Pickled Eggs

Pickled Eggs by The Fat Foodie

I do not like pickled eggs. I do not understand how anyone can possibly like pickled eggs. I certainly have no intention of tasting the pickled eggs I have made. That said, my entire family loves pickled eggs. They don’t understand how I can possibly not like pickled eggs. Whenever I ask if there’s anything they’d like me to buy when I go shopping they frequently beg me to buy pickled eggs for them from the supermarket. I’m known as “the weirdo” of the family who hates pickled eggs. I freakin’ hate pickled eggs, man.

I’d imagine by now that you’re wondering why on earth I’ve decided to feature them on the website then? Well, for a few reasons really:

Firstly, my family would really love some pickled eggs.

Secondly, it’s come to my attention that a lot of people freakin’ love pickled eggs and apparently they’re lovely served alongside salads and cold meats.

Thirdly, my aunt recently shared a recipe for pickled eggs on Facebook so I had no reason not to make them for my family. (Although I must say I enjoyed reading the huge comment thread debate that ensued between those who hated pickled eggs and those who loved them!)

And fourthly, they’re an ideal low FODMAP snack for those who like pickled eggs.

Joking aside, jars of pickled eggs are really expensive to buy. The last time I went shopping they were priced at £2.95 for a jar of 4 or 5 eggs. That’s pretty ridiculous when you consider how cheap eggs are to buy. Therefore, when I saw that my aunt had made her own I figured I could keep my family happy while keeping my purse happy at the same time. I didn’t have all of the spices that her recipe suggested so I just kept mine simple and used what I had at hand instead.

As it turns out, it’s incredibly easy to make your own pickled eggs! Essentially all you have to do is hard boil your eggs and peel them, make your pickle vinegar, sterilise your jars and then pop all of your ingredients into them and leave them for 2 days until you eat them. It’s as easy as that. Just keep the jars of pickled eggs in the fridge and use them within 3 months for best quality.

I’m not going to try waxing lyrical about the taste of these pickled eggs because frankly I’m not sure there’s any way possible of making pickled eggs sound remotely sexy. So I won’t. But if you like pickled eggs and you have a bash at making these ones then please let me know what you think. I’m sure my family won’t be shy in offering their tuppence worth.  😉

Ingredients:

12 hard boiled eggs (de-shelled)

250ml white wine vinegar

250ml water

1 tbsp white sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsps pickling spices (I used 1 tsp black peppercorns, 10 cloves, 1 tsp of mustard seeds and 1/3 tsp of dried chilli flakes)

Method:

Sterilise your jars by washing them in hot water, rinsing them out and then placing them on a baking tray and putting them in a hot oven until they are dry. Once they’re dry switch off the oven and leave the jars inside the oven until you need them.

Hard-boil your eggs by cooking them in boiling water for at least 12 minutes and then de-shell them.

Put all of your pickling vinegar ingredients into a saucepan and bring it to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer the liquid for 10 minutes.

Take your jars out of the oven, place your hard-boiled eggs inside them and add the pickling vinegar until it reaches the top of the jar. Seal the jars with the lid and leave to cool.

Once cool, put the jars in the fridge and leave for 2 days before eating.

Pickled Eggs by The Fat Foodie

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Empire Biscuits (makes 14)

Empire Biscuits by The Fat Foodie

Empire biscuits are very popular in Britain, particularly in Scotland, but they actually originated in Germany and were known as ‘Linzer biscuits’ and ‘Deutsch biscuits’. After World War One, in Britain their name was changed to ‘Empire biscuits’ and that’s how they’ve stayed ever since. In Ireland instead of serving them topped with a glacé cherry they decorate theirs with a sprinkling of desiccated coconut, which I think sounds delicious!

Empire biscuits are a great low FODMAP biscuit option because their structure is comprised of  shortbread (which is really easy to make gluten-free and remains tasty) and the toppings are FODMAP friendly too, so you can’t go wrong with them really. Also, if a single halved glacé cherry would cause you issues then you could use the desiccated coconut option to decorate them instead.

I added a teaspoon of lemon extract to my biscuit dough because I think that the sharp, zingy lemon oil provides a delicious contrast with the sweet taste of the strawberry jam, but it’s entirely optional and if you choose to leave it out of your empire biscuits they won’t suffer in the taste department at all.

These low FODMAP empire biscuits are very easy to make and don’t require much time at all to produce, but they’re very rewarding in taste due to their crisp, sweet, buttery shortbread rounds that are generously sandwiched between good quality strawberry jam and topped with soft, sweet icing sugar. It’s no wonder they’re so popular throughout the country!

