Many (good) gluten-free recipes require expensive almond meal, quality gluten-free flour, or a myriad of ingredients like brown rice flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, potato starch … not ingredients found in your average kitchen pantry!
So when the request came to make a gluten-free treat, I turned to this peanut butter cookie recipe from Joy the Baker’s blog. With my own addition of dark chocolate chunks, this recipe uses only six ingredients: peanut butter, brown sugar, white sugar, an egg, baking soda, and chocolate.
They taste delicious – and you can’t even tell they’re gluten-free!
My sisters bought me Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty for my birthday this year and I finally cooked from it last week. Plenty is a compilation of the most delightful recipes, which happen to not include meat. In the book’s introduction, Ottolenghi makes the point that he is not vegetarian, but the drive behind his vegetarian interest is the increased availability of old and new vegetables, and the ethical growing and sourcing of them.
This has given birth to an array of unique and delightful recipes which appeal to both carnivorous and herbivorous palates, without seeming to lack in “meat”. The deep and interesting flavour and texture combinations are also highly influenced by his European upbringing in the Middle East. A mingling of cultures that has clearly brought forth amazing results.
Well, it was finally time to try cooking from this cook book. And last week provided the perfect occasion. I’d invited a friend over for lunch, but only remembered days prior, that my friend’s father was a Parisian chef. No pressure! I had to find a dish to impress. And it had to be vegetarian. And I knew I would be short on time that day. As it turned out, Ottolenghi’s Plenty had a recipe that ticked all these boxes: Mushroom and Herb Polenta. It took about 40 minutes all up to make – and my friend loved it! Plenty, definitely a home-entertaining winner.
So I went to my first Victorian farm party on the weekend. A barbecue was on the menu, however I’d been trying – very, very hard to remain vegetarian for Lent. But I was determined not to announce this at the party – I didn’t want to appear precious! Nevertheless, I wanted to bring a substitute that was more interesting and substantial than a salad, something that I would enjoy. So the decision was made: camembert and broccolini frittatas. Here’s the recipe …
Camembert and Broccolini Frittatas
Small bunch broccolini, chopped into bite size chunks
2 spring onions, chopped
1T tarragon, chopped
1t rosemary, chopped
handful of grated parmesan
salt and pepper
100g camembert, sliced into 12 pieces
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan bake.
- Grease a 12-hole muffin tin.
- Steam or microwave the broccolini until al dente.
- Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Then whisk in the cream.
- Stir in the spring onions, tarragon, rosemary, and parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin.
- Top each frittata with a slice of camembert.
- Bake about 18 minutes, or until set.
When ready, remove from the oven, cool slightly, and turn out to serve. New tip for tricky removal of frittatas from non-stick bakeware: Use a silicon spatula to scoop your cooked treats out. This will help preserve your bakeware, and your baked treats!
Delicious and beautiful, this is an amazing dish to share. Imagine: Tender baby potatoes tossed with wholegrain mustard and garlic aioli … topped with a crumbling of toasted sesame seeds and pistachios … Trés jolie!
Baby Potato Halves with Garlic Aioli, Toasted Sesame Seeds, and Pistachios
1kg baby potatoes
Half a batch of aioli – I used Jamie Oliver’s aioli recipe, exchanging the Dijon mustard for wholegrain and using 2 whole garlic cloves (rather than just a half)
¼ c sesame seeds
½ c pistachio nuts
- Wash the potatoes and cut them into halves.
- Boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, or until tender (but not mashable!). Leave to cool a little.
- Meanwhile, if you haven’t already done so, make the aioli. Then toast the sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat.
- Next, roughly chop the pistachios and toast them a little, in a pan, over medium heat.
- Combine the potatoes and aioli. Transfer to a platter.
- Just before serving, sprinkle over sesame seeds and pistachios.
As a rule, I try not to shop too far ahead – food-wise – in case plans fall through, or I change my mind. However, sometimes my desire for being prepared and organised overtakes! On this occasion, I’d bought ingredients for a cherry custard tart. Sure enough, plans fell through. A rich custard treat for one was out of the question, but I still had eggs that needed using …
My solution? A cherry clafoutis. A clafoutis is a French pudding, which has become one of my ’pantry’ recipes for quick and delicious; cheap and easy; low-fat and healthy. And the choice of fruit? Well, yes cherries are out of season, but I got some preserved ones for a steal at the supermarket!
Recipe-wise, there are a myriad of interpretations out there. Some that use two eggs, three eggs, six … varying amounts of milk, flour, and butter … and some recipes even call for ground nuts! Yum.
On this occasion I was looking for a recipe that used just a few eggs; ‘healthy’ enough to be enjoyed over several serves. But I also wanted a stodgy pudding to provide some winter comfort. This led me to Neil Perry’s recipe on goodfood, which sits in the middle of the road, clafoutis-wise. It uses three eggs and a cup of flour, perfect for my intent and purpose.
Here’s the result!
Recipe: Cherry clafoutis