Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sustainable and Gluten Free Fish and Chips!

I was a big fan of the show Hugh's Fish Fight - all about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall supporting sustainable fishing and trying to prevent fish being thrown away due to the EU quota system and a process called discard. If you want to read more about it and support the campaign just click here. Since then, my girlfriend and I have been making a conscious effort to try and eat more sustainable species. It's led to the discovery of one of my favourite fish - pouting. It's a great white fish, with a delicate subtle taste, sustainable and ridiculously cheap! For the recipe below we used 4 pouting fillets from Tesco which came to about £1.60.

There's a great iPhone app called Fish Fight to support the campaign and Hugh has put on a number of tasty and sustainable fish recipes. Below is the recipe for Breadcrumbed Fillet of Pouting with Tartare Sauce, adapted to make it gluten free. My girlfriend loosely followed Heston's triple cooked chip recipe but most triple cooked chip recipes produce fantastic results. For the mushy peas, quite frankly, you can't beat the tinned variety for that authentic chip shop flavour! These were definitely a contender for the best fish and chips I've ever had and you certainly couldn't tell they were gluten free.

Ingredients (serves 4):
- 4 fillets of pouting
- 100g gluten free plain flour (we used Dove's)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 150g gluten free breadcrumbs (we used Genius)
- 250ml sunflower oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the tartare sauce:
- 2 generous tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 1-2 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped dill
- 2-3 gherkins, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons capers, finely chopped
- Juice of half a lemon

  • Make the tartare sauce by simply stirring everything together in a bowl. Set aside
  • Put the pouting fillets on a board and skin them. Give them a quick bone-check with your fingers and remove any with tweezers
  • Put the flour in a deep plate and season with salt and pepper. Put the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs in two separate deep dishes
  • Lightly coat one fillet of fish in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the floured fish in the egg, making sure it's well coated, then roll it in breadcrumbs so it's generously covered. Repeat with the remaining fillets
  • Set a large, fairly deep, non stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil, it should be about 1cm deep
  • When the oil is hot, fry the breaded fillets (in batches if necessary), for 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown and crisp. Serve with the tartare sauce, chips, mushy peas and a wedge of lemon and enjoy!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Where to eat in Prague (gluten free too!)...

Last weekend we were in Prague and prior to going I was more than a little concerned about what I would be able to eat. Czech cuisine is famous for it's dumplings, schnitzels and thick sauces - not exactly ideal for coeliacs! But the key to any trip is research and there's some great advice out there.

We already had our eye on two gluten free restaurants after seeing reviews on Travel Gluten Free and reviews by Gluten-Free Globetrotter, others we found after extensive googling and some we just stumbled upon! It's also worth printing a couple of gluten free translation cards which explain to restaurants exactly what you can't have (Czech doesn't exactly trip off my tongue!). Try Celiac Travel for gluten free cards.

Anyone reading who isn't gluten free, I'd also urge you to check out these restaurants if in Prague, all were excellent.

Svejk Restaurant U Karla
Svejk was one of the traditional czech restaurants you see all over Prague. It's off a little side street so you don't pay the crazy tourist prices you do in some of the main squares. Unlike a lot of the traditional restaurants it offers a completely gluten free menu and gluten free Celia beer! I went for the traditional Czech goulash with gluten free dumplings and my girlfriend had the gluten free Schnitzel (so I can try obviously!). We also went back for lunch and had hamburger sliders and chicken wings, which were also tasty. You get little gluten free flags in your food which is a nice, reassuring touch.

Pork Schnitzel in a cheesy dough
Czech goulash with dumplings

Hamburger sliders with chips
Sweet chilli chicken wings
La Cantina
The next restaurant I would recommend is La Cantina, one we stumbled upon with a little help from the guide book. It was described as 'the best mexican in Prague' and it certainly didn't dissappoint. I showed them my translation card and they were happy to explain what was made with corn which I could have. The cheesy nachos were simply the best nachos I've ever had. Super stringy cheese served with a delicious salsa and guacamole. The chilli had huge chunks of tender steak and was delicious and my girlfriend's cheese, chicken and spinach quesedillas also received an excellent review.

Cheesy nachos with homemade salsa and guacamole
Steak chilli
Chicken, cheese and spinach quesedillas
Restaurante Na Zlate krizovatce
Final recommendation is a little off the beaten track but well worth the journey. Na Zlate is completely gluten free which is fantastic to see. It would be a real challenge to notice the difference. Their homemade fresh bread was fantastically light and they do draught gluten free beer!  I went for an Italian cheese and bean soup to start and my girlfriend had a tomato and pesto soup. Both were delicious and my garlic toast fantastic. We also both had the beef in a creamy sauce with cranberries for main. The real highlight was the apple strudel dessert, beautifully presented  with light pastry and a rich apple and cinnamon flavour! I would urge you to check out this restaurant whether your gluten free or not, great service and an extremely reasonably priced dinner.
Italian cheese and bean soup with garlic toast
Beef in a creamy sauce with cranberries and dumplings
Apple Strudel
Prague is a great city with lots to see and do and there's some great places to eat too, even if you are gluten free!

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