Ingredients for the biscuits:

100g cornflour

150g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)

95g icing sugar

125g butter (or non-dairy alternative)

1 tsp lemon extract (optional)

2 tbsps cold water

To decorate:

Strawberry jam

100g icing sugar

7 halved glacé cherries (or desiccated coconut)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6.

Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and have a rolling pin and a round biscuit cutter at hand.

Place all of the biscuit ingredients (except the water) in a mixing bowl and rub the ingredients together until it has the texture of fine sand.

Add the water and form a smooth dough.

Roll the biscuit dough out on a clean work surface and cut out an even number of biscuits.

Place the biscuits on a greaseproofed baking tray and bake them in the oven for 12-15 mins or until they are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Put your icing sugar in a small bowl and add a little water at a time to make a thick icing for decorating your biscuits.

Once the biscuits are cool, spread strawberry jam onto half of the biscuits and coat the other half of the biscuits in icing sugar and top them with either a glacé cherry or a sprinkling of desiccated coconut.

Once the icing has set, sandwich the biscuits together and serve.

Empire Biscuits by The Fat Foodie

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Cornflake Chicken Tenders (serves 4)

Cornflake Chicken Tenders by The Fat Foodie

A while ago I made gluten-free southern fried chicken and it was really tasty and very popular with my family, to the extent that I wanted to try something new, but along the same lines. Another chicken recipe which seems to be very popular within gluten-free recipe circles is for chicken fillets which are coated with crushed cornflakes, a naturally gluten-free product. I was a bit sceptical as to how chicken pieces would taste wrapped in cornflakes, a product I would normally associate with breakfast, but thankfully it turned out to be really delicious.

A lot of recipes for cornflake chicken tenders ask you to marinade the chicken pieces for a while before you coat them in the cornflakes, but I’ve tried making it both ways and I can’t really tell the difference so I’ve just went ahead and written up the recipe without doing it. However, feel free to experiment yourself.

I’ve kept my seasonings quite tame, omitting the dried chilli and ground cumin that so many recipes call for because I wanted a gently seasoned piece of chicken that let the flavour of the chicken thighs shine through, but I did add dulse seaweed flakes to my mixture to add a depth of flavour that can rarely be found elsewhere.

Dulse seaweed is seriously nutritious stuff, incorporating deep umami flavour while also being chock full of nutritional benefits such as iodine, potassium, magnesium, iron, protein and fibre. In fact, seaweed contains more minerals than any other vegetable. We’re really lucky in Scotland to have a brilliant company called Mara Seaweed which makes and sells seaweed to use as seasonings, so it’s theirs I tend to use in my cooking. I’d really recommend giving dulse seaweed a go because it’s a great seasoning alternative to using salt in your cooking, but you don’t need it to make this recipe for chicken tenders.

This recipe for cornflake chicken tenders creates soft, tender and juicy pieces of chicken thigh meat which are encased in a crispy, well-seasoned coating of crushed cornflakes. They’re delicious either on their own with a dollop of ketchup, served alongside a fresh salad, or placed in a floury bun and topped with good quality mayonnaise. However you serve them they’re finger-licking good!

Ingredients:

500g chicken thighs (cut into thick strips)

100ml rice milk

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground pepper

1/4 tsp asafoetida powder

1/2 tsp dulse seaweed flakes (optional)

200g gluten-free cornflakes (crushed)

1/2 tsp sugar

2 tbsps vegetable oil

Method:

Preheat your oven to to 180°C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 and prepare a non-stick baking tray.

Place the chicken strips in a bowl and coat them in the rice milk.

Crush the cornflakes, but don’t crush them so far that they become flour!

In a separate bowl, add the crushed cornflakes and the seasonings and mix together before drizzling the oil over the top and tossing it through the mixture.

Dip each of the chicken strips in the cornflake mixture, ensuring they are fully coated, before placing them on the baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until they are fully cooked through and serve.

Cornflake Chicken Tenders by The Fat Foodie

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Langues de Chat Biscuits (makes 16)

Langues de Chat Biscuits by The Fat Foodie

A few weeks ago I was having a leisurely mooch in TK Maxx’s kitchen and homeware department when I came across this interesting baking tray that was priced at £1. I couldn’t resist that bargain because I could think of a number of uses for it, so I bought it and brought it home.

A Langues de Chat Baking Tray

I didn’t know what the baking tray was intended for, but I’m a member of a great Facebook group called The Cook’s Community Forum so I posted a photo of the baking tray up in the group and asked if anyone knew what its true purpose was. I couldn’t believe the number of responses it got, with over 90 people chiming in with their opinions! Quite a few said it was for baking eclairs, but the vast majority (most of whom tended to be professional chefs) said it was for making French Langues de Chat biscuits, aka Cat’s Tongue biscuits.

