Since the FreeFrom Food Awards went all professional and we concertina-ed all our tasting/judging sessions into ten days in February, our loyal band of tasters has not only been out of work but seriously deprived of freefrom food! (They do still get one bite at the cherry before Christmas as we cannot leave our Christmas category judging until February or there would be no Christmas foods left!)
A summer Pimms party for everyone just to get together and say hello has now, therefore, become somewhat of a tradition. This year’s happened last Sunday – the first hour sipping Pimms and nibbling Inspiral raw crackits in the garden, the second half hour huddled round the barbecue under the gazebo hoping that the rain would go away and the rest of the afternoon round the kitchen table watching stair-rods lashing my delphiniums!
However, this gathering did inspire me to a burst of freefrom cooking and recipes for Griddled aubergines with mushrooms, Quinoa with anchovies and black olives, Marinated lamb with chillis and Puy lentils, Beetroot and carrot salad with horseradish, Courgettes, pepper and spinach salad and Barbecued chicken thighs marinated in coconut milk with lemongrass and chillis, either have already made their way into our recipe files, or soon will.
However, I did have what I thought was one stroke of genius which scarcely justifies a recipe but which would certainly cheer up a gluten-free drinks party. I spread a delicious salami onto thick slices of steamed new potato.
To quote from the ‘recipe':
‘Nduja is a very hot and soft Calabrian salami – soft so that it could be spread thinly on bread; hot so that a little would go a long way! Very important in the poor Calabrian countryside where meat would have been at a premium.
Provided you are not allergic to nightshades, it is a good freefrom paté as it is made from meat, chillis and oil.
And provided that you are not allergic to nightshades, thick slices of steamed new potatoes make an excellent base for canapés as an alternative to breads, toasts, oatcakes etc.
Just steam some scrubbed new potatoes until cooked, then sliced them thickly and spread them with ‘Nduja or any other paté or dip that you fancy. Serve at room temperature.
I also made a delicious (well, I thought it was!) alternative hummus with butter beans and coconut milk – well, I had coconut milk left over from the chicken marinade…. In case you cannot wait for it to arrive on the FreeFrom Recipes Matter site, here you go:
2 x 400g/14oz tins butter beans, drained
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 small bird’s eye green peppers, deseeded and chopped small
100ml / 3 floz coconut milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put all the ingredients except the seasoning into a food processor and whizz, then season to taste. Serve with raw or blanched vegetables (I used yellow peppers and very lightly steamed thin green beans) or crackers.
Just hope it doesn’t rain on you!!