Archives for posts with tag: mushroom

I haven’t posted much on here in the last week or so but that’s not to say I haven’t been a busy little bee. First, I forgot to mention a while back that I’ve created a handy new recipe index page which can be accessed through the menu at the top. I didn’t do one to start with because it seemed a bit silly when I only had three recipes on here but the next time I thought about it, I realised that the site had become a bit unwieldy. Hope you find it useful. I’ve categorised it according to type of dish and have also included a section of links to my guest posts over at LiveGlutenFree.

And, speaking of which, I forgot to tell you that I’ve also posted a couple of recipes over there:

Gluten-free cheese and walnut scones

Gluten-free stuffed tomato and herb potato breads

I’ve also created a Links page to the websites and blogs that I follow and find useful. I shall talk more about them in the next couple of weeks as I reach my first bloggiversary and reflect on what I’ve learned and the people I’ve (virtually) met! And also I’ve been sucked into Pinterest…who knew that I had even more spare hours in the day to get sucked into that black hole otherwise known as social media! 🙂 Anyway, I’ve started a couple of boards: one called ‘inspirational food photography’, where I’ve pinned some photos that make me go ‘wow!’ and make me feel not a little jealous of the photographer’s ability and kit; and another called ‘glutilicious’ where I’ve pinned some recipes that contain gluten but that no-one’s going to stop me eating so I’ve suggested how I might make them non-toxic. There’s not much on there at the moment but I’m going to gradually add to them.

But on to the most exciting news… I’ve talked on and off and in passing about my attempts to create a gluten-free croissant. I don’t do it very often because, even when you’ve got gluten on your side, it’s a bit of a faff. But I felt like trying again this weekend and I kind of made it up as I went along. I was extremely pleased and not a little shocked at the results. Here they are:

They’re not quite there yet but I have a feeling that it was more to do with the bake, rather than a gluten-free thing. I’m planning to give them another go either this weekend or next, so hopefully I’ll be able to share the recipe soon!

Anyway, that’s enough wittering on. Crespelle ripiene originate in the Campania region of Italy and are generally filled with cheese. This recipe, however, is very versatile. It can have a spinach and ricotta filling or a plain mushroom one. I added the chicken just to ring the changes but I don’t see why it couldn’t also be adapted to any cannelloni or lasagne filling. It’s also an economic recipe – I manage to make one chicken breast fillet stretch to feed four people!

Gluten-free stuffed pancakes

Serves 4

For the pancakes:
100g gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250ml milk

For the filling:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
250g closed cup mushrooms, very finely chopped
2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
25oml milk
150ml cooked chicken breast, very finely chopped
handful flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper

For the tomato sauce:
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 x 410g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp caster sugar
salt and pepper

Grated Parmesan and fresh, finely chopped flatleaf parsley to serve

You will also need a 20cm frying pan for the pancakes and an ovenproof baking dish

First, make the pancake batter. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the salt and make a well in the centre. Pour in the eggs and 150ml of milk. Using a balloon whisk, gradually incorporate the flour from around the edges into eggs and milk and whisk until a smooth but bubbly mixture is formed. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes and then add the remaining 100ml of milk. Whisk well then allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Whilst the pancake batter is resting, make the pancake filling. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a low heat and add the garlic. Fry gently for a couple of minutes until the garlic is just beginning to turn golden. Add the chopped mushrooms and continue to cook gently for 15 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mushrooms have darkened, reduced and have lost their moisture. Sprinkle the cornflour over the mushrooms and stir until the whiteness of the cornflour has disappeared (make sure any lumps of flour have been broken up with the back of the spatula). Add the milk, stir and bring up to a gentle boil. Simmer, stirring all the while, until the sauce has thickened considerably (several minutes). Take off the heat and allow to cool. When cool, stir in the chopped chicken and chopped parsley. Set aside.

Now, make the pancakes. Put a small frying pan over a medium to high heat and add a splash of oil. When the pan is smoking, add about a third of a ladleful of pancake batter. Swirl the batter around the pan until the base is covered. Cook for about 30 seconds or until small bubbles have appeared on the surface and the underside is a dappled dark golden brown. Carefully flip the pancake using a palette knife and cook the other side for about 30 seconds. Remove to a plate and cook the rest of the pancakes (eight in total), re-oiling the pan when necessary and stacking the cooked pancakes one on top of the other. Allow to cool.

Now make the tomato sauce. In a frying pan or large saucepan, heat the olive oil over a low flame. When hot, add the tins of chopped tomatoes, the sugar and some salt and pepper and allow to bubble and reduce to a thick sauce for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (my oven is fan-assisted, so adjust accordingly). Meanwhile, assemble the pancakes. Divide the pancake filling into eight (or into as many portions as you have pancakes) and put a line of filling down the centre of each pancake. Roll the pancake around the filling to enclose it. Place the pancakes side by side in the baking dish and cover with tomato sauce. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese and finely chopped flatleaf parsley.

