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 23, 2013

Please Stay Tuned....

I'm so sorry Dear Readers, but an unexpected health crisis means I'll be offline for a week or two. Everything will be OK, but a  short break it's required until I'm back on my feet.
Please stay tuned and I'll check back in with you all as soon as possible,  love Rebecca, The InTolerant Chef X

September 18, 2013

Cinnamon Scented Goat Curry

BigJ's family come from good farming stock

His Mother's family ran the town dairy, his uncles grew wheat, and raised the odd animal or two for table. His step dad's side were sheep people and even now his step dad has a miniature shearing shed with working shears in his suburban backyard.

One of the benefits of family farms is that everyone chips in when there's work to be done- shearing, grading...and butchering. The family often dispatched a job lot of beasties for the freezer and when we were married we often came into a share of the goodies for ourselves.

Farm meat tastes very different from supermarket meat. The sheep were often a bit older than those typically sold on polystyrene trays, and has a stronger flavour that we really love. If we manage to get up in time on the weekend we can usually grab a roast of Mutton or Hogget at the Farmers Market, or if we don't get our fix there we can get some wonderful young goat meat from the butcher instead as it's so similar and one we eat quite often as well.

Young goat meat is lovely, not stringy or gamey at all.  I did a taste test with some friends where I cooked a leg of lamb and a leg of goat side by side, served them up identical slices and asked them which they liked more. Every single one picked the goat because it was just so tasty, and every single one was surprised! I wasn't.

Although young goat can be cooked exactly the same as lamb nowadays, and doesn't require long slow cooking, I just happened to want to make a warming curry for the wet Spring weather we are currently enjoying. I've taken the recipe from The Curry Cookbook- one of those compilation books that doesn't give individual authors but is a mix of the publishers favourites I guess :)

Cinnamon Scented Goat Curry
with my variations

1 kg Goat or Lamb pieces- on the bone adds more flavour
4 tbs Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp Salt
4 tablespoons of Oil
couple of Cinnamon Sticks
5 Cardamom Pods- bruised
5 Cloves
1 large Onion- finely chopped
2 tsp Ginger puree
2 tsp Garlic puree
2 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp gound Turmeric
1 tsp Chilli Powder
tin of chopped Tomatoes
about 2/3 cup of Water
1 1/2 dried Fenugreek leaves (from Indian supermarkets)
1/2 bunch of finely chopped spinach

Pop the meat into a non-reactive bowl and rub in the vinegar and salt. Let it sit for half an hour or so

I always like to brown the meat off before braising as I think it adds a better depth of flavour, but you can skip this step if you can't be bothered :)

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil on low heat, then add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Let the sizzle away for 30 seconds and let the lovely spicy fragrance fill the air

Bring the heat up to medium, then add in the onions and cook until the onion is soft

Add in the ginger and garlic puree and cook off for another couple of minutes, then put in the cumin, turmeric and chilli powder and stir for another minute or so. This will toast off the spices and help release their full flavour potential

Pop in the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are more of a paste like consistency and the oil separates from the paste a little

From this:

To this:

Now add in the meat, fenugreek leaves and water

Bring up to a simmer

Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 mins or so until the meat is nice and tender

Stir in the chopped spinach and let the residual heat wilt it down into the sauce

I served my curry on some steamed rice with a side of Masala Aloo- yummy spiced potatoes
Wonderful warm spices, earthy and sweet, tender meat all wrapped up in a steamy fragrant sauce...Perfect for rainy nights and thunderstorms

So Dear Readers, do you come from the Town or Country, and have you ever eaten goat?

September 8, 2013

In My Kitchen- September

Start of the month, and time for another round up!
Check out what's going on around the blogisphere with gorgeous Celia and everyone else here:
http://figjamandlimecordial.com/2013/09/01/in-my-kitchen-september-2013/  and see what's cooking for September

I was starting to put together all the interesting bits and pieces for this months post- but then I stopped and thought for a moment

I like to show all the weird and wonderfuls, fun and quirkies... but what about the good old EveryDay workhorses. The great products that are in my shopping trolley week in, week out that really deserve a shout out too.

Luckily for us, InTolerances are becoming easier and easier to deal with when it comes to shopping. No longer stuck in just specialty shops or health food sites, great food is found all over the supermarket shelves- and not just in the allergy section.

These are some of my very, very favourite things. Do you know why? They all taste great, and work really well as 'normal' food. That might sound a bit weird to you, but if you have ever tasted much gluten free or lactose free foods, you would certainly know what I mean

All of these products are available at supermarkets,

Changs Sauces- So good, so many choices! In the Asian food aisle, or with the other sauces

San Remo Pasta- the best packaged pasta I've found so far. It cooks up really well and still has some toothiness to it, not squishy like so many others. It doesn't last though, cook it and eat it for the same meal, or does start to break down. Found in either the Allergy/Health section or with the regular pasta

Changs again! These are great pre-cooked noodles that are shelf stable and ready-to-go. Thick round rice noodles that are great for soups, stir fries, or even as a spaggheti substitute if you're stuck. I keep these in my work locker as a great base for a quick lunch. Found with the long life noodles, like dried rice stick etc. in the Asian aisle or with the Italian Pasta

What a great product from Liddels!!! Cheese has always been a big problem, and although I can personally eat goat or ewe cheese, it's a bit harder to source and usually quite expensive. The cheese comes in a solid block, or as packets already grated. It sits with the rest of the cheese in the fridge section, but for some reason I've only found it a t Woolworths.
The cream is UHT shelf stable, so it's great to stick in the pantry. Not with the other UHT milks, even the lactose free Liddells ones, but in the pre-packaged Pudding section, and I've found this at both Coles and Woolies

Full fat, low fat and skim, all found in the fresh milk section. They also produce a fresh cream that's yummy too.

