Winner – Chicken Dinner

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I made satay chicken for dinner tonight.  It was simple, tasty and here is the recipe.

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This is my adaptation of one I found on Best Recipes.

Satay Chicken (serves 2)

1 chicken breast fillet (cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 onion (finely diced)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 tablespoon peanut paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce/tamari
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 cup water

Lightly fry the onion and garlic, then add the chicken pieces.  Cook for 2 – 3 minutes.  Add all of the remaining ingredients except the water.  Combine thoroughly and then add the water, mix well and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until sauce is reduced and thickened.

Serve with rice and accompaniments as desired.

Nothing Special

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Sometimes I don’t write any blog posts, simply because there does not seem to be anything extraordinary to write.  It is easy to forget that the little things I do day in, day out which may be just the tip that will help someone out.

Here is one of those.

We often make sweet potato chips, usually when having salmon for dinner.  I bake the chips in the oven and like to add a little bit of seasoning.  Since I eat a gluten-free diet it cannot include regular flour.

Spicy Seasoning Mix

1 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon smoky paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder

This is reasonably spicy but you can adjust to suit your own tastes.

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

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These are the chips – I usually pre-cook for a few minutes in the microwave first then drain add place in a preheated tray with a little coconut oil.

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Lightly sprinkle with spice mixture.

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When I toss them after about 10 minutes I usually sprinkle them with a bit more.

As well as for the chips I also use this mixture to coat potatoes when I am baking them.  I rub the potato with a tiny bit of oil then roll them in the spice mixture before baking them in the slow cooker for 4 hours on high.

Home-made High Tea

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Yesterday afternoon we had guests coming for afternoon tea.  No tiered cake plates and no photos of what we actually ate but here is the table set and ready.  A damask tablecloth, dainty china and glassware and silver cake forks.

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I wanted to make a dip and my first choice was hummus which I make regularly and I always have a good result despite that fact that I do not really use a recipe.  However, that was not to be as I realised I had no garlic.

A little earlier I had picked a pumpkin from the garden and sliced it up ready to roast. These slices were to be used on pizzas for dinner tonight.  I discovered that I had more than I would need for the pizzas so I decided to make a roasted pumpkin dip.  It couldn’t be that difficult.  The commercially-prepared roast pumpkin and cashew dip is very yummy.

I had no cashews but found a small handful of peanuts and a few pistachios (somewhat stale) and a couple of teaspoons of sesame seeds.  I tossed them all in a tray to roast in the oven for about 10 minutes then ground them in the blender.  The roasted pumpkin was added and blended.  The mixture was too dry for my liking so I added some olive oil and lemon juice bit by bit in equal measure until I achieved the desired consistency.

The next step was the flavour.  A pinch of chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, a good grind of sea salt and black pepper and some onion flakes completed the improvisation.

Here is the finished product, garnished with some coriander from the garden.

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As well as the dip which was served with rice crackers and corn chips, I made a chocolate slice.  The guests brought some local brie and olives which were as delicious as any I have had.

A pleasant afternoon with good company, food and conversation.

Pizza Recipe – An Update

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2017-04-20 01

It has been brought to my attention that I made what could only be described as a monumental error in the recipe for the pizza bases which I posted yesterday.

There were 2 lines which were different quantities of olive oil – one line should have read ‘warm water’.  This has now been corrected and I sincerely hope that no-one has made it from the original copy.

Secondly, in response to a comment on the post I will explain a little about psyllium.  Yes, it is a laxative but that is not the reason for using it in the pizza bases.  As Monica Topliss, the author of the recipe book explains, it is the ‘secret ingredient’ in many of her gluten-free recipes as it provides the elasticity that is lacking with the absence of gluten.  Using this theory I have managed to successfully make my own gluten-free pasta.  Psyllium is also purported to assist in lowering cholesterol levels.  Here in Australia it is readily available in supermarkets and health food shops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Easter Recipe

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Happy Easter!

The desktop computer will not be back in action until the middle of the week so I am struggling with and old laptop which is very slow and not responsive.  However, I am determined to persevere and bring you a recipe for gluten-free hot cross buns.

Here is the original recipe which I used for the first batch which I made on Tuesday. The only alteration I made was to add another teaspoon of psyllium husk instead of the teaspoon of xanthum gum.

The initial prototype was acceptable but I felt I could improve on the recipe a little.

The instructions said that the recipe made 8 buns so I followed this and they were much too large for my liking.  The buns also tended to spread on the tray rather than rise.  Additionally, we prefer more spice and fruit.  I made a note of this for my second attempt.

Here is my amended recipe with method and photos.  Do not be put off by the long list of ingredients.  I have divided the ingredients into separate sections accoring to the method.

GLUTEN-FREE HOT CROSS BUNS

Ingredients

1 cup sultanas
1 cup boiling water

7g dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
120ml warm water

24g psyllium husk
3 eggs
250ml hot water

3 cups gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons bicarb soda
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
75g sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons mixed spice
Zest of 1 orange

2 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 1 orange

1 egg
1 tablespoon water

3 tablespoons gluten-free flour
Water

Method

Place sulatanas in a small bowl and cover with boiling water and allow to stand.

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Combine yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl and set aside to activate.

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In a another bowl combine the eggs and psyllium then add the add hot water and set aside to thicken.

