I am not a baker at heart so when I first came across these doughy, cheesy balls of goodness in Latin America and realised how easy they were to prepare, I could have jumped for joy (in fact I think I did). This naturally gluten free recipe calls for tapioca/cassava flour, which comes from a root widely used in Latin America in a multitude of dishes and its texture when baked together with the rest of these ingredients makes for the most moreish treat. Originally from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, this bread is eaten for any meal of the day, although it absolutely steals the show at breakfast time, accompanied by a coffee and some fresh fruit. It’s commonly served with a creamy cheese spread (known as requeijao), which I’ve adapted below for dipping. Enjoy this recipe – once you try it, I guarantee you’ll be making it on repeat!
Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)
200g x Free Tapioca Flour
140ml x Almond or Gluten Free Oat Milk
50ml x Water
1 x Large Egg
3 x Tablespoons Good Quality Olive Oil
50g x Parmesan/Italian Hard Cheese (grated)
50g x Mature Cheddar Cheese (grated)
2 x Garlic Cloves (Minced)
1 x Teaspoon Sea Salt
Extra grated parmesan for the garnish
Whipped Cheese and Chive Dip
100g x Philadelphia Full-Fat Cream Cheese
1 x Teaspoon Good Quality Olive Oil
1 x Heaped Teaspoon Dried Chives
1/3 x Teaspoon Garlic Granules
1/3 x Teaspoon Sea Salt
2 x Teaspoons Fresh Chives (Finely Chopped)
Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread) – Method
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (fan) and line two baking trays with parchment/baking paper.
- Place the tapioca flour in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Heat the milk, water, oil and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, remove from heat and add to the bowl with the flour and mix until combined (either by hand, using a good wooden spoon or in a standing mixer).
- Now add the egg and mix well. The texture will seem very uncooperative at first and the mixture will appear to not be combining but do not give up! After enough mixing, the mixture will all come together to form a sticky dough.
- Please note that the dough should not have a liquid-like consistency as it needs to hold together in small ball-like form on the baking tray. Sometimes however, depending on the temperature of the room and if the mixture has been “too mixed”, the dough will not appear sturdy enough. If this is the case, feel free to add a dusting of additional tapioca flour and mix again, repeating this step until you are happy with the consistency.
- Now using two large spoons, place the dough onto the baking trays in small ball-like shapes. The perfect ball shape is very hard to achieve by hand, so do not fret if they look more like blobs!
- Bake immediately for 15 minutes until the breads are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and quickly sprinkle the extra grated Parmesan cheese on top of the breads and bake for another 5 or so minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and leave the bread to cool for 5 minutes before enjoying warm with a cheese and chive dip (please see recipe below).
Whipped Cheese and Chive Dip – Method
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. This can be done either by hand with a regular spoon or with a hand-whisk, if you’d like a fluffier texture.
- Serve immediately either as a spread or a dip for your Pão de Queijo and enjoy!
From a culinary perspective, many people associate Argentina with its prime cuts of meat and famous barbecues. Those who enjoy history meanwhile, will know that a lot of cuisine, particularly served in the capital of Buenos Aires, was inspired by Italian immigrants who began to make their way in large numbers to the South American city in the mid 1800s. Empanadas however, Argentina’s other staple foodstuff, bear resemblance to the Cornish Pasty and in fact were allegedly inspired by the English savoury treat itself.
Ever since moving back from Buenos Aires, I have been making empanadas at home and trying to recreate the flavours I would experience there multiple times a week, and sometimes even multiple times a day! Thanks to the introduction of ready to roll gluten free pastry by trusty Jus-Rol in the UK in the last couple of years, my empanada recipe is even easier to throw together and enjoy at home. Highly recommend these delicious savoury pastries as a snack or a light dinner with a side salad and a glass of Malbec, por supuesto!
1 x Jus-Rol Gluten Free Puff Pastry Ready Rolled Sheet (280g)
50g x Lean Beef Mince
1 x Tsp Olive Oil
1 x Small Onion, Finely Chopped
½ x Red Pepper, Finely Chopped
5 x Cherry Tomatoes, Finely Chopped
1 x Boiled Egg, Peeled and Chopped
43g x Pitted Black Olives, Chopped
2 x Eggs, Beaten (to Glaze the Empanadas)
1 x Tsp Oregano
½ x Tsp Paprika
½ x Tsp Garlic Powder
½ x Beef Stock Cube (I use Knorr)
80ml x Red Wine
Pinch Salt & Pepper
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper and sautee until soft.
