Emergency Biscuit: How Do I Feed My Gluten-Free Friends?
The sixteenth installment of our breakfast advice column
Are you in a breakfast conundrum? Do you have deep-seated, unresolved feelings for brunch? Are you at a loss in front of the smorgasbord of life? Because so often breakfast is about feelings, and relationships teeter on the edge of the morning meal table, Extra Crispy editors Kat Kinsman (Bis-kat) and Margaret Eby (Bisc-gret) are here with the latest installment of Emergency Biscuits, our breakfast advice column, to dole out hopefully not half-baked counsel and recipes for life. Got a question for the Biscuits? Email email@example.com.
Dear Mrs. Awesomepants,
It’s smart and kind of you to anticipate that gluten might not be on the menu for some of your guests, and luckily, there are a lot of options for a bread-free way to be. We ran some advice for those folks who have had to cut good old gluten from their diet a while back for good gluten-free brunch options, and some of it applies here too. A DIY breakfast taco building station, for example, might be both fun and allow guests to adapt the dish to their own dietary needs, particularly when you use gluten-free (corn) tortillas.
Scrambled eggs, as you mentioned, are delicious, particularly if you doctor them up with some vegetables and perhaps even some bacon. An elegant and very on-trend Instagram trend are cloud eggs, which look fancy but are actually pretty easy to assemble. Serve those with a bed of greens and you’re golden. You could also go the crustless quiche or sheet pan eggs route, and adapt the ingredients to what’s in season and what makes sense for your particular guests. Toast can be optional for those who are still on the gluten train. Add in a fruit salad, and hey, presto, an impressive brunch.
Dearest Mrs. Awesomepants,
I'm gonna go ahead and assume that "Awesomepants" is your married name, but you were born to it. Sadly, when it comes to observing the dietary vagaries of party guests, the spirit of many hosts is one of grudging accommodation or even downright annoyance.
"I mean I guess I could come up with something for you." Hangs up the phone, grumbles to partner, "Can't she just bring something and eat that? I had a whole meal planned!"
A thing that, sadly, gets lost in entertaining is that it's ideally about the guests, rather than the hosts. This is about making your guests feel warmly welcome and taken care of, rather than how it's all gonna look in the Instagram shots later, so you're very good to think this way.
I'm new to this whole dietary restrictions thing and I've been over-the-moon happy and grateful to hosts who have taken it upon themselves to craft an inclusive menu that never makes me feel like I'm being singled out as a burden. One friend left the soy sauce out of the marinade and switched out the flour-based dessert for fruit. Another stocked up on jerky when I stayed with her, knowing that it's become my preferred breakfast of deprivation. These things meant the world to me. They wanted me well.
So you're doing good, Awesomepants. And have you considered the bacon cup? Goodness, they're clever and batchable as heck. Just invert a muffin tin, lay a couple of half-strips over each mound, and wind a full strip around it to bind that in place. Put that muffin tin atop a pan with a lip and bake the cups at 350°F or until to your desired crispness. Then remove them and either fill them with coddled or scrambled eggs as you serve them, or crack eggs (and whatever you'd use to fill a frittata) right into them and bake until the egg is set.
Also incredibly delicious: avocados with eggs baked into them. Just halve them, remove the pit, plop an egg, salt, pepper, and a few herbs into the hole, and bake at 425°F until the whites are set to your liking. No one will be angry if you serve them avocado.
And they might just stand up, walk over and hug you if make cilbir. This Turkish dish is usually topped with a poached egg, but give yourself a break and fry a batch on a sheet pan at once before you slip them onto thick, seasoned yogurt and drizzle it all with paprika-kicked butter.
It's painfully easy to forget to sit down and serve yourself while you're hosting, but make a point of it this time. Fix yourself a plate, take a plate and commune with the people who love you. You deserve it, Awesomepants.