Soft fish tacos

I have a new favourite summer dinner which is quick and easy and extraordinarily tasty! And it’s all due to two new products I’ve found. The first, I sampled at the Gluten-free Food and Allergy Show this year and it was the Sealord Gluten-free Crumbed Fish Fillets. At the time, couldn’t think of any way I would use them. Then I came across Gerry’s Go No Gluten Wraps at a reasonable price, and EUREKA! A yummy new dinner, and what’s more, it’s one the whole family can enjoy, although for them, they just eat the regular fish and wraps.

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Ingredients

  • Sealord Gluten-free Crumbed Fish Fillets (1 for each wrap)
  • Gerry’s Go No Gluten Wraps
  • Lettuce
  • Guacamole or avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Salsa cruda (recipe below)
  • Grated cheese (optional)
  • Chopped tomato (optional)

Method

  • Prepare the salsa and guacamole a little before you are ready to serve the dinner.
  • Cook the fish according to the directions – about 25 minutes in a hot oven.
  • Heat the wraps in a cast iron frypan just before serving.
  • Either assemble the tacos before serving, or let everyone assemble their own with the ingredients that they want.

And this is the result:

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The fish is tasty and the crumb is light. The wraps are very nice, and I found that they stayed nice and fresh in the fridge for a week or so after opening the packet. They are best warmed through, either in a cast iron frypan or microwave or oven. Best of all, they’re readily available at my local Pak n Save!

Salsa Cruda

Ingredients

  • Half a red capsicum, finely chopped
  • Half a green or yellow capsicum, finely chopped
  • Half a red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • Half a tomato, finely chopped
  • Half a cup of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Combine all in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until it is time to serve. Excellent in tacos, fajitas, with salad and even with eggs as a huevos rancheros.

Falafels – gluten-free

We were recently invited to a Middle Eastern themed dinner party and I decided to take falafels. I wandered into the supermarket looking for the wet mix you can often find in the fridges which makes up to a nice mix. However, there were none that were gluten-free! Insanely, I decided I could just make it up! Luckily, they turned out beautifully, and I have made them since for the family. Here’s my no-fail recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can lentils, yellow peas or mixed beans
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • A little oil
  • Liquid from chick pea can
  • More oil for frying

1/2 cup gluten-free flour

Method

Drain the chickpeas and lentils, reserving the liquids from the chickpeas.
Combine chickpeas, lentils, coriander, parsley and spices in a blender and process until mushed using a little of the reserved liquid.
In a bowl, combine the chickpea mix with the remainder of the ingredients.  Mix up until you have a stiff mix which can be shaped into balls.
Flatten dessertspoon sized balls into small patties, and shallow fry until golden brown on each side.

Serve with yoghurt and sweet chilli sauce for a starter or snack. For a full meal, serve either with rice and salad, sweet chilli sauce and yoghurt, or with salad and wraps.

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The chickpea batter. The more coriander and parsley you put in, the greener it will be!

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I meant to take photos of the platter of falafels. Unfortunately we ate them all too quickly. This is the last remaining one which I managed to photograph just before it, too was eaten!

If it LOOKS like a pie and TASTES like a pie, is it a pie?

What do you think? Check out our dinner from the other night!!

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That’s gluten-free pastry people, and it tasted pretty darn fine! I made the pastry using this recipe that I blogged about a while ago. I didn’t put any cumin into the pastry, just kept it plain as it was a mince pie. Yum. I’m having it re-heated for lunch today.

I admit, my decorative ability is sadly lacking, but you get the idea!

Stuffed chicken breasts

I was the recipient of some product from Lavender’s Green recently, and it spurred me on to try something a little different for dinner the other night. This made a very moist, flavoursome stuffed chicken breast and I’ll definitely do it again. This was a very quick and easy dish. Foolishly, I did not take a photo!

