It’s been a week of monumental discoveries: two culinary milestones which will forever be remembered in my photographic memory (which sadly only seems to engage with food, not books).
The first life-changing moment occurred as I aimlessly perused the GF section of the supermarket. B R E A D C R U M B S. (Crumbs! Lol) Until two years ago, I, like the majority of the population, took these little molecules for granted; these days, I would kill for some real fish fingers, or even some old-school turkey dinosaurs. I knew I could show these breadcrumbs a good time, so I took them home and transformed some slightly pathetic risotto leftovers into the snack (meal? I don’t even know anymore) of the season. I would have taken a picture, but arancini are too good to wait.
I went a step further a couple of days later, utilising the breadcrumbs to fry up some mozzarella balls. They were better than Macca’s. Need I say more?
The method is easy: mix some plain (GF) flour and an egg in a bowl with a little water. Coat your desired food in the mixture and then roll and coat in breadcrumbs. Fry in at least a centimetre of oil on a medium heat – any higher and you might scorch it.
In other news, more home-cooked heroics this week included a sensational apple crumble, and a ridiculously satisfying mac’n’cheese.
If you can believe it, though, the breadcrumbs weren’t even the highlight of my week. A beautiful Friday at the beach was followed by lunch (3 courses, obviously) at the Fox in the Box, in Gardenvale. This FODMAP/gluten/allergy friendly café is owned and run by Tim Byrne, of Intolerant Chef fame. Out of the three of us eating, there was a (gorgeous) coeliac, a FODMAP (poor gal – that’s gluten, lactose and fructose intolerance) and a vegetarian. Tim took us through the whole menu, giving us recommendations, options and constant reassurance.
The entire place is gluten free, so I had my first sausage roll and chicken parma since 2013. My friend Lydia and I were almost in tears at how good the food was despite its allergy-friendly ingredients – as good as we remembered ‘normal’ food to be. We thought we’d peaked, and then, the chocolate eclairs came out. We were in a state of blissful disbelief. Fox in the Box is our new regular café, and my friend G, the vegetarian, enjoyed it too without any allergies. Thanks, Tim!
This week, real life and work begins again after a glorious couple of months off. I predict more home-cooking and breadcrumb-induced euphoria. My friend has mentioned baking a GF cheesecake… It might not quite be the #yearofsexy or #getfitfeb yet but maybe #deepfrieddolly is the next big thing.
Fox in the Box, 169 Martin Street, Brighton, 3186 VIC