Easy & Comforting Cottage Pie

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Easy & Comforting Cottage Pie

I don’t think you can beat a cottage pie.  This is a tried & tested recipe I use on a regular basis with some gluten free substitutions. Served with a green salad, this recipe will serve 6-8 depending on your portion sizes. You’ll need a large pie dish for this one . For an extra special kick I add some chili sauce to the meat and garlic butter to the mash.

What you need:

 For the mash

 8 medium potatoes

25 g Butter (I substituted 10g of the butter with some home made garlic butter)

200-250ml Milk

 For the pie filling

1kg Good Quality Mince (2 454g packs you would get in the supermarket)

4 Carrots, diced

3 Celery sticks, diced

1 large Onion, diced

2-3 Garlic cloves, smashed

1 small glass of red wine

1 tbsp Tomato Puree

700ml Beef stock (I use Knorr GF stock)

3-4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (I use the GF Tiger Tiger one)

2 tbsp of hot sauce (I use Thai Gold Sriracha sauce)

3 tbsp GF plain flour (I use Doves farm)

Mixed herbs, Thyme and Salt & Pepper to taste.

 

This is how we do it

1. Sauté the mince until brown. I use around 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil for this.

2. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and leave to cook and soften for 10 minutes.

3. Next, add the flour and tomato pureé, again leave to cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat.

4. Add the wine and mix. Once the wine has reduced a little, add the stock, Worcestershire sauce, chilli sauce and herbs to taste. Herb wise – I go with around 2 tbsp of mixed terms, 2 of thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Cover the mixture and leave to simmer for around 30 -45 minutes, checking  and stirring frequently. You’ll know it’s ready when the gravy has thickened and covers the meat.

6. While this is happening, make your mash by boiling peeled potatoes and mashing together with milk and butter. Season to taste.

7. Cover the meat with the mash, making some trails with your fork along the top.

8. Cook at 180C for around 30 minutes until the top is browning.

Gluten Free Orange and Almond cake

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Gluten Free Orange and Almond cake

This cake is really moist and is great to bring as a dessert to parties as it feeds so many.

The topping is optional as it tastes lovely on it’s own. You need a couple of hours to make this cake so make sure you allow time.

I saw Tom Kerridge makes this on Sunday Brunch and had to try it!

You will need

3 large oranges

300g Ground almonds

300g caster sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp all spice/cinnamon

7 medium eggs

 

Optional topping:

1 tub marscapone cheese

Juice  and zest of one orange

2 tbsp icing sugar

2 tsp orange flavouring (if you have it)

Handful of pistachios, roughly chopped

 

This is how we do it

  1. Place the whole oranges in simmering water and leave for around 1.5  – 2 hours until they are completely soft
  2. Take them out of the water to cool, then slice in half and remove any pips. Chop to form an orangey pulp in a food processor
  3. Weight the pulp and use only 450g, anything more can be discarded
  4. Mix the orange with the dry ingredients and beat in the eggs to form a smooth batter
  5. Bake in a standard cake tin @ 160C for about an 1 hour 15 mins. You will need to cover it half way through with foil to prevent burning.
  6. You can serve warm with ice-cream or cream or it’s delicious served cold with a cuppa.
  7. If you want to make the topping, beat the ingredients (keeping the nuts and some zest aside) together until light and fluffy.
  8. Garnish  with the pistachios and a little orange zest
  9. Bob’s your Uncle!

Gluten Free Madrid

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Gluten Free Madrid

This post is a long time coming seeing as I was in Madrid last October, whoops! That’s what buying and renovating a house will do to you.

Madrid is a lovely city and you’ll have a great time there. You’ll also get loads of yum GF food you lucky duck.

As I’ve posted before, Spain do gluten free very well and most places are knowledgeable even if there is nothing specifically GF noted on the menu.

Here are some of the places  I ate while in Madrid that I would recommend:

Tapas: We visited La Concha Taberna which has a GF tapas menu. It’s right in the middle of everything in La Latina

Typical Spanish food: Look no further than El Arrozal . It was really quiet when we were there but the food was good and GF is noted on the menu. Situated in Playa Mayor.

Italian: Yes, I know but for coeliacs sometimes you just need to go somewhere you know you can eat!! Danicola is super handy, just off Gran Via.

CAKE: You have to visit Celicioso just off Gran Via. Everything in this bakery is gluten free. It’s most sweets but they do some bread you can buy and take away. Get in for some coffee and cake.

Guilty pleasure: A GF Big Mac in McDonalds, it has to be done.

                  

Gluten Free hot chocolate puddings

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Gluten Free hot chocolate puddings

I got some snazzy new ramekins for Christmas so I put them to good use this weekend.

These hot chocolate puddings are brilliant because you can make them in advance and then cook just before serving. I also find they keep well in the fridge for a day or two if you have some leftover.

