There is nothing worse than a dry dinner, especially on Christmas Day. You can make gluten free gravy with the juices from the meat and thickening with cornflour.
Keep it simple – it is best to prepare simple foods made from raw ingredients that are naturally gluten free. The rest of the Christmas dinner, such as fresh vegetables, is naturally free from gluten.
Don’t use any ingredients or offer anything to your guest if you are not certain it is gluten-free. It is really important to check food labels. A quick phone call to your friend to cross check what is in his/her food list will save embarrassment later on.
Beware of cross contamination
Do not give a coeliac guest meat from a turkey that was already stuffed. The risk of cross contamination is too high, even if you just serve him/her the plain meat. It may be easier to use gluten free breadcrumbs and make gluten free stuffing for all. Always wash hands before preparing the gluten free meal, especially if you have been preparing other food.
Do not use the family toaster for gluten-free bread. Tip: use a clean grill on the cooker or toasta bags, available in most supermarkets.
Do not use utensils for cooking the gluten free food, such as a stirrer or knife, that you have used on the other food, unless it has been washed thoroughly.
Gluten-free deep fried food should be cooked in clean frying oil, not oil that has been used previously used to cook breaded or battered non-gluten-free food.
Do not cheat – if you make a mistake the dish does have to be prepared again. Removing croutons from a salad, or a wafer from an ice cream, does not make the dish gluten-free.
After all your effort to prepare a meal for your coeliac guest, do not be left without anything to drink. Most minerals, tea, coffee, and milk are gluten free, as long as they do not contain barley. Beer, stout, or lager are not gluten free. The good news is that wine, spirits, sherry, port, and cider are all safe to offer your coeliac guest.
For more recipes visit www.coeliac.ie