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Gluten-free cooking question

Gluten-free cooking question
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  • Gluten-free cooking question

    Post #1 - November 9th, 2010, 11:40 pm
    Post #1 - November 9th, 2010, 11:40 pm Post #1 - November 9th, 2010, 11:40 pm
    I originally posted this question in another thread but on second thought, it wasn't quite a perfect fit. If there's already a thread for this type of question, please move it there.

    I have a question for those of you in the know re: gluten free cooking. I have a dish in mind to make as a side for my family's Thanksgiving dinner if I can, or at least I'd love to try it. My mother and sister have both been on gluten free diets for the past year or so. The only hangup with this recipe being gluten free, and I understand it might be a big one, is that it does involve a bechamel sauce. Has anyone tried making a bechamel sauce with alternate gluten-free starches? Every site seems to recommend something different: corn starch, rice flour, potato starch, commercial gluten-free baking blends. I'd love to hear some advice from someone who's been there.
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #2 - November 10th, 2010, 9:21 am
    Post #2 - November 10th, 2010, 9:21 am Post #2 - November 10th, 2010, 9:21 am
    Are you asking from a dietary standpoint or a culinary one?

    Culinarily speaking, most of the food starches (no idea about the GF baking mixes) you mention will give that kind of Chinese-takeout slippery quality, which I think is less obvious in a cream sauce - I've tried potato starch with slightly better success than cornstarch. Keeping it a bit on the loose side might be important (case in point.)
  • Post #3 - November 10th, 2010, 4:08 pm
    Post #3 - November 10th, 2010, 4:08 pm Post #3 - November 10th, 2010, 4:08 pm
    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for the response. To answer your question, yeah I mean in culinary terms, something that will thicken the sauce properly, taste good, not have the texture of snot, etc. I generally do a bechamel the standard way, starting with a roux, adding scalded milk, stirring stirring stirring stirring. I wonder whether an alternate starch will work in that method & which one would work best, or if you'd have to do things the reverse way, starting with the hot milk and adding your starch & butter as I've read is sometimes done.

    I knew we had at least a few experienced gluten-free cooks here on LTH and wondered if any of you might have any experience with this.
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #4 - November 10th, 2010, 11:17 pm
    Post #4 - November 10th, 2010, 11:17 pm Post #4 - November 10th, 2010, 11:17 pm
    1. I'm gluten intolerant but not celiac
    2. I teach gluten free classes


    This is important so you know my point of view is worth more than someones opinion who read an article about gluten and decided to put in their 2 cents.

    Fact - just bc one person can tolerate these different gluten free flours doesn't mean another person can. Each persons GI is different. If your friends/family are just doing the gluten free thing for fun, then you have a little more room to move with these starches and things.

    From the research I've done, which is extensive, all of those faux flours/starches cause inflammation. The only two that work well are coconut and nut flours. Potato starches and even rice flours can and will give some gluten free diners problems though not as bad or close to what wheat does. Personally I try to eat a clean all natural diet, when I eat "gluten free" treats made by bakeries it kills my stomach. Like I said each their own but I can't do them.

    Gravy and true thickeners are tough when it comes to gluten free cooking. I would advise sticking to the clean food/all natural route and trying agar flakes which are made from sea vegetables but do not have the taste of the sea. This is a natural thickener. Or just reduce down the sauce and spoon over top for flavor or go the Demi glacé way.... though espagnole stock usually has roux in it so you'd have to get creative.

    Sorry do drawn out.
  • Post #5 - November 11th, 2010, 9:36 am
    Post #5 - November 11th, 2010, 9:36 am Post #5 - November 11th, 2010, 9:36 am
    Shaggywillis, where do you find agar flakes? I like the texture of agar gelatin better than meat-based gelatin (tho - come to think of it, Knox would be gluten free as well...) but I haven't found it without added flavorings.
  • Post #6 - November 11th, 2010, 10:04 am
    Post #6 - November 11th, 2010, 10:04 am Post #6 - November 11th, 2010, 10:04 am
    Shaggywillis, thanks for the advice

    My sister, who is quite a bit younger than me, living at home w/ mom & attending college, was pretty much sick all the time throughout her entire teenage years until she started a gluten-free diet a year or two ago. So while she hasn't been diagnosed as celiac and likely isn't, she has at least an intolerance, like you said. My mom originally started the diet too just to show solidarity with my sister, but she has been feeling better since switching as well. So they're not doing it just for fun, it has had some actual health benefits for them.

