I love cooking.
However I am a firm believer that when cooking gluten free there is no need for it to turn into a potions class. For instance I was looking at a recipe the other day and it started to look like this…
“…1 mouses whisker- soft boiled, a pinch of crushed beetle wings, a tear of a unicorn…”
Ok it didn’t actually read that but I was beginning to wonder what on earth some of the ingredients were. I was left with an empty expression on my face and a general feeling of ‘Whaa???’.
Anyway over the years, I have, what I would like to think of as a pretty well stocked food cupboard for when I am feeling like a random bake/cooking session, or just need a quick fix of yummy food… no unicorn tears here!
1. Gluten free flour. I like to have at least 2 different types in my cupboard at all times.
The first is a plain flour blend, and I like to get this one just because it is so easy to get hold of around me! I use it for a lot of recipes from baking cakes to thickening gravy!
The other flour I like to have is Gram Flour. This is very useful for making batters for pakoras and onion bhajis. It is made from chic peas and it gives a lovely crispy texture when fried. I have only ever used this one, and it worked perfectly, you can make a really nice batter by just adding water and seasoning to taste!
2. Xanthan Gum. This stuff is amazing! I know it sounds a bit mystical and potiony but if you’re a regular GF baker you should know what this baby is capable of. When I first started GF baking I’d see it in a recipe and think “oh there is only a little amount of that- I dont really need it.” I was SO wrong! When you take the gluten out of something it takes away the springy, chewy texture away… imagine bread that has the texture of stale cake or a cake which turns to crumbs before you can devour it. This is where Xanthan Gum comes in, it literally gives your GF baking a spring in its step! Praise be!
3. Stock pots. Did you know these are GF? Well they are! I use them to flavour soups, for gravy, to add a little something something to a chilli or spat bol! They’re almost as yummy as real proper stock too!
4. Gluten Free Pasta. Picture this: you’ve had to stop at the shop on the way home from work and got caught in all the traffic in the world doing it, its a hot sticky day and the washing up needs doing because you don’t have a dishwasher and the last thing on your mind is slaving over the oven to create the mother of all meals to curb your hunger pains. You look in the cupboard and see pasta, you look in the fridge and there is Boursin and some chicken… dinner is saved! Being 1/4 Italian I am a huge pasta fan, and luckily so is Miles so when we are both having a ‘I really CBA day’ pasta is our saviour! Our favourite is this one its the most delicious GF pasta in the world!
5. Tamari Soy Sauce. Miles and I love re-creating oriental foods that he can’t have at a Chinese resturaunt because they have soy sauce… Soy sauce contains wheat boo! However we have found a delicious alternative which we both love and its gluten free! A dash of this bad boy livens up any oriental dish in a jiffy!
So there you have it. My 5 gluten free cupboard staples I can’t be without!