Monday, May 5, 2014

Cooking gluten free crepes

Picasso had his blue period, Van Gogh had his sunflowers, Monet his water lilies. I am currently in my crepe stage.

I have recently discovered they are a very quick alternative when you don't have any bread for breakfast and don't feel like pasta or rice for dinner. You can stuff them with cottage cheese nuts and fruit, with mushrooms or spinach. Any tasty nutritious filling you like.

I even stuffed them with beans and topped them with taco sauce as enchiladas.

So far I have tried making them with plain white flour and with buckwheat. Both are a great success so the gluten free is a viable option. I am yet to try spelt and am intrigued by besan.

Here's the recipe:

3/4 cup plain flour of your choice
pinch salt
40g butter melted
1 egg
1 cup milk

Mix together the wet ingredients then whisk into the flour and salt. Let sit for a few minutes until bubbles form.  Pour half a cup of batter into a hot pan and swirl around until it coats the bottom of the pan. Cook until the crepe lifts off the pan and is lightly browned underneath.

Place your favourite filling into the centre of the crepe and fold edges over. Cook a little longer.

Tip 1
The pan! For best results use a non-stick omelette pan with shallow sloping sides. This way the crepe will slide off when done.  You may have to experiment until you get the heat right. It should cook quickly but not burn.

Tip 2
You will need more milk with the buckwheat flour than white flour.

Tip 3
If you are going to bake or reheat the crepes as in the enchilada example, you can pile the crepes on a plate before filling and rolling up.

Tip 4
Enjoy them and share your favourite filling ideas with me!

Saffron milkcap mushroom crepe with ewes' milk camembert

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Making lemon cordial

I am making lemon cordial!  I have filled old syrup bottles and pretty jars with fresh cordial make a pretty presentation perfect for gifts.

This is really easy.  The only ingredients are fruit juice, rind, sugar, water and tartaric acid. All easy to find in the kitchen or supermarket. Old fashioned lemonade is so in fashion right now.  Use your in-season citrus fruit to create that summer taste all year round. Everyone can do it.  A little simple fruit preserving tip for you.

Lime or lemon cordial recipe

6-8 limes, 4 lemons
1.5kg sugar
4 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon of either citric or tartaric acid

Finely grate the lime rind, avoiding the bitter white pith. Squeeze the limes and set aside.

Bring the water to the boil and add the lime rind, citric or tartaric acid and sugar. 
Stir to dissolve the sugar. Take off the heat when dissolved and stir in the lime juice.

Leave to cool completely, overnight if you make it in the evening. 
The mix will thicken into a syrup as it cools.

Strain the syrup to remove the rind and pour into sterilised bottles.

This cordial is excellent with cold mineral water. A splash of gin doesn't go astray either. Enjoy!

Note this recipe makes 4-5 cups of syrup. I recommend you pour it into small bottles so you can share it.   It keeps for months so you can enjoy your harvest or the greengrocer season surplus all year long.


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