Romeo’s Gluten Free Bakery actually opened yesterday, but I only found out late last night from a waitress in Carluccio’s.
It was well worth a visit and I had a cup of tea, a chicken pie and a loaf of bread to take home for fourteen pounds.
The chicken pie was superb and was one of the best lunchtime snacks, I’ve ever had. The pastry was just how it should be and I’ve never had gluten-free pastry like it before.
If you want to go, the easiest way is to walk down Upper Street in Islington from either the Angel or Highbury and Islington stations. It’s virtually opposite Islington Town Hall.
On Friday night, I cooked Lindsey Bareham’s recipe for Pork Chops With Braised Cabbage
I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I doubt it would have been acceptable to life-long cabbage-haters like C.
Lindsey Bareham on Friday published a recipe called Cinty’s French Fish Pie.
As it used a lot of leeks, surely it is not French, but Welsh. The leeks were cooked in fifteen minutes, and placed in the bottom of one of my Le Creuset dishes, then covered with a fillet of haddock for each dish, which was then covered with crème fraiche and a crust of breadcrumbs and parmesan.
Here’s the finished pie.It was delicious. I actually made two, with the other one for Tuesday.
When I first came across a coeliac in 1972, who was a friend’s young son, life was very difficult for his mother. When C looked after the child, whilst his mother was working, the list he came with, was a short list of what he could eat!
When I was diagnosed in the early years of this century, things were a little better, but gluten-free bread was made from processed cardboard and gluten-free pasta had a special glue, that stuck it to the side of the saucepan.
Since C died in 2006, I’ve been responsible for my own cooking and in that time, I’ve relied heavily on the Dinner Tonight recipes of Lindsey Bareham in The Times. Over the years, I have a feeling that her recipes have got more coeliac-friendly, or at least friendlier to me, as I find more to try out. But then today, The Times has six quick weekend recipes, five of which are gluten-free except for the bread.
I do tend to ignore some recipes, like those involving pastry, as I don’t have a rolling-pin and feel that pastry might be too much for my left hand.
But now there are just a few products, that if you have in the cupboard or fridge, are all you need to create gluten-free meals, that those who eat gluten find acceptable. Obviously, you’ll need the same fish, meat, fruit and vegetables, as everybody else.
Gluten Free Bread
Genius is my favourite, but there are others, that other people prefer. As I write this, I’ve just had two pieces of Genius toast with Benecol and some Tiptree marmalade. When I was first diagnosed, I would have almost killed for some nice toast.
I once had a gluten-free crostini in a top drawer Italian restaurant in Den Haag and it was sublime, as the flavour was just right for all the garlic. Carluccio’s gluten-free crostinis are pretty good too!
What I would like is some really nice gluten-free crusty bread. But I suspect, I could find that at Romeo’s Gl;uten Free Bakery when it eventually opens.
Gluten Free Pasta
This was rubbish, when I first tasted it, but now I have a jar full of Carluccio’s excellent gluten free pasta on my worktop. I rarely eat pasta out, even in Carluccio’s, as I can cook it quickly at home if I want it.
I suspect as with the bread, others will prefer other brands of pasta, but they are all so much better than ten years ago.
Gluten Free Flour
Lots of recipes like the odd spoonful of flour. I use Dove’s Farm plain flour and haven’t found anywhere, where it hasn’t worked.
Gluten Free Sausages
I’ve always liked my sausages and when I lived near Newmarket, I got a liking to Musks gluten-free ones.
Now I live in London, they are difficult to find, so I usually use those from the Black Farmer or a specialist butcher.
I always have a six-pack of Black Farmers ready for action in the freezer!
Most good tins of baked beans are gluten-free and as my dietician told me to have a small tin once a week to keep my cholesterol at the right level, I always have a tin in the cupboard.
I also have a selection of not specifically gluten-free products, like Rachel’s yoghurt with honey, Waitrose ham hock, eggs, bacon, onions, butter, smoked salmon and a wide range of spices, so I can make a selection of appetising meals, whilst I’m watching the television.
I haven’t cooked a ready meal in six months.
On the Eurostar from Paris, I was very hungry. I had thought that there was no gluten-free food was available, but late in the journey on reading their on-board magazine, I found that they had two Waitrose ready meals in the cafe-bar.
They were not labelled as gluten-free, but was this an omission?
It strikes me, that Eurostar are making a mistake somewhere.
There used to be adverts that talked of Gatquick, but on my flight out, it was one of the slowest experiences I’d had in any of London’s airports.
As I was travelling economy and the airport was extremely busy, I found it very difficult to find anywhere to sit.
One mistake I did make was to eat at Carluccio’s in Islington before I left for the airport, as I thought this would be easier, than queuing up at Jamie Oliver’s in the airport. It was easy and I had a good lunch, but if I’d gone to Jamie’s I’d have had somewhere pleasant to sit.
I thought Gatwick was getting better since it was sold, but it still isn’t fit for purpose!
This is a Lindsey Bareham recipe that I did for supper yesterday. I’d decided to do it in the morning, but when Waitrose were selling 400g packs of diced braising steak for just £2.25, I couldn’t resist making two portions of the ragu, with one for supper and one for the freezer.
I started by taking the whole pack of diced braising steak, which I seasoned and browned it in a couple of tablespoons of hot oil in my Le Creuset shallow casserole.
The meat was then scooped out of the casserole and then 100g each of finely chopped onion and celery, together with some garlic, a tsp of thyme and a pinch of chilli flakes were then gently softened in the meat juices and tossed for five minutes.
I then took 100g of finely chopped chestnut mushrooms and added them to the pan. I cooked this until it was all dark and juicy.
I then chopped the meat and added this to the pan.
150 ml of red wine was added and it was allowed to bubble up for a few minutes, before stirring in a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes.
It was then baked in the oven for 60 minutes at 160°C.
I served it with some of Carluccio’s gluten-free pasta.
My one mistake was perhaps not to put in quite enough wine, so it was perhaps a tad dry.
I shall make this again, I see the diced steak on offer at Waitrose. I know I don’t need to economise, but it shows you can make a delicious meal for two with £2.25 of steak, an onion, some celery, a tin of tomatoes, some spices and some wine.
This recipe also shows the usefullness of my shallow casserole. It is definitely something that I don’t regret buying.
I have just read an article in The Times describing a diet for your brain.
They also publish the neurologist’s eating rules as down to Dr. David Perlmutter, in a book called Grain Brain.
So what does the diet advocate? A lot of things that I stick to fairly well, like certain fruits, vegetables and oily fish, with possibly a glass of red wine a day. But above all it says avoid gluten!
So far so good!
But then he’s an American from Florida!
Last night i cooked one of Lindsey Bareham’s recipes. it’s called Roast Salmon with Paprika, Garlic And Parsley.
I just put the salmon in a dish and after brushing it with olice oil gave it ten minutes in the oven at 200°C. I then covered the fish with a mixture of paprika, garlic abd fresh parsley.
It was delicious.
Some might not like the broccoli I served with it, but that is personal taste. C wouldn’t have put her mouth, nose or fingers near it!
lindsey incidentally, has a new cookbook out called Just One Pot. You can buy it here from her web site. I shall be getting a copy!
As I found at Nottingham recently, restaurants that can do a good gluten-free mea, tend to cluster. I’ve eaten in three places in Spitalfields; Carluccio’s. Leon and Pizza Express, but a new one called Canteen has opened.
All gluten-free meals are marked and they also state.
Other dishes can be made gluten-free on request.
Why don’t a lot more restaurants say that, as I know from experience many good chefs can make food gluten free.