Monday, 28 December 2015

Potato wedges (GF) (DF) (EF) (NF) (Vegan)

If you're someone who likes to have a burger/steak/chicken/gf fish fingers with chips, then I suggest that it's worth giving wedges a try instead of chips. Some people even make wedges with sweet potatoes like this and say it's good though I've never tried that myself. As I'm not vegetarian or vegan, I like to have these with gluten free fish fingers or else with sour cream and chive dip. These are very moreish.

Gluten Free
Dairy Free
Egg Free
Nut Free

2 large baking potatoes, washed
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 level teaspoon black pepper
1/3 teaspoon garam masala

- Preheat your oven to gas mark 8/230C/450F

- Cut the potatoes lengthways into wedges

- Bring a kettle of water to the boil, then pour the water into a pan that is on the stove (on a high heat setting), then carefully put all the potato wedges in the pan and leave them to boil for about 12 minutes

- In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, black pepper and garam masala

- Drain the water out of the pan, then spread the potato wedges onto a baking sheet and brush the masala oil on to all the potatoes and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes

- Take the tray of wedges out of the oven, turn the wedges over, brush the remaining masala oil over the wedges, then leave in the oven to bake for a further 20 minutes (if you're not vegetarian and want to eat the wedges with fish fingers or a burger etc, then now would be the time to put those on the baking sheet so that everything cooks evenly and is ready at the same time)

- Serve the wedges alongside a pot of sour cream and chive dip (if you're not vegan) and beware of the fact that these are addictive

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Potato gratin dauphinoise (GF) (EF) (NF) (V)

When I saw Michel Roux Junior make this on TV, I thought it looked way too easy and too good to be true, but it turns out that it really is quite simple to make. I've looked up a few recipes and made some changes, because most recipes set the gas mark very low and I personally feel the potatoes taste a bit "al dente" when they do that. I prefer my potatoes to taste more fully cooked than that.

I'd never tried Dijon mustard in my life until a few weeks ago. Then I experimented with this recipe by making two dishes; one with mustard and one without and I preferred the taste of the one with mustard so have added it to the recipe. The original TV recipe also mentioned something about putting foil over the dish in the oven for some of the cooking time but I don't bother. Other recipes have also said it's best served as a side dish with meat so if you were to make it as a side dish, this recipe would serve two people.

According to the recipe on TV, they say you shouldn't wash the potatoes. My advice is that if you have muddy potatoes, then wash and pat dry the outside but once the potatoes are sliced, don't wash them. This is very moreish!

Gluten Free
Egg Free
Nut Free

1 large baking potato
1 small pot double cream
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 level teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
1/2 clove garlic

- Preheat an oven to gas mark 5

- Using a food processor fine slicer blade (or a mandolin or your own knife skills), cut the potato into fine slices that are 1-2mm thick

- Halve a clove of garlic then rub the cut side all over the bottom of the oven dish

- Layer the potatoes in an oven dish, then over each layer of potatoes, sprinkle a pinch of salt and black pepper, then place another layer of potatoes, salt and pepper, then make another layer until the dish contains 4-5 layers of potato slices

- Pour enough cream to cover all but the top layer of potatoes, then smear the mustard over the top layer and place the dish in the oven on the middle shelf for 25 mins

- Turn the oven up to gas mark 6 and leave to bake for a further 25 mins after which, turn the oven up to gas mark 7 and bake for a further 15-20mins

- Take the dish out of the oven and leave to stand for at least 4 minutes before serving (or eat it straight away if you don't mind the risk of burning your mouth cos' it's so irresistible)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Griddled lamb and veg (GF) (DF) (EF)

This is one of my favourite gluten free meals. Whilst the griddled lamb is the star of the show, I feel the dish is incomplete without the rice and veg (and it's even better with the aubergine dip as well). This dish is nut free but as the dip contains sesame paste and even though that isn't a nut, I don't know if it would be suitable for nut allergy sufferers.

This recipe is a guideline based on how I like the dish: meat well done served with asparagus, red onion and courgette slices. The beauty of this dish is that you can swap out and switch some of the ingredients to your taste for example if you prefer, you can use griddled red peppers, parboiled new potatoes or halloumi cheese. In fact, this dish can be made using other griddled meat such as chicken or fish, though if you were to make it with either of those, I'd suggest using a different marinade.

I know there are a lot of ingredients and the dish sounds complex but the marinade takes minutes to make, then you leave it aside for hours and then at the end you just griddle the meat and whichever veg you choose (I prefer to brush a little olive oil over the veg but some chefs don't bother). Anything else such as the rice or dip are just icing on the cake... and if you have one of those big griddles that covers two rings of the stove then that would halve the cooking time and make this even easier to prepare. Bear in mind that Allspice is different from "Mixed spice". This recipe roughly should serve 4 people and if you're not on a dairy free diet, then you can use ghee instead of sunflower oil when making the rice. I don't have exact amounts for making the aubergine dip but you can choose to adjust ingredients to taste.

Gluten Free
Dairy Free
Egg Free

For the lamb

1lb or 500g lamb chops
1 tsp allspice powder
2 tsps ground coriander
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 level tsp salt
1/2 tsp caster or granulated sugar
juice of 1 lime

For the vegetables

a small bunch of asparagus
1 large courgette
2 red onions
a little olive oil

For the fried rice

1 builders' mug basmati rice
1/2 a large chopped onion
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp Allspice powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsps sunflower oil

For the Aubergine dip

1 aubergine
2 tbsps tahini
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
a little olive oil
a few coriander leaves

- To marinade the lamb: mix the sugar and spices, squeeze lime juice on to the meat, then toss together with the sugar spice mix. Leave to marinade for 3-36 hours.

- Meanwhile, to make the aubergine dip: Roast the aubergine in the oven at gas mark 9 until soft and deflated, then (when cool enough to handle) peel off the skin and throw the flesh into a food processor along with the remaining ingredients (except coriander). Blitz till smooth, then sprinkle coriander over the top and serve. This dip goes well with barbequed meat or jacket potatoes.

- To make the fried rice: soak the rice in a bowl of water for 20 minutes, then wash the rice, drain out the water and set aside. In a stainless steel pan, fry the onion in the oil until it slightly browns, then add the spices and fry on a medium heat for another minute, then add 2 builders' mugs full of water and put the pan on full heat. When the water boils, add the rice and when the water evaporates to the point that little holes start to appear in the rice, then put a lid on the pan, turn the gas down to minimum heat and allow the rice to steam for 7 minutes, then turn the gas off and leave it to sit for a further 5 minutes (whilst the rice is steaming/sitting, that's a good time to focus attention on griddling the meat and veg).

- To griddle the meat and vegetables: Slice the onions into thick rings and as for the courgette, chop 1cm off both ends, then cut into 2-3mm thick slices lengthways, then brush olive oil over them. I cook the lamb by griddling it on one side for 3 minutes, then flipping it over and cooking the other side for 3 minutes, then flipping it over again and cooking it for a further 2 minutes. Meanwhile I use the rest of the griddle to cook the vegetables until they get light brown stripe marks on both sides.

- To serve: In a white plate, I put; 2 lamb chops, 3-4 asparagus spears, a few slices of red onion, 1/4 of the slices of a large courgette, a bowl (or 2 ramekins) of rice and a tablespoon of aubergine dip. Alternatively, if making this for the family or guests, you can serve all the meat and vegetables grouped together on a large platter, with the rice and dip in separate bowls.