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Place a large bowl of hot water in the oven and turn oven to 100C.  Set timer for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes turn the oven off and remove the bowl.  This means the oven will be perfect for the dough to rise.

Place the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt, sugar, spices and orange zest in a bowl and combine.  Add the yeast mixture and egg mixture and mix thoroughly.  Finally, drain the excess water from the sultanas and stir them into the dough.  This step could be done by hand but I use my Kitchen Aid mixer.

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Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface.  Although kneading is not required for gluten-free baking (no gluten to stretch) you can gently roll and fold the dough a few times before dividing it into suitable sized portions.  I weighed my balls of dough and chose to make them 75g each which yielded 17 buns.

Place balls of dough into muffin pans or on a tray and set the tray in the pre-warmed oven for 45 minutes.

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While the dough is rising prepare the egg wash to brush the top of the buns by whisking the egg and water together.  Make the mixture for the crosses.  Blend together the flour and enough water to make a smooth paste which can be piped onto the buns.  Place the flour paste into a plastic bag and snip a tiny piece off one corner.

Remove dough from the oven and turn oven on to 200C to heat while you finish the buns.  Brush with egg wash.  Pipe crosses onto the buns.

Return buns to the oven set at 200C and cook for 20 – 25 minutes.

Place the sugar and orange juice in a saucepan and simmer gently until reduced and thickened.

When the buns are cooked remove from the oven and drizzle with the orange glaze.

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Ready to eat.

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I was very pleased with the result and the final word comes from my friend who said that it was just like the commercially produced fruit loaf.  This has inspired me to try baking this recipe as a loaf which could be sliced and toasted.

NOTE:  The other variation is the type of flour used.  The original rice uses tapioca and brown rice flour.  I use my own mixture which includes both of these as well as potato and quinoa flours.  You can choose a commercial gluten-free flour or you own combination as long as it totals 3 cups.

 

 

 

 

Dinner – Risotto

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Tonight I want to share another dinner idea with you – risotto.

In no way could this be described as a recipe but more of a method.

Risotto is arborio rice cooked gently in a small amount of liquid.  Keep adding liquid and stirring regularly unto the desired tenderness of the rice is reached.

I use my large flat-bottomed wok to make risotto.

Quantities for 2 adults (sometime there is enough left for 1 lunch).

1/2 onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon stock powder
3/4 cup arborio rice
Water

This will make the basic mixture to which you can add whatever you like.  I used asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes.

Fry the onion in a little oil.  Add the rice and toss to coat thoroughly.  Add some water and the stock powder.  Simmer and stir until the water is almost absorbed and add a little more water.  Continue to do this until the rice is cooked and almost creamy.

I also added 2 teaspoons of powdered dried tomato with the water.  Finally, I stirred through some sun-dried tomatoes and fresh asparagus cut into pieces and cooked for 1 minute in the microwave.

Serve immediately with a little grated cheese if desired.

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Pumpkin and bacon, broccolini and capsicum (peppers) or sweet potato and caramelised onion are some other winning combinations.  You can experiment with different flavours but I would advise only using 2 or at the very most 3 ingredients or otherwise the flavours become overwhelmed.  The only thing I do not use in risotto is mushrooms – they turn the mix a fairly unappealing shade of grey!

 

 

Dinner – Gluten Free Quiche

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Although you can buy gluten-free pastry and it is possible to make it from scratch there is an easier option for the base of a quiche or savoury pie.

Quiche Base

1.5 cups cooked rice
1 egg
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients, press mixture into a dish, chill for 30 – 60 minutes then add filling and proceed as for regular pastry case.

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Like pizza, quiche is great for using up small amounts of various ingredients for the fillings.  The combinations are limited only by your imagination.  Remember, that you do not need huge amounts of filling.

Today, I used bacon, mushroom and broccolini.  1 rasher of bacon, 1 mushroom, 1/2 onion and about half of a small bunch of broccolini.

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Here it is chopped up and ready.  I kept the stalks and florets of the broccolini separate. The onion is frozen as I have about 7 kgs of diced frozen onion in my freezer.  You can read about it here.

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I sauteed the onion and bacon before adding the chopped stalks and finally the mushroom and florets of the broccolini.

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I allowed the mixture to cool for about 5 minutes before spreading over the base of the quiche.

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I then covered this with 1 cup and grated cheese.

The final step is to make the custard, for that is essentially what a quiche is – savoury custard.  I never follow a specific recipe for this but it is a mixture of milk and eggs.

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Today I used:

3 eggs (they are extra large from our chickens)
1/4 cup double cream
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon skim milk powder
Pinch of salt
Ground black pepper

Beat the ingredients thoroughly.

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Carefully pour the egg mixture over the filling.

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Don’t worry if the egg mixture does not cover the cheese.  It is best not to overfill the dish or you will find that it overflows during cooking.

Bake at 180C for 35 – 40 minutes or until firm to touch and golden.

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The rice crust can be made using whatever rice you prefer.  I use brown rice as it works equally as well as white.  Make sure the rice is well-cooked to help it stick together.

The filling can be any combination of whatever you choose.

The custard mixture is  milk and/or cream and eggs.  I happened to have the cream as it was bought to have with dessert last week when we had guests.  I generally do not have cream and tend to use skim milk powder blended with a smaller amount of water than normal to mimic evaporated milk.  From memory, I think it is about 1 cup of milk powder to 1/2 cup of water.