    So it sounds like with this type of thickener I wouldn't go the standard roux route but rather scald the milk, melt in some butter, and then just thicken it with the agar? And since you brought up gravy, how well does it work there? We've tried a couple of different gf starches for gravies and again, they turn out gloppy like bad chinese food :) not bad tasting, but a texture that isn't quite right. We might not be able to get everything perfect but would like to make it as close as possible.
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #7 - November 11th, 2010, 10:32 am
    Post #7 - November 11th, 2010, 10:32 am Post #7 - November 11th, 2010, 10:32 am
    Hi Jim,
    Unlike Shaggywillis claim's I've had no problems with using the most common gluten-free flours and I have celiac disease. When I make a bechamel or other thickened sauce I tend to use a mix of gluten-free flours. I don't measure them out just take a spoonful of this and that from my tower of flour. I used to always use sweet rice flour and that worked alright but it was a bit gloppy and I really had to work at incorporating it. Last night, I wasn't at home but had some plain white rice flour and used that to make a thickened sauce and it worked perfectly well. So, I would probably suggest that if you only want to buy one flour.

    I would strongly suggest you avoid bean based flours as they tend to have a metallic flavor in their raw state and I'm not sure at what point in the cooking process that goes away.

    Good luck with your gluten-free cooking!
  • Post #8 - November 11th, 2010, 3:16 pm
    Post #8 - November 11th, 2010, 3:16 pm Post #8 - November 11th, 2010, 3:16 pm
    My "claims" are what works for me and others I have worked with. Like I said, some people do not have problems with these other types of flours and starches.

    You can buy agar flakes on amazon, I have never seen them at a WF here or in a natural store, though it might be worth a call to your local stores.

    Unfortunately, I stir away from gravy unless it's thanksgiving or Christmas as I tend to throw away my gluten free eating on those days and just sort of suffer. Definitely try the agar flakes but I would do a test batch.
  • Post #9 - November 20th, 2010, 6:38 pm
    Post #9 - November 20th, 2010, 6:38 pm Post #9 - November 20th, 2010, 6:38 pm
    I tried making this today--this being a gluten-free version of a cauliflower gratin--and it turned out very well. I used mostly rice flour with a little corn starch and also some chickpea flour, mainly just 'cause I had it on hand and what the hell. It was delicious. The bechamel came together very nicely.
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #10 - November 20th, 2010, 9:36 pm
    Post #10 - November 20th, 2010, 9:36 pm Post #10 - November 20th, 2010, 9:36 pm
    I'm so glad to hear that your gratin turned out well. I'm confident your guest will be delighted...I would be!
  • Post #11 - November 21st, 2010, 2:27 am
    Post #11 - November 21st, 2010, 2:27 am Post #11 - November 21st, 2010, 2:27 am
    Corn starch will be easy to obtain and will yield reliable results. I make gravy with it all the time so I don't see why it can't be used for sauce.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #12 - January 25th, 2018, 4:55 pm
    Post #12 - January 25th, 2018, 4:55 pm Post #12 - January 25th, 2018, 4:55 pm
    I need to cook for someone who is gluten free, dairy free, and can't eat vegetables (potatoes are OK apparently). Fruit is ok. Garlic is ok. Lactose-free milk is OK. Rest of the dining companions are omnivorous. I'm thinking about Pan roasted pork chops with red wine poached pears and shallots (w provençal herbs), green beans (he can skip), roasted potatoes and GF pie for dessert. I've successfully done a GF pie crust before, and it was quite good. I need some suggestions for an appetizer - normally I would do a salad, and have done "build your own" when hosting picky people, but not sure that there's enough I could find to make a salad said diner could eat...
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #13 - January 25th, 2018, 5:42 pm
    Post #13 - January 25th, 2018, 5:42 pm Post #13 - January 25th, 2018, 5:42 pm
    leek wrote:I need to cook for someone who is gluten free, dairy free, and can't eat vegetables (potatoes are OK apparently). Fruit is ok. Garlic is ok. Lactose-free milk is OK. Rest of the dining companions are omnivorous. I'm thinking about Pan roasted pork chops with red wine poached pears and shallots (w provençal herbs), green beans (he can skip), roasted potatoes and GF pie for dessert. I've successfully done a GF pie crust before, and it was quite good. I need some suggestions for an appetizer - normally I would do a salad, and have done "build your own" when hosting picky people, but not sure that there's enough I could find to make a salad said diner could eat...


