Falafel – Gluten Free

Had you been wondering if I did any cooking anymore? Well I have to admit, I’ve been a bit slack, I do still cook, I just been sticking to staples and not really bothering to take pictures and remember recipes.  But here we have a simple little falafel recipe, perfect for summer days as part of a mezze or stuffed in a pitta.

falafel

So for the recipe…

Ingredients (makes 10 small falafel):

  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tablespoons of gram or gluten free flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin
  • a handful of mint
  • salt
  • oil for frying

Method:

First soften the onions and garlic, I do this in a microwave because I find it easy but gently frying in a pan has the same results, you just want them soft and translucent.

Then add all the ingredients bar the flour to a food processor.  Blitz, you may need to scrape down any stray chickpeas or you might want to keep it chunky.  Then depending on the wetness of the mixture I add two to three tablespoons of flour, now my plan was to have chickpea flour (gram/besan) but  mine was out of date so I substituted gf plain flour, if you’re not coeliac then plain regular flour would work too.   You want a thick but not too wet mixture that you can easily manipulate, see picture for clarity there, it’s awful hard to describe!

Once you’ve got the right consistency, scoop out walnut size blobs if you want to emulate mine, but frankly any old size will work, you could make big fat burgers or round footballs or cut them into star shapes should you desire but flat patties was what I was after.

Then chill the patties for a while (time constraints permitting, I’m sure they would be fine fried straight away should you need to).

Shallow fry for about 3/4 minutes each side on a medium heat.  Then serve hot stuffed into a pitta with chilli sauce and yoghurt.

falafel stages

You can freeze these and heat up in the oven at a later date should you need to, I made too many for me and my little dinner guest so I’ve stashed the remainder away for a mid-week dinner.

Ok, so that was the first recipe for a while.  It felt good, what do you think?

 

1 Curry Sauce 3 Ways

So last week I made that chickpea curry here, well guess what, I had some left over sauce and managed to stretch it out into 3 different dishes over the week with leftovers for lunch (I didn’t count the leftovers in the title).   Pretty smart huh? Anyways want to know the details of my genius? (I’ll stop with the sickening over confidence now)

1.  I started with the curry sauce on Sunday and made this lovely chickpea curry, then I portioned off some of that and added the leftovers of my roast into a tub and packed that up for lunch.

Chickpea Curry

2.  On Tuesday night I roasted off some aubergine chunks and boiled some lentils then plonked them all in a pot with half of the remaining curry sauce.  This provided me with dinner for one and a portion for lunch the next day.  For dinner I served it with a garlic flat bread using Isabel’s fantastic gluten free pizza dough mix smothered in garlic butter.

Aubergine and Lentil Curry with Gluten Free Garlic Flat Bread

3.  Then the final dish was a baked egg in curry sauce with peas and a gluten free pitta (or 2).  I poured the leftover sauce into a small baking dish (I heart Falconware!), cracked in an egg and baked in the oven at 200 for about 20 minutes.  Just before it was ready I boiled up some peas, scattered them across and toasted a pitta to dip in.

Curry Baked Egg with Peas and Pitta

So my dear readers, what d’ya think?  Nifty huh? Hope you like it x

Mackerel Fish Cakes (gluten free)

In a continued attempt to be more frugal I’ve been delving deeper into my  store cupboard lately and this week I found the ubiquitous mackerel.  I remember that for some reason mackerel fillets tinned in tomato sauce are actually cheaper than their brine or oil contained counterparts so it makes sense to add a bit of tomato to you life.

Mackerel is one of those amazinge eye sight strenghtening super food type things which packs an excellent omega 3 punch and in tins has to be the most penny-pinching way to enjoy a bit of this tasty, oily fish.  Another benefit of using the tomato clad mackerel is the wicked (did I just say wicked?) pink the fish cakes go inside and the fuzzy feeling you get when you realised you’ve smuggled another of your 5 a day into your dinner.  If you don’t have this wonderous ingredient in your cupboard but do have a tin of tuna then you could try this instead, if not then, onwards, my friends, the recipe is closer than you think…

Makes about 6  fish cakes which serves 2 with salad or 3 for people with small bellies

Ingredients:

  • 4/5 medium potatoes
  • A tin of mackerel in tomato sauce (you can use the oil or brine ones but drain them first and don’t expect that nice shade of pink I was talking about)
  • 4 spring onions, washed and chopped fairly finely
  • Salt and pepper
  • A handful or 2 of breadcrumbs (I always blend up any gf bread going stale and whack it in a big bag in the freezer)
  • An egg
  • 2 tablespoons of gluten free plain flour
  • Oil for frying

Method:

Boil and mash the potatoes, leave to cool.   Break up the mackerel into the potatoes, toss in the tomato sauce, add the spring onions season and mix.  Form into burger shapes and chill in the fridge for a while until set.

