Good food came from a bad medical diagnosis. And much of it can be found in the “Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook” by Robert Landolphi.

Good food came from a bad medical diagnosis.

And much of it can be found in the “Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook” by Robert Landolphi.

“In 1998, Chef Robert Landolphi’s wife, Angela, became increasingly ill. After a battery of tests and consultations with specialists, and with the quality of her life on the line, she was finally and correctly diagnosed with celiac disease,” says publicity material for Landolphi’s book supplied by Andrews McMeel Publishing. “And so, with a lifelong love of cooking, a culinary arts degree from the prestigious Johnson and Wales University, and the desire to keep his wife healthy and happy, Robert started experimenting and developing unique and flavorful gluten-free dishes. The Gluten-Free Chef was born.”

Landolphi is that chef. And his book offers “more than 100 easy and delicious recipes,” according to the book’s subtitle.

“The book is the culmination of a personal journey that included years of trials, disappointments, research, and joy,” the author says in his introduction.

Celiac disease, he explains, is a multisystem disorder — triggered by gluten, the primary protein in wheat, barley and rye grains — that begins in the small intestine. Treatment — avoiding gluten — has not been considered tasty.

Landolphi attempts with his cookbook to put flavor back in the gluten-free diet.

“It is with hope and pride that I share this story, a number of our favorite recipes, and some invaluable information that I have learned along the way,” he writes. “The recipes have been tried, tested, and tweaked by my best critics, including those with and without gluten intolerance.  This has been a personal goal: that any person tasting these dishes would not even notice that they are gluten free.”

TRI-SPICED ONION RINGS WITH HORSERADISH DIPPING SAUCE

HORSERADISH DIPPING SAUCE

1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon paprika

BATTER

1 cup white rice flour
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup gluten-free beer

OTHER INGREDIENTS

Canola oil, for deep-frying
2 white onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings and separated

For the horseradish sauce: In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together and set aside.

For the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. Gradually whisk in the egg yolks and beer until a smooth, thick batter forms.

In a large, heavy sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat 3 inches canola oil until it registers 360 degrees on a deep-frying thermometer. Dip a few onion rings at a time into the batter and then add to the hot oil, cooking until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the cooked onion rings to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining onion rings until all are cooked.

Place the onion rings on a platter and serve with a bowl of the dipping sauce. Serves 6.

LUSCIOUS LEMONY CHESTNUT BARS

Crust:

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup chestnut flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

Filling:

3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and butter the foil.

In a food processor, combine the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, chestnut flour, potato starch, 1/4 cup sugar, and the salt. Whirl to blend. Add the butter and process until a fine meal forms. Press evenly into the bottom and sides of the prepared pan to form a crust. Bake for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a food processor, combine the 3/4 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest and juice, baking powder, and salt. Process to blend. Pour into the hot crust and bake for 20 minutes, or until set. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares, remove from the pan, and dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve. Makes 16 bars.

-- From “Gluten Free Every Day Cookbook”

The Repository