lunch, vegetables

Roasted Squash and Apple Fritters and going Gluten Free

October 21, 2009


Being British, deep fried food has a long history with me. Fish and chips was a weekly event for me when I was back in Blightly – actually often more frequent than that. When my jeans started feeling a bit tight, and my t-shirts started fitting far too trendily (er.. tight too), I decided it was time to cut that practice out.

Course, it really wasn’t just the fish and chips. It was the onion bhaji’s too. We should also not forget the fact that most British chippies (fish and chip shops) will also fry just about anything that you bring in to them. Including candy bars.

I should make it public knowledge that I have never, ever eaten a fried candy bar.

Oh, I guess tempura counts as deep fried too.

So, I have eaten my own weight five times over in fried food. Since moving to the states 7 years ago the taste left me. Rather strange since the yanks seem to have just the same love of fried food that us Brit’s do. I lost the taste for it. Lost the taste for it till last weekend that was.

Some new friends (fast becoming old friends) of ours, Shauna and Danny came over for a lazy Sunday afternoon of cooking, eating, and playing with our respective kids. They have a daughter that our son loves, and judging by all the baby huggin’ that day – the feeling was mutual with her.

Not only are Shauna and Danny just fantastic people, they also happen to be two very good cooks (well, it helps that one of em is a chef..). Gluten Free cooks at that. Some will know them better as the tour-de-force behind GlutenFreeGirl

Going Gluten Free..

This is the first time I have mentioned this on my blog, but about a month ago Danika and I decided to go gluten free. Neither of us are celiac’s (that we know..) but thought we might try and do without gluten, see if it helps a few medical things, and stops that 4pm slump we seem to get.

Turns out, for us it really isn’t that much of a big deal – or that much of a big deal for this blog. I don’t bake much, and hardly ever use gluten based stuff in my recipes. If I do, there is a great gluten free substitute.

The biggest thing for me was bread and pizza dough. I love a nice loaf with cheese and charcuterie, and I didn’t want to cheat and just eat bread. Hats off to Shauna and Danny – they have come up with a fantastic gluten free bread that I just adore – they baked their latest version for us at the weekend, and it was phenomenal. Not just for gluten free bread. It was a phenomenal loaf of bread. Thankfully they are going to share this loaf in their forthcoming cookbook. Stay tuned.

Same goes with pizza dough. Their pizza dough recipe I like as much, if not a bit better than the no-kneed recipe I have been using the last year – and it is just as easy to make.

So, it isn’t that big of a deal. At all. This blog won’t change really. If I do a recipe with flour, I will give a gluten free and regular gluten based directions (say for a bechamel or sauce veloute).

Apple Squash Fritter

Right.. back to those apple and squash fritters

Shauna mentioned that when they come over, they wanted to try and make a gluten free version of a Marcus Samuelsson recipe, from his book “Soul of a New Cuisine” The recipe was for some roasted squash and apple fritters, that get spiced up with a little Garam Masala.

Shauna and Danny did a fantastic job of subbing in gluten free ingredients to the fritters. Danny manned the peanut oil, and fried them up to a crisp, and then dusted them in some cinnamon sugar.

Oh blimey.

These seriously tasted like little fried balls of Autumn. So fantastically crisp and sweet on the outside – and with a single bite you are through into warm, spiced savory squash with a hint of apple. We all ate these faster than Danny could fry them up.

Squash and Apple get roasted, with a little garlic. Garam Masala gets mixed in, along with a few gluten free flours to help bind. Tossed in more flour, and fried up in peanut oil. A final coating of cinnamon sugar seals the deal before eating as fast as humanly possible.

If you ask me, they might not even need that final dusting of spiced sugar. I liked them very much just as being a pure savory treat, without the sweet edge..

Since I really had no part what-so-ever in the making of this recipe, it only seems fair that you get the 411 on the ingredients and methods of this great fritter straight from the horse’s mouth. (not calling Shauna or Danny horses you understand..)

