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Sep 27, 2008 01:08 AM

Brunch for people with food-issues (wheat allergy)

I'm having a brunch next weekend for about 12 people. Usually I would make muffins, fruit salad, roasted potatoes and some sort of interesting egg casserole thing, however I just realized that two of my guests are veg, and one has a wheat allergy. What to do?

I can obviously make the egg casserole veg, or make two different ones, but the wheat allergy has me stumped, as every brunch dish I know is some variation on strada or bread pudding. I could make a separate plate of scrambled eggs for her, I guess, but she hates people going to a fuss over her, and I hate to leave her with nothing but potatoes and fruit to eat. To compound matters, I live in a place where buying alternative flours is not an option, so I can't make muffins with spelt or anything like that.

Any ideas?

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  1. I usually make a vegetarian frittata & that covers the veg heads & any wheat allergies.
    I do use dairy however.

    I roast the veggies I am using before hand & let cool. I season them with herbs, pepper & only a tiny bit of sea salt if any as I prefer the natural salts of the cheese to be the only salt in there.

    You can make several different frittatas using different ingredients. And that means you could make one or two with meat (I'm thinking bacon or proscuitto).

    I often use a cheater's method I made up - and it's basically a cross between a crustless quiche & a frittata. I oil a Pyrex Pie Plate with good extra virgin olive oil and place my veggies & cheese in the oiled pie plate. Use a deep one if you have one. Then pour your egg mixture (I use 5 eggs & 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream per pie pan) in & bake slowly in a bain marie. Do not overcook! In fact, undercooking a little tiny bit is good, because the residual heat will continue cooking the frittata. You can serve warm or room temp.
    These can be made the day before & reheat nicely. Baking them let's you do other things while they are in the oven!

    Just get some good bread & serve it on the side. Likely she's used to skipping the bread & will think nothing of it.

    BTW, here's a link to a good mail order company for all kinds of flours including gluten free. May help in the future. Unless you feel you have time to place an order.

    Good Luck!

    p.s. If you did make a strata, you could just leave out the bread in hers & make an individual one for her. I've done this with quiche for a friend & that's how I started making the frittata I described above. Now I make that as the norm & the quiche only every now & then.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Isabella

      I agree. Just serve muffins (or biscuits) and a breakfast meat on the side. Sliced ham shouldn't offend the vegs (I wouldn't want to offer sausages or bacon since the odor permeates).

    2. Roasted potato, frittata, fruit salad are probably just fine if she doesn't want a fuss made. Muffins work out well wheat free, but I don't suggest people try making them from scratch first off for guests, as there are issues iwth cross-contaimination with baking. So, don't feel bad about not making muffins!

      Some people make a rice crust with cooed rice, and enjoy that, but to be honest, I would be happy with the above menu. Just be careful of cross contamination while you cook. Use clean cutting boards and clean utensils. Don't use ingredients like sugar, that may be contaminated with flour (e.g. double dipping a measuring cup in flour, then sugar without washing in between).

      1. There are some gluten-free muffin mixes available that would take the guess work out of making them from scratch. Check your local health food store. You could have separate baskets of regular and gluten-free. You might want to use cupcake papers to make sure you don't cross-contaminate your muffin pans.

        Also, the Spanish tortilla is really just a big egg and potato cake baked in a skillet. Check a recipe on-line and see if it might incorporate your eggs and potatoes into one dish.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nemo

          you could make a green chili and egg cassarole and serve it w/ warm corn tortillas.....

          6 eggs
          1/4 c. milk
          1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
          1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
          7 fresh or frozen (never ever canned) Green chile (NM preferred - Name brand Bueno)
          1/4 tsp. salt
          1/4 tsp. pepper
          Beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, cheeses, and green chile. Pour into well buttered 10x13 casserole. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Baking time may vary, so watch carefully. Dish is done when knife inserted into center comes out clean.

          This dish is great year round, and can be prepared the night before, put into the fridge and baked in the morning. Add some hash browns,or warm corn tortillas and you will have a great breakfast. Or, add a nice salad and this can be a nice treat for lunch or dinner.
          I like to serve a green tomatillo salsa and a fresh pico de gallo with this as well....

          1. re: nemo

            For the gluten free- CROSS CONTAMNIATION is important to note- because even a pinpricks worth of gluten is the same as eatting a entire loaf of bread. If you choose to serve bread, put it out last on a board with its own knife. If you aren't aware- almost all prepared seasonings have gluten in them- we just blend our own.

            Yellow corn tortilla quesadillas.

            Smoked Salmon in eggs, smoked salmon on its own.

            Poblano potato frittata.

            Lots of fruit!