Good old Gravox. I like to use this in pie fillings and to help thicken real home made gravy made from the roasting pan juices. Found with the rest of the condiments and gravies

A really  nice light soy. I use this as a base for soooo many dishes, I just wish it came in a bulk sized bottle! Found with the rest of the sauces in the Asian aisle

You know the frozen berries people? Well they also make these awesome crepes. Light and airy, great for both savoury and sweet fillings too. Found in the dessert section of the freezers

I have a crisis of consience with this product...
It comes in frozen from Ireland and is sold in the fresh bread section of Coles. The problem is that it's really, really tasty. I can actually eat it un-toasted if I need to, and that is a big deal in the gluten free world. Until I find a better local product, I'm going to sacrifice my principles and keep eating it

I bought this for my Mother in Law. She was scared to try and make gluten free custard as she thought it would curdle and taste funny.... Once she saw a familar brand name she got her confidence back- she wouldn't even consider making real egg custard! Not lactose free, but good in a pinch if I use lactose free milk to make it with. Found in the Pudding section

This is my favourite brand of flour. It works really well, and I rarely have to adjust anything. I just straight substitute it for most non gf recipes and am very happy with the results. I know I can find a better/perfect/blend if I want to make my own with 50 differnt varieties of starches and flours- but I just can't be bothered. I want my blog to be easily accesable and user friendly to anyone who happens along and this flour helps with that. Found in the health/allergy aisle, but sometimes with the regular flours too

So Dear Readers, What did you think of this glimpse into my Gluten Free/ Lactose Free pantry? And have you seen any of these products at your local supermarket?

*Disclosure- The InTolerant Chef wasn't paid or compensated to endorse any of these products- she just really likes them :)

September 2, 2013

Grilled Pear, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Truffled Honey Dressing

It's finally getting warm enough for salads again!

But a warm salad is still the best of both worlds until the Spring weather settles in for good, and with stone fruit still a while away yet Pears seemed the perfect choice. Deeper flavours match beautifully with pears, and as I was lucky enough to snatch up some glorious goat cheese at the markets I was good to go and ready to lighten up my lunch
Don't worry though, this salad isn't really as cheffy as it sounds and won't take long at all to throw together. Of course you can use any blue cheese you like, and the honey can be any one you have on hand- don't let any of the specialised sounding ingredients put you off this yummy salad, it will still taste pretty special indeed

For two serves:

Nice Firm Pear
about 50gm Blue Goat Cheese- I used Udder Delights
Handful of Walnuts
Big handful of mixed Salad Leaves
1 slice gluten free Bread
1 clove Garlic
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Truffle Honey- or another strong flavoured honey will do

Grill or toast your slice of bread, then rub it lightly with the clove of garlic. This will give a gorgeous, gentle, garlicky touch to the salad without overpowering it

Tear it up into nice chunky croutons- I like the rough, rustic look

Cut the pear into fairly thin slices- this is just one pear here. Then quickly drizzle it with olive oil before it goes brown and oxidises

Grill the pear slices on either side until they are just softened and have lovely scorched stripes across them. Don't over cook them though, or they will just go mushy and disintegrate when you fiddle around with them later

Toast off your walnuts to intensify the flavours and make them nice and crunchy

Crumble up the cheese into nice big chunks. The easiest way to do this is to twist a knife in the cheese and it should just flake apart

Make a dressing with a ratio of about 3:1 oil to lemon juice, a vinegar base would be too strong on this salad as it's already so full of flavour. Add a good teaspoon or so to taste of the honey, a bit of salt if needed- but don't forget the cheese is quite salty- and mix well

Full of truffley yummies!

Pop all of the ingredients except the pear into a bowl

Drizzle on the dressing and toss gently until nicely coated

Place a nice big pile of the salad on your serving plate- mound it up nice and high

Drape artistically with pear slices and make it all look pretty

So yummy- SWEETness from the pears and honey, SOURness in the lemon dressing, a slight BITTERness from the greens and walnuts, SALT and UMAMI from the creamy blue cheese. CRUNCH from the nuts and croutons and CREAMiness from the cheese- this is one of those salads that has it all!

I guess if you really wanted to add something to make this more of a main course salad for someone like BigJ who needs meat at every meal, I would serve it with a few slices of rare roast beef draped through as well- but that's strictly for carnivores only

So Dear Readers, what do you like in a salad, and would you need meat in this one to make you happy?