I try to keep my excitement at all the new developments in the gluten-free world well controlled, otherwise I would be way too excited to get any real work done. But I do want to tell you about this. I picked up the dining section of Wednesday’s NY Times to see a special from Mark Bittman, cookbook author and television chef, called “101 Reasons to Light the Grill.” He does 101 “somethings” from time to time and I love them. They’re always full of exciting ideas that are doable and often gluten free.
In this case, if you substitute gluten-free flour, bread and soy sauce (all easy substitutions) for the few times these items appeared, you’ll get all the way to his 78 th suggestion before you find gluten in the form of miso. According to Amy Ratner, our ingredient expert, miso, which is made from beans and grain, comes in gluten free and gluten-containing versions. Sometimes the name tells you the ingredients. Mugi miso always contains barley and tsubi miso always contains wheat. But brown rice miso is one example that would be gluten free. As always, read the label. According to Bittman, you can substitute hoisin sauce, but that is unlikely to be gluten free. Amy suggests mixing equal parts ketchup and molasses as a substitute
Bittman specifically mentions a flour tortilla (#87) but it would be easy to substitute corn. And there is also an odd mention of pita as a bread substitute, grilling shortbread (possibly available in a gluten-free version) as well as pound cake and angel food cake (both are available in a gluten-free version) and a rather standard suggestion for grilled s’mores which does call for wheat-containing graham crackers, but there are a few gluten-free substitutes. That means for the most part you have 101 reasons for lighting the grill, all of which you can try — which should keep you busy for the summer, never mind this holiday weekend.
I was a bit taken aback by his direction to simmer octopus tentacles until tender, cool, then grill and “cut into attractive little rounds.” I find it very difficult to imagine octopus tentacles even eaten never mind cut into “attractive little rounds,” but this might appeal to some of you and be my guest! I’ll stick to the tried and true.
And maybe these suggestions, which are stunning in terms of their simplicity: “# 61. Odd but good: Strawberries and cherry tomatoes, finished with basil-laced balsamic vinegar.” or
“# 72. Char iceberg wedges and cherry tomatoes (skewer these first). Top with blue cheese dressing.” (Yes, blue cheese is gluten free but be sure to read the label if you use a prepared dressing.)
You’ll find all 101 suggestions at nytimes.com. Enjoy as many as you’d like – and have a great holiday weekend!