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Quick-Fix Gluten Free, by Robert M. Landolphi

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Updated November 17, 2011

Quick-Fix Gluten Free, by Robert M. Landolphi
© Robert M. Landolphi
When I first picked up Quick-Fix Gluten Free, I assumed it would be a gluten-free cookbook aimed at getting in and out of the kitchen quickly, with simple recipes and few ingredients. Speed is definitely the aim of chef Robert M. Landolphi's new book — he says each recipe can be prepped in 30 minutes or less.

Well, Landolphi clearly is a much faster cook than I am, since the recipes I've tried so far have taken me a little longer than half an hour. Most also require advanced planning, since they call for more than just a handful of ingredients, and some of the really interesting recipes require ingredients you may not have around the house (shredded sweetened coconut, for example, and many different kinds of gluten-free flour).

Still, given those caveats, I still heartily recommend this collection of gluten-free recipes. Quick-Fix Gluten Free provides multiple recipes with really interesting flavors (sweet cheese crêpes with caramelized peaches and granola, for example), and also takes old, gluten-filled favorites such as fish and chips and explains how to make them gluten-free.

Quick-Fix Gluten Free Recipes Range from Breakfast to Dessert

Landolphi's collection includes ideas for all your potential meals, ranging from Beligan waffles at breakfast to fried scallops with tartar sauce at dinner.

It really struck me that his recipes blend flavors you wouldn't think would go well together (chocolate and beer, for example), but which ultimately do work well in concert ... in this case, in Bard's Gold beer brownies, made with Bard's Gold gluten-free beer, semisweet chocolate and white chocolate.

Another great combination in Quick-Fix Gluten Free is the recipe for spicy peanut chicken pasta salad — it's reminiscent of Thai appetizers I've enjoyed at ethnic restaurants, many of which are naturally gluten-free.

As with most gluten-free cookbooks, this one focuses on recipes that require gluten-free flours and other grain products — for example, the recipe for pretzel-crusted tilapia with Dijon cream sauce calls for white rice flour, gluten-free pretzels and gluten-free bread crumbs.

However, the book also contains numerous recipe ideas that don't require grains or flour to create, such as honey mustard and mint chicken breasts.

Collection Includes Useful Techniques to Add Flavor

Quick-Fix Gluten Free contains 100 recipes, along with a bonus section on tips and techniques to add flavor to dishes. For example, Landolphi recommends toasting many nuts and seeds, and explains how to go about it properly.

He also provides tips for dusting, encrusting, battering and frying with various gluten-free flours, grains and other substances — for example, coffee, which he recommends mixing with herbs and spices and using as a crust for beef, pork and lamb dishes (it does sound unique, but I have yet to try it).

The cookbook has a few minor flaws — it does not include color photographs of the completed dishes, for example. It has a small section on substitutions for other common allergens, such as eggs, cane sugar and dairy products, but it doesn't go into detail in specific recipes as to how you'd remove the eggs or the butter.

Still, those flaws don't detract from the truly interesting, tasty ideas for gluten-free dishes presented in Quick-Fix Gluten Free. If you're bored with your usual collection of gluten-free recipes and want to try some new and different ones — recipes that, with practice, probably can be finished in 30 minutes — you'll almost certainly enjoy this cookbook.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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