Red Hamburger Relish

Posted in gluten free, recipe, relish on July 17th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

As a child I frequently had Bick’s Hamburger Relish. The availability of this product in the USA is spotty at best, so as usual I made it myself. This recipe is really, really close to what I remember, and you can easily make a half batch.

  • 7 cups ground cucumbers (approximately 7 medium sized cucumbers, weight roughly 3.5lb/ 1.6kg), any liquid drained
  • 5 cups ground onions (approximately 1.25lb / 570g), any liquid drained
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml / 72g pickling salt (substitute by weight with any non-iodine salt such as sea salt or kosher salt)
  • 3 to 4 large red and green peppers, ground
  • one 28oz/795g can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups / 720 to 780ml white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. allspice, ground
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup / 120 to 180ml brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup / 120 to 180ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 to 4 cups / 720 to 960ml white sugar
  • 3/4 cup / 180ml flour (or GF substitute such as xanthan gum)
  • Makes about 10 to 12 pints
    Mix ground cucumbers, onions, and peppers with salt in a large bowl. Let stand overnight and then drain.
    Cook all other ingredients in a large pot and boil for about 5 minutes.
    Add cucumber mixture and bring back to a boil.
    *May add extra sugar, spices, vinegar to get desired taste.
    Boil for 15 minutes and pour into sterilized jars and seal.

    I know the recipe says hamburger relish, but this is equally lovely with sausages or other grilled meats. And yes, I increased the mustard seed to 2 tablespoons because I like mustard seeds. Why else make it yourself if you don’t customise it?

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    Chocolate and peanut butter mug cake

    Posted in dessert, gluten free, recipe on July 11th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    As an added bonus, you can easily make this keto friendly or vegan. Makes 2 decent sized mug cakes, or 1 if you have a huge mug and are feeling gluttonous!

    Whisk together:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whisk into the liquids:

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml sweetener (sugar, monk fruit, erithrytol…)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Let the batter sit for 15 to 20 minutes to let the gum do its thing.

    Portion the batter into your mug as follows:

  • 1/4 cup of batter
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of batter
  • Microwave on HIGH for 90 seconds and check. The surface should be just set. If it isn’t, zap for another 15 seconds at a time until it is. (If you’re being gluttonous and put the whole batch into a gigantic mug, you might want to microwave for 2 minutes and check then for done-ness.)

    Let your mug cake sit for a minute or two before you tuck in to avoid the “molten chocolate lava” feeling.

    If you want to amp up the chocolate flavour try adding a little instant coffee powder. Start with just a little, maybe 1/4 teaspoon, because you might end up in mocha town instead.

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    Balsamic-grape jelly

    Posted in gluten free, jelly, pectin, recipe on June 25th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    Our home city recently lost a culinary institution. One of their specials was to serve their grilled cheese sandwich with what they called “balsamic jam”. I never had their grilled cheese, and their “balsamic jam” was actually “balsamic jelly” made by adding balsamic vinegar to grape jelly in a 1:3 ratio of vinegar to jelly.

    This is my tribute to that. It’s not the same, but it is absolutely delicious paired with grilled cheese, poured over cream cheese, or on toast!

  • 3 cups balsamic vinegar (700ml / 24fl oz)
  • 2 cups grape juice (16fl oz / 475ml)
  • 1 cup water (240ml / 8fl oz)
  • 1lb / 450g sugar, reserve about 1/2 cup
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 2tsp vanilla flavour
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tsp calcium water
  • 2tsp Pomona’s Universal Pectin Powder
  • Put the first 9 ingredients in a pot. Bring it to an active simmer, not boiling. Switch it off and come back to the mix the next day.

    Strain out the spices. Add the 2tsp calcium water to the mix. Bring to a boil. Stir the pectin into the reserved sugar and stir vigorously to incorporate.

    Makes about 7 cups of jelly.