- Add the mince and stir well to ensure it mixes properly with the onion and pepper. Cook uncovered for around 10 minutes.
- Once the beef has browned, add the cherry tomatoes, black olives, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, red wine, salt & pepper. Crumble the stock cube in and stir mixture well.
- Reduce heat and simmer mixture, partially covered by a lid, for 1 hour. Check every 10 minutes and stir.
- Once the liquid in the mixture has evaporated, remove from heat. Leave the mixture to cool for around 30-40 minutes before adding the chopped boiled egg and mixing well (you do not want the beef filling to be hot when you prep the empanadas to avoid the pastry falling apart).
- When the beef mixture has cooled, heat the oven to 170 degrees (Fan) and line two to three baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a flat surface, lightly roll out the Jus-Rol Gluten Free pastry sheet to expand slightly but do not over-roll as this will warm up the pastry and cause it to split.
- Using a sharp knife, divide the rolled out sheet into three columns longways and then again across, to create 9 squares, measuring around 9-10cm across and lengthways each.
- To fill the empanadas, place a square of the pastry in the palm of one hand and place approximately two teaspoons of the beef mixture in the middle.
- Using a pastry brush, spread a little of the beaten egg around the edges of the pastry. Turn the square slightly in your hand so it’s at a diagonal, and bring the top and the bottom points of the pastry together into a rough triangle shape by folding gently.
- To close each empanada, twist the three edges of the triangle in towards the centre of the pastry and stick down lightly with egg wash to ensure the pastry is closed (otherwise mixture will seep out of the pastry while cooking). Feel free to also gently press the back of a fork onto the edges if this makes sealing the square easier.
- Place each raw empanada gently on to parchment paper-lined baking trays immediately after prepping to avoid overheating the pastry in your hands, leaving several centimetres of space in between each empanada as they will expand in the oven.
- Using your pastry brush once more, lightly brush all the raw empanadas with the beaten egg to create a nice glaze.
- Bake the empanadas for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Leave empanadas to rest for around 15 minutes before serving.
I don’t think that there is anything that goes better with a glass of bubbles at a party or on a special night in than a freshly made, gluten free blini. Of course the gluten free variety are impossible to get hold of at the supermarkets but fear not, I have the perfect recipe for y’all here. It’s one I’ve whipped out for special occasions for years and no one can even tell they are gluten free. I like to top mine with smoked salmon, crème fraiche, lemon and freshly chopped chives. These are very versatile party snacks however, and so can be topped with whatever you fancy. Give them a whirl and let me know what you think!
1 x Cup Gluten Free Flour
1 x Large Egg
1 x Cup of Milk/ Dairy Free Milk
½ x Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
½ x Teaspoon Gluten Free Bouillon Powder
Cracked Black Pepper
1 x Teaspoon Vegetable/ Sunflower Oil
For the topping:
1 x Small Tub crème fraiche
50g x Smoked Salmon
Freshly Chopped Chives
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, Bouillon powder and black pepper.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk. When combined, add gradually to the dry ingredients and mix into a smooth batter.
3. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and use a small spoon to create small blini discs in the pan.
4. When bubbles form in the blinis, they are ready to turn over. Once turned, cook for 2-3 more minutes before removing from the pan.
5. Leave to cool and then top with ½ a teaspoon each of crème fraiche and chopped salmon.
6. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the plate of blinis when armed and then sprinkle generously with chopped chives before serving.
Did y’all know that Alaska is home to some of the world’s best seafood, with fish of all varieties swimming freely it its three million lakes, 34,000 miles of coastline and 3,000 rivers? This freedom to swim and the fish’s natural diet creates the yummiest taste and texture and so I always make sure to check for the Alaska Seafood label when purchasing salmon in the shops. I’ve gone ahead and created this simple salmon dish, which is perfect to enjoy al fresco or as a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner. Happy eating!
2 x Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillets
2 x Medium Sized Leeks (Chopped)
1 x Cup Frozen Petits Pois
1 x Tablespoon Butter/Dairy Free Butter
1 x Heaped Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/3 x Cup White Wine
25g Fresh Chives
Juice of ½ a Lemon
Salt & Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees (FAN)
2. Arrange salmon fillets in oven dish, pouring over lemon juice and season with salt and pepper
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes
4. While salmon is baking, melt butter in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add chopped leeks and stir well, making sure all are lightly coated in the butter. Sautee for 2-3 minutes until soft
5. Add mustard, white wine, salt and pepper and stir well, leaving to cook for another 2-3 minutes
6. Add the peas and stir again before removing from heat. Cover pan for 3-5 minutes, allowing the steam to cook the peas
7. Add fresh chives and arrange in a deep bowl, creating a bed of greens ready to serve with the salmon fillets on top
8. Garnish with fresh lemon and more chives
More on Alaska Seafood
Sustainability is so important to Alaska that it was written into the constitution in 1959, calling for all fisheries to be sustainably managed and fish sustainably sourced. Fishing in Alaska is a way of life and has been passed down through generation, where each day families continue to catch their quotas in small boats out on the water.
