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.


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


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the mixture I add two to three tablespoons of flour, now my plan was to have chickpea flour (gram/besan) but  mine was out of date so I substituted gf plain flour, if you’re not coeliac then plain regular flour would work too.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?


Scallion Soda Bread (Gluten Free)

Happy St Patrick’s Day! or ‘Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!’

So a traditional Irish recipe is in order I think.  This soda bread is gluten free (of course) and flavoured with spring onions, or scallions as I keep being corrected. I didn’t have any buttermilk for this recipe so I’ve made my own version combining yoghurt and milk which works just as well and may even be a bit thriftier.

If you are looking for other Irish food inspiration then you could try these delicious gluten free potato farls here, otherwise…


  • 1lb of Doves Gluten Free White Bread Flour
  • 2 eggs, topped up to 12fl oz with half yoghurt and half whole milk
  • 6 spring onions scallion, sliced finely
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 oz of sugar
  •  1 oz of bicarbonate soda
  • 2 oz of butter


Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (fan) and oil a baking tray.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and rub in the butter. Add the spring onions and mix.   Whisk up the egg, yoghurt and milk mixture then stir into the dry ingredients.  Turn out the dough onto a well floured board, the mix will be quite sticky so be generous with your dusting.  Knead the mix for a couple of minutes then form in to a large ball and plop onto the oiled tray.  Cut a deep (over half way) cross through the centre, brush with milk and dust with flour.

Bake in the oven for about 30/40 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when you knock its bottom.

Serve with butter, cheese and chutney for tea or toasted the next day for breakfast.

‘Tabhair dom an rud céanna mar atá ag an fhear ar an t-úrlar!’ – translations sourced here.

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

Breaded Fish and Tartare Sauce

Happy Good Friday readers!

So like a good girl I’m obeying the fish on Friday rule, despite the fact I had ham for breakfast and left over meatballs for lunch, I prepared a good old fish supper for dinner tonight. 

The version I did was totally gluten free and my other diners who are not coeliacs were non the wiser.  However this can be done just as easily using normal breadcrumbs, I don’t like to discriminate see! 

I had great plans to serve the fish with home made potato wedges and some posh mushy peas but after a long sunny day of parks and shops (I got a little carried away on the summer wardrobe expedition, shhh don’t tell anyone) I decided to keep it simple and serve it up with some oven chips and traditional marrow fat peas (see almost a proper chip shop dinner!).


Cod fillet portions, skinned

Breadcrumbs ( I have started keeping a stash in the freezer ready for things like this, any time your bread is beginning to get a bit stale just whizz them up in a blender and bag em up and pop in the freeezer, you  can pretty much use them from frozen and that way they are always there)

An egg

A couple of tablespoons of plain flour (gf for me)

Salt and pepper

For the tartare sauce (makes a little pot ful):

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, shop bought or home made you decide

5 mini gherkins/cornichons

A teaspoon of capers

A handful of parsley


For the fish:

Lay out three dishes or plates.  One for the flour (add some salt and pepper), one for the egg lightly whisked and one for the breadcrumbs.  Portion your fish then flour, egg and breadcrumb and set aside until your ready.  I did mine this afternoon and popped in the fridge until dinner time just to save extra hassle.

When you fish is coated, shallow fry in a hot pan with about half a cm of oil in.  It really depends on how big your fish is, mine took about 3 min each side and I finished it off in a hot oven whilst the chips were cooking for a couple of min.

For the tartare sauce:

Finely chop the parsley.  Chop the the capers and gherkins fairly small and then add them and the herbs to the mayo and stir.  Easy peasy and much better than that hideous stuff you get in sachets or bottles.  You can add a bit of chopped egg if you wish as well.

Happy Easter!

What Isla’s Dad Ate!

I am very happy and excited today because not only have I had some great comments on my site (thanks Rebeka and Rimmy!), I also had some excellent feedback at work, but best of all my dearest Dad has sent in a recipe!

Now I haven’t sampled this myself for a couple of years as I am now a gluten free zone but my partner has tried this bread and loved it and my Dad is a tip top trained and experienced chef so he knows his stuff.

So here we go, let me know if you try it.

Bread recipe


The dough in this recipe you can use for bread, rolls, pitta and pizzas. The recipe can be doubled or trebled depending on the volume required.

  • 275g Strong White flour 10oz
  • 150 ml Water 5 ½ fl oz
  • Half-teaspoon Instant dry yeast
  • 15 ml Olive oil ½ fl oz
  • 4g Salt 1/8 oz salt
  1. Blend yeast into flour – ensure it is evenly distributed
  2. Mix water ,oil and salt together – make sure the salt is dissolved into the liquid
  3. Add liquid to the flour and mix – stand for five minutes to allow the flour to absorb the water.
  4. 4. Knead dough for approximately ten minutes until it is smooth and elastic Note: you can achieve this by using a mixing machine or food processor – if using a food processor, the operation to provide a smooth and elastic dough takes place quickly, so watch the process closely
  5. Place the dough in a very lightly oiled bowl covered with cling film or a tea towel and allow to rise to double its size in a draught free spot
  6. Remix dough for 30 seconds
  7. Rest for five minutes
  8. If making bread, mould the dough into the shape you require.
  • for freestanding log shaped loaf mould the dough into square, fold edges into the centre and roll into log shape
  • for a freestanding round loaf gather dough into a ball and roll in a circular motion with both hands to a globe shape
  • or you can use a loaf tin – grease well and dust with flour, use the log shape method for shaping the loaf to fit into the tin
  1. Cover shaped dough with a tea towel, place in a draught free spot and allow to double in size. Note: professional practice is to prove freestanding loaves upside down in proving baskets – approximation of this can be achieved by lining a suitable oval container or round bowl with a tea towel well dusted on the inside with flour. If you do not want to go through this process place shaped loaf on to the greased baking sheet and cover with kitchen towel – this does not produce such a good shape

10. Turn dough out onto greased baking sheet, only if the loaf is freestanding, cut a slit, both freestanding and tinned loaf, (1/8 inch 3mm) along the length of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor, spray with water and dust with flour Note: this is easier to write than to carry out and can leave you with squat deflated product, so handle gently at this stage

11. Place loaf point or blunt end first into the middle of the oven, preheated to 250 C. After 10 minutes turn loaf around and reduce temperature to 200 C. Bake for further 20 minutes Note: if the loaf is larger, you will need to increase the loaf’s length of time in the oven – 40 minutes double the size, 50 minutes treble the size

12. Remove from oven, turn out if tinned loaf, and place on cooling wire.

P.S. Dad can you send in a photo?