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.

December 1, 2011

Turkey and Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry Port Sauce

Christmas Nibbles

I know, I know, I'm quite late with this post, aren't I Dear Readers?

Please accept my apologies, but you see, I was whipped away by my beautiful parents to a few days in the Hunter Valley. Poor me :)

We had such a lovely time hanging out, trying wines, and just relaxing, that the lack of good Internet connection wasn't really as big a deal as it would otherwise have been, so if I haven't been visiting your blogs lately, I haven't stopped loving you, I just couldn't get onto you.

I promise I'll make up for my tardy behaviour with a post on a great organic vineyard soon, OK?


I'm not too fond of raw onion. One of my shoulder-shudder meals is when I get offered rissoles/hamburgers with chunks of uncooked onion in them. The meat may be lovely and moist, light and delicious, but the raw acidity of the onion overpowers it all, and gives me indigestion for hours, Yuck!

This of course, could be overcome by cooking out the onion and garlic first, but most folks are in a hurry, and in a commercial kitchen time is of the essence as well.

This is the time of year of School Formals (Proms), Office Christmas Parties, Cocktail Parties and sometimes all in the one night. This is also when I break out my secret ingredient for adding flavour without risking horrible raw tasting bits, and shaving many precious minutes of prep time..... Powdered Herbs.

You don't need to tell me that fresh is best- I'm already there people, but just sometimes these can be a clever chefs best friend, and if they're good quality they taste really good too.

Being Christmas and all, I just had to make one of my favourite seasonal recipes using the classics of Turkey and Cranberries. A perfect match. Make these tiny and bite sized, add a cocktail stick, and you have perfect nibbles to have with drinks, or make them larger for a Christmas Burger beyond compare!

Turkey and Cranberry Meatballs

500g Turkey Mince
2/3 cup dried Cranberries
1/4 cup gluten free flour
1/3 cup chopped fresh Sage
1 egg
1 Tab. Cranberry Sauce
1 Tab. Onion Powder
1 Tab. Celery Salt
2 tsp. Garlic Powder

Cranberry Port Sauce

1/2 cup Cranberry Sauce
1/2 cup Red Wine
1/4 cup Port

Finely chop the sage, and roughly chop the cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly with your hands for the best result

Form into little balls with wet hands to stop the mix sticking all over you

Place on a lined baking tray and pop into a preheated 180* oven for just 15 minutes, but check after 10 minutes in case yours are smaller than mine

Meanwhile, bring all the sauce ingredients to the boil, stir and simmer for a few minutes until it is glossy and just slightly reduced

Serve the Turkey Cranberry Meatballs with Cranberry Port Sauce and cocktail sticks to avoid messy fingers. Yumm...

So Dear Readers, do you like raw onion, or do you prefer yours cooked?



  1. this would be perfect for christmas nibbles! i love meatballs and that sauce sounds divine :)
    btw i 'seasoned' my claypot as i did when i got a wok ie heat it up super hot and add a little oil. Not sure if that was the right thing to do - should have googled it! but the meat certainly tasted delicious.....

  2. Sounds like you had some great fun. I've been know to eat raw onions like apples.

    I do have a question, will wetting your hands before making meatballs work with any type of meat?

  3. Wowww, this is such a great alternative and WAAAAAY easier than roasting a whole turkey. Am def gonna save this for my peckish days!! I love anything nibbly and bite sized. Things just taste so good when they're served on a skewer haha... Btw, very interested in the celery salt, never used that before but totally agree with you about the availability of great products to keep in your pantry for convenience! =)

  4. Dear InTolerant Chef

    I never cook whole turkey because I always find it dry. But these turkey mince balls might be something else since you have mixed it with all those ingredients and baked to golden brown. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Love it, so festive! My mum loves raw onion. Whenever we're prepping ingredients, she's nibbling away on it. It's weird. I've told her so haha. These meatballs look so great. & the Hunter Valley must have been beautiful, poor you indeed hehe :) Would love to hear about the organic vineyard!
    Heidi xo

  6. Yay for food on sticks :) lol. Love the combo too. I must say though, I do quite like raw nion. Im weird like that ;)

  7. what a great party dish! perfect for the Christmas season!

  8. I do raw onion when I make burgers, because the surface area is big enough that most of the onion gets cooked. With meatball or rissoles, though? Always carmelise before.

  9. Raw onions make me fart... just so's you know! :-)
    I'm really pleased that real chefs use the convenient stuff too - I always feel a bit guilty when I do, but not any more XO

  10. Oh yes you poor unfortunate soul :P These look yum! I use pretty much the same ingredients when I make lamb patties! yum!

  11. These look great! And sounds like you had a great time in the Hunter Valley too! :D

  12. We've never had meatballs as nibblies in my house because of our allergies, so it's truly exciting to see something we *could* all eat! Yum :)

  13. They look very delicious and Christmassy, Becca! I actually quite like raw onion.. :)

  14. Ew, raw onion makes me feel all sickly..

    .. Your meatballs, on the other hand, look delicious

  15. I'm with you, Bec - I hate raw onion. I also hate chopping onions - even chopping spring onions or leeks can make my eyes water. One of my favourite cheats, although I don't use it often as it makes me feel too guilty, is dried onion. Works a treat in things where the onion is needed for flavour and not to be seen.

  16. What lovely parents you have to whisk you away for a few days. I love the Hunter. Your turkey meatballs look very festive.

  17. These are brilliant! brilliant! What an awesome idea! I cannot even imagine how quickly these would disappear in my house. I am making these as soon as I get off the couch with this insane ankle injury that i got. This combines some of my boys favorite foods all in one!

  18. This reminds me of Thanksgiving. We are doing our Thanksgiving this Saturday, and this looks like the perfect thing for me to bring!

  19. Not even a finely sliced raw onion salad could tempt you?

  20. MMMMMM,...I have made similar cranberry balls before but I am sure loveing your version a lot! ;)
    I also love that lovely dipping sauce! Yummmmm,...!!! :)