Sunday, May 30, 2010

All that was left of lunch

Yesterday Bruce and I had friends over for lunch to view the premiere screening of our wedding video taken by our friend Fiona. While I was the only coeliac at the lunch, everything was gluten-free. It was a bit of a Thai affair with the main course a red chicken curry and pumpkin, basil and chilli stir-fry with rice. This was followed by Jody Vassallo's Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut cake (see recipe in What I am cooking on this blog) with strawberries, blueberries and ice cream (Cadbury gluten-free ice cream). Everything was washed down with a few glasses of champagne and wine and at the end of the day all that was left was a tiny portion of cake.

The red chicken curry recipe came from a 1991 Australian Women's Weekly Easy Thai-style cook book that I resurrected from a box of books waiting for us to have a garage sale or take to Vinnies. It's a pretty simple dish with the main time taken in making the curry paste, which in my case took a bit longer as I couldn't get my very cheap blender to work. Anyway with a bit of intervention from Bruce the mechanic, it eventually ground and chopped up the Spanish onion, garlic, coriander roots, dried chilli flakes, galangal powder, grated lime rind, shrimp paste, paprika, turmeric, cumin seeds and oil – into a fragrant paste. The other ingredients are green shallots, chicken thigh fillets, fish sauce and coconut milk. The other dish came from a more recent Thai cookbook called Beginners Thai, Step-by-step to Perfect Results also in The Australian Women's Weekly cookbook series. Bruce was the master of this dish, which was very delicious despite my overcooking of the pumpkin, which made it turn into mash.The only gluten-free substitute that was needed was Tamari soy sauce instead of a wheat-containing brand.

Traditionally Thai food does not contain a lot of gluten but in recent years I have found that more and more restaurants are using mass produced curry pastes and sauces that include gluten. At the same time a number of Thai restaurants are specifying dishes that are gluten-free on their menus, which makes eating out a lot easier for coeliacs. One Thai restaurant that I know offers a gluten-free menu is Thai Potong at Newtown in Sydney's inner west.

On checking on The Australian Women's Weekly cookbook website, which seems to be managed in the UK, I found that they produce two coeliac-friendly cookbooks called Gluten-free Eating and Gluten-free Cooking.

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