I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.


Gluten and lactose are not my friends.


Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.


I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

February 28, 2015

Korean Seafood Pancake- Haemul Pajeon



Anyone who's a regular reader of my little blog will know that the InTolerant household has a deep love of Asian food


Our love affair with Chinese Dim Sum or Yum Cha is well documented, and Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese food is on our dinner menu probably more than any other type of cooking. I have to admit though that we've never delved very deeply into Korean.
Bulgogi and Korean style BBQ are firm favourites, but it wasn't until BigJ travelled across to South Korea on business last year where he tried and fell in love with some key ingredients (see here) that I decided to do a bit of research and try a few Korean recipes at home

In a fortuitous bit of Serendipity, I caught an episode of Korean Food Made Simple on Foxtel this week where cook Judy Joo was making a yummy looking seafood pancake. It seemed like such an easy and delicious recipe that once I make it I just had to share it with you all. It doesn't actually need many Korean ingredients and is easy to change up to gluten free without any loss of taste or texture at all- yummo!


Judy Joo's Seafood  Paejeon Korean Pancake



150grm gf SR Flour
300ml cold Water
2Tab Korean Soybean Paste (*not always gluten free, so substitute with mild gf Korean Chilli Paste, gf Miso or even gf Oyster Sauce)
10 large Prawns
4 Scallops
5 Spring Onions
2 large Red Chillis
2 Garlic Cloves
Salt and Pepper
Oil for frying

Dipping Sauce
2 finely diced Spring Onions
4 tab gf Soy Sauce (Kikkomans is great)
1 1/2 tab gf Rice Vinegar
1 tab Sesame Oil
1 tab crushed toasted Sesame Seeds
1 tab Korean Chilli Flakes/ finely diced chilli

For the sauce: simply combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl and let the flavours mingle while you make the pancakes

For the Pancakes:


Cut the prawns in half through back and remove the black line. Slice the scallops through in thirds making nice thin slices as well



Julienne the spring onions lengthwise- I used this nifty little tool that you just drag through, easy-peasy



Finely chop the chilli, leave the seeds or not depending on what amount of zing you enjoy



Slice, chop or grate the garlic finely as well. For this type of recipe I like to use a microplane as biting into a big chunk of raw garlic in a pancake isn't actually that pleasant



This is the Korean Soybean Paste, Doenjang. There are some on the market that are gluten free, but otherwise substitute as suggested



My lazy style to avoid washing up is to just pop all the ingredients in a bowl as they're ready



Mix it all around well until nicely combined and covered with batter



Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat and add about one third of the batter. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the bottom



Flip over carefully and cook the other side until golden as well, about another 3 minutes or so. Make another 2 with the rest of the batter



Doesn't this look pretty- so brown and crispy!



Cut the pancake into smallish squares or wedges. No knives are on a Korean table so everything should come to the table chopstick sized


Serve while still hot and crispy with the dipping sauce

What a yummy dish indeed, the seafood is protected by the batter so it's just cooked through, still soft and sweet and the shredded spring onions mellow with the cooking. If all Korean food is this tasty, I can definitely see it becoming a staple on our table in the very near future too!


So Dear Reader, what's your favourite Asian cuisine, and have you tried much Korean food before?



February 11, 2015

A Quick Fix Mix for Pancakes



We all live such very busy lives nowadays


I'm really very fussy about what I feed my family, and although I'll buy and grow as much real, fresh food as possible, I do tend to buy ready made snacks for work and school lunches

We all need a little cheat now and then, whether it's buying ready made or packet mix, and the cheatingest packet pre-mix of all are those shake and mix Pancake jugs.  littlej in particular is a fan of these, the lure of a quick treat for a weekend breakfast is hard to resist- especially if she can bribe me into buying the packet for her by offering me breakfast in bed on the occasional Saturday morning

These mixes can be pretty pricey when you think about the cost of the raw ingredients, so I wanted to try and make my own. I was so very happy with the results both with cost and flavour, that I just had to share it with you all and hope you can persuade someone into making you breakfast in bed too :)


Better than the ones in the shop!


