I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.


Gluten and lactose are not my friends.


Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.


I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

April 2, 2014

In My Kitchen- April




Welcome to another Kitchen Snap Shot as part of lovely Celia's monthly In My Kitchen roundups!

Check out the full list of participating Blogs here over at Celia's- the wonderful Fig Jam and Lime Cordial- that is chock-a-block with her recipes, garden, chickens, bread making and cheery outlook on life


This April...

In My Kitchen...
Is a This-is-all Celia's-fault Picky Platter
Celia recently posted about her beautiful antipasto-platter, and it got me all inspired to create my own. Unfortunately I got rather carried away.... On my platter is Lemon Myrtle Roast Pork, Truffle Salami, Smoked Wagu Beef Slices, Dolmades, Feta stuffed Olives, Grilled Eggplant, Pickled Artichokes, Bread and Butter Cucumbers, Dolmades, Soft Goat Cheese, Hard lactose free Cheese, Goat Brie, Horseradish and Beetroot Paste, Hommus, Chicken Cognac Pate, Truffled Anchovies, Flaxseed Crackers and gluten free Grisini- PHEW! I'm not saying how much of this was left for anyone else to eat by lunch time, but I will say that it was delicious :)




In My Kitchen...
Are a heap of Ready-to-go Freezer Meals
It's going to be a bit of a busy, mixed up month, so I've been preparing and filling the freezer with meals that just need to be popped into the oven. I label them clearly so there's no confusion, and also jot down any extra instructions required so there's no excuse for anyone to muck it up




In My Kitchen...
Is the Master List of Frozen Meals, handily stuck on the door of the fridge. I have added a few more meals to the list since that photo was taken so we have plenty of variety.If I hadn't run out of room in the freezer I'd still be cooking though, as cooking calms me, centres me, and makes me happy. I'm definitely a Feeder and love looking after my family like this




In My Kitchen...
Are the last of the garden-glut of tomatoes
I'm slow roasting them on low heat to really condense the flavours, then they'll be cooked down with red wine, herbs, and lots of garlic into a gorgeous rich sauce that can be used all year long to add a little sunshine to our meals




In My Kitchen...
Is, at last, a Canele Pan! I have wanted to make these for so long, but stubbornly refused until I had the right equipment. It really does make a difference! I couldn't afford a traditional bronze or copper pan, and I'm just not the biggest fan of silicon molds, so when I came across this heavy steel pan I no longer had an excuse.




In My Kitchen...
Are some yummy infused salts that were a gift from my lovely friend Flora, They add so much flavour sprinkled over meals, or rubbed into chicken or meat just before cooking

 



In My Kitchen...
Are ripe limes from my garden. It's the first real harvest I've had and I'm very excited!
Kaffir limes in the background- not a lot of juice, but the wonderfully aromatic rind is lovely grated into curries. Australian Finger Limes at the front- see how the juice is encapsulated in tiny little caviar type spheres? These burst with a delightful POP in your mouth, slightly sour and bitter- everything a lime should be. I love the little cuties to garnish sushi together with fish roe; they're absolutely, fantastically perfect for sprinkling on fresh oysters; great mixed through a Thai style salad for a bit of a surprise ingredient; and, of course in a nice cold GnT!




In My Kitchen...
Is this lovely condiment I found recently, Rose Harissa
You all know that I'm a sucker for floral flavours, and this one promises to be something a bit different indeed. Wow, it's hot! but not so much that you sear off your taste buds. The rose is a subtle sneakiness at the back of the burn that is sweet and very tasty. I will use this rubbed over BBQ chicken, and mixed with LF yoghurt and drizzled over lamb or potato wedges- yummo!



So Dear Readers, how do you cope with Busy Times, and what do you do that makes you happy?




