Gearoid Lynch visited Today with Maura and Dáithí to create a totally gluren-free Christmas platter that's pefect for the holidays and includes everything from mince pies and bruschetta to turkey and chive salad, baked crab claws in lime chilli & butter and roulade of smoked salmon & crab meat.

Ingredients

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:

To make Mince pies there are three components involved, the pastry the spiced mincemeat filling and frangipane topping. Initially it is a lot of preparation but certainly worth the effort. This sweet shortcrust pastry can be used as a base for many recipes. This recipe is typical of any shortcrust pastry – it may appear a little wet when made and will need to rest for an hour before use.

For the Pastry:

  • 225g gluten-free plain white flour blend
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 150g cold butter, cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the Frangipane Filling:

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 40g gluten-free plain white flour
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • Flaked almonds for decoration, (optional)
  • 600g of good quality spiced minced meat.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta toppings can be as humble or as luxurious as you like, from chopped fresh herbs or tomato with basil, to marinated vegetables or beautiful cheeses, to lovely flaked crabmeat. The only rule is that whatever goes on top of a bruschetta should be nice and fresh. 

Serves: 4

  • 1 loaf of gluten-free bread loaf or 2 gluten-free baps
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half 
  • 50ml good-quality extra virgin olive oil 
  • ¼ tsp salt 
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 20ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 log of goats’ cheese, cut into 1cm slices (optional)
  • green salad, to serve

Turkey and chive salad:

This salad can be made with leftover cooked Turkey and is very tasty served on toasted gluten-free bread. 

Serves: 4

  • Cooked left-over turkey
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh chives, chopped
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise

Baked Crab Claws in Lime Chilli & Butter:

This recipe is very tasty and anything goes, in that there is no specific quantities or ingredients.

  • Crab Claws
  • Lime juice
  • Chilli
  • Butter
  • Anything you like!

Roulade of Smoked Salmon & crab meat:

  • 50g Good quality smoked salmon
  • 50g Crabmeat 
  • 1 dessertspn Crème Fraiche
  • Zest and juice of ¼ 

Method

Mince Pies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 185°C. Mix the flour, icing sugar and xanthan gum together in a large bowl. Rub in the cold butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. It’s important that the butter is cool and not at room temperature, as the pastry will be tough if the butter is soft.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the pastry and add the beaten egg. Combine all of the ingredients by hand, but try to work quickly to prevent the pastry from becoming too greasy. This mixture can be quite wet when it’s mixed, but once it’s rested it’s easy to use.
  3. Once combined, form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave to rest for at least 1 hour in the fridge. (It’s also worth resting the dough for 20–30 minutes in the fridge after you line a flan tin and before filling it to reduce the possibility of shrinkage.)
  4. Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll it out on a lightly floured work surface and use it to line greased bun tins or very small individual mini muffin tins. Once lined return to the fridge for 20–30 minutes.
  5. While the pastry is resting you can prepare the frangipane. To make the frangipane, cream the butter and icing sugar together. Mix the flour with the ground almonds in a separate bowl.
  6. Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture along with half of the flour mixture and combine well. Add the egg whites along with the remaining flour and mix well again, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  7. Once the pastry cases have rested, remove from the fridge, place a spoon of mince into each of the pastry cases, followed by a large teaspoon of frangipane on top. You can sprinkle with flaked almond as decoration if you wish.
  8. Once the tray is completed bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Bruschetta:

  1. If you have a large loaf, cut it in half, then slice it crossways about 1cm thick. Chargrill the slices on a hot griddle pan until they are crisp on both sides, then lightly rub each piece a couple of times with the cut garlic clove. Drizzle with a little of the extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a tiny pinch of salt. You can eat the toasted bread just like this, but make sure the oil is of good quality, otherwise it will never taste nice. 
  2. Make sure your tomatoes are really ripe when making this topping. Give them a wash, then remove their cores by cutting them into quarters and removing the seeds. The tomatoes can either be left chunky or finely chopped.
  3. Place the tomatoes in a bowl. Tear in the basil with your hands and season with salt and pepper, then toss with the remaining olive oil and the vinegar to balance the flavours to your taste.
  4. You can spoon the tomato mixture onto the slices of bread and serve as is, or you can place the sliced goats’ cheese on top of the tomato and bake the bruschetta in the oven or flash under the grill until the cheese has heated through and started to melt. Serve with a green salad.

Turkey and Chive Salad:

  1. Dice the cooked turkey into small pieces. Put the turkey into a bowl with the chopped chives, lemon juice and mayonnaise and mix together.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. It can be served as part of a salad or as a sandwich filler.


Baked Crab Claws in Lime Chilli & Butter:

  1. Literally, I place some fresh crab claws in a small oven proof dish with some butter, chilli and squeeze of lime juice! And bake for 5 minutes at 180◦C

Roulade of Smoked Salmon & Crab Meat:

  1. Put the crabmeat in a large bowl and carefully pick through it using your fingers, checking the meat for any shell or cartilage.Transfer the crab meat from the bowl to a clean tea towel and squeeze any liquid from the meat.
  2. Place the crabmeat back into a large bowl with crème fraiche and the lime zest and juice and combine well and season to taste.
  3. Roll cling film out on a worktop and place a layer of smoked salmon on top.
  4. Using a spoon place the crab mixture down the centre, and holding the cling film, roll up the salmon and crab like a cigar. Tie both ends and refrigerate.
  5. Slice once required.