Chestnut and rice flour bread

We have been scouring the web for a good bread recipe incorporating chestnut flour.  We found one on the glutenfreealchemist.com blog and tried it a few weeks back in our bread maker.   We made a bit of a hash with it and ended up with too much yeast and although the loaf was edible it did have a bit of a taste to it.   Determined to make things right we experimented with the loaf again today with a few changes, the first being mixing the ingredients and forming the dough by hand as our bread maker decided to pack up on us.  We also increased the proportion of chestnut flour to rice flour and used apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice.   We baked it in our table top oven and are well impressed with the outcome.   This bread is now going to be a weekly feature and both of us are looking forward to toast and marmalade for breakfast.

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What do I need to make it?               

  • 230 gm chestnut flour
  • 230 gm rice flour (we used Dove’s Farm blend of brown and white rice)
  • 85 gm potato flour
  • 1 tbsp Xanthan gum
  • 4 tbsp dried milk powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 370 ml water
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 7 gm fast acting yeast (we used Alinson fast acting yeast)

How much will I make?

A medium sized loaf (750 gm)

How do I make it?

Beat the eggs and white to a light fluffy consistency.  Place the egg and water mixture  in a large mixing bowl, add oil, apple cider vinegar, milk powder, sugar, salt and Xanthan gum followed by the flours and yeast.    Mix everything together with a laddle or use your hands (it can get a bit messy) until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.  Cover the dish with a wet cloth and allow to prove for an hour in a warm area.   The dough should rise before you transfer it into a greased loaf tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 190 degree Centigrade for 45-50 minutes.   Remove and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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Creole/Mexican inspired casserole

Here’s a recipe for a scrumptious Creole/Mexican inspired casserole using one of our favourite cupboard essential spice – Scwartz Blackened Cajun seasoning.   Initially we were apprehensive with the heat intensity but were pleasantly surprised how mellowed the dish turned out.  We had it for lunch yesterday on its own but think the dish would work well with a bowl of rice.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 8 boneless chicken thighs
  • 6 potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 8 mushrooms halved
  • 1 green pepper cut in large pieces
  • 1 stick of celery  chopped
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of frozen or canned corn
  • 1/2 cup red kidney beans (pressure cook if not using tinned variety)
  • 1/2 cup black eyed peas (as above)
  • 8-10 baby onions peeled (we used a combination of baby white onions and small Indian red shallots)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp pickled green jalapenos
  • 3 tbsp pickled red jalapenos
  • 3 tbsp Schwartz Blackened Cajun seasoning
  • 2 gluten free chicken stock cubes
  • 1 tsp chipotle chilli paste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Big handful of fresh coriander chopped

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Wash and dry the chicken thigh fillets and marinade with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and Blackened Cajun seasoning.    Let the chicken marinade for as long as you can – we cooked it after an hour.  Heat a cast iron casserole and brown the chicken thighs.  Remove chicken and add remaining oil to saute the whole onions, celery, green pepper and garlic for a couple of minutes.   Add the potatoes, carrots and mushrooms and continue sauteing for a couple of minutes before adding  the jalapenos and chipotle paste.    Give it a good stir before adding the stock cubes, 600 ml of water, the corn, kidney beans, black eyed peas, chicken thighs and half the chopped coriander.  Cover the casserole and cook in pre-heated oven at 190 degree for an hour.   Remove and check that most of the water has evaporated before garnishing with the remaining coriander.   Serve hot with a nice crusty bread of choice or a bowl of rice.

NB:  The Blackened Cajun seasoning has salt so you shouldn’t have to add any more – if you are using any other brand check the ingredient list.

Gluten free bread

Since going on the Paleo diet Shiv and I have not touched bread in the last four months.  As I have been experimenting with gluten free baking of cakes and cookies I decided to give bread baking a shot.   The base recipe is borrowed from “The Best Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes” by Grace Cheetham with some tweaks.   We made some fresh mint and coriander chutney with a twist to go with it.

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Gluten Free Bread

What do I need to make it?