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    Gluten free Lorne sausage

    Posted in British food, gluten free, recipe, sausages on June 23rd, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    Lorne sausage is Scotland’s own sausage. Made well, with good ingredients, it is delightfully different. Sadly all too many are made without care and with iffy ingredients, so they are merely “tasty” instead of “delightful”. Here’s a gluten free version for those who have to avoid wheat and other gluten bearing grains.

  • 1 cup rice, cooked in 2 cups lightly salted water, cooled in fridge overnight
  • 4lbs ground meat
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 3 tsp salt
  • Weigh the cooked rice. Add water to make 800g / 1lb 12oz. Add in all the ground spices and salt. Grind up to a rough paste in your food processor or with mortar and pestle – you don’t want it totally smooth, but you want to avoid too many intact grains. Basically, don’t sweat it as this is going to make a “rustic” sausage.

    Mix the ground rice and spice blend into the ground meat. You’ll notice I didn’t specify which meat to use, this is because you can use whatever you have to hand. Beef, pork, chicken, or any combination you wish, just be sure to not use really lean cuts – you want the sausagemeat to be fairly fatty otherwise it’ll dry out when you cook it.

    Take your thoroughly blended sausagemeat and place it into a loaf pan. Cool thoroughly in the loaf pan then turn it out and cut into slices – a serrated blade works better if you have one.

    Fry in a little butter or over a grill or under a broiler until it’s cooked – I’m not giving you a cook time because I cut them thick and you might cut them thinly. You’ll want to see a good dose of Golden Brown And Delicious appearing there. Don’t forget to let it rest a couple of minutes before eating it.

    And there you have it – Scotland’s rustic sausage, Lorne. No casings needed.

    OPTIONAL INGREDIENT – add 1/4 tsp pink salt / Prague Powder #1 to the spice blend. This will keep the meat the pink colour I associate with Lorne, but don’t use it if you don’t have it. Concentrate on Golden Brown and Delicious!

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    Peanut butter and dark treacle popcorn

    Posted in gluten free, recipe, sugar, vegetarian cooking on May 21st, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    This is one of those tweak recipes that makes you go WOW. It’s sweet, salty, savoury, and with a touch of bitterness. It’s also gluten free and vegan. Feel free to substitute to cater for allergies.

    This recipe makes a decent snack size portion for 2 to 3 people. It’s also quite filling!

  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup dark treacle (or molasses, or honey, each will change the overall flavour)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • heavy pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Pop the popcorn via your preferred method. I stick it in the microwave on popcorn setting.

    While the popcorn is popping, put the treacle and the sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once it’s boiling, add a heavy pinch of salt. Stir in the 1/2 cup peanut butter, bring back to the boil and then take off the heat.

    Decant the popcorn into a large bowl. Pour over the treacle / peanut butter mix and stir. Allow to cool before you destroy it!

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    Oat and banana waffles

    Posted in gluten free, recipe on May 18th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    Nice and simple, and gluten free.

    Preheat your waffle iron.

  • 1 heaped cup oats
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • drizzle of molasses just for flavour
  • up to 1/4 cup milk
  • Add the first 5 ingredients to your food processor. Blend to a smooth paste. Add the eggs and molasses and blend. Drizzle in milk to make a somewhat wet batter.

    Makes about 3 or 4 waffles, depending on your waffle iron. Serve with maple syrup or pancake syrup.

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    Queen of Puddings

    Posted in British food, dessert, gluten free, jams, pudding, recipe on May 10th, 2020 by stuart — 2 Comments

    For Mother’s Day, I asked my wife to choose a pudding we’d never had before. To be extra mean I handed her a book with over 140 classic British Pudding recipes – how horrible I am!

    She chose Queen of Puddings. I have had this once before in my whole life. It’s one I felt nervous about making, because… well, I’m not sure why. I just was.

    Thankfully the nerves were unnecessary. It’s actually quite easy to make, as pudding should be. And as a bonus, it’s easy to make gluten free!

  • 180g / 6.5oz breadcrumbs OR an equal mix of corn flakes and oats
  • 150g/5oz caster sugar (take granulated sugar and pulse in food processor till fine but not powder)
  • 600ml / 20oz / 2.5 cups milk
  • 60g / 2oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 100g / 3.5oz berry jam
  • Optional: zest of 1 lemon
  • Stir the breadcrumbs (or GF option) to mix with the zest and 30g/1oz of the sugar.