Celery is my secret ingredient in this dish. I think it is a much maligned and overlooked vegetable, by home cooks at least, but, at the same time, I can kind of understand why. It is usually the unsung hero of the mirepoix in professionally cooked dishes and my memory of it, growing up in the Seventies and Eighties, consist of it being just one component of very bland and unimaginative salads… As I reminisce, it’s always a Sunday evening, Wimbledon is on the telly and the curtains are closed to shut out the last rays of the summer sun. Tea-time arrives. A few leaves of lettuce sit lethargically alongside some flabby slices of ham, a tomato cut into quarters and three slices of cucumber. A stringy half stick of celery cowering at the edge of the plate (if the plate were square, it would be in the corner) and a small pile of salt in which to dip the end of said celery stick complete this motley crew. The height of sophistication is a dollop of Heinz salad cream on the side… Eek! So it’s hardly surprising that it took me years to discover celery’s gastronomic delights. Celery and Stilton soup is now one of my very favourites and I think it adds a beautiful savouriness to any dish it’s in.

Gluten-free aubergine, mushroom and goat’s cheese lasagne

This lasagne recipe is a bit of a labour of love but I think is well worth the effort. The aubergine and mushroom ragú needs quite a lot of slow cooking (an hour altogether) so that the flavours combine and the sauce thickens and enriches. If time is an issue, the ragú could actually be cooked the day before because, once it’s bubbling away, it needs very little supervision. It can then be left in the refrigerator overnight. The pasta and béchamel can be cooked and the whole thing assembled and baked the next day. I think any braised dish actually gets better, anyway, if you leave it 24 hours because it gives the flavours a chance to develop and intensify. The ragú could even stand alone as a dish in its own right as part of a selection of mezze. I think it would be delicious served at room temperature, sprinkled with gremolata and scooped up with flatbread (gluten-free, of course).
Serves 4 generously
2 tbsp olive oil
small knob of butter
1 large onion, diced
2 sticks of celery, halved lengthways and sliced finely
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 medium aubergines (eggplant), cut into 1cm cubes
150g mushrooms, thinly sliced
500g passata
3 heaped tbsp sun-dried tomato paste (about 100g)
200ml water
celery salt (optional)
8 sheets gluten-free lasagne (about 160g)
25g salted butter
25g gluten-free all-purpose flour (I use Dove’s Farm)
350ml milk (either whole or semi-skimmed)
110g soft goat’s cheese, cut or torn into smallish pieces
You will also need a 2-litre capacity ovenproof dish
To make the ragú, heat the olive oil and the butter over a low heat in a large deep sauté pan. Add the onions, celery and a sprinkling of salt. Stir to coat with the melted oil and butter. Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables for 20 minutes or until they are softened and translucent. Add the garlic and aubergines to the pan, stir to combine and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Then add the mushrooms, stir to combine and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the passata, sun-dried tomato paste and water (I usually swill out the empty passata carton with the water first to get the last dregs of tomato out). Simmer with the lid off for 40 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed*. Check the seasoning, adding celery salt (or normal salt), if necessary, and black pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C. Parboil the lasagne sheets in a large pan of salted, boiling water for about 8 minutes**. Drain, brush with olive oil so that they don’t stick and set aside on a plate, ready for assembly.
To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and whisk briskly for 1-2 minutes. It should form a shiny, golden and bubbling paste. Take the pan off the heat, and pour about 325ml of the milk in slowly, whisking furiously to break up any lumps that form. Put the pan back on the heat and slowly bring back up to a simmer, whisking all the while. Let the béchamel bubble away gently as it thickens for about 10 minutes, giving it an occasional stir to prevent sticking. Check the consistency (it needs to be pourable like double cream), adding more milk if needed to loosen it. Season with a little salt, some black pepper and a scraping of nutmeg.
Now to assemble the whole dish. Mentally divide the aubergine and mushroom mixture into thirds and spoon the first third into the dish, spreading it with a palette knife or the back of a spoon until it covers the entire base. Now put in a layer of lasagne sheets, making sure that the aubergine and mushroom mixture is covered (it doesn’t matter if the sheets overlap). Repeat with the next third of aubergine and mushroom mixture and the final layer of lasagne sheets. Now spread the final third of aubergine and mushroom mixture into the dish. Carefully pour the béchamel over the top and dot all over with pieces of the goat’s cheese. (So, in sum, you should have aubergine, pasta, aubergine, pasta, aubergine, béchamel, goat’s cheese).
Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for about half-an-hour or until the béchamel and goat’s cheese are bubbling and golden. Serve with a green salad.
*The ragĂş needs to be dryer than you would think because liquid will continue to come out as the lasagne bakes in the oven. In the past, I’ve stopped cooking the ragĂş when it gets to how I would like it in the finished dish… and ended up with a dinner plate full of watery sauce and flabby pasta.
**The packet instructions on the brand I use say to boil the sheets for only a couple of minutes before using in a lasagne recipe. I tried this before and ended up eating raw and gummy lasagne hence the extended cooking time.
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