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.

September 8, 2015

In My Kitchen- September 2015

Happy September and Welcome to Spring everybody!

I'm slowly on the mend from my various bits and pieces, just starting to feel well enough to resent the hay fever that strikes about this time of year :)

Luckily I was able to escape a little of the Winter Woes with a trip away to the Tropic Isles with my family. We had a wonderful time celebrating my parents 50th and our 25th Wedding Anniversaries and the pampering we received while cruising was just what the doctor ordered

A new season and a new month is also the time for sweet Celia's series In My Kitchen. A roundup of all that's new and exciting in many kitchens around the world. Check out the rest of the links hereand enjoy a virtual holiday of your own

In My Kitchen...
is a Recipe Book from New Caledonia. Lots of delicious recipes in here to keep the holiday vibe going

Unfortunately it's written in French. My high school language classes sure come in handy sometimes :)

 In My Kitchen...
are these oh-so-pretty shells that have been encased in wood to create little bowls and shell tipped serving ware to go with them. These were also from Noumea

In My Kitchen...
is another polished shell to use as a small plate and some shell butter/pate/cheese knives to match. These were picked up at a little market stall in Fiji for only $5 the set

In My Kitchen...
is some cutlery from Vanuatu. Ever since BigJ bought me home some Korean eating utensils from Korea I've liked the idea of collecting a set from each new country we visit. A practical present indeed

In My Kitchen...
is a lovely shell handled set from Port Villa, Vanuatu

In My Kitchen...
are yet more shell serving ware from Port Villa. I just couldn't resist the gorgeous, pearly sheen

In My Kitchen...
has got to be the weirdest eating utensil that exists- a Brain Fork. Used by certain Fijian cannibal tribes to dig the brains out of their enemies skulls in order to consume them. This is littlej's souvenir, she likes oddities. I think I'll make her a big pasta dish for dinner, the four prongs at the end look like they'd be great at swirling up the spaghetti!

In My Kitchen...
is yet more coconut shell and shell utensils. Another great find in Fiji

In My Kitchen...
are some Vanilla Pods. I missed out on the one tour I really wanted to take, a visit to a Vanilla Farm. I was so disappointed, but cheered up when a local bus driver gave me the lovely, plump pod on top from his own little plantation. He also smeared some seeds all over our faces to perfume us- very nice but the tiny black seeds stuck like crazy and I was still finding them in my hairline for a couple of days. The bottom phial has some locally grown pods from New Caledonia and the farm that we missed out on

In My Kitchen...
is some absolutely delicious coffee from a small island in Vanuatu. We visited the factory in Port Vila and were served by an Aussie behind the counter. He was the son-in-law of the owner, and was in the process of moving there from Canberra. He actually lives not more than 10 minutes from us back here at home- what a co inkydink! If you'd like to try some of this yumminess, you can find it at Oxfam Shops or you can order it online here: http://www.tannacoffee.com/

In My Kitchen...
is a lovely little Asian-style Soup Spoon made from Buffalo Horn. Picked up in our travels somewhere, but I'm afraid I can't remember which island it was from

In My Kitchen...
is the official Cookbook from our cruise line, Princess Cruises. The food on board was A-MA-ZING and great care was taken to ensure all was safe for my food InTolerances. I was totally blown away, and certainly didn't expect the quality (or quantity!) that was available. Everything from lobster, crab, duck, venison, pheasant and even guinea fowl- yummy, yummy, yummy!

So many recipes to choose from!

In My Kitchen...
is a very cheeky Tea Towel bought for me at a market stall. The islanders seem to be quite comfortable with their colourful past and luckily seem to have a good sense of humour to go with it as well :)

So Dear Readers, what's the weirdest kitchen utensil you've come across and have you ever tried cruise line food?


June 18, 2015

Remember Me?

I'm still here Dear Readers!

I'm so sorry for simply vanishing over the past few months. As the photo shows I've recently had yet another surgery- this time on my right wrist - which has meant I've been extremely restricted with use and function of my dominant hand. No writing, no cooking, no typing and no blogging... at all

After a few setbacks I'm now slowly on the mend, but still in a special splint. Regular hand therapy and exercises have worked wonders, and I'm hoping to be back to regular programming very soon indeed

I will be pretty much completely off line again for the rest of the month, but even if I don't comment or show up on your blogs I'm still checking in and reading all your posts. You guys are my foodie family and community, I've missed you all so very much! I plan on posting an In My Kitchen link for July, and I hope by then to be rehabilitated enough to do some recipes as well

In the meantime, Happy Mid Winter and see you all in a few short weeks!
Love Rebecca, The InTolerant Chef,  Xo xo

February 28, 2015

Korean Seafood Pancake- Haemul Pajeon

Anyone who's a regular reader of my little blog will know that the InTolerant household has a deep love of Asian food

