A Simple Gluten Free supper -slow cooker mushroom Gallo organic mushroom risotto & Celia Gluten Free lager.

It's easy to be nervous about catering for people with food-related issues but with a bit of thought you can prepare tasty dishes which your entire family or group of friends can eat without making the person with an intolerance or allergy feel like an outsider.

Being told that someone needs to stay gluten free for whatever reason can be off-putting to the cook but you can't beat a tasty risotto - this recipe is naturally gluten free and also suitable for vegetarians!

Gallo organic risotto rice from Ocado

Risotto is usually best prepared fresh and served immediately but if you are like me and don't want to be tied to a pan you can, with care, make a slow cooker/crockpot version which is just as good.

But what to serve to drink? Did you know that many wines and beers contain gluten?

Traditionally beer is made from malted barley or wheat - both of which contain gluten. But you can buy gluten free versions which look and taste as good as regular beer. They have the advantage of cutting down on bloating too if you suffer with that after drinking beer.
Czech Celia Gluten Free beer

Celia Gluten Free beer is made with Saaz hops in a Czech brewery. Each bottle is batch brewed for ten weeks  so the brewer has time to open ferment the beer.

This ensures that unlike many mass produced lagers only natural carbonation is needed cutting down on that dreaded bloating feeling when you drink beer. The anti-bloat effect is enhanced by the removal of gluten using a patented enzyme and silicon filtration process.

Until May 10 2016 you can get a special deal at Ocado -buy two beers (dark or light lager) and add Gallo Organic Rice- total cost for the combo is a money saving £5.50.

I invited some friends round to help me taste test the rice and beer-I made mushroom risotto as a starter followed by muntjac roast with rosemary, redcurrant and red wine with the meal culminating in a totally not gluten free treacle tart with cream.

The response from my dinner guests - a big thumbs up for the beers and the food. Fantastic result!

Here's my recipe for slow cooker mushroom risotto: It easily served 6-8 as a starter, 4 as a generously portioned main course.

3 tbsp oil
1 large white onion chopped
400g arborio rice
600ml (approx) hot vegetable stock (check it's gluten free if you buy cubes, powder or gel stock)
60g butter
450 mushrooms sliced
parmesan cheese

Method (don't be tempted to skip steps 1 & 2!)
1.Heat oil in a pan and cook chopped onion until soft (about 5 mins).

2.Add rice ad stir until all grains are coated - cook for two mins.

3.Transfer pan contents to slow cooker and pour in enough stock to cover rice and onion mix.

4. Melt butter in pan and cook sliced mushrooms until they are brown - about 10 minutes.

5. Stori mushrooms into rice and cook on high for around 2 hours or medium for 3 - check and stir after an hour. Add more liquid if required. Depending on slow cooker rice could cook faster or slower. I suggest checking it more regularly the first time you cook it.

6. Either - store around 45g grated parmesan into slow cooker and serve or serve then grate parmesan on top or leave it for your guests to add cheese to their own taste.

gluten free vegetarian risotto and beer

Disclaimer: I received two bottles of Celia Gluten Free beer and one pack of Gallo Organic rice (RRP £5.50 until May 10, 2016) free for the purposes of this honest review.