Lay out your other ingredients on plates or shallow dishes, whip the egg slightly to combine.  Dip and roll the cakes first into flour, then egg, and then into the breadcrumbs.

Heat a large frying pan.  Add about 2 tablespoons of oil (more if you can stand it).  Once the oil is hot, fry the fish cakes until golden on each side then serve with salad, or whack in bun for a full on fishy carb fest.

Sultana Scones (Gluten Free)

One of my earliest memories of cooking is making scones at nursery in Scotland, my memory is pretty hazy as the recollection seems to have me measure and mix these little cream tea beauties with no help at all, what I do remember is planning to make sweet scones and ending up with cheese but whatevs, it’s the thought that counts.  I’ve been thinking a lot about scones and Welsh cakes recently, I think I was inspired by LondonEats recipe here.  It made me remember another episode from childhood when visiting my grandparents in Cardigan, watching my Step Gran making them on the  griddle and  serving them up warm with butter and jam mmmmm, just thinking about them is making me dribble so I’ll definitely have to make a gluten free version soon.  Anyways onto the scones, I think I’d forgotten how easy these are to whip up, but simple they are and best eaten on the day or frozen to keep fresh.  These gluten free ones are quite crumbly but just as delicious and can easily be adapted to make plain scones or cheese ones by swapping in and out some ingredients (I don’t need to spell it out to you do I?)

Makes about 6

Ingredients:

  • 8oz of gluten free self raising flour
  • 2 oz of butter
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 egg
  • milk (I explain the measurement below)
  • A big handful of sultanas

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (fan).

Rub the butter into the flour in a large bowl.  Mix in the sultanas. Crack an egg into a measuring jug add the sugar and then top up with milk until it reaches the 5 fluid oz mark.  Whip the egg and milk mixture together then add to the dry ingredients.  Stir together then get your hands in to form into a ball.  Flour a board and plop out and flatten so that your mixture is about 2/3 cm thick.  Cut out rounds with a cutter (in an ideal world) or in my world a small mug.  Place on a baking tray lined with parchment, brush with egg wash (not essential) and bake in the oven for about 15 min until golden.

Serve warm with lashings (love that word) of butter, jam and, go on then, a big fat dollop of cream.

Grandma’s Rock Cakes

Apple and Sultana Rock Cakes

I’ve been meaning to make Rock Cakes since I was given this little booklet made by Cousins and Grandma years ago, they had got her to type up her favourite recipes and then got the book bound for themselves and me.   She was a brilliant cake baker and cook and I’ll always remember tea time when out would come her teapot cuddled by it’s hand knitted teacosy.  Then, more importantly, with it would come the tin or tins of cakes.  There was always a selection of cakes and biscuits but the ones I always went for were the rock cakes, I guess it was predominantly greed that made my little eyes pop and ask for those as they were often the biggest cakes in the tin and I loved their crumbly, rocky fruit filled nature.

Grandma's recipe booklet

This recipe has been adapted from the one in the book.  I’ve made it gluten free and added some apple to it, mainly because it’s fruit and in my warped mind I thought it might make them a bit healthier but it also adds extra moist fruity bites.  When I make these again I might even chuck in a bit of cinnamon too but they are just lovely as they are.  The gluten free flour makes them finer and perhaps more crumbly in texture than Grandma’s but they are just as delicious and most importantly remind me of her.  I’d like to think she’d really be pleased that it’s a recipe that has lived on and one that I have been able to share with my daughter as she shared with me in her kitchen all those years ago.

Introduction by Grandma

So here we go:

Apple and Sultana Rock Cakes (Gluten Free)

Ingredients and Method:

As seen in picture below, for gluten free replace flour with gluten free self raising I used Dove’s) and add a chopped up apple in with sultanas instead of the stated dried fruits.