    Mushroom soup? Onion soup? What kind of restricted diet eliminates all vegetables??
  • Post #14 - January 26th, 2018, 10:46 am
    Post #14 - January 26th, 2018, 10:46 am Post #14 - January 26th, 2018, 10:46 am
    Some auto-immune syndromes can be set off by various things. In this person's case, many vegetables cause them problems.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #15 - January 26th, 2018, 11:21 am
    Post #15 - January 26th, 2018, 11:21 am Post #15 - January 26th, 2018, 11:21 am
    leek wrote:Some auto-immune syndromes can be set off by various things. In this person's case, many vegetables cause them problems.


    i want to point out that dairy free can mean just lactose free, which allows you to use goat and sheep's milk products, like feta, or manchego cheese. also, if using butter, it would need to be either clarified or ghee (to eliminate milk proteins). i'm dairy free for the moment and being able to eat feta, fresh chevre, and goat yoghurt are the only things that make it bearable for me....
    for an app. you could try manchego, fresh chevre, nuts and some dried fruit....
  • Post #16 - January 26th, 2018, 11:54 am
    Post #16 - January 26th, 2018, 11:54 am Post #16 - January 26th, 2018, 11:54 am
    Are tomatoes off-limit? Perhaps a gluten free Spanish tomato bread, or gluten free bruschetta of sorts . . . or a tomato-cheese salad of sorts following up on Joan's thought. That is quite the challenge.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #17 - January 26th, 2018, 12:35 pm
    Post #17 - January 26th, 2018, 12:35 pm Post #17 - January 26th, 2018, 12:35 pm
    BR wrote:Are tomatoes off-limit? Perhaps a gluten free Spanish tomato bread, or gluten free bruschetta of sorts . . . or a tomato-cheese salad of sorts following up on Joan's thought. That is quite the challenge.


    We happen to have a tomato-allergic person in the mix. (I figure if I make sides of green beans and potatoes the no veggie person can skip the green beans and if the tomato allergy person happens to be allergic to all nightshades, they can skip the potatoes)

    Do I need a first course if I have a hearty main and hearty dessert?
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #18 - January 26th, 2018, 4:39 pm
    Post #18 - January 26th, 2018, 4:39 pm Post #18 - January 26th, 2018, 4:39 pm
    No but consider egg jeanette as a welcome change from deviled eggs.

    I also would consider a simple green salad with vinaigrette. I am guessing lettuce is okay.

    Or a salad/soup with lentils.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #19 - January 26th, 2018, 8:27 pm
    Post #19 - January 26th, 2018, 8:27 pm Post #19 - January 26th, 2018, 8:27 pm
    You still have a lot to work with -- namely fruits, nuts, grains, meat, and shellfish. How about:
    Plantains
    Prosciutto and melon
    Green mango or papaya salad
    Corn salad or maque choux
    Guacamole or avocado salad or simple sliced avocado. Avocado and grapefruit salad with a simple lemon vinaigrette is nice.
    Olives, nuts, pickles, edamame, etc.
    Roasted, grilled, or sautéed shrimp
    Plemty of soups would work too -- mushroom, bean, corn, etc.

    None of the above are vegetables, technically, but it's always a good idea to check specifically on allergens.

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