Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gluten-free Cooking

   Yesterday, as I was in the Publix grocery store and struggling to read the signs posted above the aisles, a  woman came up beside me and grabbed my arm and exclaimed, " You MUST go and try the fish and grits, they're WONDERFUL!".  Although this startled me at first, I realized they must be pretty darn good to make someone do that, so I walked over to where the employee was handing out these small plates of food...

Now, you must understand, I don't usually pay much attention to most tastings like husband has celiac disease (or coeliac, if you are in England) and must be on a gluten free diet.   He was diagnosed with this at the age of two (he was in London at the time) and has had to contend with this his whole life.
When we married in 1983, I can assure you that I didn't know one other person who had this, nor did I even know anyone else who even knew about it.  One of the recipes that saved me was a peanut butter cookie recipe that I found in a Southern Living cookbook (I think that is where I found it) and it was called Miracle Cookies.  They didn't mention that they were gluten free, but I knew that they were just from the few simple ingredients. I think that I could make this recipe with my eyes closed I have them so often. I sent this recipe to a friend in Germany and she did a post on her blog about these cookies. It is , she wrote about it on July 24th of this year if you are interested in it.  Honestly, even though she thought she burned them slightly, they still looked great to me. 

Okay, now let's get back to that Publix store with the lady standing there with the plate of food...
I tasted the food.  The woman who grabbed my arm was not was heavenly.  "Oh, I wish my gluten free hubby could enjoy this", I thought to myself.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see a bag of Publix corn meal on the counter.   "What is the corn meal used for in this recipe?", I asked the lady.
"That is one of the ingredients for the grits.", she said.  HOORAY!  Publix corn meal is on the gluten free list!  Hastily, reading the rest of the recipe made me very happy.  Grits that you can buy in a bag, even though they are made from corn, are NOT gluten free but if I can make them with corn meal...that will be a very good thing!  Now, the fish recipe is NOT gluten free...but that's okay, I can even adapt that to gluten free but the grits recipe is so easy and so good, that I wanted to share it.  Here it is...

 Creamy Corn Grits:
1 can cream style corn
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup plain yellow corn meal (Publix is gluten free)
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (you can use more, you know I did)

Combine corn, water, butter, seasoned salt and pepper in saucepan, bring to boil.
Add cornmeal, whisking constantly, until blended. Reduce to low, cook 8-10 minutes, whisking often until thickened.
Stir in cheese until well blended.  It says it makes 8 servings.  Hey, I'm just telling you what it says!

There, don't you just love a recipe that is easy AND good!  You don't have to be on a gluten free diet to enjoy this.  When I informed the woman who made this that it was gluten free, she had no idea what I was talking just so happens that it is!

If anyone makes this, I hope you will like it as much as I did,  and as much as the lady who insisted that I go and taste it!


  1. Oh, Kay, I simply adore you! I'm so tickled that you shared this post with info on celiac and gluten-free eating and that you found this naturally gluten-free recipe to boot! :-) Fish and grits sounds quite good indeed. And thanks for the link love, my friend. Flourless peanut butter cookies have wowed many ... gluten free or not. ;-)

    BTW, I had no idea that you and your husband started out as pen pals. That is so wonderful. I know another couple who met that way. He was here and she was in France. They've been married for over 20 years. :-)


  2. Hey Shirley!
    Let me know if you make these grits and what you think of them! (Easy and good...what we both love, right?) I started to write about the cookies and realized that I loved the librarian's post so much to just link to her blog!
    Oh yes, married to my pen-pal for 28 years now!
    I think HE deserves a medal for this! Here is a joke that we heard years ago at Six Flags Over Georgia: There are three rings in marriage:
    The engagement ring...
    The wedding ring and the....
    suffering! Ha! We almost fell over laughing at that one. (Hmmm..why did my husband enjoy that one so very much???)

  3. Hi Kay!

    I love your post . . . don't you love it when strangers come up to you in the grocery store? We must just lool like nice, friendly people. The last time I was perusing gluten-free items, a woman came up to me to tell me that Jesus loves me. You just never know what's going to happen at the supermarket!

    Being an East Coast girl, I have to say, I've only tried grits once. I suspect they weren't true, southern grits, either. Your recipe makes me want to give them another try.

    Have a great day,

  4. Dear Tina,
    Thank you so much for your comment! Oh yes, I must LOOK like the best cook in the world...people ask me things in the grocery store all the time!
    And I hope you will try these grits! Let me know what you think...they really taste more like a cheese souffle to me...but there you are, I am so sophisticated, don't you know.
    Thanks again!

  5. Kay, in our local grocery there is a whole section of gluten-free foods, as well as an area where locally made gluten-free items are sold. There is much, much more available than there used to be, happily for your husband.

  6. Dear Nan, Thank you for your comment! My reply became too long and I made it into my blog post for today! Oh, and you know those great french fries you had at your fair on Labor Day? If we had been there, we would have had to ask...are they JUST potatoes, no breading? What are they fried in? Have your fried anything else in this same oil? The questions you have to ask!