Some gluten-free food doesn’t taste so good. It’s true. Some of it tastes fine, and that’s about all you can say about it.
But. But! Some things, we do really well. And some things, we do even better than the wheat-eaters. I’m feeling fairly triumphant these days, and thought we could all use a couple of minutes to self-congratulate.
Here’s one example of a food that is improved when the wheat is knocked out: roux. This flour-and-fat thickening agent, pillar of French cuisine, often ruins cream-based soups and sauces for the gluten-free community.
As it turns out, roux made with cornstarch is considered superior to roux made with wheat. Because less cornstarch is needed, the color is better and the taste of the sauce is less likely to be compromised. I learned this from a friend who was trying to cook a gluten-free macaroni and cheese for me (good friends, right? I’m a fortunate lady.).
Lots of chefs also prefer to avoid wheat in their gravies, for taste reasons. Mochiko (sweet rice flour) or cornstarch are probably the two best-loved alternatives.
The next time you hear that you can’t eat a sauce because it’s thickened with wheat flour, feel free to stick your nose in the air a little. Those of us who make roux without the stuff are doing it the “right” way.
And, if you’re wondering how to make a gluten-free roux, here are three links that might be helpful:
- Gluten-free gravy from your friends at Triumph Dining
- Gluten-free gravy video from the Gluten-free Girl
- Gluten-free roux from Cookstr
Of course, there are also lots of foods that I’ve discovered since going gluten-free, which I love and which I might not have learned about otherwise. Quinoa and millet come to mind immediately, as does a yummy buckwheat cake that my mother makes. There are others, I’m sure.
Since going gluten-free, have you discovered any foods that are even better than your old standbys? More importantly – what are they? Share them with us, so we can benefit, too.