Our love affair with Chinese Dim Sum or Yum Cha is well documented, and Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese food is on our dinner menu probably more than any other type of cooking. I have to admit though that we've never delved very deeply into Korean.
Bulgogi and Korean style BBQ are firm favourites, but it wasn't until BigJ travelled across to South Korea on business last year where he tried and fell in love with some key ingredients (see here) that I decided to do a bit of research and try a few Korean recipes at home

In a fortuitous bit of Serendipity, I caught an episode of Korean Food Made Simple on Foxtel this week where cook Judy Joo was making a yummy looking seafood pancake. It seemed like such an easy and delicious recipe that once I make it I just had to share it with you all. It doesn't actually need many Korean ingredients and is easy to change up to gluten free without any loss of taste or texture at all- yummo!

Judy Joo's Seafood  Paejeon Korean Pancake

150grm gf SR Flour
300ml cold Water
2Tab Korean Soybean Paste (*not always gluten free, so substitute with mild gf Korean Chilli Paste, gf Miso or even gf Oyster Sauce)
10 large Prawns
4 Scallops
5 Spring Onions
2 large Red Chillis
2 Garlic Cloves
Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying

Dipping Sauce
2 finely diced Spring Onions
4 tab gf Soy Sauce (Kikkomans is great)
1 1/2 tab gf Rice Vinegar
1 tab Sesame Oil
1 tab crushed toasted Sesame Seeds
1 tab Korean Chilli Flakes/ finely diced chilli

For the sauce: simply combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl and let the flavours mingle while you make the pancakes

For the Pancakes:

Cut the prawns in half through back and remove the black line. Slice the scallops through in thirds making nice thin slices as well

Julienne the spring onions lengthwise- I used this nifty little tool that you just drag through, easy-peasy

Finely chop the chilli, leave the seeds or not depending on what amount of zing you enjoy

Slice, chop or grate the garlic finely as well. For this type of recipe I like to use a microplane as biting into a big chunk of raw garlic in a pancake isn't actually that pleasant

This is the Korean Soybean Paste, Doenjang. There are some on the market that are gluten free, but otherwise substitute as suggested

My lazy style to avoid washing up is to just pop all the ingredients in a bowl as they're ready

Mix it all around well until nicely combined and covered with batter

Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat and add about one third of the batter. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the bottom

Flip over carefully and cook the other side until golden as well, about another 3 minutes or so. Make another 2 with the rest of the batter

Doesn't this look pretty- so brown and crispy!

Cut the pancake into smallish squares or wedges. No knives are on a Korean table so everything should come to the table chopstick sized

Serve while still hot and crispy with the dipping sauce

What a yummy dish indeed, the seafood is protected by the batter so it's just cooked through, still soft and sweet and the shredded spring onions mellow with the cooking. If all Korean food is this tasty, I can definitely see it becoming a staple on our table in the very near future too!

So Dear Reader, what's your favourite Asian cuisine, and have you tried much Korean food before?

February 11, 2015

A Quick Fix Mix for Pancakes

We all live such very busy lives nowadays

I'm really very fussy about what I feed my family, and although I'll buy and grow as much real, fresh food as possible, I do tend to buy ready made snacks for work and school lunches

We all need a little cheat now and then, whether it's buying ready made or packet mix, and the cheatingest packet pre-mix of all are those shake and mix Pancake jugs.  littlej in particular is a fan of these, the lure of a quick treat for a weekend breakfast is hard to resist- especially if she can bribe me into buying the packet for her by offering me breakfast in bed on the occasional Saturday morning

These mixes can be pretty pricey when you think about the cost of the raw ingredients, so I wanted to try and make my own. I was so very happy with the results both with cost and flavour, that I just had to share it with you all and hope you can persuade someone into making you breakfast in bed too :)

Better than the ones in the shop!

Gluten Free Pancake Pre-mix

6 cups gf Plain Flour
2 cups dried Milk Powder (or leave out for dairy free)
1/2 cup White Sugar or Castor Sugar
1/3 cup gf Baking Powder
2 tsp Bicarb Soda
1 tsp Salt

Pop everything into a big bowl together

 Mix very, very thoroughly. You could sift it together if you really want to, but I just run a whisk through it until it's lovely, light and combined

Fill a nice big jar or container with the yummy mix. My jam funnel came in very handy for this- no spills at all  :)

Make sure you write the instructions/ratio down so there's no mistake,

Of course the next logical step is to use some of the mix to make, of course, Pancakes!

