Recipe: Chicken, Leek & Mushroom Pie

Some nights when you get home, you want to shut all the blinds, light some candles and eat pie. That’s just what we did a couple of weeks ago.

I’ve been hunting for Jus-Rol’s new gluten free puff pastry sheet and I eventually found it in Morrisons in Preston (bit of a trek from home!). I must say, it’s the best gluten free pastry yet in terms of being able to handle it and work with it.

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Ingredients:
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1tsp of garlic paste
2 medium leeks, trimmed and cut into thin slices
50ml white wine
100ml water
1 chicken stock cube
1 large chicken breast, diced
150g mushrooms, diced
2tblsp gluten free plain flour
200g half fat crème fraîche
1 Jus-Rol gluten free puff pastry sheet
2tblsp of milk
Frylight
Pepper to season

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200°c. Spray the frylight into a large pan and heat over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic paste and fry gently for 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Add the leeks and mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

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2. Pour over the white wine and 50ml of the water. Dissolve the stock cube in the pan. Keep simmering on a medium / high heat and stir constantly until the liquid has reduced by about half, then remove from the heat.

3. Put the diced chicken in a bowl and sprinkle the flour on top and toss lightly together so the chicken is covered.

4. Add the rest of the water and the crème fraîche to the onion and stock mixture. Stir and then add the chicken to the mixture. Season with pepper.

5. Pour the mixture into an oven proof dish. If required, put something in the middle of the dish to support the pastry – I used a cookie cutter!

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6. Cut the pastry to the size of the dish and place on top of the mixture. Cut a small slit in the middle and brush the pastry with milk.

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7. Bake the pie for 30 – 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crispy and the filling is bubbly.

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8. Serve with some veg, chips or potatoes and dig in! We chose some creamy mash.

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Recipe: Perfect Pancakes

I haven’t had pancakes for years. So imagine my delight when my other half suggested he would make me pancakes, and then the disappointment that ensued when I realised I wouldn’t be at home for Shrove Tuesday!

A day late, I had my pancakes. Gluten free pancakes! I wasn’t sure if they’d work or if they’d be the like the ones my Mum used to make, but they were a success!

Ingredients:
100g GF plain flour
2 eggs
300ml milk
1tblsp olive oil
Pinch of salt

Method:
1. Put the flour, eggs, milk, oil and salt into a bowl, and whisk until they become a smooth batter. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest.

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2. Using a medium sized frying pan, heat the pan over a medium / low heat. Spray the pan with some oil and once hot, pour a thin layer of the batter mixture into the pan. Cook the pancakes for 2 minutes, until each side is golden.

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3. Serve with anything you like! From traditional sugar and lemon to Nutella and whipped cream, go for it!

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Recipe: Fish Pie

It’s a well known fact that fish is good for you. White fish is lower in fat compared to any other animal protein and oily fish is essential for Omega-3 fatty acids.

I’ve always enjoyed eating fish, but never had it in a fish pie until recently! Here’s my simple fish pie recipe:

Ingredients:
400g fish pie mix
150g king prawns
300ml crème fraîche
4 spring onions
2 tblsp cornflour
5 medium potatoes
200ml semi skimmed milk
3 tblsp gluten free breadcrumbs
2 tsp of Parmesan cheese
20g butter

Method:
1. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Heat the milk gently in a pan and add the sliced potatoes for 5-7 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°c.
2. In a bowl, mix the crème fraîche with the spring onions and cornflour.
3. Fold the fish pie mix and king prawns into the crème fraîche mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Mix the gluten free breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
5. Spoon the mixture into an oven proof dish and layer the sliced potatoes on the top.
6. Cook the pie for 20 minutes in the oven. After 20 minutes sprinkle the cheese and breadcrumb mixture over the top of the potatoes and put the butter on top. Cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
7. Serve with some veg and a glass of white wine, enjoy and be happy!

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Recipe: Mushroom Soup

I used to detest mushrooms up until last year, now I can’t get enough of them! They’re a great source of Vitamin D and Vitamin B. Here’s my recipe for mushroom soup:

Ingredients:
300g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
1l of vegetable stock (I used a Knorr stock pot as they’re GF)
1 white onion, diced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
150ml soured cream
Frylight cooking spray
Salt
Pepper

Method:
1. Spray the frylight cooking spray into a saucepan. Add the diced onion and ground ginger and cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes, until they have released their liquid.
2. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer the soup to a food processor or use a hand blender and process until smooth.
4. Return to the pan, stir in the soured cream, season to taste and reheat gently, stirring occasionally.
5. Serve and enjoy!

