We had friends come to stay for the weekend and had decided after watching Raymond Blanc on the box a couple of months back that we would have a french night! My family live just down the road from where Raymond Blanc comes from and so we decided to do some food typical of the area. But with the hitch of it being dairy free I had to improvise. Us french put butter, milk, cream and cheese into pretty much every national dish! Its hard to get away from it.
We knew we wanted beef so hubby cooked up a storm and made a delicious Boeuf Bourguignon which took 3 days of prepping and pre cooking but was worth every minute of it for every mouth watering beef melting second in your mouth. We just used a little oil where it called for butter and this worked absolutely fine.
As a side veg to go with it we did some fine green beans and a Potato dauphinoise, holding off the cheese and using soya milk and soya cream instead. I like to add a good few dollops of dijon mustard to the cream to give it a little extra taste to replace the cheese. I stupidly changed the method of cooking it on saturday though and decided to follow Mr Blancs process and I have to say, I prefer mine! It was still tasty but was more like a rich mash potatoe than a gratin dauphinois. Next time i’ll just trust my own recipe a little more!!
For my veggie friend I made a chestnut and veg stew, I just soaked the chestnuts in red wine and fresh thyme over night and then added them to the veg as if they were meat morsels. I love chestnuts, they are so meaty and can be used so easily in stews.
I assume everyone liked it, we were all more or less guilty of returning to the big old orange le creuset pot to dip in some bread, eat another piece of meat even after we had already finished dinner and my friend took what was left of the veggie stew back home for her sunday tea!
Unfortunetly I never got to take a picture as we had polished it off before I even thought about it! Woops!
(Picture courtesy of photo dropper so you get an idea. lol)
For pudding we had dairy free chocolate mousse. This was eventful as hubby forgot to add the egg yolks as per the recipe. So he left those in the fridge and did a second batch in a mad rush. These were dense, dark and delicious, stiffer than a mousse almost like a cold cake but still very yummy.
My fab friend N also made some White chocolate and mint mousses, sadly not dairy free, however she did make me a weeny portion so I could try. I shouldnt have really, and I cant blame peer pressure, I just wanted to. It was delicious, really smooth, slightly minty which I prefer, but I am now paying the price. That night my hands started getting a little itchier but then sunday and monday I got another outbreak on my hands and elbow pads. Very sore and kicking myself. I knew this would happen yet I still indulged. I need to learn better control. I cant keep doing this.
Anyway, yesterday (sunday) we had a really chilled day, filling and emptying the dishwasher (how much washing up can 6 adults and 7 kids make!!), folding the futtons and sofa beds up, deflating the blow ups and hiding the 3 boxes of empty bottles until recycling day! (Must leave a note for the recycling bin men, we are not alcoholics, honest!!) We pottered in the garden, watched a movie and fell asleep on the sofa (well I slept whilst hubby dug out some tree roots).
When the kids had gone to bed, our hangovers were just starting to feel a little better we remembered the yolk-less mousses were still in the fridge and would surely make us feel better! How wrong can they have gone without the yolks? And what a surprise. They were nicer, more like a mousse than with egg yolks and just to make sure we had another one each! yep, thats another recipe we’ll be amending, though i’ll now have to find a recipe that uses 4 egg yolks!
I’ll add the recipes to the blog this week.
We have family coming from france for the easter weekend so am now looking for some easter inspired dairy free meals including a pescatarian this time. O I do like a challenge, and this time I must not cheat. No nibbling on anyone elses chocolate eggs, no being naughty or indulging for just that one meal.
So if you see me inching closer to “the banned food” please feel free to shout and yell, to pull me away, to remind me of the pain im in today!
Right.. off on a virtual easter egg hunt, need to find (and sample) some dairy free ones for the weekend. Any recommendations?