Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

chocolate chip muffins

I’ve been meaning to try and make these for a while now, but kept making other things instead.

      • 125g gluten free plain flour
      • 25g cocoa powder
      • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
      • 1 large egg
      • 60g caster sugar
      • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
      • 100ml whole milk
      • 50g chocolate chunks
      • Dark chocolate chips for decoration.

Heat the oven to 180ºC or 160ºC for a fan oven.

In your muffin tin or tray add six muffin cases. 

Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a medium bowl. 

In a jug add the egg, sugar, oil and milk, then mix well together

Gradually pour part of the mix into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Then add some more, repeat until all the ingredients in the jug are combined with the flour, cocoa and baking powder.

Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Scatter a few dark chocolate chips on top of the muffins.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the muffin tray for 15 minutes and then remove from the tray.

Not 100% sure about the blue muffin cases, but you’re not going to eat them are you?

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto

Having thought for many years that risotto was a complex dish to cook I now find it one of my go to recipes when we want something tastier than plain rice to go with a meal. Sometimes we just have the risotto.

One of the key ingredients for this is the rice.

For this recipe I used:

      • 250g of Gallo Traditional Risotto Rice
      • 1 clove of garlic
      • 1 onion 
      • 1 red pepper
      • 1/4 of a butternut squash
      • 4 chestnut mushrooms
      • 20g of butter
      • Dried Italian herbs
      • Splash of olive oil
      • 1 Knorr Chicken Stock Pot
      • 15g of dried porcini mushrooms (rehydrated)
      • 50g parmesan cheese
      • Water
      • Parsley

Dice the onion, pepper and butternut squash.

Cut the chestnut mushrooms into chunks.

Rehydrate the porcini mushrooms by placing in container and covering in boiling water, and set aside to hydrate. I used some from Lidl.

In a large hot frying pan add the olive oil and the butter. When the butter has melted and is sizzling, add the garlic, diced onion, pepper and butternut squash.

When these are softened add the chestnut mushrooms.

The add the Gallo Traditional Risotto Rice and stir into the mushroom, onion and pepper mixture, until the rice is coated and well stirred in the pan.

Add the Knorr Chicken Stock Pot and water to cover the rice. Stir well.

As the water and stock is absorbed, add more water and continue to stir. 

Cook the rice for 16-18 minutes until the rice is soft tender and creamy, but the grains are still firm.

Stir in the chopped rehydrated porcini mushrooms as well as the parmesan cheese and finely chopped parsley.

Season if required.

Serve.

That’s not a recipe…

That’s not a recipe, that’s just a way to construct a dish.

In my cookery book collection I have a 1980s recipe book from Sainsbury’s. There are some interesting recipes in there, but this recipe caught my eye, Prawn and Artichoke Vol-au-Vents.

No, this wasn’t a recipe which inspired me, it was more that I couldn’t quite see how this was a recipe.. This was a way to construct a dish.

Take some processed food and put it all together. Don’t make a sauce from scratch, just use a sauce mix. Throw in some canned vegetables and defrosted frozen prawns. Don’t make pastry, just bake some prepared frozen vol-au-vent cases.

To me if this was a recipe, it should be about making a sauce from ingredients, cook some vegetables over using canned. I’ll let the prawns go on this one. Make come vol-au-vents, rather than use ones from the freezer. The construction process isn’t wrong per se, just that I think it shouldn’t be in a recipe book.

Gluten Free Choc Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Choc Chip Cookies

My son found a recipe online choc chip cookies which we tried, though we replaced the standard flours with gluten free variants. These were nice, but they were a little too crisp and a little too sweet.

He then adjusted the recipe and the result was tasty chewy gluten free choc chip cookies. What I and my son liked about them was that they were very similar in taste and texture to the fresh (non-gluten) cookies you can buy at supermarkets that he use to enjoy before he went gluten free.

Ingredients

225g of unsalted butter
125g gluten free bread flour
125g gluten free plain flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
100g caster sugar
120g light brown sugar
85g plain chocolate chips
130g plain chocolate chunks or chopped chocolate bar
One teaspoon salt
One teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Two teaspoons of vanilla essence

The adjustments we made to the original recipe was to increase the amount of flour, reduce the amount of sugar and swap the dark brown sugar for light brown sugar.

Melt the butter in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. The aim is to boil off some of the water off the butter. The recipe said to go ensure the milk solids got a nutty brown. I was a little wary in case of burning the butter, so didn’t probably go far enough. Once the butter melted and had turned slightly brown this was removed from the heat and cooled to room temperature.

Cream the liquid butter with the sugar, vanilla essence. The idea is to mix it until it is light and fluffy. The recipe calls for an electric mixer, ours was broken, so we did it by hand, which was hard work. Beat in the eggs until they are incorporated into the mixture.

Combine the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda.

Stir in the dry ingredients a third of it at a time until it is incorporated.

Using a wooden spoon fold in the chocolate chips and chunks.

Chill.

