Cooking for John

Many years ago, John came to my house for his birthday supper. After a three-course meal, John never left.

I have Nigel Slater to thank. The first meal I cooked for John was a simple hot prawn starter followed by Nigel Slater’s lamb shanks, slow cooked in red wine with whole grain mustard and lots of garlic and rosemary. The dessert was also a Nigel Slater recipe, a strawberry mascarpone tart.

John is a coeliac and gluten free cooking was a new concept for me. It wasn’t that difficult to adjust most dishes but it did involve reading labels very carefully. It almost meant that I made a lot of my own sauces for pasta from scratch, and pesto too.

A few weeks after I started cooking for John, he happened to notice a grater on the side in the kitchen. He asked me what it was for. I was slightly perplexed by this question as I did think most people would recognise a grater and be aware of the concept of grating cheese. At this point it turned out that John doesn’t eat cheese. I had been adding Parmesan to the pesto that he had happily eaten.

Despite a few cooking hiccups along the way, John and I are happily married and I am still cooking for him. He still doesn’t eat cheese though, but that means more for me.

Cooking For John
Cooking For John
It’s been a very busy day today and when I walked back into the house at 6:30 this evening the last thing I wanted to do was spend ages cooking. I settled on cowboy beans, a quick and easy supper. A tin of tomatoes, a tin of beans, an onion, peppers and tonight I added sweet corn. Flavoured with a teaspoon of molasses, a squirt of bbq sauce and half a teaspoon of liquid smoke. Usually I would add the cooked sausages to the beans while cooking but since the vegetarians were having some too I add the sausages after serving. Pudding was poached pears and caramel.
#glutenfree #quicksupper #busyhousehold #cookingforjohn
Cooking For John
Cooking For John
I was given an enormous bag of pears from a friend’s tree. I was slightly stumped what to do with so many and wanted to do something a bit different. I poached some with honey and spices. Turned some into a pear jam. I baked two loaves of pear and nut bread. The last three pears were cooked with the pork and sage meatballs we had for supper. Red onion, sliced pear and meatballs cooked in cider and served on a bed of spinach and mushroom with a gravy made from the cooking liquid.
#glutenfree #pears #afternooncooking #homemade #cookingforjohn
Cooking For John
Cooking For John
Meat free Monday can be slightly difficult, in theory it should be the easiest day of the week as it’s the one day I only have to cook one meal. The vegetarians are very fussy and there is only so much veggie curry I can cook. Tonight I made a beetroot and red onion tart tatin flavoured with star anise and finished with rocket. I cheated on the pastry and used ready made. Even the fussy barbarians liked it.
#glutenfree #meatfreemonday #beetroottarttatin #cookingforjohn
Cooking For John
Cooking For John
Another quick and easy supper tonight. Peri-peri chicken with a side salad. I cheated with the chicken and used some Nando’s coat ‘n cook. Their rubs and marinades are all gluten free and handy to have as a standby.
#glutenfree #nandos #quicksupper #cookingforjohn
Cooking For John
Cooking For John
I really like Dukkah, and it’s easy enough to make your own. Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, coriander, paprika, cumin and fennel seeds, roasted chick peas and black onion seeds come together to make a super crusty coating for all sorts. Tonight I encrusted lamb chops with Dukkah before oven roasting them and serving them with aubergine and new potatoes.
#glutenfree #dukkah #lamb #cookingforjohn
Cooking For John
Cooking For John
I sometimes think we over complicate our suppers. Tonight for our meat free Monday I made a dish with one main ingredient, cabbage flavoured with onions, garlic, turmeric, curry leaves and a pinch of chilli flakes. It was very tasty, filling enough and would make a great side dish as well.
#glutenfree #simplesupper #meatfreemonday #cookingforjohn
Cooking For John