Gluten-free made easy with Gearoid Lynch
It’s Coeliac Awareness Week and we’re delighted to highlight how easy it is to make something gluten-free without a massive amount of effort.
Anyone diagnosed as a coeliac knows how difficult it can be to eat out at a restaurant or at a friends for fear of being exposed to gluten or not being able to order your firm favourites. But it really only takes a few small tweaks to turn a dish into a coeliac-friendly delight. We wish more chefs would get on board!
If you have any qualms about it or want to gain a bit of confidence with gluten-free cooking, then look no further than Gearóid Lynch’s My Gluten-Free Kitchen.
To celebrate Coeliac Awareness Week, we’re sharing some beautiful recipes from the book. I’ve served all three to non coeliacs and no-one noticed the difference (it’s a regular occurrence in my house because I love cooking and I like to make things that I can eat!)
Gearoid himself was diagnosed as a coeliac three years ago and missing some of his favourite he set out to create coeliac-friendly versions of everyday foods. This is a practical book and the food tastes fantastic.
You’ll never wish for a scone, pizza, chicken kiev or fish and chips again as the book is full of tempting breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts for every occasion.
TRADITIONAL FISH AND CHIPS (pictured above) Serves 4
vegetable oil, for frying
150g gluten-free plain white flour blend
zest of 1 lemon
2 sprigs of fresh dill, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 x 180g pieces of whatever white fish is
in season, boned (ask your fishmonger
to do this for you)
tartare sauce, to serve
lemon wedges, to serve
for the batter:
80g gluten-free plain white flour blend
¼ tsp gluten-free baking powder
160ml gluten-free lager
¼ tsp white wine vinegar
for the home-cut chips:
8 large Maris Piper potatoes
Place the flour blend, cornflour and baking powder in a large bowl and mix together, then make a well in the centre. Add the beer and vinegar, season with a little salt and pepper and whisk to combine
into a batter. Leave to rest for 1 hour in the fridge or you could even make the batter the day before you need it.
While the batter is resting, peel the potatoes and cut them into even rectangular chips. Steam the chips for 8 minutes in a steamer or in a colander set over a pot of boiling water. Once the chips are slightly
tender, remove them from the heat and leave to cool.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer until it reaches 180°C. Preheat the oven to 130°C.
To prepare the fish, place the flour in a large, shallow dish with the lemon zest, dill and seasoning. Coat the fish in the flour and shake off any excess. Next, coat the fish in the batter and gently lower it into the fryer, placing the fish away from you.
Cook for 6–8 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is. The cooked fish must be moist and slightly undercooked and the batter should be quite crisp. Transfer to a baking tray and keep the fish warm in the oven while you cook the chips.
To finish cooking the chips, bring the fryer back up to 180°C, add the chips and cook for 5 minutes, until they are crisp and golden with a fluffy texture in the centre. Drain on kitchen paper and season.
Serve the fish and chips with tartare sauce and a lemon wedge. To get ahead you could make the batter one day in advance.
ONION GRAVY Serves 4–6
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
20g light brown sugar
200ml red wine
100ml beef or chicken stock (page 148)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the onions and cook very slowly for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and check that the onions aren’t burning. They will change colour to a golden brown.
Add the brown sugar, red wine and stock to the onions and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. This should reduce the liquid by half. Taste and season as required.
STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING Serves 8–10
175g dark muscovado sugar
75g butter, softened, plus extra for
30g golden syrup
2 eggs, at room temperature
200g gluten-free self-raising flour
200g pitted dates
1 tsp bread soda
for the toffee sauce:
100g dark muscovado sugar
200ml double cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease 8–10 dariole moulds with a little butter. Using the paddle attachment on a food mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. This should take about 10 minutes.
Scrape down the bowl from time to time to ensure that the mixture is fully combined. Add the treacle and golden syrup and mix well. Add the eggs one a time, mixing well between each addition, then add the flour and mix again, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until all the ingredients are fully combined.
Place the dates in a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat and purée the date mixture with a hand-held blender to produce a sloppy mixture. Add the bread soda to the date purée and blend again, then add the date purée to the cake batter and blend well.
Pour the batter into the greased moulds and bake for 20–25 minutes, until the cake shrinks away from the sides of the moulds and springs back when gently pressed with a finger.
While the puddings are baking, you can make the toffee sauce. Melt the butter and sugar together in a saucepan, then add the double cream.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove the puddings from the moulds and pour the warm toffee sauce over the puddings to serve.
To get ahead: The puddings freeze well. Place in a ziplock bag or sealed container, then freeze. Defrost at room temperature, top with toffee sauce and reheat in a microwave.
My Gluten Free Kitchen, published by Gill Books, is priced at €24.99 and available from all good bookshops.
Gearoid Lynch purchased The Olde Post Inn in Cloverhill, Co Cavan with his wife Tara in November 2002. Both from Co. Cavan, they live locally with their four children, Órán, Lorcan, Emma and Eoin.