 
  • Bring to the boil then add the bread
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes until the onion is soft
  • Season with salt and pepper 
  • Remove the cloves and bay leaves 
  • If you have used bread crumbs you are nearly done, if you have torn the bread you can pour the sauce into a processor to make finer. 
  • Before serving stir in the butter so it melts into the sauce
  • Season with more pepper if you wish. 

Serving with your turkey feast, then sleep it off later. 

Have you got a favourite Christmas condiment? Let me know in the comments below. 

Gingerbread Biscuits-Gluten & Nut Free

Well Christmas is nearly upon us and you cannot beat the festive inspired fragrances of mixed spice, ginger, and mulled wine (it’s Christmas you’re allowed to) wafting through your home. I hope this conjures a suitable image for you, which I’ll now shatter if you decide to let your kids help. 

My kitchen looked like a snow storm, my daughter kept stealing the dough and eating it, and the cat ended up wearing it, but never the less we soldiered on because there’s a houseful descending this week and it’s great to have a supply of nut friendly treats, a should add if you can handle the mess it’s great fun for all involved. 

  
Ingredients 

  • 350g plain flour (I used Doves Farm ) 
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda 
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice 
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (if doing gluten free) 
  • 150g soft brown sugar 
  • 125g butter 
  • 1 egg 
  • 4tbs of golden syrup (or four good squeezes from the squeezy bottle) 

Method 

  • Making these couldn’t be easier. Set your oven to 180 degree C 
  • In to a food processor sift the flour, bicarb, spices and xanthan gum. 
  • Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
  • Stir in the sugar. 
  • Beat the egg lightly 
  • Add the golden syrup to the egg and beat again. 
  • Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and pulse until a dough is formed. 
  • Turn this out and kneed together. 
  • I let it rest for about 5-10 minutes in the fridge. (15 if using gluten based flour) 
  • Dust your surface and roll dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. It needs to be thinner to get a good “crunch” 
  • Cook biscuits on a lined tray for about 10-12 minutes
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack and decorate if you choose to. 

  
Enjoy with your kids, or make a small hole and hang on the tree or as a snack for Santa on Christmas Eve. I should add these go perfectly with a Baileys laced coffee. So there you go an easy recipe perfect for the festive period. 

Right I have more recipes to perfect and a mound of presents to wrap, wish me luck…. 

Review – M&S Gluten Free Sausage Rolls. 

I was pottering through my local M&S food hall the other day and spotted these in the deli aisle. I think it’s brilliant that these companies are expanding their “free from” ranges and these can be found along side the gluten free scotch eggs ( yummy), pork pies (ok) and quiches. 

  
Now considering the fat content I wouldn’t be eating these every week, and operation wedding dress wouldn’t allow for it either, but a little treat once in a while is good for the soul ( I think anyway) 

 So what are they like? Well  you get the two for £3, I personally think £1.50 is good value per sausage roll, but really it all comes down to the taste test. The packet says they can be eaten hot or cold, so naturally I tried both ways. If eaten cold I really didn’t like them, it was rather underwhelming. The pastry has no puff and crumbled and the sausage, whilst being well seasoned and tasty had a stoggy texture that was hard to swallow and the remainder ended up in the dog ( she didn’t complain). 

However all hope is not lost,  into the oven went the second attempt. This is where these come into their own. It came out all sizzling and golden, which looks more inviting in the first instance.  The pasty had expanded slightly and had a crunch when cut and you can see the layers, which is difficult with a gluten free puff pastry. The taste comes alive, the texture of the sausage improves, you experience a traditional sausage flavour of pork and herbs but no heavy texture as you eat it. In short these were made to be eaten warm.  

Would I buy them again? Well yes but I’d only be eating them warm. If you fancy a quick on the go lunch from M&S I’d recommend the new sandwich range, especially the BLT or the scotch eggs and cocktail sausages.  Have you tried these yet? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

 

Chicken and Chorizo Paella 

I have to confess, although this dish takes a bit of time and stirring (think of it as an easy arm exercise) I do love the warm, comforting bowl of creamy rice, with the smokiness of the chorizo and the colour of the bright green peas. We partly eat with our eyes and this looks so inviting you can’t help but want to taste it.  
 
Ingredients 

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped up thinly
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 red pepper chopped 
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 75g diced Chorizo 
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato purée 
  • 50g of rice per person eating 
  • 1 stock cube or 750ml of stock of your choice 
  • 100g of peas 
  • Lemon to serve 
  • Generous handful of prawns if you choose to use them. 

Method 

  • Heat some olive oil in a shallow casserole dish, or wok or paella dish, whichever you have. 
  • Gently fry the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes until soft. 
  • Add the diced chicken breasts ( I use skinless) and fry for about 5 minutes before adding the chorizo. 
  • Once this has taken on a fabulous orange hype from the chorizo stir in the tomato purée 
  • If using a stock cube boil a kettle. Crumble the stock cube into the dish
  • Add the rice and fry until is becomes opaque (about 2-3 minutes) 
  • Now add the boiling water a bit at a time. The rice absorbs it so little and often is the key. 
  • I should note if you want to add a glass of the good stuff (vermouth works well) then now is the time. 
  • Once you have used all your water/ stock add the peas and prawns and put a lid on, simmer for a further 5 minutes until the prawns are piping hot. 

It is worth me saying that the liquid part isn’t an exact part, you may need slightly more or less water. The rice is cooked when it loses its crunch. Also don’t be afraid to add mussels or the odd clam if you want it only adds to the authenticity of the dish.  

 I hope you enjoy making this, what other variations of paella do you like? Let me know in the comments box. 

Review: Nutribix Gluten Free Weetabix 

Yes you have read the title correctly this is a new product hitting the UK’s  gluten free market, and one I was very excited to try. 

  
  These are like weetabix but obviously are not made from wheat. These little beauties are made from Sorghum, a gluten free grass native to Australia, the added bonus is sorghum is low in fat and sugar unlike so many breakfast cereals out there. 

Firstly the box is great, it’s pink and bold and screams “Pick me Pick me” at you on the shelf. And into the trolly they go. When you open the box up don’t be fooled by their size.  You may think they are small but looks can be deceiving. I found they are very filling and kept hunger pangs away until lunch time. 

   

So how do they taste? Now I was worried that they could be bland and like cardboard, but thankfully this was not the case. They are very absorbent, I’ve tried them with both cows and coconut milk which are both sucked up like a biscuit type sponge. As we all know Wheetabix goes to a soggy mush they you can build houses with (mums of toddlers will agree I’m sure). These go soggy but retain some shape and texture which I loved if I’m honest. I think it’s something to do with it not resembling something I weaned my daughter with….. Anyway I digress (sorry). 

They taste of rustic grains (although I can’t remember what wheat really tastes like to compare) and lend themselves well to a variety of toppings- a bonus for adding towards your 5 a day. I was impressed I have to say. I’ve had some followers comment on the price £3.79 which I can understand would put some people off. For a heads up they are on offer in Tesco at the moment. You get 8-12 servings in a box so works out roughly 50p or there a bouts so in my opinion quite a cheap breakfast.  

Will I be buying them again? It’s a resounding yes. Well done Nutribix on this new product. Have you tried it? What are your favourite toppings? Let me know in the comments below.