Monday, August 09, 2010

I have to make WHAT?

The Man volunteered me to make a side dish for a little get-together with friends tomorrow night.  A gluten free side dish no less.  My first thought was, "oh, good, we can pick up some cibattas on the way!" followed quickly by "Drat! Dangit!  Grrr...."

It would be safe to say that my kitchen does not contain food without gluten.  My menus are gluten-loaded.  My cupboards are stuffed with chips, crackers, breads, and cereals, the vast majority of which are whole grain wheat.  I mean, yeah, it's great we're eating whole grains and all, but for a gluten free side dish, not so much.

So I sat down and did some brainstorming.  Potatoes and rice are safe foods, but potatoes need to be cooked and kept warm to eat.  Cold french friends... yuck!  And while raw potato might not be too bad, few people actually like raw potatoes (the taste like apples without the sweetness).  That left me with rice.  I can throw rice into boiling water just as well as the next lazy person.  When I'm getting fancy, sometimes I substitute chicken broth for water and spice things up a bit.  But none of those ideas really struck me as "side dish" and "tasty when cold."

And then it hit me: when in doubt, go with the classics.  Since I couldn't do any of my "classics" like cookies or cake (totally a baker, not so much a chef), I squared up to the rice idea with one of Grandma's holiday recipes.  Baked rice can be eaten at room temp (or at least allowed to cool enough to be able to hold the pyrex pan with bare hands) without risk of food-borne illness.  It's sweet, almost like a custard but more thick and less gooey.  Even better, there are only four or five ingredients that aren't very expensive!

The best part?  I get to have holiday food in the summertime. :)

Now I just have to have a talk with The Man about volunteering me to make obscure side dishes...


Dr. Weirdbeard said...

It's truly hard to have friends from Paris who are nice to you. You can't trust people who don't like potatoes.

HollyAnn said...

There's a really amazing way to make potato salad that's totally gluten free. (Yep I know you don't know me, but I found your blog randomly!) I'm all gluten-free unfortunately, but one of my favorite dishes is still this potato salad. It's not an exact recipe - but life's too short for exact recipes!

-Boil potatoes with the peel still on. After they're boiled, drain the water and stick them in the fridge until they're cool enough to peel. Cut into cubes of whatever size seems mouth-worthy.
-Hard boil some eggs, however many you want. You don't want it to be too egg-heavy though. Cut into pieces and mix in with the peeled cut potatoes.

-Hidden Valley Ranch dressing made from the *packets* - the bottled ranch dressing almost always has wheat starch in it, so the packets are much better.

You'll also need: dill pickles, young spring onions, and some seasoning to taste.. I usually do salt, garlic salt, pepper, and then whatever else just sounds super good.

It's an super simple and yet *amazing* summer side dish, and a flavor that people don't usually expect from potato salad.

Jules said...

And that's why I love the internet - so many places to find gluten free recipes; I am quite thankful that I don't have to worry about that ingredient.