Life without gluten would be so much easier in Colombia, where many of the delicious traditional dishes and snacks are made with plantain, rice, cassava or maize. You wouldn’t feel deprived as often as you do in England or the rest of Europe, and you could indulge on empanadas, pandebonos or bunuelos without awkardly asking in a shop for the gluten-free section and expecting funny looks. Breakfast wouldn’t involve online shopping for special cereals or trips to health shops for weird concoctions that resemble bread. Lunches would be smoothly put together with plenty of vegetables and naturally gluten-free foods and grains. Dinners wouldn’t involve research online trying to discover alternative recipes for traditional gluten-heavy meals. But this isn’t life in Colombia, this is life with its challenges and that means making the most with what we’ve got. And that’s mixing and matching and sometimes trying to emulate things that remind us of holidays in Latin America, where everything seems to grow and be available at the click of your fingers. You can find cornmeal flour pretty much everywhere in Europe, not only because it’s becoming uber popular thanks to the gluten-free hype, but because it’s used in Caribbean, American, African and Asian cooking. This cornmeal bread recipe is absolutely fool-proof; you just need a good whisk, a pre-heated oven and the right ingredients. It’s so fool-proof it will be forgiving if you don’t measure things to the gram. It’s deliciously cheesey and you can have it warm or cold.
60g self-raising flour (I used gluten-free)
60g fine cornmeal flour
60g grated cheddar cheese
1 large free-range egg
a pinch of salt
a pinch of ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 170c/350F. Line an 8-inch baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs and butter at high speed. Turn to medium speed an add the cornmeal and self-raising flour and mix until it’s all thoroughly combined. Add the salt, pepper and cheese and whisk at low speed.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of the corn bread comes out clean. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.