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Cooking Terms That Can Help Make Your Cruise Gluten-Free

We are now talking about some of the terms that are used in the kitchen that you might need to know in order to help you decide how your food is prepared.

Broiled: The two I am talking about is where the fire is above your food and below your food.

  • Above. Your food sits on a grill that the chef can move up and down to make it closer or father from the fire.
  • Below. The food sits on a grill a lot like your outside grill.

With both of these types of cooking cross-contamination is not caused by the fire but can be caused by the grates if they are not properly cleaned.  I have talked about cross-contamination a lot.  If the chef cooked a marinated chicken breast (example), and then he puts your food right on top of the grate where that has just happen, you may end up with a small amount of gluten that is on your food.

Ask the chef to clean the grate. They have a steel brush usually right next to the broiler and that will get most of it off. If it is a broiler that can move towards the fire the chef can move the grate towards the fire to burn all left over food off.

Sauté’:  I found that sauté’ is the safest way to prepare the food. The food is put in a hot pan of oil or butter and nothing else goes in unless you ask for it.  This is a great way to make your food taste better with a splash of lemon or wine.

Grilled: When food is put on the flat top grill it stays there for a very long time. It bakes on the grill and the next food goes right over it.  If you must have a grilled item ask for the chef to razor blade the grill.  It is a tool that is used to scrape the grill clean. It doesn’t do a perfect job though. Depending on the sharpness of the blade you still might get cross-contamination. The sure way is to stone the grill but that is a mess and it stinks. That is how they clean the grill at the night so you are not going to get that done during the day unless you get real lucky with your chef. Sometimes water and the razor blade can work but it really depends on how often they use the grill and what they are cooking.

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Steamed: This is another way of getting very good results. The steamer blows steam in and it steams your food until it is done. Ask for your food to be cooked alone with nothing else in there. There is a lot of pressure so some small food can blow around. The chef puts your food in a pan with holes and the steam surrounds it. 

Poached:  Ask for a fresh pan of water and your food is safe. The chef puts your food in the water and at a constant simmer.  Be creative and add some wine or lemon anything that will make your food taste better.

Fried: To fry your food you must ask if the fryer only cooks gluten-free items (example like French fries). If not stay away from the fryer because cross-contamination can occur. You can ask for a small pan with fresh oil in it to have your food prepared if they know ahead of time. If you just come in and ask it will take a little time for a pan of oil to heat up to the proper temp. You also can ask for it to be pan fried that way it will take only ½ time because it is a small amount of oil and does not cover it.

Baked: In the oven is a good way but it still has some hazards. The convectional ovens have a blower in the oven so it blows small food particles around. Also the grates that are in the oven could have food on them and that could drip on your food. There could be another item above your food and it could over flow. I ask for my food to be covered that is the safest way to make sure nothing happens. If that can’t be done ask for the top rack and hope no food blows in your food.

I hope that answers some questions--if there are some I forgot please let me know.

Chef Daniel P.

As always, welcomes your comments (see below).

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