Eating good quality gluten free food, mainly in Edinburgh



When you have digestion issues, as coeliac or gluten intolerant people do, you have to be extra careful that what you eat is properly cooked.  I was therefore interested to attend an event recently that was created by Thermapen cooking thermometers.

With a focus on cooking the perfect steak, our learning included talks on choosing the right cut of beef and what to look for when buying steak from a Scotch Beef butcher.  While we all like to eat healthily and low fat, we learned that good marbling and fat are important for the tenderness and flavour in a well-cooked steak – so not to stint on it – sounds good to me!

As the event was hosted by professional chef teachers: the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School, we were given clear demonstration of how to cook the perfect steak, alongside some conveniently fully gluten free sauces.  These included: peppercorn; red wine jus; salsa verde and chimichurri.  Use of the Thermapen was highlighted as a great way to check the temperature of your food, to get your steak to exactly the way you like it and ensure it is properly cooked and totally delicious.

I can see a variety of uses for a good food thermometer.  I always use one when cooking things like turkey, chicken and jam, for obvious reasons.  However, if you are like me, you are always mindful of your gut health, so using a super-fast and reliable food thermometer could help to make sure your food is cooked through in all sorts of situations.

The best part of our evening was when we rolled up our sleeves, donned aprons and got to cook our own dinner in the fantastic ENTCS kitchen.  As always, we were under the watchful eye of the skilled cooks who train some of Scotland’s best chefs, so we were in safe hands.  After making a really zingy and delicious salse verde (see recipe below), we cooked our steaks to perfection.  Guidelines from the Thermapen team were:

  • Lightly brush steak with oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Heat a dry frying pan until smoking hot
  • Do not cook more than two steaks in one pan as it will make the temperature drop and the steak will stew
  • Sear the steaks on one side, then flip. You can add butter at this stage if you wish
  • Using a Thermapen (of course!) test the temperature of the thickest part. Guidelines are: rare: 52c; Medium rare: 56c; well done (don’t do this!!) 71c.
  • Leave the steak to rest, wrapped in tin foil for a third of the cooking time before serving.

My steak was truly delicious!  We were given some great potatoes and side dishes to accompany them; some good chat about pairing steak with beer (which, of course, is no use to us unless we have some good GF beer to hand); and the chance to share our success with a group of newly trained steak buffs.

While the Thermapen is not the cheapest on the market, having used others before, I was amazed by its speed and accuracy.  It is available online and might be something to put on your culinary Christmas list.


Salsa Verde

2 anchovies
2 tsp capers
Small clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped mint
Half tbsp. chopped coriander
Half tbsp. chopped tarragon
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper

Chop the anchovies and capers finely.  Add the garlic, lemon, mustard and herbs, then gradually add the olice oil, taste and season as necessary.  This is so easy – and so delicious!