Tuesday, 26 November 2013

BBQ Season

Here we are, at the end of Spring and BBQ's are being fired up in every backyard.  This presents its own problems for those who are have allergies and intolerances.  Even with the beautiful array of lean meats and veg to put on the grill, most people go for prepackaged sausages and patties that contain all of the foods that we or our loved ones can't eat.  Most contain onion and garlic, a banned food for Fructose Malabsorption, and/or gluten for coeliacs or those intolerant or allergic to wheat or gluten.  The other issue is salad dressings or the chosen vegetables in the salad.

Tonight, being the tail end of a 35C day in Adelaide, we have guests coming over for a BBQ dinner, so as I was pressing my burgers and marinading my eggplant I thought I would share the recipes with you.  I am not as organised as I would normally be, as Miss A had to stay home today.  It appears she has caught Mstr H's virus from last week.  She is itchy, spotty (eczema) and running a temperature periodically.  Argh!  I had hoped to have a sick-day-free school term for her, but we are now up to 4 days off.  Oh well.  With vague symptoms like this, Miss A usually has a swollen, hard, sore tummy, and this is no exception.  She is also inflamed 'down below', leading to redness and pain.  All due to her digestive issues.

Back to my yummy food!  I have previously given you my hamburger recipe, so here is one for chicken burgers!

500g chicken mince
1/2 cup nomato sauce
1 carrot (grated)
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tsp paprika
herbs and spices to taste

Mix all the ingredients together well.  Separate mix into 8 equal portions.  Using your hands, shape each portion into a round, hamburger shape.  Grill carefully on a BBQ or in a frypan.  Remember that these burgers are fragile, so may break apart if you are not careful when flipping.  Serve with veg or in a gluten free roll of your choice.

The best accompaniment for these is corn on the cob with butter, marinated eggplant and stuffed field mushrooms.  Here are the recipes for the eggplant and mushrooms.

2 eggplants
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
herbs and spices to taste

Slice the eggplant fairly thinly, each slice should be about 2 mm thick.  Place rounds overlapping in a large seal-able container.  Mix the remaining ingredients thoroughly.  Pour evenly over the top layer of eggplant and seal the lid.  Shake the container to distribute the marinade evenly.  Sit for at least 30 mins.  BBQ and serve.

Field mushrooms or any large mushroom
1 pkt spreadable cream cheese
diced bacon
black pepper

Mix together the cheese, chives, bacon and pepper.  Carefully remove the stem from the mushrooms.  Fill the hole with the cheese mixture.  BBQ until cooked.  Yummo!

I hope you enjoy!  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Chocolate Gelato

Wow, we have had such a busy week!  Mstr H has been sick all week with a nasty virus.  I hate those vague viruses!  He is really lethargic, has a nasty cough and occasionally asthma.  Such a pain.  This has led to a lot of 'stay at home' time, but very little time to actually achieve anything.  We have also been getting together some donations to help the people in Ormoc in the Philippines after a typhoon wiped out the entire area.  So sad and so many people affected.

With all of this happening, we have been using the BBQ a lot for dinner.  I just get the meat out, cook the veg and hubby takes care of the rest!  We are even planning a BBQ Christmas this year.  Who needs a big roast, when we have prawn kebabs, salmon fillets and marinaded lamb chops instead?  Also taste testing a recipe to make a frozen Christmas pudding.  I thought choc chip strawberry icecream, vanilla bean ripple and all encased in rich chocolate fudge icecream.  Will let you know how I go.

We have also been experimenting with glucose powder as a way to introduce Miss A to some higher fructose foods.  She is loving banana smoothies with yoghurt, a handful of strawberries, rice bran and some glucose powder.  I am hoping this will mean she can eat some cherries at Christmas, by mixing them into an icecream and using the glucose to balance out the fructose.  Feeling like a mad scientist!