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 8 sundried tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp Cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp Lavender’s Green roasted lemon chutney
  • 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp Lavender’s Green lemon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil

Method

  • Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Don’t cut all the way through, just make a slice part-way.
  • Spread one quarter of the cream cheese the length of the slice in each breast.
  • Spread one quarter of the Roasted Lemon Chutney the length of the slice in each breast
  • Press two sundried tomatoes into each chicken breast (use extra if needed).
  • Place the chicken breasts in a greased oven dish. Pour a little white wine over the top of the breasts.
  • In a bowl, mix together the remainder of the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour the breadcrumb mix over the chicken breasts so that each is coated and no chicken is showing through. This helps to keep the chicken moist.
  • Spray the breadcrumbs lightly with an oven spray.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees C.

I served these with home made big cut oven fries and steamed vegetables.

Gluten-free battered fish!

Fish was on special at the fish shop just before Christmas, and I decided that I was in desperate need of proper battered fish and chips. I consulted Stephanie Alexander and decided to adapt a beer batter recipe. So here you go:

Beer battered Fish

  • 125g gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup gluten-free beer
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp grated lemon rind or ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped spring onions or chives

Whisk ingredients until smooth. Coat fish and place into a frypan with a shallow layer of oil. This crisps up really nicely – results are as below:

For gluten-free beer in NZ, try Scotts. In the US, try Bard’s. I’m sure there are other gluten-free beers around the world – do let me know if you know of any!

The Soup Series – Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)

This recipe was taught to me 20 years ago, is a huge favourite with my kids and with its lovely hearty flavours makes a great addition to the winter range of soups. The best thing about is because it has rice in it, you don’t need to serve a carb. It is absolutely no good for vegetarians!

For the broth:

  • 6 litres chicken stock
  • 100mls tomato puree
  • 1/2 capsicum, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • a little chilli
  • 2 cloves or tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

In a large saucepan (heavy based if you have it) fry the onion and garlic in a little oil. Once softened, add the capsicum and fry for a little longer. Add the tomato paste, chilli and coriander and stir for a minute to two to allow the flavours to mingle. Add the chicken stock and bring to a rolling boil

For the meatballs:

  • 500g minced beef
  • 500g minced pork
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 capsicum, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves or tsp crushed garlic
  • 100ml tomato puree or salsa
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 cup uncooked rice

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Make into small balls and pile on to a plate. Moisten hands with cold water frequently to stop the mixture sticking and to help the meatballs bind.

Once the meatballs are complete, begin putting them into the saucepan. Keep the broth at a rolling boil as much as possible by adding a few meatballs at a time and then pausing. It is useful to ensure that all the meatballs are under the broth.

Allow to cook covered for about 20 minutes. You can tell they are cooked when the rice sticks out of the side of the balls.

Chop some fresh coriander and sprinkle through just before serving.

This also makes a very nice meatloaf. If you’re doing this, omit the rice and you may want to add some coriander and chilli to the meatball mix.

Moroccan-style beef

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe, so thought I’d use this winter warmer. Makes a lovely flavoured casserole, reheats brilliantly and we often freeze half for another night. I think you could make it in a crockpot, although I haven’t done this. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it is very quick to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant or if they are out of season, 3 courgettes or a swede or combo of all of these
  • 1 tbsp each of coriander and cumin seeds (you can use ground, but the whole spices make for a more intense flavour)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or chillies
  • 1 kg beef, diced
  • Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic or 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp crushed or grated ginger
  • 2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red or white wine (optional)
  • 2 x 400g tins of chick peas
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Method

  • Cut the eggplant, courgettes or swede into large chunks and fry in the oil, with the garlic, until golden brown.
  • Place the whole spices into a grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until a powder. Add the other spices and mix well.
  • Put the diced beef into a plastic bag which has no holes in it! Add the ground spices and ensure the beef is thoroughly coated.
  • Place beef in the pan with the ginger and cook until browned.
  • Stir in vinegar and wine, then add in tomatoes. Stir until combined, then add the chickpeas.
  • Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to two hours.  Stir through fresh coriander and serve on brown rice or couscous (only if you’re ok with gluten!).

This recipe also works very well with chicken, or you can use the spice flavourings as a rub for a piece of meat. I also often add green beans at the end of the cooking time to add a few more vegetables!