Saturday, 16 February 2013

my first meat free dinner party

'Paris is not the kind of place vegetarians want to hang out in for too long, while there are more and options on French bistro menus, most French people love their meat, my husband included.  He has adapted to what he calls his rabbit food diet quite well, we eat mainly vegetarian and when I do cook meat it only tends to be when when we are having guests over, and even then I would plump more for a fish dish.

My mid week vegetarian cooking, let's be honest is not dinner party material, and last night we had invited a Franco-American couple for over dinner , where the American part of the couple is a devout vegetarian. 

I was a little worried that my mid week vegetarian repertoire  would not be up to scratch, and at the same time I did not want to risk trying something new.  Eventually I settled on an old firm favorite for main course; a stilton, leek and spinach tart from the Cafe Paradiso cookbook, which I have made several times.   It used to be that sourcing non French cheeses in Paris was a real mission, but now most cheese shops stock at least one good mature cheddar and stilton. In the past I have substituted the stilton for roquefort cheese, but the taste is not the same at all, this tart merits the real deal.

Originally I had been planning to serve the tart just with the braised lentils as per the suggestion in the cookbook but for simplicity decided to also serve it with a salad from Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home cook-book that I had been planning to serve as a starter. This tangy salad was a perfect match for the tart and was a real hit with my husband who squirreled away the leftovers and hid them at the back of the fridge to have for his lunch today, that's a first for him with a salad!

In keeping with the Jamie Oliver theme I decided to switch my usual apple crumble recipe for 
Jamie Oliver's apple crumble recipe and was a little disappointed with the result, my husband said it 'lacked something' but could not put our finger on what. 

Tonight we have more guests and I have kept the Moroccan theme going with a modified version of Angela Hartnett's chicken and date tangine currently bubbling on the stove top filling the apartment with the sweet spicy smells of North Africa. To be soaked up with the perfect steamed coucous and moroccan flat bread from the bakery around the corner.

PS:photos coming as soon as my Galaxy3 recharges back to life 

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