Place six small balls, about 2-3cm across, of dough on a baking tray and bake for 6-9 minutes.

This quantity of ingredients will make about eighteen cookies.

After cooking leave on the tray and then after three minutes move to a rack to cool further.

Eat!

Simple Pasta Salad

pasta salad

Over the summer months we have been eating a lot of salad. To accompany the other salads we have, I sometimes make a simple pasta salad. I cook the pasta and when it is cooked, I drain the pasta, place it back in the pan and fill with cold water, drain and then repeat. The aim is to both cool the pasta down, but also stop it from cooking and getting too soft and sticky.

To the cooked pasta I add various ingredients, what I add depends very much what we have in the fridge. Some I cook, some I add raw.

Our usual favourites include, onions, pepper, courgettes and mushrooms. These are usually cooked in a pan, cooled and then added to the salad. Raw ingredients I have used include cucumber, tomatoes and spring onions.

The mix of pasta and other stuff, I season the salad with olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir and serve.

I have been using gluten free pasta, which when fresh is fine, however unlike wheat based pasta doesn’t stay soft if you keep it until the next day, so it’s very much a matter of eat it today.

Spicy Crunchy Chicken Bites

These were an attempt to make my own version of the Santa Maria Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites that we usually have. I had to make my own, as I was unable to get hold of a pack of the Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites Seasoned Corn Coating.

The end result wasn’t quite the same, however they were very tasty and enjoyed by all.

The method I used was to take some chicken thighs and slice them into equally sized strips.

These were then coated in gluten free flour, before then been coated in an egg mix and finally coated in a mix of gluten free breadcrumbs, cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper.

You could fry these, however I baked mine in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

They go well with sour cream and wrapped in mini tortillas.

Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites Seasoned Corn Coating

I like this packet for making crunchy chicken bites.

A mild blend for light, oven-baked, crunchy, gluten free bites. Use our simple blend to make delicious Colombian-inspired crunchy chicken bites in your oven. We use corn, instead of wheat, to get that extra crispiness which is loved by adults and kids alike, making it perfect for a family night in. Buen provecho!

What I also like about this pack is that it is gluten-free.

The process is nice and simple, I take some chicken thighs and cut them into strips which are placed in a bowl, to which I add some sunflower oil and the contents of the pack. This is mixed together and then the chicken is placed on a baking tray. I usually line the tray with baking parchment.

The chicken strips are then cooked in the oven.

What you get a crunchy spicy chicken. I like to eat them in a wrap with some sour cream and pea shoots. 

However I am now having real trouble finding it in my local supermarkets, Morrisons no longer sell it, my local Waitrose had it on special for a while, but now it’s no longer on the shelves. In theory it’s available at Asda, but I have never seen it at my nearest branch. So as a result I have been looking at making my own version using spices and gluten free breadcrumbs.

Time for some Chicken Fajitas

Alongside my steak fajitas I made some chicken fajitas as well.

Chicken Fajitas

I make versions of this dish quite often, but the method is pretty much the same. With the chicken I prefer to use chicken thighs. These I cut into strips. I then added sliced onion and pepper to the chicken before adding some fajita seasoning.

This chicken, onion and pepper mix is then cooked in a hot frying pan until the chicken is cooked through. I finished off the dish with some chopped fresh coriander.

The fajitas I serve with warm tortilla wraps, sour cream, guacamole and salsa. I also like to add some pea shoots into the mix as well and thinly sliced radishes.

Gluten Free Spicy Crispy Chicken Strips

I made these spicy crispy chicken strips to accompany an asian inspired meal I was cooking.

Gluten Free Spicy Crispy Chicken Strips

I cut some chicken thighs into strips and then coated them in a homemade batter. The batter was made from gluten free self raising flour, mixed with a single egg and flavoured with salt and pepper, and Schwartz Japanese 7 Spice Yakitori Seasoning. The aim was to coat the chicken with the batter, ensure the batter is thick enough to coat the chicken, but not too thick so that there is a thick layer of batter on the chicken.

The chicken strips are then shallow fried in batches in hot oil. After draining on kitchen paper, I finished them off in the oven.

I served them with sweet chilli sauce.

Time for Steak Fajitas

I make versions of this dish quite often, but the method is pretty much the same. My main variation is on the kind of steak I use. I like using ribeye, but other cuts work just as well. For this version, I used a bavette cut of steak, I fried this in a frying pan and when I was happy with how it was cooked, I removed the steak from the pan and let it rest.

Whilst the steak is resting, in the same pan, I cook the onions and peppers. I usually add some fajita seasoning at this point. For one piece of steak I use one pepper and one onion. Though as I like different coloured peppers, I might use a third of three different kinds.

I do find when I am usually cooking a bavette cut that I undercook it, so after the steak had rested I sliced it and then finished off the steak in the pans with the onions and pepper.

The fajitas I serve with warm tortilla wraps, sour cream, guacamole and salsa. I also like to add some pea shoots into the mix as well and thinly sliced radishes.