Potato Wedges

Saturday, 28 July 2012

If you get to our local market on a Saturday afternoon by about 2pm they start getting rid of produce at reduced prices.  The stall holders are literally packing away around you while they shout out the bargains left to be taken up.  I like this atmosphere and the chance for some cheap and locally grown veg.  You never quite know what you might be tempted to buy.  Lately we’ve been coming home with, amongst other things, a paper bag of new potatoes, the kind that need scrubbing clean.  As my husband says those taste the best.  We’ll generally boil them and throw them in a potato salad but I also like roasting them.  If you chop them in to wedges you can call them chips.  Crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, the perfect chip.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 220°C 425°F.  Scrub the potatoes clean under running water.  Chop them in to wedges.  Place the wedges in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.  Drain well and place the wedges on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and dried rosemary or other herb/spice of your choice.  Roast for 30 minutes keeping an eye on them.  Turn half way through cooking.  Serve up with your favourite dip or even better make your own.  My husband devoured his with brown sauce (which isn’t gluten free).  I’m more of a mayonnaise kind of girl.

Summer Pancakes and I’m Melting

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Ok so I’m going a little crazy with the peaches at the moment but please bear with me.  Also, summer has finally turned up.  We’ve gone from rain coats to no coats to boy is this thin summer dress still too much for this heat, pass me a bucket of ice and I’ll stick my head in it.  My commute to work has become an unbearable slog full of sweaty people and trains with questionable air con.  My desk fan at work kept me a little cool once it had deposited a good six months worth of dust in my face.  I feel like I should be posting a recipe for ice cream or something but instead I have more peaches.  A summery fruit at least and therefore totally appropriate.  I was inspired to make these pancakes by this recipe at The Best Remedy.  However, I stuck with my safe Phil Vickery gluten free pancake recipe and simply added peaches in.  The pancakes were light and airy and peaches made a nice addition although not particularly strong in flavour, a drizzle of maple syrup on top was a perfect compliment.

Makes 8-10 pancakes

1-2 ripe but firm peaches thinly sliced
70g brown rice flour
50g buckwheat flour
½ teaspoon gluten free baking powder
1 large egg at room temperature
1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
50g unsalted butter, melted
284ml buttermilk
Olive oil for the pan.
In bowl mix together the flours, baking powder and salt.  In a large measuring jug mix together the egg, coconut oil, melted butter and buttermilk thoroughly.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a bit at a time until well combined.  The batter will be quite thick.
Grease your skillet or non stick frying pan with olive oil and place over a medium heat.  Spoon a table spoonful of batter per pancake in to the pan to create a small round pancake.  I could only fit three in my pan at a time.  Next add a couple of slices of peach to each pancake and press gently in to the batter.  Cook for 2-3 minutes then flip and cook the other side.  Once your pancakes are golden on each side remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm (I kept mine in a very low temperature oven).  Continue making more batches until all the batter is used up.  Serve stacked with maple syrup drizzled on top.

Peach and Buttermilk Cake

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

This cake was quite simply a triumph.  From the spongy texture of the cake to the sweetness of the peaches paired down with the zing of lemon.  The kind of cake that lets the fruit take centre stage.  Yet another great recipe from Heidi Swanson’s book Super Natural Every Day.  I adapted the recipe to make it gluten free by subbing brown rice flour for the whole wheat pastry flour.  I can’t claim to totally understand the science behind baking.  (You should check this post out at Gluten Free Girl for a lesson in making up your own gluten free flour mix).  But here for some reason brown rice flour did the trick.  The cake wasn’t crumbly as gluten free cakes tend to be.  The sponge was wonderfully light.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

Recipe adapted from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson.
310g (11oz) brown rice flour
1 tablespoon gluten free baking powder
70g (2.5oz) Demerara sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
300ml buttermilk
55ml natural yoghurt* (the recipe calls for 355ml buttermilk but I didn’t have enough so subbed the yoghurt instead).
60g (2oz) unsalted butter melted and cooled
Grated zest of 2 – 3 lemons
2 ripe peaches cut in to slices (you could also use plums or other summer fruit here).
1 tablespoon of Demerara sugar for the top
Preheat oven to gas mark 6, 200°C, 400°F
Line a 9 by 13 inch rectangular baking pan.
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder and sugar.  In a medium bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, yoghurt (if using), butter and lemon zest.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Spoon the batter in to the prepared baking tin and push out towards the edges.  Place your sliced peaches across the top of the cake in whatever pattern you like.  Sprinkle the cake with sugar.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is set and a skewer inserted in to the centre comes out clean.  Leave in the pan for a few minutes before turning the cake out on to a wire rack to cool.

