No wheat, sweet, no worries

THE BOOK: This is an extract from The Gluten-Free Cookbook by Cristian Broglia. Published by...
THE BOOK: This is an extract from The Gluten-Free Cookbook by Cristian Broglia. Published by Phaidon, $77,

This is a gluten-free cookbook with a difference - to be included in it a recipe had to be naturally gluten-free.

So there are no pasta dishes, breads or pastries which usually rely on wheat-based and therefore gluten-containing flours.

Author, Italian chef Cristian Broglia says they chose not to replicate these dishes using gluten-free alternatives.

‘‘You will find lots of rice dishes as rice is naturally gluten-free.’’

They made this choice to reflect the growing number of people either needing or choosing to go gluten-free for health or wellbeing reasons.

He was excited to search out dishes that were naturally gluten-free as he is intrigued by world flavours and investigating new ingredients.

Having travelled around the world before settling in Parma as an executive chef and cooking teacher, Broglia developed an interest in gluten-free foods and recipes, discovering textures and tastes can be achieved without gluten-containing proteins all the while respecting tradition.

‘‘Gluten-free cooking is now a major part of my professional life,’’ he said.

He disputes the view that gluten-free cooking can be boring and lack flavour, saying you only have to look to ceviche from Peru, a beef stew from Ireland or a flourless chocolate cake from Italy.

So Broglia put together his years of professional experience with notes from his travels overseas to come up with recipes for The Gluten-free Cookbook.

‘‘Compiling and cooking through these recipes I was reminded of the pleasures of my travels, the markets I visited, the restaurants where I dined, the foods and flavours I loved most and the books I read,’’ Broglia said.

There was also the people he met, many of whom introduced him to new dishes which he has included alongside the classics of international cuisine that are naturally gluten-free such as jambalaya from the United States, corn roti from India and salmon sushi from Japan.

There are also signature dishes from some countries that people may not realise or forget are gluten-free such as the latkes from Israel (featured below), grilled pike from South Africa or steamed layer cake from Thailand.

There were so many options made it hard to choose what went in the book, he says. They started with 400 recipes and slowly whittled it down to find the best selection of international recipes.

With each recipe comes an introduction to give readers an idea of the culture and history behind the dish.

‘‘In the process of putting this book together I’ve come to learn a tremendous amount about gluten-free cooking ... you can have a cuisine rich in taste, even while gluten-free.’’

Pulled pork sandwich with cabbage-apple slaw. This dish comes originally from the American South,...
Pulled pork sandwich with cabbage-apple slaw. This dish comes originally from the American South, but it’s well known all over the world.

Pulled pork sandwich with cabbage-apple slaw

Serves: 4

Prep time: 45min + overnight brining

Cooking time: 6 hours

For the sauce:

3/4cup (180ml) apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups (120g) barbecue sauce

2 Tbsp light brown sugar

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp hot red pepper sauce

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp dried chilli flakes

For the pork:

2 Tbsp light brown sugar

1 Tbsp sweet paprika

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tsp sea salt

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.2kg skin-on boneless pork shoulder

1 ⅓ cups (300 ml) apple cider vinegar

For the cabbage-apple slaw

⅓ cup (7 oz/200g) Greek yoghurt

4 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp chopped fresh chives

½ head cabbage, thinly shredded

1 carrot, shredded

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and shredded

For serving:

Corn bread


Make the sauce: In a saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients and stir well over low heat until warmed and the sugar is dissolved. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Prepare the pork: In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Rub the meat with half of the sugar/spice mixture. Put the meat into a large container and pour in 4 cups (950 ml) cold water. Brine in the fridge overnight, turning the meat two or three times.

Preheat the oven to 150degC.

Remove the meat from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub it with the remaining sugar/spice mixture. Set the pork in a large Dutch oven (casserole) skin-side up. Sprinkle the meat with 2/3 cup (150ml) of the vinegar, cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake for 3 hours.

Add the remaining ⅔ cup (150ml) vinegar, cover, and continue to bake until the meat can be pulled apart with a fork, about 3 hours longer.

Meanwhile, remove the sauce from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

Reserving the juices in the Dutch oven, remove the meat to a carving board. Discard the skin and shred the meat.

Add the sauce to the Dutch oven and stir together with the pan juices. Ladle out about half of the sauce into a gravy boat. Add the pulled pork to the sauces in the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the cabbage-apple slaw: In a small bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, and chives.

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrot, and apple. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

To serve: Make sandwiches with the meat and coleslaw on corn bread. Serve the remaining sauce on the side for people to add to their sandwiches to taste.


Milk flan baked sweet and caramelised

Serves: 4

Prep time 20min + overnight cooling

Cooking time 2 hours

¾ cup (150g) sugar

3 eggs

1 can (400ml) condensed milk

¾cup (175ml) milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 140degC.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons water and cook over medium heat until it caramelises. Remove from the heat and pour into a 25cm cake pan 5cm deep, and let the caramel cool on the bottom of the pan.

In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the eggs, condensed milk, milk, and vanilla for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into the cake pan over the caramel.

Set the cake pan in a roasting pan on a pulled-out oven rack. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan with the flan.

Bake until firm and lightly browned on top, about 2 hours.

Remove from the oven. Remove the cake pan from the hot water and let cool, then refrigerate overnight until well chilled.

To serve, invert the flan out of the pan on to a serving plate, so the caramel is on top.



Serves 6

Prep time 20min + 15min draining time

Cook time 15min

6 yellow potatoes

1 onion

2 eggs

5 Tbsp cornflour

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for frying

Sour cream, for serving

Rose pepper, for garnish


Peel and grate the potatoes and set them in a colander to drain for 15 minutes. At the same time, grate the onion and set it in a sieve to drain for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onion, eggs, and cornflour. Season with salt and pepper to taste and gently mix to combine.

Pour 2-5 cm oil into a Dutch oven (casserole). Heat the oil to 170°C on a deep-fry thermometer.

Working in batches, spoon a generous tablespoon of potato mixture carefully into the oil. Fry the pancakes until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Drain on paper towels. You should get about 18 latkes.

Top with sour cream and sprinkle with rose pepper. Serve hot.









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