  • 450 gms gluten-free bread flour (we used Dove’s Farm)
  • 2 eggs
  • 350 ml almond milk
  • 1 tsp malt vinegar
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp quick acting yeast
  • 3 tbsp mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame and sunflower)
  • 1 tbsp unrefined sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

How much will I make?

1 kg loaf (medium loaf about 12 slices)

How do I make it?

Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar.  Warm the almond milk and then beat eggs into it with the malt vinegar.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and then add the milk mixture and mix into a sticky dough.  Add 2 tbsp of seeds and oil and continue to mix till all the ingredients are bound together.  Pour into a greased loaf tin and sprinkle remaining seeds on top and cover with moist cloth and  set aside for an hour to allow the dough to rise.  Place loaf in a pre-heated oven at 220 degree Centigrade for 40-45 minutes.  Crust should turn dark brown and centre cooked through (check with skewer to ensure it comes out dry).  Remove and cool loaf on wire rack before slicing.

Mint & Coriander Chutney

What do I need to make it?

  • Small bunch fresh coriander
  • Handful fresh mint leaves
  • 3 stalks of basil leaves
  • 2 sprigs of green onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1 bird’s eye red chili
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp unrefined sugar
  • Salt to taste

How do I make it?

Place all ingredients in a blender and grind to a fine paste.  Add lime juice and adjust seasoning before serving.  This chutney can be used a marinade for barbecued fish/chicken or as an alternative salad dressing without oil.

Sublime supper

Regular readers of our blog would have noticed that I have not been writing very much these days and the husband’s offerings have been far more frequent. Well, I have not been cooking anything exciting with Shiv not around and have been making do with quick and easy meals as the kids have been rather demanding and I find myself too exhausted to pen my musings down at the end of the day.

Today I decided to cook myself and my mother a good supper.  You could call it a Mother’s day offering.  I baked a gluten free corn bread loaf, made a lovely cauliflower soup and a spicy chipotle dip for the bread.  The meal went down very well and my mother enjoyed it, just as I did.

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Gluten free corn bread

What do I need to make it?

  • 150 gms fine corn meal
  • 150 gms fine rice flour
  • 50 gms cold unsalted butter or dairy free margarine
  • 2 medium sized eggs
  • 300 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

How much will I make?

A medium sized loaf

How do I make it?

Preheat oven to 200.C.   Sieve together rice flour and fine corn meal into a large mixing bowl.  Add the baking powder, salt and Xanthan gum to this.  Chop cold butter into small cubes and add to the bowl.  Use finger tips to rub the flour and butter into a crumb like consistency.  Beat the eggs and almond milk together lightly.  Make a well in the mixing bowl and pour the egg and milk mixture into it.  Mix well with a wooden spoon until all the flour is blended well and you get a smooth batter.  Pour the batter into a prepared loaf tin and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is a golden brown.  Pierce with a skewer to check if the bread is cooked through.  If the skewer comes out with wet mixture stuck to it, keep the loaf in the oven till the bread is cooked thoroughly.

Leave to cool on a  wire rack .

Spicy Chipotle dip

What do I need to make it?

  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic grated
  • 2 to 3 pickled chipotle peppers (available in the World food aisles of most super markets or in Mexican delis)
  • 1 tsp of the chipotle pepper pickling liquid

How do I make it?

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender.  Adjust seasoning.  The pickled chipotle peppers do have salt so extra salt is usually not needed.

Cauliflower soup

What do I need to make it?

  • 250 gms cauliflower florets
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 gluten free vegetable stock cube (Kallo stock cubes)
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Two sprigs of parsley to garnish.
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper powder to taste

How much will I make?

2 large main meal portion

How do I make it?

Heat a pan and add butter and olive oil to it.  Add the bay leaf, onion and garlic and sauté till they are translucent.  Make sure not to brown them.  Add the cauliflower florets and sauté for a minute or two.  Season with salt and white pepper powder.  Add the almond milk and bring to a boil.  Turn the flame down and let it simmer till the cauliflower is cooked. Remove the bay leaf before blending to a smooth consistency.  Add about 250 ml of boiling water and the stock cube, return to heat and let the soup come to a boil.  Sprinkle the ground nutmeg and remove from the heat.  Garnish with parsley sprigs before serving.