 

March 26, 2014

Bird Seed Bread




My Mum is into all sorts of Natural Health and Alternative Remedies

She regularly sends me emails and information about this or that herb or vitamin and recipes that she thinks will interest me and suit my InTolerances. I have to admit though, that this recipe labelled Life Changing Loaf, languished in my in-box for quite a while, and though it sounded OK, it had no photos or really enough information to tempt me to go to the effort to buy all the bitsies and bake it. It wasn't until I saw the great photos and step-by-steps on Lovely Loraine's blog Here that I woke up and realised what a gem this recipe was. I'm really not sure where this recipe originated from, but after graciously receiving both Mum and Lorraine's blessing, I just had to post it as well and share the love with you too Dear Readers
**I've found out that the owner of this yummy recipe is Sarah from My New Roots. The original post can be found here: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2013/02/the-life-changing-loaf-of-bread/  check out her blog for lots of yumminess!**




Bird Seed Bread

1 cup Sunflower seeds
½ cup Flax seeds
½ cup Hazelnuts or Almonds
1/2 cup Sesame seeds
1 ½ cups gluten free Rolled Oats
2 tbsp Chia seeds
4 tbsp Psyllium seed husks
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Honey/Maple syrup/Agave
3 tbsp Coconut/Nut/Olive oil or Ghee
1 ½ cups Water


I was glad I was able to get all the ingredients for my seedy bread at the supermarket instead of having to hunt everywhere. I always find that easily accessible ingredients mean that I will definitely MAKE the recipe instead of ADMIRING it, and I figure that most people probably feel the same :)




Pop all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well




Mix together the  oil, honey and water stir to dissolve the honey
I used a yummy Macadamia oil to add to the nuttiness of the loaf, and that black looking stuff is a really dark candied honey that has an amazing, deep, strong flavour- delicious!




Mix the wets into the dry and stir through really well making sure there aren't any little pockets of dry mixture on the bottom




See how quickly the chia, flax and psyllium swell up and go gummy? This is what binds the loaf together and stops it from falling apart




Press the mixture into a loaf pan and leave out at room temperature for at least two hours to continue setting




Pop the loaf into a 175*C oven and bake for about 50-60 minutes
I used a silicon pan to bake mine in though and I always find that things tend to sweat in them and can become a little soggy. To make sure I got a nice toasty loaf, I turned my loaf out of the silicon and onto a baking tray after 30 minutes, then just cooked it for the rest of the time like that




Nice and golden brown! The loaf should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom, if it's not then leave it to cook a little longer




Now comes the hardest part of the whole experience- waiting until the bread cools down totally before slicing! It will crumble into pieces if you are impatient and don't wait

 

I really, really enjoyed this bread hot and toasted, with a dab of naughty butter and a bit more of my deep, dark honey. I don't know if I would really call it Life-Changing, but it is easy, full of fibre and other healthy goodies, and most of all it is definitely delicious indeed and I will certainly be making this one regularly- yummo!


So my Dear Readers, are you into Natural Remedies and have you ever realised that you have passed up a great recipe because you didn't give it enough attention?





 

March 17, 2014

St Patrick's Day Pickled Pork


 


There's a fair bit of Irish blood in this Chef from my Dad's side of the family


Though diluted through generations in the Wide Brown Land away from the Emerald Isle, St Patrick's Day is always heralded with a phone call from my Dad wishing me well in a terribly fake Irish accent. I guess with his middle name being Patrick, he just can't help himself :) As a mother of two girls, we had to name the male cat Patrick in Dad's honour, but Pat the Cat was happy to let St Patrick's Day pass by with just an extra cuddle or two


Today's celebratory menu is Pickled Pork, a tasty alternative to Corned Beef and served up with these absolutely gorgeous mini root vegetables I found at the markets this week. Tiny onions, turnips, carrots, beets and dwarf cabbage- how could I resist?



Perfect Pickled Pork

1 piece of Pickled (Corned) Pork
1 large or 2 small bottles of Apple Cider
1 Carrot- roughly chopped
1 Onion- roughly chopped
Parsley Stems
3 Bay Leaves
1/4 cup Golden Syrup
1 Star Anise
6 whole Peppercorns
4 whole Cloves
4 Allspice


Isn't this a lovely piece of meat? Glossy and glistening, just waiting to jump into the pot! Nowadays corned meat isn't as tough and salty as it used to be, and there's no need to pre-soak or change the cooking water halfway through




Now for the extra flavourings- pop in the cider, spices and golden syrup and stir to mix through. Add enough water to just cover the meat




Pop in the carrot, onion and parsley




Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes per 500grm, or until lovely and tender. Pull out the meat and allow it to rest for little while to firm up while the veggies cook




Bring the pot liquid to the boil and pop in the whole onions, turnips, carrots and the quartered cabbage. If you don't want to taint everything pink, I advise you to cook the beets in a little pot of their own :)




Serve the pork sliced into nice thick slices along with the cute little baby vegetables. You can make a White or Mustard Sauce (using the cooking liquid) to accompany it all, or just drizzle with some of the cooking liquid to keep it nice and moist- yummo!


