Category Archives: Starters

Starters to whet the appetite

‘Arancini’ with Italian salsa

As part of our KISS Campaign, I came up with another starter idea. I was looking for something to make with rice and found many recipes for Arancini (Italian rice balls). I changed the recipe to make it gluten, wheat and dairy free. As always my recipes aren’t designed to be definitive, but inspirational.

GLUTEN FREE, WHEAT FREE AND DAIRY FREE
Ingredients
1 x 500g packet of risotto rice – I used Arborio rice found in all major supermarkets
Dairy free spread for frying
1.2 litres gluten free vegetable stock
2 x tbs cornflour
Sunflower oil for dipping and frying

For the Salsa
1 x onion
2 x cloves garlic
2 x sticks celery
2 x carrots
½ red pepper
½ green pepper
1 x tin plum tomatoes
½ litre gluten free vegetable stock
Tomato puree
Splash red wine
Mixed herbs
Black pepper
Handful fresh basil

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves / makes: eight portions

1. Fry the rice in a little dairy free spread.
2. Add the stock a little at a time until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender.
3. Set the rice aside to cool.
4. Prepare the salsa by sautéing the vegetables and adding the herbs and seasoning to taste.
5. Add the tomatoes and stock. Lastly add the wine to taste. Leave to simmer gently.
6. Add a little water to the cornflour to make a thin runny paste.
7. Dip your hands in a little oil and then spoon handfuls of the still warm rice into your hands to make golf-ball sized balls. I found it easier to work the rice when it was warm, rather than when it had been chilled. I flattened the balls slightly to make them disc-shaped.
8. Dip the discs into the cornflour-water mix and then fry in a little sunflower oil.
9. Fry both sides until golden brown ensuring the centre is piping hot.
10. Chop fresh basil into the salsa and serve immediately with the hot rice balls.

Rosti with poached egg & streaky bacon

GLUTEN FREE, WHEAT FREE & DAIRY FREE
200g Maris Piper potatoes
Four large eggs
Eight rashers of streaky bacon
Chives to garnish
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves / makes: four servings

1. Coarsely grate the potatoes and dry with paper kitchen towel.
2. Grease potato ring (I used 7cm diameter rings).
3. Place rings in a pan with a little oil.
4. Loosely fill rings with the grated potato and fry on both sides until golden brown.
5. Whilst the rostis are cooking, poach one egg and grill two rashers of bacon until crispy per serving.
6. Plate and serve with chives as a garnish.

Rosti with smoked mackerel, pear and chives

GLUTEN FREE, WHEAT FREE & DAIRY FREE
200g Maris Piper potatoes
One and a half smoked mackerel fillets broken into large flakes
Half a pear peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
Juice of half a lemon
A bunch of chopped chives
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves / makes: four servings

1. Coarsley grate the potatoes and dry with paper kitchen towel.
2. Grease potato ring (I used 7cm diameter rings).
3. Place rings in a pan with a little oil.
4. Loosely fill rings with the grated potato and fry on both sides until golden brown.
5. Whilst the rostis are cooking, break the mackerel up into large flakes. Mix in the pear, chives and lemon juice. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
6. Plate and serve.