2 cups of Pre-mix (I like my pancakes nice and thick and fluffy. If you like yours thinner and more crepe like, use maybe just one cup instead)
1 cup of Water (or milk if you didn't use dried milk powder)
1 Egg

Chuck them all in together

Mix briefly. Now just a tip, all gluten free flour mixes are different combinations of flours and starches so they may vary in density once mixed with the water. Just thin it down until it's the perfect consistency for you

Pour about half a cup at a time into a pre-warmed buttered or oiled pan and wait until small bubbles appear on the surface and the top is slightly set

Flip your little beauty over, let it puff up and finish cooking through. When it's done it should bounce back slightly when you press on it lightly with your finger

Using the ratios given, you will get 6 fabulous, fluffy flapjacks, but of course that depends how big you make them :)

So simple, so quick and easy! I figure with a big jar of this in the pantry the odds of BigJ making me breakfast in bed on Valentines Day just went up a notch or two :)

What a perfect gift, or a great hint that a wonderful, yummy breakfast is only a minute away!

So Dear Readers, do you often have breakfast in bed and do you use a lot of pre-mixes or is it strictly 'from scratch' for you?

February 2, 2015

In My Kitchen- February 2015

It's been a busy, busy week in the InTolerant household

BigJ is back at work for good and littlej has started another year of school. I peeked inside her math textbook, recoiled, shuddered and slammed it shut hard. There were hardly any numbers, it was full of letters and symbols and...stuff that looked scary. Surds and sines and imaginary numbers and things that looked like they belonged on one of The Big Bang Theory's whiteboards rather than in my daughters homework.
I can cut a chicken to serve 8 and divide a cake into 16 slices, but that's about the extent of it. She'd better not need any help from me in this subject!

The start of this week has also bought the start of this month- and we all know that means the latest edition of In My Kitchen, yay :) To check out what's happening in lots of kitchens around the globe, just go to darling Celia's blog here for the full list, and of course feel free to join in the fun as well

In My Kitchen...
is a stunning Mother of Pearl Caviar Spoon that my Mum bought back from the Philippines. Stainless steel and silver spoons aren't used for the precious, expensive little fishy eggs as they might leave a metallic taste or taint... now if I only had some caviar!

In My Kitchen...
are some beautiful blue glassware, courtesy of my friend Pony. She said she was tired of my old, thick, scratched ones and it was well past time for some new. The prettiness is just a sign of her unerring good taste, if it wasn't already obvious in her choice of friend :)

In My Kitchen...
also from Pony, so cute little Mason Jar Mugs. Won't these be nice full of maple syrup alongside some pancakes!

In My Kitchen...
a great cookbook from a chef I really admire. Full of interesting and inventive dishes that I just can't wait to get my teeth into

In My Kitchen...
a fun and fantastic Paella Set from MiddleC. I've been wanting a paella pan for ages, but couldn't justify it- isn't it nice when someone takes that decision out of your hands :)

In My Kitchen...
are some Korean Ingredients that BigJ fell in love with on a recent trip there for business. He absolutely adores the Ssamjang paste and we've been having lettuce wraps filled with grilled steak,rice and veggies smeared with this lovely, pungent, spicy sauce

In My Kitchen...
are some elegant Korean Table Utensils that BigJ bought back for me. The poor guy didn't have much time at all for sightseeing or shopping, but he still managed to get his priorities right and bring home presents for us all :)

In My Kitchen...
is some Earl Grey infused chocolate from T2. The bergamont flavours of Earl Grey match beautifully with the smooth chocolate- yummo

In my Kitchen...
is a Heat Proof Glove. With all the bottling/preserving/jamming I've been doing lately it's come in really handy for grabbing hot jars without scalding my hands as I would usually do

In My Kitchen...
speaking of preserving, here is my new Bottling Funnel. So much easier for filling jars with volcanically hot jam than just tipping it in and hoping it doesn't splash, or ladling it in tentatively in terror

In My Kitchen...
is a very small selection of my Summer Preserves. Plum Jam, Plum Sauce, Tomato Jam and Pickles are just the start of my collection- chutneys and passata are still to come

In My Kitchen...
are some plumdiddlyumptious fresh Figs just bursting with sweetness! Such a wonderful fruit indeed and wonderful sweet or savoury or just straight off the tree

In My Kitchen...
alien looking but also delicious, Rambutans. Similar to lychees they are going into a big bowl of fruit salad to have with my lactose free yoghurt in the morning

In My Kitchen...
another alien looking fruit, Prickly Pears. Who knew that a cactus could taste good?

In My Kitchen...
Carob Pods found at the local markets. I grew up with carob instead of chocolate for treats and just love its earthy sweetness. My family might shudder when I have a steaming cup of hot carob instead of cocoa, but it's all joy to me

So Dear Readers, do you have any weird and wonderful goodies in your kitchen this month, and have you ever eaten Prickly Pear before?