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!

Hummus

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I’ve always loved hummus, and thought it was much easier just to buy it, and probably much yummier. The home made hummus I had eaten was lumpy and not as nice as the store bought stuff. But then I went to the GFME course in February and tried some of Judy’s home made hummus. Coincidentally, we had pumpkin which needed to be used. So here’s my pumpkin hummus recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • Half a pumpkin
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method:

  • Chop the pumpkin into pieces and scoop out the seeds. Roast in the oven for about half an hour until the pumpkin is soft.
  • Roast the whole garlic for about 15 minutes with the pumpkin, and allow both to cool.
  • Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid.
  • Puree/ blend all ingredients together, using as much of the reserved chick pea liquid as needed to make a smooth paste.

And that, my friends, is that! Here are some other options:

Replace the pumpkin with carrot (4 or 5 large ones) and add in some fresh coriander and mint. Replace the pumpkin with roasted capsicums.

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Apologies to those of you who received a slightly weird version of this post – I’m still figuring out how the iPad app works for WordPress!

Easy gluten-free scones

Quite some time ago now, I posted a recipe for very quick and easy gluten-free scones. I made these for lunch today, and they were so delicious, I thought it was time to repost the recipe. I’ve made a couple of little changes to the savoury ones, and here’s a picture of the delicious scrumminess (is that even a word?) that I was able to eat!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 25g butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups milk

Method

  • Combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter together with the milk.
  • Pour into the flour and mix to a soft dough.
  • Knead this gently (don’t over work or it doesn’t rise as well) and press the dough out to about 2cm thick.
  • Cut out in squares, rounds or stars if you feel so inclined and put on a cold greased over tray. Brush with a little milk.
  • Bake in a preheated  oven at 220C for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Cool on the tray, and cover with a clean tea towel which keeps scones fresh and moist.
  • Even though these are gluten-free, they keep fairly well. If it’s the next day you will need to microwave or toast them to restore freshness.

Variations

I often make these into a savoury scone by adding cheese and fresh herbs (rosemary is especially nice), or a little spring onion and capsicum. Sprinkle the tops with cheese as well. The ones in the picture are cheese, cumin seeds and rosemary.

If I’m going the Devonshire tea route with jam and cream, I add 3 tbsp of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla to the mix.

Lunchtime goodness

Lunchtime goodness

Salmon, spinach and ricotta tart – gluten-free

For Christmas, an American friend sent me a copy of a cookbook called “Quick-fix gluten free” by Robert M Landolphi. Robert is a trained chef whose wife is coeliac and this is his second gluten-free cookbook. You can find his website here. He has lots of basic recipes but also some excellent conversions of existing ones.  I modified  his basic sweet pastry recipe and added in a filling and it was delicious! Here’s the recipe as follows:

Pastry Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups white rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 4 tbsp butter, cold and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup milk

Method

  • Combine all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add shortening and butter and using your fingertips, rub the butter and shortening into the flour until it forms the texture of coarse meal or breadcrumbs.
  • Use a fork to gradually stir in the milk to moisten the dry ingredients.
  • Using your hands, form the dough into  a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week. I only refrigerated it for about 10 minutes, and it was fine.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Grease a 9″ pie plate.
  • Put the pastry between two sheets of wax paper to roll out. To get pastry into the dish, remove the top layer of paper and upend the dish on the pastry. Slip your hand under the bottom wax paper and flip the pastry into the dish. Use your hands to patch up the pastry.

I baked the pastry blind for about 5 minutes before we put the filling in, then for a further 15 or so minutes once the tart was filled.

We also added some asparagus to the top of our pie

We also added some asparagus to the top of our pie

Filling

  • 100g smoked salmon
  • 400g ricotta
  • 1 packet frozen spinach or about 8 cups fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus a bit extra
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1/2 cup chopped capsicum (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (optional)

Method

  • Either squeeze all the liquid out of the frozen spinach, or blanch the fresh spinach. This is to get any excess liquid out otherwise the pastry will be soggy.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Place the filling in the pie crust.
  • Top with the remaining parmesan cheese and bake for 15-20  minutes until the crust is browned and cheese is melted.
    The finished product

    The finished product

    This was also really nice reheated for lunch the next day.

Socca with roasted tomato and capsicum salsa

I keep encountering socca. First of all in a recipe in a magazine, then at Galbraith’s pub when the husband and I snuck out for a grown-ups’ day off in January. This past weekend, in an effort to utilise the current tomato glut in our vege patch, I made a roast tomato salsa. When I was looking through the Living Without magazine, I came across the socca recipe again and decided that the socca would go very nicely with the salsa.

Socca is a thin, unleavened pancake or crepe made from chickpea flour. It originates in the South of France, and is apparently sold in street stalls. I whipped up a batch and although I was surprised by the texture (I was expecting more of a flatbread and this was quite crepe-like), the taste was really lovely and worked well with the salsa. Here are the recipes for both.

Socca

  • 1 and 1/2 cups chickpea flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced dried onion (I used garlic as I didn’t have any dried onion)

Whisk together chickpea flour, water, 2 tbsp oil, rosemary, salt, pepper and dried onions. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Mixture will resemble a thick cream.

Coat a non-stick skillet with 1/2 tbsp oil and heat over low flame until hot.

Pour about 1/2 cup batter into the pan and swirl around to coat pan like a crepe in a round shape.

Cook socca until crispy on one side. Flip and brown on the other.

Roasted tomato and capsicum salsa

Ingredients

  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 capsicums
  • 4 fresh apricots, halved and with the stones removed
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • a handful of fresh coriander or about half a handful of rosemary or mixed fresh herbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

 

Method:

Halve the tomatoes and remove the stems. Lay flat on an oven tray.

Remove the seeds from the capsicum and lay flat on the  oven tray with the onion as well.

Spray the vegetables with oven spray.

Roast at 180 degrees C for about half an hour until the skin of the vegetables is beginning to crack and blister. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until combined. Place in a jar and refrigerate.

Use on sandwiches, as a dip or a sauce. Or just eat with a teaspoon.

Apologies for no picture – I will try harder in future!

Eggplant Stacks

I made these for a lunch where we had a couple of vegetarians and they were a huge hit. They’re called stacks, but I actually did them layered in a dish to speed things up!! Really nice flavours and very easy. These aren’t too cheap in winter, but this would be a great dish in summer when eggplant is cheap.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1/2 c gluten-free flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 50ml milk
  • 2 c gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 c cheese – mozzarella or parmesan

For the passata

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1/2 c wine

Method

Combine all ingredients for the passata and put onto a steady simmer. This needs to simmer for at least 30 minutes and reduce a little. If you want a smooth paste, then mash or puree the reduced mixture.

Slice the eggplant into 1cm rounds. Lay out on a tray and sprinkle with salt. Leave for about 10 minutes until the liquid is seeping out. Rinse off the salt and dry with paper towels.

Heat oven to 180 degrees C.

Set up 3 bowls, one with flour, salt and pepper; one with the eggs and milk lightly beaten together and the third with the breadcrumbs. Dust each eggplant slice with flour, then dip in the egg and milk mixture and coat with breadcrumbs. Spray a couple of oven trays with baking spray and lay the eggplant out in a single layer on the sheets. Spray the top of the eggplant with the baking spray and place the trays in the oven to cook until browned.

Once the eggplant is golden brown, remove from the oven. Make stacks of two eggplant slices sandwiched with the passata and cheese in the middle and on the top. Alternately, do layers in a lasagna type dish, finishing with a layer of passata and cheese.

Put back in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.