Cheese and chive
We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for an announcement: I went out for fish and chips last week. Yes indeedy. If you happen to be in or around London at any point pay a visit to The Mermaids Tail. It’s situated right on Leicester Square, which is kind of a strange place for a restaurant in my view, and has a very odd feel inside; part posh restaurant, part American diner. The food definitely falls into the latter category; huge plates of steak, ribs, and, of course, fish and chips. The fish comes in either “normal” batter, or gluten free, and the chips are clearly cooked in a separate frier. The batter was lovely and crispy and, well, it was a revelation. It has been too long since fish and chips was on my menu. At £16 for a plate it’s not cheap (though next time I think I might share a plate with someone since it really was an enormous mountain of food) and it is the only restaurant I have eaten in in the whole of the UK that has a cover charge (£1 per person) but despite this it does gluten-free fish and chips. Every day. ‘Nuff said.
Ahem, where were we? Ah yes, cheese and chives. So, the way I usually go about making food is I usually see a beautifully photographed, gorgeously described, mouthwateringly lovely dish on some website or other, and decide to make it at the first opportunity. Voila, within five minutes my meal planner for the week is done. This time was different though. I decided I wanted some fresh rolls for lunch, and to accompany some lovely pumpkin soup of course. I wanted rolls with character, personality, with cheese and other bits in them. And, crucially, I wanted quick rolls, not proofing of yeast or waiting, and waiting, just mix and bake. Unfortunately, in all my millions (ok, well at least a couple of hundred then) of bookmarked recipes I couldn’t find anything to fit the bill. So I took the nearest thing I had, a recipe for a quick cheddar and dill loaf, and hacked it into little pieces, pieces just the right size to cook in ramekins. The result? Four rolls, perfect size for lunch, or to go with soup, full of stringy, melty, cheesey goodness. Time from getting out the mixing bowl to eating said rolls? A smidge under 40 minutes.
Cheddar and chive ramekin rolls
Adapted from Easy Gluten-Free Baking
There were far too few chives in these rolls for my liking. Next time I’d add at least 2 teaspoons of chopped chives, maybe more, which is reflected in the recipe below. Because of the high cheese content, these rolls are best served warm. If you eat them the day after they are made, reheat them in the microwave or oven beforehand, to remelt the cheese and get that nice springy texture back.
1 1/3 cups gf flour blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons butter
100g strong cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Butter the inside of four 0.2l ramekins.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum together in a medium bowl. Cut up the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the cheese and chives (just use your fingertips for this).
3. Whisk the egg and milk together in a small bowl and pour onto the flour and cheese mixture. Stir until a chunky dough forms. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and put in the ramekins. The dough will need patting down a little so it fills the ramekins evenly. You can leave a few “tufts” sticking up on top if you want a spiky top to your rolls.
4. Place the ramekins in the oven for 16-20 minutes. When cooked, put them on a rack to cool for 5 minutes, before levering the rolls out of their ramekins. Serve warm with meat, chutney or sliced apples on top.
Makes 4 rolls.