Original rock cake recipe

And here they are…(5 fat club points – I’m a sad bastard I know)

Apple and Sultana Rock Cakes

Courgette, Feta and Mint Burgers

I suspended the weekly supermarket shop this week for a couple of reasons; 1.  I’m skint, 2.  I’m sick of the Saturday morning trudge round the aisles, and 3.  I want to do more with vegetables this week and if all that fails I’m going to try and use up some of the contents of the freezer (which contains meat!).  So instead of the monotony of the Saturday morning supermarket run, I relaxed on my morning off and spent the afternoon taking a little stroll down to my favourite greengrocer in Addiscombe.  They’ve recently had a fire so they’ve moved a little down the road to what was a small deli and set up shop there.  It’s still great though and they have oodles of gorgeous, fresh produce with lots of variety to get that recipe brain ticking.  I bought lots of things, in fact I was one of those annoying mums who load the pushchair with too many bags, but it was worth it.  I bought some gorgeous veggies and I hope to post another recipe of my awesome cauliflower curry later.  So to whet your appetite here is a little taster in the form of these lovely, light burgers.  I say burgers, I didn’t put them in a bun, but I’m not sure what else to call these little beauties.  They would be smashing in a bun or with a nice salad, a few chips or wedges or unadulterated in a large portion with a trickle of sweet chilli sauce.

Serves 1 on their own, or 2 with additions, makes about 4 burgers   

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium courgette, grated
  • 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • A gluten free muffin (or a slice or 2 of stale bread)
  • A third of a packet of feta, crumbled
  • A handful of mint
  • An egg
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Blitz your bread, mint and spring onions in a food processor until crumbed.  Mix crumbs with grated courgette, feta and egg then form into patties.  It makes quite a wet mixture, to compensate you can squeeze some of the juice from the courgette before you add it to the mix and once you have made the mix and formed into patties refrigerate for a while to set the mixture. 

Fry the patties in a little olive oil until browned on both sides.  Be gentle when turning, but have faith the egg will set it together! Serve on their own for a full on veggie burger feast for one or share in buns, with a salad and maybe a few cheeky chips!

p.s. If you don’t like feta (I’m talking to you E ;), try halloumi, grated – this was what I had intended to do but my local shop didn’t stock any so I used up the feta in my fridge instead.

Weekend Shenanagans and Easy Peasy Sweet Jacket Potato

Good afternoon! I am still recovering from one of my oldest and dearest friend’s 30th birthday party at the weekend.  I would love to show you pictures of my rather inebriated attempt at barbecuing late on Saturday night but unfortunately (not) I have no evidence of said activity.  So luckily I can now spread the word of my rather inspired veggie burger creation.  Ok, ok, here’s the truth, I burnt quite a lot of halloumi that night and in an attempt to reconcile with the veggie quota of the party I had to fish around in the kitchen (with some help from some ace sous chefs, might I add) and rustle up a concoction off the top my head.  The results were some very delectable Halloumi and Carrot Burgers consisting of grated carrot, grated halloumi, bread crumbs (I improvised with the grater and a bit of rustic tearing), paprika, basil and egg. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and form into patties then transfer to the BBQ for a quick grilling, and da da! A little cautious turning and transferring later,  sit back and wait for your praise.

Anyways in terms of a proper recipe for today, one involving a picture, I had a little scan through my hard drive and found this simple jacket potato filling idea and thought I would share.  I know this is not fine dining, but it is tasty and it’s the best I can come up with whilst still feeling the effects of too many Jagermeisters, eurrgghh, never again!

Ingredients:

Sweet potatoes

For the filling:

An onion, sliced

Some chorizo, chopped into little chunks

A red pepper, sliced

A blob of creme fraiche

Butter and salt

Method:

Bake your sweet potatoes in a hot oven.  Whilst the potatoes are cooking fry the onion, pepper and chorizo until soft and lightly browned.  When the potatoes are cooked, split, fill with salt and butter, the onion, pepper and chorizo and top with a blob of creme fraiche.  What more could you want? Simple, no hassle supper served with a salad.

Sweet Potato Jackets with Chorizo, Pepper and Onion Filling

P.S.  The Roasted Red Pepper Burgers had an outing at this BBQ and were a big success, if you a fancy a meaty addition to your BBQ/grill then look here.