26 September 2023

Global Guide To Gluten-Free

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By Christine Salins.


If you need – or want – to eat gluten-free, a new book from Phaidon takes all the guess work out of deciding what to cook. The Gluten-Free Cookbook (rrp $65) is a comprehensive collection of 350 recipes from 80 countries.

Apart from its broad scope and global appeal, the other thing that sets it apart from gluten-free cookbooks that have come before it is that absolutely every ingredient in the book is naturally gluten-free.

That means you won’t find any pasta dishes made from store-bought gluten-free pasta, for example. Nor will you find recipes for breads or pastries where traditionally used wheat flour is substituted with an alternative flour. Where the book’s recipes use coconut flour or almond flour, for example, it’s because that’s the way the recipe is traditionally made.

In other words, all the recipes are inherently gluten-free rather than relying on gluten-free substitutes. Among the recipes are classics such as Creole Jambalaya from the United States, Salmon Sushi Rolls from Japan, Corn Roti from India, Injera from Ethiopia, Farinata from Italy (a thin cake made with chickpea flour), Paella from Spain, Sweet Rice Cake Balls from Korea, and Grilled Pike from South Africa.

It’s all a bit of a romp around the world, with interesting little snippets about the dishes’ origins.

Author Cristian Broglia clearly had a lot of fun in putting the collection together. “Compiling and cooking through these recipes, I was reminded of the pleasures of my travels, the markets I visited, the restaurants where I dined, the foods and flavors I loved most, and the books I read,” he writes in the introduction.

Broglia runs a research and development food laboratory called CHEFin LAB in his home town of Parma, Italy. Although Italy, with its pasta, pizza and pastry, doesn’t seem like a place to start a volume on gluten-free cooking, this is exactly what prompted him to begin his research.

In doing so, he uncovered many treasured gluten-free recipes close to home that encouraged him to continue his search internationally.

The book encompasses breakfast, starters, soups, breads and wraps, rice and noodles, salads, vegetables and legumes, fish and shellfish, meat and poultry, and desserts and sweet treats. Recipe icons indicate whether the dishes are vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, nut-free, can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, and/or use 5 or fewer ingredients.

Guacamole With Homemade Tortilla Chips

Serves: 4

For the tortilla chips:

¾ cup sunflower oil

12 corn tortillas, store-bought or homemade (see note), each cut into triangles

Coarse salt

For the guacamole:

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 serrano chilies, seeded and very finely chopped, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon minced fresh coriander

Fine sea salt

3 avocados, halved and pitted

¾ cup (135g) finely chopped tomatoes, plus more for garnish

Make the tortilla chips:

  1. Line a baking tray with paper towels. In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Carefully drop a small piece of tortilla in the oil. If it sizzles it is the right temperature.
  2. Working in batches, carefully add a handful of tortilla wedges to the hot oil, turning them with tongs or a slotted spoon. Increase the heat to high and fry until the tortilla chips just begin to turn golden and firm, about two minutes. Move the chips to the paper towels using a metal slotted spoon.
  3. Line a second baking tray with paper towels. Reduce the heat under the frying pan to medium. Working in batches, cook the chips a second time until really crispy. Transfer the freshly fried chips to the fresh paper towels and sprinkle them with coarse salt.

Make the guacamole:

  1. In a large mortar, combine the onion, serranos, coriander, and fine sea salt to taste. Grind with the pestle until you have a smooth paste. Scoop the avocado flesh into the mortar and grind until the mixture is still slightly chunky. Fold the tomatoes in with a fork. Add more sea salt to taste.
  2. Serve the tortilla chips and guacamole in separate bowls, garnishing the guacamole with a little more serrano and tomato.

Note: You will get better results frying the tortilla chips if the tortillas are a bit dry and stale, so leave them out of their package overnight, exposed to air, or dry them out in the oven at 180 deg C for five minutes. They don’t need to be crisp, just dry.

From: The Gluten-Free Cookbook, by Cristian Broglia. Published by Phaidon, RRP $65.

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