So Dear Readers, have you any Irish branches on your Family Tree and do you ever just buy groceries just because they're cute?



 

March 6, 2014

In My Kitchen- March 2014




March already Dear Readers!

Autumn will be a lovely change and the cooler season fruit and veggies are always something I look forward to as well as a good excuse to indulge in some comfort food

It's also the time to hook up with Celia and her monthly In My Kitchen posts where we can check in about fifty other wonderful bloggers and see what they've been up to lately as well!



In My Kitchen...
Is a jar of Earl Grey infused Strawberry Jam from T2. Now, we all know about my obsession with Dilmah Earl Grey tea, so I'm reserving judgment on this jar of yum until I can enjoy it properly on a warm GF scone with lots of LF cream, as nature intended. I'm sure looking forward to it indeed!




In My Kitchen...
Is a cute silicon mold to use when frying eggs. Littlej hasn't had much success though, with her last attempt revealing a double yolker that turned the skull into an odd sort of triple cyclops that I guess was still sort of scary




In My Kitchen...
Is the blackboard where the girls have to post the recipes they plan on cooking for the week so I can make sure all the ingredients are on hand and also to ensure we don't have multiple meals of Spaghetti Bolognaise or other family favourites. First to get their choice on the board gets to make it.
MiddleC's Pad Thai was OK, but we can certainly recommend the Lime Roasted Chicken as very yummy. Littlej's soup was lovely, light and subtle, and full of her extra requested item of BBQ pork- yummo!
The girls are having to really step up and help out for the next few months as there's a lot of Doctory stuff happening again- lucky they have such a great mentor I guess! :P




In My Kitchen...
Is a Mad Millie Cider Kit that I bought BigJ for Christmas. He hates beer but really loves pear cider. The DIY kit comes with everything you need to make yummy apple cider- which he also likes, but you can buy extra packs to make pear cider or even a strawberry one if you want a change. I'll let you know what we think of the finished product when he actually gets around to brewing some




In My Kitchen...
Is a new cookbook from my mate Heston. Now let's face it, I'm not going to go the extremes he does in pursuit of the perfect meal, but his cookbooks are full of lots of great tips and ideas and they certainly do get the creative juices flowing




In My Kitchen...
Is a gorgeous vintage Egg Beater in my favourite blue colour. My bestie Pony took me to a wonderful antique shop full of goodies and I was very proud of us that we were restrained enough to purchase just one item each. That means I can really splurge next time I go!





In My Kitchen...
Are some cute little Easter bits and pieces, again in my blue. I don't know what I'll do with them yet, but they were just too cute to resist




In My Kitchen...
Is yet another cookbook! This one is full of very nice recipes that I really will use instead of just thinking about. I was a bit disappointed though when the cover promises 'gluten and dairy free alternatives', but inside the recipes just state 'use gluten free flour instead of regular flour' and 'use gluten free wonton wrappers'. Straight substitution doesn't always work, and I've certainly never seen gluten free wonton wrappers available or I would own stocks in that company! There is also no list of stockers or suppliers where these mythical items might be available- even overseas




In My Kitchen...
Is a great find- Low Lactose Yoghurt Powder to use in a make-at-home yoghurt thermos. I actually have a wonderful EasiYo maker but these will work in it as well. When made up, the yoghurt contains less than 0.3% of lactose which shouldn't give me any trouble. Normal yoghurts give me lots of symptoms so I'm very excited about this product too

 


And finally, the reason I'm spending so much time Out Of My Kitchen this month...
Another surgery- this time for the tendons on my left wrist. Sadly, my left arm is my Good Arm as the right side has significant disability issues still and doesn't reach far. The recovery for this surgery is expected to be up to 6 months, but hopefully by then everything will be hunky-dory. My apologies for not being as active on blogs lately, and if I've missed some of your posts it's not because I don't care but because I've been back to typing with one finger again!