Check out their blog post on the fritters for the recipe.

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  • Jenn October 21, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Those fritters look awesome! I agree that going gluten free isn’t a big deal once you get the hang of the ingredients. The hardest part is the cross-contamination risk with so many foods, especially eating out, which shouldn’t be a problem for you if you don’t have an actual allergy. Developing original recipes for gluten free baked goods can sometimes be a bit of a challenge depending on what you are making, but I’m sure you’re up for it 🙂

  • dawn October 21, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    in this day and age going gluten free s/b easy. I have pumpkin fritters on my dusty
    ‘to bake’ list. I like yours though, might have to change a few things up…
    my 4pm slump is better now that I got rid eating processed foods.

  • lisaiscooking October 21, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I admit I do love fried food, especially fish and chips, but I rarely indulge in it. These fritters look like they’re definitely worth the indulgence though.

  • Aran October 22, 2009 at 12:07 am

    that’s fantastic you are gf! i am not completely off it at the moment but i have been in the past and it really help me heal some autoimmune disorders i had. what a great group of bloggers you guys have in seattle. beautiful!

  • Anna October 22, 2009 at 12:10 am

    I have also recently gone gluten-free as I heard it can interfere with the thyroid medications that i take- which might also explain my 4pm slump! Keep us updated on how you feel, I’d be curious to know!

  • annie October 22, 2009 at 3:01 am

    sounds yummy!!

  • nina October 22, 2009 at 6:33 am

    I have to say that bread is my downfall too, but it does not agree with me at all. It makes me bloated, sluggish and just not feel good at all. I am happy that you will share some delicious gluten free recipes. These little fritters will be my first effort, hold thumbs!!!

  • Peter G October 22, 2009 at 6:52 am

    These look fantastic Matt! And I love that you are experimenting with being gluten free.

  • Divina October 22, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Those fritters look really good. Gluten-free is good for us I think. Sometimes I find it hard to digest that kind of protein.

  • Alta October 22, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Agree with what Jenn said…the hardest part about going gluten-free is the eating out part…but since you don’t have an allergy or celiac, you should be just fine! I’ll look forward to gluten-free recipes though! And I’m jealous that you get to enjoy Danny and Shauna’s goodies! I’m ALL THE WAY here in Texas, so chances are, they won’t be cooking for me anytime soon!

  • kate the bake October 23, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Welcome to the club!
    That is great news for us all! I’m looking forward to your gf experimentation, and you are lucky you have such great experienced friends to advise.
    Enjoy your new adventure!

  • Yujai October 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    These fritters look awesome! I bet they are super good too!
    That’s a nice thing to have during these rainy days in Seattle 😀

  • The Leftoverist October 26, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I love those sorts of cooking/eating/lazing around afternoons. Especially if said afternoon were to include these fritters…

  • mallory elise October 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    excellent! gluten free! soon gluten will no longer exist 😉

  • Rhi November 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    wow Matt…I guess you won’t be trying any of my baked goods. I guess the gluten free thing upsets me quite a bit, not just from you of course, but the public in general. I totally understand if someone is allergic to wheat or has celiac’s, but for people who can handle wheat and gluten and all it’s joy’s it worries me that they would cut such a significant part of their diet.

    Of course I am biased, and I’m starting a business that will be selling many gluten based products. I just feel that the bread and baking industry has had so many knock backs in the past few years (especially that weird Atkins diet and now the gluten free one) and for no really good reason.

    A balanced diet includes wheat and other gluten containing things. Balance is key – I know you realize that, I just find it heartbreaking.

    No more baguettes, tarts, cakes, cookies…. unless they have no gluten…but along with butter flour is probably one of my favorite things to work with.

  • Jeanne November 18, 2009 at 5:33 am

    It is so wonderful to read about all of the food lovers out there who are willing to experiment with gluten-free cooking and baking. Of course, Danny and Shauna make it easy and friendly–because they’re so easy and friendly. So glad to read about your adventures! Thanks!