Gluten Free Pancake Pre-mix

6 cups gf Plain Flour
2 cups dried Milk Powder (or leave out for dairy free)
1/2 cup White Sugar or Castor Sugar
1/3 cup gf Baking Powder
2 tsp Bicarb Soda
1 tsp Salt



Pop everything into a big bowl together



 Mix very, very thoroughly. You could sift it together if you really want to, but I just run a whisk through it until it's lovely, light and combined


Fill a nice big jar or container with the yummy mix. My jam funnel came in very handy for this- no spills at all  :)



Make sure you write the instructions/ratio down so there's no mistake,



Of course the next logical step is to use some of the mix to make, of course, Pancakes!

2 cups of Pre-mix (I like my pancakes nice and thick and fluffy. If you like yours thinner and more crepe like, use maybe just one cup instead)
1 cup of Water (or milk if you didn't use dried milk powder)
1 Egg



Chuck them all in together



Mix briefly. Now just a tip, all gluten free flour mixes are different combinations of flours and starches so they may vary in density once mixed with the water. Just thin it down until it's the perfect consistency for you



Pour about half a cup at a time into a pre-warmed buttered or oiled pan and wait until small bubbles appear on the surface and the top is slightly set



Flip your little beauty over, let it puff up and finish cooking through. When it's done it should bounce back slightly when you press on it lightly with your finger



Using the ratios given, you will get 6 fabulous, fluffy flapjacks, but of course that depends how big you make them :)



So simple, so quick and easy! I figure with a big jar of this in the pantry the odds of BigJ making me breakfast in bed on Valentines Day just went up a notch or two :)


What a perfect gift, or a great hint that a wonderful, yummy breakfast is only a minute away!


So Dear Readers, do you often have breakfast in bed and do you use a lot of pre-mixes or is it strictly 'from scratch' for you?



February 2, 2015

In My Kitchen- February 2015



It's been a busy, busy week in the InTolerant household

BigJ is back at work for good and littlej has started another year of school. I peeked inside her math textbook, recoiled, shuddered and slammed it shut hard. There were hardly any numbers, it was full of letters and symbols and...stuff that looked scary. Surds and sines and imaginary numbers and things that looked like they belonged on one of The Big Bang Theory's whiteboards rather than in my daughters homework.
I can cut a chicken to serve 8 and divide a cake into 16 slices, but that's about the extent of it. She'd better not need any help from me in this subject!

The start of this week has also bought the start of this month- and we all know that means the latest edition of In My Kitchen, yay :) To check out what's happening in lots of kitchens around the globe, just go to darling Celia's blog here for the full list, and of course feel free to join in the fun as well



In My Kitchen...
is a stunning Mother of Pearl Caviar Spoon that my Mum bought back from the Philippines. Stainless steel and silver spoons aren't used for the precious, expensive little fishy eggs as they might leave a metallic taste or taint... now if I only had some caviar!


In My Kitchen...
are some beautiful blue glassware, courtesy of my friend Pony. She said she was tired of my old, thick, scratched ones and it was well past time for some new. The prettiness is just a sign of her unerring good taste, if it wasn't already obvious in her choice of friend :)



In My Kitchen...
also from Pony, so cute little Mason Jar Mugs. Won't these be nice full of maple syrup alongside some pancakes!



In My Kitchen...
a great cookbook from a chef I really admire. Full of interesting and inventive dishes that I just can't wait to get my teeth into



In My Kitchen...
a fun and fantastic Paella Set from MiddleC. I've been wanting a paella pan for ages, but couldn't justify it- isn't it nice when someone takes that decision out of your hands :)



In My Kitchen...
are some Korean Ingredients that BigJ fell in love with on a recent trip there for business. He absolutely adores the Ssamjang paste and we've been having lettuce wraps filled with grilled steak,rice and veggies smeared with this lovely, pungent, spicy sauce



In My Kitchen...
are some elegant Korean Table Utensils that BigJ bought back for me. The poor guy didn't have much time at all for sightseeing or shopping, but he still managed to get his priorities right and bring home presents for us all :)



In My Kitchen...
is some Earl Grey infused chocolate from T2. The bergamont flavours of Earl Grey match beautifully with the smooth chocolate- yummo