Eggvocado Sandwiches!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

This is my current sandwich du jour.  A lot like egg mayonnaise but with creamy soft avocado mixed in.  This means you can use a lot less mayo and get extra good stuff from the avocado. It’s a win, win situation.

Makes two sandwiches: 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped, 1 ripe Avocado, pitted, skinned and chopped, 1 - 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise (make sure it’s gluten free), gluten free bread.
Throw the ingredients in to a bowl and get mashing.  Add more mayo to taste if you like.  Slap it between two slices of gluten free bread and devour.

Roasted Peaches with Cinnamon and Toasted Almonds

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

I sit here in mid July wearing a warm jumper, the sky darkening as it readies itself for another onslaught of rain.  The UK summer is definitely not loading properly.  Hooray for peaches which can help me to fake summer instead.  This is a ridiculously simple pudding.  I have mentioned before my love of roasting things.  This time it’s peaches.  Lovely ripe peaches get chopped in half, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar and roasted in a hot oven for ten minutes (Gas Mark 8, 230°C, 450°F).  I finished them off under the grill for an extra bit of golden brown (they got a little burnt, ahem).

That’s it really.  Recipe courtesy of Sophie Dahl in Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights.  I served mine with natural sheep milk yoghurt and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.  For all of you who are lucky enough to be basking in the warm sun, please, please send a little our way.

Recently with my iPhone/Instagram

Sunday, 8 July 2012

A robin came and kept us company while we were doing some gardening.  He was loving all the attention.

Flat peaches in my new pretty glass bowl from Cambridge market.

Avocados, I can’t seem to get enough.

Gluten Free Flatbread Pizzas this time with tomato, mozzarella and roasted aubergine.  More avocado on the side.

Lone poppy on a windswept walk.

Stopping for coffee. I think this cafe is self aware...

A day trip to the seaside.  It rained...ALOT.  St Bartholomew's Church, one of the tallest churches in the UK.  Love the bird taking flight at the top as I snapped this.  Also, sheltering in a doorway waiting for the rain to pass.  Check out those turn ups.

Traditional British summer activity...visit a beach in the rain.

A little bit of colour on a grey day.

Spotted my dream car parked next to us in the multi storey car park. 
How was your weekend?

Adventures with Millet

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Last weekend I took my first foray in to cooking millet which is a gluten free grain.  I had used millet flakes in porridge before but never tried cooking the grain.  Apparently it is commonly used as bird seed but I didn’t let that put me off!  Inspired by a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe in his book Plenty which involved caramelising fennel in maple syrup, I decided to roast some fennel with olive oil and maple syrup to go with my millet.  I also added some kale and coconut flakes (seen in Heidi Swanson’s book Super Natural Every Day) and it turned out to make a nice healthy lunch.

I think I need a little more practice cooking millet as I found it hard to stop it sticking together but it still made a nice basis for this meal.  You could also use brown rice or quinoa.  This isn’t so much a recipe as a record of my experiments.  I’d encourage you to try your own flavours but the maple syrup definitely added a lovely subtle sweetness to the dish.  Maple syrup is always a good plan in my book.
Serves 2
100g (4oz) ½ cup millet
300ml or 1 ½ cups water
1 fennel bulb chopped and fronds removed
1 bunch of kale, chopped and stems removed
1 handful of unsweetened flaked coconut
1 x tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 x teaspoon maple syrup
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C, 400°F
Bring a pan of water to a boil and add the millet.  Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.  Fluff with a fork, cover with a lid and set aside to steam.
Meanwhile mix the oil and maple syrup together.  Place the fennel on a baking tray and toss in the oil/syrup mixture.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes then remove and add the kale and coconut.  Toss in the oil and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the coconut is toasted.  Try to avoid letting the kale become too brown and crisp by tossing it regularly.  Finally add everything to the millet and mix together.  Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.
I’d love to know how you like to cook with millet!