Cooking hadn’t been my strong suit when my husband and I were young newlyweds. Then we had Emma in 1999 and she was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2000 – and guess who had to figure out how to cook? Yup …me. It wasn’t easy. And some of the cookbooks I had were either not very educational, had a zillion ingredients that I didn’t have any other use for, or the food just tasted downright icky. Those cookbooks are the exact opposite of what you’ll find in Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook by Robert M. Landolphi.
Learning about Gluten-Free Cooking
I found the cookbook to be a quick, easy read, which fits my busy lifestyle. Each chapter has an educational component so you learn about an ingredient or technique before you launch into more recipes. For example Landolphi writes,
“One challenge in gluten-free baking is that milder, blander flours such as tapioca, white rice, potato starch and cornstarch, when used on their own or combined incorrectly, tend to leave a slight aftertaste. However when they are combined in the right proportions with more assertive flours, such as brown rice, sorghum, chestnut or garbanzo, they work together to create a richer, cleaner and more enjoyable taste.” — Robert M. Landolphi
And his first chapter “Gluten-Free Basics” lists all of the flours and starches that can be used in the gluten-free diet, but not just that, with each listing it includes what the product would be used for, how it’s kept (freezer, refrigerator or cupboard) and for how long – plus the nutritional information like how much fiber and protein is in it? Sample:
“Brown rice flour: Has a grainy texture and nutty taste that work exceptionally well in baked goods. In addition, it is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to one month, refrigerate for up to six months or freeze for up to one year.”
These are all things that are great to know when picking your flours for baking – especially when there are some flours that you don’t use as much as others.
Baking the Recipes
Once I read through the book I knew the two things I wanted to cook: Landophi’s Macaroni and Cheese and the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake. It took me a while to get the gumption up to really cook – often I’m not as motivated in the summer as I am during the “comfort food months”.
But this week I sat down and made sure I had the ingredients for these two food items and got ‘er done. In fact it was completely worth it!
The Macaroni and Cheese was rich, cheesy with an added crunch of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese on top. A perfect dish to share at a potluck! And the dessert was a joyful combination of cheesecake and chocolate. Plus the crust is a great alternative to graham cracker crust.
These comfort foods were so worth trying! And so is this cookbook! The cookbook is really great for the new gluten-free cook, but it is also good to have in a veteran’s repertoire. So if you’re searching for a cookbook to help mix things up – this is the one for you.
I will see about getting permission to give you the recipes of the two items I made. Keep checking back and I’ll let you know.