In my Kitchen...
is a Heat Proof Glove. With all the bottling/preserving/jamming I've been doing lately it's come in really handy for grabbing hot jars without scalding my hands as I would usually do



In My Kitchen...
speaking of preserving, here is my new Bottling Funnel. So much easier for filling jars with volcanically hot jam than just tipping it in and hoping it doesn't splash, or ladling it in tentatively in terror



In My Kitchen...
is a very small selection of my Summer Preserves. Plum Jam, Plum Sauce, Tomato Jam and Pickles are just the start of my collection- chutneys and passata are still to come



In My Kitchen...
are some plumdiddlyumptious fresh Figs just bursting with sweetness! Such a wonderful fruit indeed and wonderful sweet or savoury or just straight off the tree



In My Kitchen...
alien looking but also delicious, Rambutans. Similar to lychees they are going into a big bowl of fruit salad to have with my lactose free yoghurt in the morning



In My Kitchen...
another alien looking fruit, Prickly Pears. Who knew that a cactus could taste good?



In My Kitchen...
Carob Pods found at the local markets. I grew up with carob instead of chocolate for treats and just love its earthy sweetness. My family might shudder when I have a steaming cup of hot carob instead of cocoa, but it's all joy to me


So Dear Readers, do you have any weird and wonderful goodies in your kitchen this month, and have you ever eaten Prickly Pear before?



January 24, 2015

In a Pickle!



This is the time of year when my garden comes into it's own

We've had LOTS of rain, LOTS of sun, and long, long Summer days. All of this adds up to LOTS of veggies!

The only thing that's confusing me is that my garden has somehow gone all topsy-turvey.
Normally I have heaps of carrots, capsicums and beans, and struggle to get a cucumber or two growing. But this year the cucumbers are starting to strangle the garden, my carrots are hibernating and my beans reluctantly spat out 6 pods. Who knows? I figure the best way is just to plant, plant, plant and hope for the best. With this weeks rain achieving one third of our annual precipitation in just one day and the bulk of the heat yet to come, my garden may spring into tropical mode and surprise me with bananas growing from the compost heap :)


Cucumbers aren't great keepers, they really need to be eaten fairly quickly after harvest. I have put them in salads, made instant pickles, juiced them, made cocktails and sorbet, gazpacho, given them away....and still have more than I can deal with. Littlej and I eat a lot of pickles/gherkins, so the logical choice was to process some ourselves for the lean times when the garden hunkers down for winter
Lovely fresh herbs, garlic from the garden and a simple pickling vinegar makes this a nice and easy recipe that will have you wishing you had cucumbers growing in your garden too



Cucumber Pickles

5 medium Cucumbers
3 cups White Vinegar
2 cups Sugar
1 head of Garlic
2 Tb Mustard Seeds
Dill
Salt

Slice the cucumbers nice and thin- the easiest way to do this is with a mandoline slicer



Layer the the slices in a colander and sprinkle each layer with a dusting of salt. The idea is to allow the salt to draw out some of the natural water in the cucumbers so they will stay crisp and last longer in the pickle. Leave these overnight



Rinse briefly to remove the salt, then drain well or pat dry



See how nice and bendy they are now? You couldn't do this with a fresh piece



Pop the vinegar, sugar, seeds and sliced garlic into a pot and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes



While the vinegar is boiling, fold the slices into warm, sterilized jars and add a few sprigs of dill to each



Pour the hot vinegar into the jars to almost the top, tapping them hard on the bench to make sure there are no air bubbles hiding in the cucumber slices. Make sure the slices are fully covered


Screw on the clean jar lids then turn the jars upside down briefly so the boiling hot vinegar comes in contact with the lid as well
Let the jars sit on the bench overnight to cool, the lids should pop down as a vacuum is formed and seal the contents perfectly. If any of them don't pop down, put them in the fridge and use first

You can of course eat these pickles after a day or two, but they really do taste much better indeed if you leave them for a few weeks to mellow and mature. The colour will change from bright green to a sort of khaki, but that's just from the acid and is nothing to worry about at all


Sweet and tangy, sharp and crunchy and with the fragrance of dill- Perfect with a Ploughman's lunch, delicious indeed!

So Dear Readers, do you like pickles and what's growing in your garden right now?