    Combine the milk, butter, and vanilla in a pan and heat gently until the butter is just melted. The mix should be slightly more than blood warm. Whisk the egg yolks into the warm milk then stir into the crumbs. Leave the mix to stand and soak for 10 minutes while you heat the oven to 180c/350f. Make sure they soak for at least 10 minutes.

    Pour the mixture into a buttered pie pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until it is cooked through and set – although it’s technically a custard, you want it to set fully.

    Warm the jam in a small pan or in the microwave until it’s liquid. Spread the jam over the baked base – it should make a generous coating.

    Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and gently fold the sugar in to make the meringue. Pile over the jam, spreading to the edge of the pie dish.

    Bake the meringue for 10 minutes or so until it’s lightly golden brown and slightly crunchy. Let the pudding cool down until it’s room temperature.

    Serve at room temperature or cold. Be prepared for some slight cognitive dissonance – it looks like pie, but it eats like pudding!

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    Stuart’s Gluten Free Simnel pudding

    Posted in British food, dessert, gluten free, information, pudding on April 20th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    Simnel Cake is a British Easter tradition. I decided to take the cake recipe and convert it to make a Simnel Pudding, because everyone needs some pudding in their life!

    Makes 1 large pudding. You can double the quantities to make 2.

  • 250g/8oz mixed dried fruit
  • 25g/1oz stem ginger (finely chopped or grated)
  • 1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1/2 orange (zest and juice)
  • 50g/1.75oz ground almonds
  • 50g/1.75oz buckwheat flour
  • 50g/1.75oz white rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tbsp mixed spice such as pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 125g / 4oz / 1 stick soft butter
  • 125g / 4oz brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 portion marzipan
  • 2 tbsp dark rum or bourbon (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp marmalade or apricot jam
  • Butter up your pudding basin.

    Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix or sift to combine. In a small bowl add all the fruit, ginger, zest and juices and stir to combine.

    Cream the butter and sugar. Blend in the flour and eggs in roughly 3 additions. Stir in the fruit and juices.

    Split the marzipan into 2 roughly equal portions. Pour half of the batter into the pudding basin. Form a rough disk with half of the marzipan and press gently onto the batter. Pour the rest of the batter on top of the marzipan disk. Steam for 2 hours.

    Pull the pudding out of your steamer. Pour the rum or bourbon on top, if using. Allow the pudding to cool for 20 to 30 minutes then turn out and brush with the marmalade or jam.

    Roll out the remaining marzipan to drape over the narrow top of the pudding. Use your hands to gently form the marzipan into a covering over the pudding.

    If you want to add a finishing touch, put the marzipan covered pudding under the broiler just until the top starts to brown, then serve.

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    Substitute for Ready Brek

    Posted in British food, gluten free on March 17th, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    As a child I liked the sickly sweet sugar laden breakfast cereals, like every other kid. I also liked Ready Brek, laden with honey or treacle.

    Ready Brek wasn’t so easy to find in the USA when I looked a while back, so I set out to make it myself. I saw the recipes and didn’t believe they were so easy.

    Well. It genuinely is that easy. Ready?

    Take

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • pinch of salt
  • Blend them in your food processor into a flour, as fine or as coarse as you prefer. Place into a small saucepan with

  • 1 cup milk
  • and cook to your desired level of thickness.

    That’s it. I told you it was easy!

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    Burger seasoning

    Posted in gluten free, recipe on February 23rd, 2020 by stuart — Be the first to comment!

    Any burger can be improved by some seasoning. This blend helps up the flavour quite a lot, and can be easily multiplied up and/or tweaked to taste.

  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder
  • Cook one side of the burger. Flip and season the cooked side. Once the second side is cooked, flip the burger again and season. Allowing your burger to rest will let the seasonings rehydrate and flavour the burger. Top it with your cheese of preference.

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