I also have to share the break through we have had with Miss A's eczema.  I saw an article on a current affairs show for Robertsons Skin Repair.  This is an ointment that is all natural, basically made up of cod liver oil and oatmeal, and it actually works!  You apply 3 times a day, and in our case, the eczema has cleared up.  We no longer need to use steroid creams and Miss A has a lovely smooth face free of scabs!  She is no longer itchy all the time or oozing and bleeding.  Her skin is smooth, and free of the roughness she has always had.  It is not a cure, if we don't use the eczema comes back, but it is making it liveable for us.

On to the promised recipe!  In South Australia, we have always called Italian ice cream 'gelati', so I was confused when I saw all the signage changing to 'gelato'.  Was it the same stuff, or something different?  Was it a change inspired by America, like so many of our language changes are?  The answer is that it is the same, and that the change has come from us calling it the wrong name for all those years.  Who knew?  Will be hard to make the change!  So given all of this, I googled to find Miss A's favourite flavour, chocolate!  I found this low fat recipe on taste.com.au, and it is fantastic!  It uses cornflour to make the custard base, rather than egg yolks.  I will try this method on other flavours!

3 cups skim milk
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 tbs gluten free cornflour
3/4 cup gluten free cocoa

Whisk together 1 cup milk with the sugar, cornflour and cocoa.  Place the remaining milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Add the cocoa mixture and continue heating until it thickens.  As it starts to thicken, remove from the heat and stir periodically.  Using the gluten free cornflour means that it will thicken on standing.

Cool to room temperature, chill for an hour.  Place in ice cream maker.  Yum!

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Creamy Tuna Mornay and Soda Bread

We are coming up to the Christmas season.  Here in Adelaide, we have the famous Christmas Pageant every year, where we sit on the side of the road and watch lots of floats with fairy tale and Christmas themes go past.  It is a real tradition, and we go every year with the kids.  We get into the city at around 6am, have a picnic brekky, the kids draw on the road in chalk, play games, and then the pageant does its thing, and we have a great time.  Tomorrow is the day!  This heralds the season for Christmas baking, house decorating and present buying and wrapping, if you haven't done it already.  Santa comes with the Pageant, so he starts appearing in stores to get the lists from hopeful children, and the streets get their Christmas overhaul.

This means that my posts between now, and the big day, will probably focus on Christmas or party treats.  Watch this space if you need some ideas!  Last night I was planning to make our family favourite meat pie, but after a bad day, I just didn't have the energy.  Here is one of our family favourites, with our favourite loaf of fresh bread to munch, covered in butter, on the side.

This recipe comes from Food.com, and the Soda Bread comes from dovesfarm.co.uk.

1 tbsp butter
3 sticks celery, finely diced
2 tbsp gf plain flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cream
2/3 cup grated cheese
1 440 g can corn (drained), or 1 cup frozen peas and corn mix
425 g can tuna in springwater, drained
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I freeze the ends of gf bread, or any stale bread, thaw and put in the whiz to make crumbs.  Add some herbs and spices, and freeze in ready to use packs)
1/4 cup grated cheese, extra

Melt butter and saute celery for approx 3 mins.  Add flour and stir over heat until bubbling.  Remove from heat and slowly stir in milk and cream.  Return to heat and continue stirring until thickened.  Add cheese, corn, and tuna and mix to combine.  Place in a casserole dish and top with crumbs and extra cheese.  Bake at 200C for 15 mins.  Serve with soda bread.

500g gluten free white flour blend
1/4 tsp salt
1 2/3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
500ml milk, or rice milk
2 tbsp milk or rice milk, extra

Mix together dry ingredients.  In a jug, mix oil, vinegar and milk.  Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix to combine, until a soft, sticky dough is formed.  Press into a loaf tin, brush the top with extra milk, and bake at 180C for 90-100 mins.  I find mine is baked after 45 mins, so check every 30 mins or so.  Serve warm topped with your favourite spread.

Can be made into muffins or rolls, just by pressing into smaller tins.