Don't you love the big arrow, just in cake the surgeons had a poor sense of direction I guess :) I saved you from the photo of the Frankenstitches- it really was a bit too gruesome for a food blog!



So Dear Readers, what's going on In Your Kitchen this month?





 

February 27, 2014

Awesome Onion Rings




An onion is indeed a wonderful thing!


One of the original work horses of the kitchen, they are invaluable in most dishes and nearly every cuisine world wide. They have been around for thousands of years and according to Wikipedia, were even worshiped by the ancient Egyptians as they thought that the spherical shape and the concentric rings symbolized eternal life. Roman gladiators were rubbed down with onions to firm up their muscles and in the Middle Ages people would use onions to pay rent, relieve headaches, make poultices, encourage male members and facilitate bowel movements- who knew how very versatile these little babies were?

As exciting as all that is, there's just one problem....    I hate raw onions

By raw I mean Not Cooked- and that extends to clumsy chunks of onion that have been mixed into rissoles or meatloaf and not allowed the time to cook through, or pretty red rings in salads for a bit of acidity, and cubes stuck sadly on kebabs charred on the outside and crunchy on the inside. It's not the flavour I mind though, it's the acidity. Raw onions give me terrible indigestion and repeat on me miserably for hours, so I tend to use nice green Spring Onions instead for freshness and traditional brown ones for slow cooking
Luckily for me, this is the time of year when Salad Onions are readily available. These are just Spring Onions that have been allowed to develop a little more into an immature bulb, and are really very sweet with very little acidity at all. I still can't eat them raw, but I can fudge it a little and have them just lightly cooked instead of terribly soft and limp




1- 1/2 cups gluten free flour
1 cup or so extra gf flour
1 1/2 or so cups cold gluten free beer or cold plain soda water
gluten free Bread Crumbs
Oil for deep frying



Cut the onions into nice, big, thick rings- about a centimetre wide




If they're too thin they'll cook before the batter does and be stringy and tough. We're aiming for soft and sweet on the inside, with crisp and crunchy on the outside




Pop the extra flour and the breadcrumbs in separate bowls for dipping




Simple Batter ingredients- beer and flour

Spices, chilli, garlic powder and all can be added to the batter if you like, but I really love the simplicity from the flavour of the beer. Feel free to try out different combinations though and let me know what works for you :)




Whisk lightly until combined nicely- a few little lumps here and there aren't an issue




I used about a cup of gluten free flour to a stubby of beer, but that's only approximate. Gluten free flour tends to thicken up more than regular flour as a rule, so adjust as necessary. You're looking for the texture of pouring cream- not so thin that it just runs straight off the onion, but definitely not all that thick either. If you don't like or have handy, any gf beer, then you can use plain soda water instead. Having the bubbles and keeping it cold will ensure the batter is nice and light




All lined up in order, ready to go: Flour, Batter and Breadcrumbs




Dust each onion ring lightly in gf flour, and shake off the excess




Dip the ring in the batter, letting any extra run off
I find using long handled kitchen tweezers work really well for this. Tongs touch too much surface area and fingers are waaay too messy. If you don't have tweezers then chopsticks aren't a bad substitute




Quickly cover the battered ring in the gf breadcrumbs- work fast or the batter might drip off. Of course the breadcrumb step isn't strictlly neccesary, i just like the extra crunchiness they give




Pop the ring into the hot oil and cook until golden brown and nice and crunchy- yummo! Flip the ring with tongs if necessary to let the oil cover the top.
I only did one at a time as I didn't have much oil on hand, using a bigger pan would certainly be quicker :)




Perfect and pretty indeed!




By far the best way to stop fried items going soggy is to allow free air circulation instead of the food steaming. A baking rack is great for this and it allows any extra oil to drain away as well- much better than the usual solution of kitchen paper




I took these onion rings a little under golden brown as I wanted to serve them later at dinner time. The best way to heat them up is again on the rack in the oven to allow the hot air to circulate freely and stop any juices stewing on a flat tray. They will crisp up beautifully and brown up at the same time without overcooking if you do it this way




Now don't these look delicious? A wonderful drinking snack, great with a burger or as we had them, sitting next to a great big steak with smokey BBQ dipping sauce- Yummo!

 

So my Dear Readers, are you a fan of onions and how would you partake of these Awesome Onion Rings?