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Szechuan Roast Chicken


Anyone who needs to eat gluten free will know that eating out in many Asian eateries can be a nightmare so I have started making more and more gluten free versions of meals that I remember from my gluten days.

Don’t be tempted to through out the bones and leftover pan juices! Boil them up to make the most flavoursome stock for any future Chinese style cooking.

Serves 8.

Ingredients

2 x 1.6kg whole chickens

3 teaspoons Szechaun peppercorns

6 garlic cloves

60mls gluten free soy sauce

250mls chicken stock

40g ginger, skin on, thinly sliced

Method

In a mortar and pestle, crush the Szechaun pepper and garlic. Tip into your roasting tin.

Add the soy sauce, chicken stock and ginger to the roasting tin.

Take a chicken and carefully seperate the skin from the flesh over the breast and legs, repeat with the second chicken.

Place the chicken into the roasting tin and carefully pour some of the marinade under the skin of each bird and massage well in. Place a few ginger slices into the cavity of each chicken. Marinade the chicken, turning occasionally, for 6-8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Turn the chicken, breast side up, cover with a piece of dampened baking parchment and then with foil, ensuring that it is really well sealed.

Bake for 90 minutes.

Turn the oven up to 210 degrees, uncover the chicken and baste with the pan juices.

Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, basting regularly until cooked through and dark golden.

Allow to rest for talents 20 minutes.

While the chicken rests, strain the pan juices into a small pan, add a little chicken stock or water if you don’t have much.

Slice the chicken with the skin on and pour over the warmed pan juices.

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Basil Pesto

Cooking Up The Pantry

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The quickest meal in a family of five often involves pasta for 4 and a Gluten Free option for one.

I always have jars of pesto in the fridge  not just for pasta, spooned into a baked potato, smeared on to fish and chicken, used as a dip and there’s alway potato gnocchi!

Possibly the best reason for making this is it’s fridge life……. A year lurking, hopefully labelled, and it will still be good to go!

Leftover pasta? Great for school lunch boxes cold or hot or, stir through some drained, tinned beans, butter beans  work well, and you have another meal happening!

Makes 3 x 375g jars. One jar covers 500g dry pasta which serves 4-6 depending on appetite!

Ingredients

180g basil leaves

500mls olive oil, plus extra for sealing

200g pine nuts

8 cloves garlic, crushed

250g Parmesan, finely grated

salt and pepper

Method

Process the basil…

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Shepherd’s Pie

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This is where leftovers get elevated to another delicious dinner.

I have used the leftovers from the Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic.

Once we had the roast lamb I stripped the meat and froze it, boiled water in the roasting pan to get all the gooey brown juice off the base and added this to the bones in a pressure cooker, cooked it under pressure for 30 mins, drained the stock and froze it to use with the lamb for this pie.

However, this tastes just as good using stock powder so feel free to save time and get the stock cubes out!

If you have any left over cooked vegetables these can go in to the pie too.

Today I topped the pie with sliced potatoes but to save time you can use left over mashed potatoes, the mash will soak up a little of the juice and will taste delicious.

If you choose to top with the sliced potatoes, you can peel them if you want to be fancy but I don’t, there’s never enough time!

Ingredients

50mls olive oil

2 onions, finely diced

3 carrots, finely diced

400-600g leftover roast lamb

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

600mls stock

80mls Worcestershire sauce, gluten free

80mls tomato ketchup

4 medium potatoes, finely sliced

100mls cream

salt and pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.

Add the onions and carrot and slow cook until the onion is translucent.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the meat and cook over medium heat until the meat is beginning to get crispy bits all over as you stir it regularly.

Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce,tomato ketchup, salt and pepper,  mix well and leave to bubble until the sauce has reduced to a minimal amount.

Pour the meat mix into a casserole, set aside.

Bring a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil.

Add the potatoes, bring back up to the boil.

Boil for 3 mins, drain and refresh with cold water.

Layer the potatoes over the pie mix until they are all used.

Pour over the cream and season well.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Bake the pie for 45-50 mins until bubbling and golden brown.

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Cauliflower Cheese

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Cauliflower cheese is a must with corned beef!

I tend to make double quantity of sauce as it freezes well for an easy pasta bake another night. You can also double the quantity of cauliflower and sauce as it freezes well.

If I am making extra Cauliflower cheese I freeze it in a foil BBQ tray, lazy I know, but it means fewer dishes another night! Cover with foil and label clearly, something I often forget to do!

If you are making this as gluten free, double check your English mustard is gluten free, I’ve been caught out by mustard before.

To  make this with regular flours just omit the corn flour and rice flour and use plain flour instead.

This recipe makes enough for 4-6 serves.

Ingredients

I medium cauliflower, stalk and leaves removed,  broken into florets

50g butter

25g corn flour

25g rice flour

600mls milk

1 teaspoon English mustard

150g Tasty (mature Cheddar) cheese, grated

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Bring a large pan of salted water up to the boil, add the cauliflower and simmer for 10-15 mins, it is best a little al dente rather than mush.

Drain well and place in an oven proof dish, large enough to spread the cauliflower out to single but well packed layer.

In a medium pan melt the butter.

Add the flours and cook over medium heat for two minutes.

Add the milk and whisk continuously until thickened.

Add mustard and cheese, reserve some cheese for sprinkling on top, stir until melted.

Add salt and pepper to taste, stir well in.

Pour over Cauliflower and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 20 mins until cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling.

Serve with corned beef and mashed potatoes.