I like to throw parties, invite people over and make them feel at home. I like to make more than enough food, and for everyone to leave very full and with a take away bag of goodies. But the last time I had a little gathering at Casa De Dodd, I had overlooked my Gluten Free friends. I had remembered the vegetarians, and the vegans, the people who don’t drink beer, but for the ones who are allergic to gluten there wasn’t much. I felt terrible.
Gluten Free isn’t a fad diet. It isn’t Paleo or Raw or Weight Watchers. It isn’t a choice. It’s a medical condition and a food allergy that is one of the fasted growing diagnosed food allergies in the United States.
Gluten Free (Celiac’s Disease) people don’t want to give up bread. And regular pizza, or hamburger buns and flour tortillas, they don’t have much of a choice. Eat gluten free or become debilitatingly ill. Have you ever had food poisoning? In away, it’s like that.
And with over 3 million American’s allergic to gluten, chances are your next party may have one. It might even be you, Celiacs is most often diagnosed in adulthood. Because we want everyone who walks into our parties to feel at home, we all need to have a stock pile of appetizers to accommodate. Because unlike other diets, this isn’t a choice.
Because gluten is used as a thickener in tons of processed foods, it can easily hid in obscure places like canned soup, pre-made salad dressing, imitation crab, cheese spread and some brands of soy sauce.
At each party I need to have a few Celiac Friendly dishes that I made from scratch so that I can be sure there isn’t any rogue gluten waiting like a digestive ninja to attach my friends insides. Potatoes are a great place to start. Because who doesn’t love potatoes? It’s like not liking puppies or The Beatles.
So when you come across Gluten Free appetizers and dishes that you love, bookmark for them for gatherings. Because your friends would do it for you.
- 1 cup red potatoes, grated with a cheese grater
- 1 egg
- 1 tbs masa (corn flour used to make corn tortillas)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- pinch cayenne
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (if using pre shredded, check to make sure it does not contain gluten)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 jalapeno, diced, stem and seeds removed
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- Place grated potatoes between several sheets of paper towels, press to remove some of the moisture. In a bowl, combine the grated potato, egg, masa, salt, pepper, cayenne and onion powder, mix until combined.
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Form potatoes into silver dollar sized pancakes about 1/4 inch thick. Add to the pan and cook until browned, about 2 minutes, then flip pancake. Top the pancakes with a small amount of cheddar cheese, cook until cheese is melted and underside of the pancake is browned, about an additional 3 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to drain on a paper towel.
- In a bowl, combine the sour cream, jalapenos and smoked paprika, mix. Top the potato pancakes with sour cream. Serve warm.