Although the name might not sound particularly appetising let me firmly assure you that the biscuits themselves most certainly are! Langues de chat biscuits are soft egg and butter based bakes that fall somewhere in the middle between a sponge and a biscuit. They’re very light and go wonderfully with a cuppa. One Langues de Chat biscuit is a low FODMAP serving portion.

Langues de chat biscuits take no time at all to make and they bake very fast too, so they’re ideal for creating in a hurry. You might not want to go to the expense of buying a Langues de Chat biscuit mould (you could use any shaped baking tray you fancied really), but I’d really recommend it because it ensures that your bakes come out in the perfect shape. You could also dip each end in melted chocolate if you would like to make them fancier, but whether you serve them plain or decorated, they’re a delicious treat.

Ingredients:

250g unsalted butter

250g sugar

8 egg whites

350g gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°C/170°C Fan/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and flour your Langues de Chat mould.

Measure your butter, sugar and vanilla into a mixing bowl and, using an electric whisk, cream it together until it is pale and fluffy.

Add the flour and mix again.

Whisk your egg whites in a jug until they are firm and then fold the egg whites into the biscuit mixture.

Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and pipe the mixture into your moulds. (I use disposable piping bags and it makes life a lot easier!) If you’re just using a baking tray, line it with greaseproof paper or a silicone mat and pipe 7cm strips of the biscuit mixture onto the tray, leaving a generous gap between each because they will spread.

Bake the langues de chat in the oven for about 10 mins or until the biscuits are just lightly golden brown. Leave to cool and then serve.

Langues de Chat Biscuits by The Fat Foodie

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Caribbean Pork Stew (serves 6)

Caribbean Pork Stew by The Fat Foodie

One of the perks of working in a bookshop is that we often get proof copies of books from publishers long before they’re released to the general public. This is particularly delightful when there’s a cookbook that I fancy. The only problem that I’ve noticed more and more since being on the low FODMAP diet however, is that a huge number of cookbooks use onion and garlic as the base of their recipes. I like to view this as a challenge though and I try to adapt the ingredients so that I end up making a version that’s low FODMAP and won’t cause me any digestive discomfort.

One recipe I came across in a Caribbean cookbook a while ago was for a Caribbean pork stew, but it was packed full of onion, garlic and higher FODMAP vegetables, such as a lot of sweet potato, sweetcorn and peas. Now, I think that if you substitute a lot of the ingredients for lower FODMAP items Caribbean cuisine can actually be quite FODMAP friendly and very tasty indeed. This slow cooker Caribbean pork stew certainly is!

There can be no denying that autumn is coming in fast, especially now that the mornings are frequently shrouded in thick Scottish mist and Jack Frost has started to nibble my fingers as I walk in to work every morning through the dry, crisp, desiccated red and gold-coloured leaves that line the pavements. In light of this, I always think this a good time to get the slow cooker out and prepare something in the morning that I can look forward to having for dinner to warm me up after walking back home.

Slow cooking this Caribbean pork stew really does the ingredients justice because it allows the flavours to meld throughout the day of slow cooking, producing a rich, fruity casserole that’s filled with well-seasoned pork shoulder and fresh vegetables. Trust me, if you want to stave off the colder weather that’s on its way you couldn’t get a better meal than this sunny Caribbean pork stew!

Ingredients:

600g pork shoulder (diced)

1 yellow pepper (diced)

1 green pepper (diced)

2 carrots (thinly sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

To make the jerk sauce:

1 tin of coconut milk

100g creamed coconut (grated)

50g pineapple (cut into small cubes)

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tsps sugar

2 tsps celery salt

1 tbsp sweet paprika

1/2 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp dried thyme

1 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)

1/3 a nutmeg (finely grated)

40g fresh root ginger (or 1 tbsp ground dried ginger)

1 tsp asafoetida powder

Rice

Method:

Put your slow cooker on low and add the tin of chopped tomatoes and diced pork.

If you’re using a Nutribullet or high-powered blender, put the coconut milk, creamed coconut, root ginger and all of the spices in the Nutribullet and blend until it’s smooth and then add the mixture to the slow cooker and stir well.

If you’re using a spice or coffee grinder, grind the spices until they are powdered. Add the spices to the slow cooker along with the coconut milk, creamed coconut and mince the root ginger and add that too.

Mix well and leave to cook for 5-6 hours (depending on your slow cooker). Serve with rice and Bob Marley tunes playing in the background.

Caribbean Pork Stew by The Fat Foodie

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