 

What you need:

200g  GF Dark Chocolate (I use Aldi’s Moser Roth 70% Cocoa for these)

75g Butter

40g Plain GF Flour (I use Dove’s farm)

75g Demerera brown sugar

4 eggs

 

This is how we do it:

  1. Melt the chocolate and butter together bain-marie style over a simmering pan of water
  2. While these are melting, mix the flour, eggs and sugar together
  3. Once the chocolate/butter combo is fully melted, add to the flour mix and stir thoroughly to combine
  4. Grease six ramekins with butter and half fill with the chocolate mix
  5. These only take 10 minutes to cook so refridgerate until you need them
  6. When you’re ready to serve, heat your over to 200C and cook them on a baking tray for 12 minutes exactly. It’s important they go in to a fully heated oven.
  7. If you like them a little firmer, you can leave in a little longer but 12 minutes will leave a lovely gooey centre
  8. Serve with cream/ice cream and raspberries

Super easy gluten free pancakes

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Super easy gluten free pancakes

My husband makes these for me the odd Sunday for a treat, ledge that he is. It’s a really easy recipe that never fails – using gluten free flour doesn’t make one bit of difference.

What you need:

300ml Milk

100g Plain GF flour (we use Doves Farm)

2 Eggs

This is how we do it:

  1. Mix all three ingredients in a bowl and beat until well combined
  2. Using a ladle, add a ladleful of pancake batter to a hot, oiled frying pan. Make sure the pan isn’t drowning in oil or else this will make your pancake oily.
  3. Give it about 40 secs/1 min and then flip over to brown the other side for the same amount of time
  4. Voilá – you got yourself a delicious pancake
  5. Repeat until your mix is gone – you’ll get around 8 pancakes from this mix

Filling wise, I like to go with a traditional squeeze of lemon to start. I also love spreading some nutella & sliced banana on these babies.

For the ultimate indulgence – bacon, guacamole and some fresh tomato salsa is my absolute fav.

I asked for a beer – don’t offer me cider!

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I asked for a beer – don’t offer me cider!

It’s not often I take to my blog for a rant ,which is remarkably restrained for me let me tell you!  However, I’ve had one too many experiences of this recently and it has ignited a rage.

Being someone who likes to eat out and socialise with friends, I visit pubs and restaurants regularly. It’s fantastic when I see that GF beer is available and I’m always the first to commend this using social media and face to face with the establishment.

On the flip side, when GF beer isn’t an option, one of my biggest pet peeves is being offered cider instead. I realise that usually the person is trying to be helpful but I just don’t get the logic.

Do they think I don’t realise I can drink cider?

Does it ever cross their mind that if I had wanted cider I would have ordered it?

To be honest, I can let this slide in places where it’s clear requests for GF beer are few and far between but when I’m in a ‘craft beer’ pub which claims to have over 50 types of beer, I can’t cope with this type of response and just see red.

Similarly, I often tweet places in advance of visiting them to see if they serve GF beer and if not, if they would consider stocking it.  I get many varied responses to this and I can understand why they might not, maybe there isn’t a market for it in their area or with their clientele. I’ve had places say no but that it’s on their radar and also, just plain old no which is fair enough.

It’s when I get ‘ No, but we have a great range of craft ciders’  that it really bother me. Sure you may as well have just offered me a rum & coke!

Cider does not equal beer – please take note purveyors of alcoholic beverages.

Fin

Easy Gluten Free Banana Bread

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Easy Gluten Free Banana Bread

My sister in law was over at the weekend and mentioned making banana bread which put it in my head….. et voilá!. I usually use over ripened bananas to make a healthy breakfast bread but I fancied something a bit more bold (eg with butter and sugar!).

This Odlums recipe is brilliant and works perfectly with Doves GF Self Raising flour. I’ve made a few little tweaks too.

What you need

250g Self Raising  GF Flour

125g Butter

125g Brown Sugar – I like a light demerera for this

2 Eggs

2 Mashed ripe bananas

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

1 tsp Xanthum Gum

Chopped walnuts & raisins to taste – I used a good handful of both

 

This is how we do it

1. This recipe is a one pot wonder! Put the eggs, sugar, essence, bananas and sugar in a bowl and mix well

2. Add the flour, xanthum gum and nuts/raisins and mix well

3. Your batter is ready – pour it into a standard loaf tin and bake for around 45-50 mins at 170C

 

Tis so easy it would make you cry. Mine lasted well for 4 days wrapped in tinfoil and parchment paper.

Gluten free herb & onion stuffing

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Gluten free herb & onion stuffing

So here is an easy recipe passed on to me by my mum. Growing up I would get her to make loads extra so I could just eat it with spoon. It’s really easy and the secret is butter, butter and more butter. As most Irish mammies are, she is a total feeder.

You can make lots of stuffing variations but here’s a plain old herb stuffing to get you started. This will give you stuffing for 6 people. Be warning I like my stuffing seriously herby.

What you need:

GF breadcrumbs ( I use a full pack of Kelkin Sourdough bread)

150g butter

1 large onion or two medium onions diced

2 Tablespoons Mixed Herbs

1 Tablespoon Thyme

1 Tablespoon Sage

Salt & Pepper to taste

 This is how we do it:

  1. Heat the butter, use a medium heat on the hob
  2. Once it’s melted fully, add onions
  3. Fry gently until they start to colour
  4. Take off the heat and add your breadcrumbs, mix thoroughly
  5. Add your herbs, mix thoroughly
  6. Taste and add Salt & Pepper if you think’s needed. I might tweak the herbs a bit too here – all you need is thyme, ha!
  7. Stuff your bird and bake or just bake in an ovenproof dish for 20 mins until golden brown at around 180C


 

 

Easy and delicious. The picture above is pork steak with stuffing, cabbage, glazed carrots and gratin potatoes which was lovingly cooked by my mum when I visited one weekend recently.

It was lovingly eaten by me and photographed by Mos.

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