Each fisherman’s catch is sold to make a living, but a small quota can be kept for their own consumption, bringing families together and providing a yummy and nutritious feast. For more info on how this fish is sustainably caught and where to find Alaska Seafood products, head over to their website.
This post has been sponsored by Alaska Seafood.
Spring has finally sprung and it’s time to start enjoying meals and snacks al fresco. One of my favourite pastimes is creating finger food that not only tastes and looks fantastic but that uses real and simple ingredients. Thanks to Nairn’s versatile oatcake and cracker range, creating the perfect snacks to enjoy with a glass of bubbles or by themselves as a canape or even a meal is easier than ever. So go ahead and grab yourselves some of the gluten free Nairn’s oatcake and cracker range from Sainsburys, Morrisons, Asda, Tesco or Waitrose stores and give some of my topping choices a whirl!
1. Roasted Red Pepper & Humous: 1 x tablespoon humous, ¼ of a red pepper which has been lightly roasted in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees FAN with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper
2. Grilled Halloumi & Tomato Salsa: 1 x slice halloumi which has been grilled or lightly pan fried in a drizzle of olive oil and 1 x teaspoon of homemade tomato salsa using 2 x finely chopped cherry tomatoes, 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil, ½ teaspoon lime juice, salt and pepper
3. English Brie & Grape: 2 x brie cheese wedges and 1 x washed red grape sliced lengthways, arranged on top
4. Mozzarella, Prosciutto Ham & Basil: 1 x slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, 1/2 a slice of prosciutto, 1 x washed basil leaf and freshly cracked black pepper
5. Chive Cream Cheese & Smoked Salmon: 1 x tablespoon plain cream cheese, 1 x teaspoon fresh chives, ½ teaspoon dried chives, 1 x small slice of smoked salmon, freshly cracked black pepper
6. Guacamole and Cherry Tomato: ½ mashed ripe avocado with salt, pepper, 1 x tablespoon lime juice and ½ teaspoon chilli flakes with one cherry tomato slice arranged on top
This post has been sponsored by Nairn’s.
So here it is folks – a recipe y’all probably never thought you’d see on this page – MORE GNOCCHI. Creating this dish, believe it or not, was a big deal for me as I rarely stray far from my classic Gnocchi Alla Marie, which over the years I’m so pleased to say many of you guys have given a whirl and enjoyed. As we currently find ourselves in strange times, I wanted to use fewer store-cupboard ingredients to show you how you can whip up something hearty and delicious, even if you can’t get your hands on canned tomatoes. Meanwhile, I’ve opted for courgettes as the main vegetable stars of the dish as they seem to still be widely available in the shops, so give this a go and let me know what y’all think. Stay safe everyone!
500g Gluten Free Gnocchi
1 x Tablespoon olive oil
1 x Medium Onion, Chopped
2 x Garlic Cloves, Chopped
1 x Tablespoon Grainy Mustard
250ml Creme Fraîche
100g Grated Parmesan/Italian Hard Cheese
30ml Boiling Water
2 x Courgettes, Chopped into Small Cubes
½ Teaspoon Chilli Flakes
½ Teaspoon Dried Parsley
½ Knorr Vegetable Stock Cube
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan/200 degrees gas.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the gnocchi for 1-2 minutes. Drain immediately and set to one side.
- Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat and add the onions and garlic, sauteeing until soft.
- Add the courgettes to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Stir in the creme fraîche, grainy mustard, 80g of the grated cheese, chilli flakes, parsley and crumbled half stock cube.
- When all ingredients are combined, add the boiling water and stir quickly again.
- Reduce the heat and cover the pot, leaving the sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Prepare the cooled gnocchi in a small-medium oven casserole dish and cover with the sauce, stirring the two together so the sauce is evenly distributed around the dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top as well as cracked black pepper and a sprinkling of salt.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the gnocchi is golden brown.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving with a fresh green salad.