Friends & Dinner

When did cooking friends for friends get so complicated? I invited a few colleagues to dinner and today I have to produce a meal that is suitable for:

loathes chickpeas

gluten free

low cholesterol , low fat

vegetarian

no carbs ( paleo)

no beef

It must be fabulous & delicious. Thank goodness the allergic to spices cancelled. I also want something that will tempt my friend Bumper my 80+ neighbour who is off his food lately, he does not really fit in tonight but I cannot leave him out.

From a young age when I first started shopping & cooking my menus were determined by the specials and the bargains available to supplement the basic pantry.

Today I have a shoulder of lamb, the most fantastic buffalo Mozarella, spinach and enough mascarpone and cheeses to cause my next heart attack.

Starter
Salad Tricolori
Buffalo Mozarella 250g
Mixed tomatoes
Avocados (allow 1/2 each but I used 2 for 6 people as 1 was too hard)
Lemon juice
Pesto /basil
Green leaves for decoration

Chop avocados coat in lemon juice, slice tomatoes, pull Mozarella apart, put on plates – decorate with green leaves & pesto like a dressing.

So I chose a Jamie Oliver recipe for slow cooked shoulder, I changed it by rubbing it with a herb and spice mixture. I also did not make gravy.
http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/lamb-recipes/incredible-roasted-shoulder-of-lamb-with-smashed-veg-and-greens/#jEP523VG0l7g7ZmD.97
The lamb and spinach were cooked as he recommends but a lot less oil, but it was still great, soft , tender and easy.

The accompanying vegetables were: mushrooms & chestnuts
Chop 300g of chestnut mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
Teaspoon fresh lemon thyme
Olive oil
100 g frozen peeled chestnuts
2 spring onions

Add garlic to cold oil, warm slowly then add mushrooms, add a sprinkle of salt, thyme and stir. When mushrooms soft add chestnuts. For the last two minutes add the chopped onions. Finish cooking.

New potatoes – cooked two ways
Wash potatoes put in cold water,add salt and boil for 15 minutes until a knife goes in easily but skins are not split. Drain, let half dry coat with olive oil, half a teaspoon sea salt and teaspoon dried mixed herbs (or tablespoon herbs) put in the oven and let them roast. Keep the other half as they are, butter and salt if u like.

Desserts
Creme coffee (not) brûlée

Mexican mangoes
2 large mangoes
250g strawberries
Tablespoon sugar
Juice of half lime
Skin and chop mangoes into slices, decorate in the centre of a plate. Prepare strawberries, keep a few whole to decorate. Make the rest into a coulis with sugar and lemon juice. Put the coulis over the mangoes, shred mint leaves if you have them , put coulis in a jug at the side.
Healthy, vegan, gluten free, cholesterol free and delicious!! A summer delight.
I had a delightful evening, friends, natter, delicious food, wine and laughter
PS the vegetarian cancelled, next time.image

Only alphonso mangoes could improve it.

Only alphonso mangoes could improve it.

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