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2016 Review

Happy new year! I admit, I’ve been poor at updating my blog in 2016 however, I have been a tad busy…

The last 12 months have been epic for GF food lovers and for me personally. I’ve got my dream job in Health & Safety *insert raised eyebrow look here*, passed my Health & Safety exams first time, found a lovely man named Gav and moved in with him. GF foods have constantly evolved with more and more available in supermarkets and restaurants having a better understanding in our requirements. It’s all been so exciting!

So with all this in mind, here is my review of GF foods that I have discovered, devoured and loved in 2016:

Tesco Free From Garlic Baguette – This has made my nights of GF spag bol complete! My only criticism is that the butter doesn’t melt very well when cooking straight from frozen. I find that if I let thaw a couple of hours before in the fridge it cooks better.

Prewetts Rich Triple Chocolate Cookies – I admit, I have devoured a large number of boxes of these wonderful cookies. I do struggle to find them in my local supermarkets now (boo!), but if you can get hold of them, buy them and don’t share with anyone!

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Schär Gluten Free Pizza Margherita – Not only is this pizza GF, it’s also lactose free. There are a few different GF pizzas out there now, but I find this one to have the best base. Schär is one of my favourite GF brands at the moment.

Ed’s Easy Diner – Ok, it’s not a GF food, but it’s somewhere with a wonderful GF menu that always makes me smile. I can highly recommend the ‘Cheese or Cheese’ burger with some very yummy sweet potato fries. It’s so nice to be able to satisfy those burger needs (especially when you’ve been out the night before!). I also found out on a visit to the Sheffield restaurant that they can sell their GF rolls to you to take home. I didn’t take them up on the chance at the time, but I will next time.

Sainsbury’s Deliciously Freefrom Millionaire Crispies – These little bites of yumminess come in a handy little tub that is perfect for putting on the coffee table when you have visitors or cuddling up on the sofa on your own to watch Bridget Jones! The crispies are coated in white chocolate which makes them so velvety.

Tesco Crispy Cheese & Garlic Stars – There was no need to feel left out on the party food front this year with these marvellous mouthfuls. Perfect for a starter or just as nibbles. The crispy coating was just that, crispy, and the middles full of cheesy, garlicy goodness!


And that’s about it for my 2016 review. There have been so many new products introduced over the last 12 months, it’s been brilliant and I have tried quite a few, I just haven’t had time to review them properly.

My plan for 2017 is to share some of our dinner recipes and review some local restaurants that cater for GF.

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Happy new year! x

 

Review: Casa Romana, Carlisle

Casa Romana was always a firm favourite of mine before becoming gluten free. After that, I ruled out visiting any Italian restaurant ever again. That was difficult for a pizza and pasta lover.

So, when it was decided at work that I would have a “leaving, but not leaving” night out, I found out that Casa Romana offered extensive gluten free options. It was settled, we’d have a meal there first before heading up town.

Arriving on a Friday night and shown up to the dining room upstairs, we were asked if anyone would like garlic breads for sharing. I used to jump at the chance of garlic bread when I ate gluten, who cares if your breath stinks afterwards! I asked if they had a gluten free option available, already telling myself that they wouldn’t have anything similar. I was wrong. I was offered pesto & cheese gluten free focaccia, result! I accepted the offer and when it arrived in front of me I was certainly not disappointed. The texture of the focaccia was excellent and not like other gluten free breads, it was like I was eating normal focaccia like everyone else.

For my main I had pre-ordered chicken and chorizo risotto. This was an absolute plateful of flavour and I couldn’t finish it all. They have lots of mains available and can adapt pasta dishes with gluten free pasta and offer a gluten free pizza base too.

A few of our group had desserts, but I decided not to (eating is cheating after all…) however, I was really surprised at the amount of gluten free dessert options they had available: sticky toffee pudding, hot chocolate sundae, Eton mess, to name but a few!

Sorry, I have no photos of the food as I was enjoying the night too much to think about it. I will definitely be back to Casa Romana very soon!

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A photo from later on of my “leaving, but not leaving” night out.

 

Recipe: Tattie Scones

If there is one thing I miss when having a fry up at the weekend, it’s tattie scones. Now they’re back in my life!

Ingredients:
500g of mashed potatoes (I used Maris Piper)
100g gluten free plain flour
50g lactose free butter (I tried the new Flora spread for this recipe)
Salt & pepper

Method:
1. Peel the potatoes and boil until soft.
2. Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes into the bowl. Add the butter, salt and pepper (as much or as little as you like).
3. Add the flour to the potato mixture, a little at a time. The mixture doesn’t want to be to dry as it will be difficult to make into the scones.
4. Empty the mixture onto a floured, flat surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the mixture to around 3-5mm thick.
5. Traditionally, tattie scones are triangle shaped however, I opted for round ones and used a scone cutter to shape.
6. Heat a frying pan and cook on both sides until golden brown.

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