Creamy pea risotto, delicious tiramisu, lime cheesecake with pineapple and passionfruit coulis, blue cheese bruschetta, all of which are gluten-free and lactose-free, and cooking with the fabulous Lesley Waters. Sounds like the perfect evening doesn't it!
It's fair to say that I’ve been a foodie from a very young age (can you tell?!) and grew up watching the iconic ‘Ready Steady Cook’. So when I was invited to a cooking event hosted by Tesco and the fabulous Lesley Waters, I just couldn’t resist!
This was a cooking event with a difference – everything being created was gluten-free and lactose-free to showcase the fantastic new range that’s just been launched by Tesco. Added to this the joy of learning some of my lovely free-from blogging friends would also be there such as Mel (Le Coin de Mel), Becky (Gluten Free Cuppa Tea), Jenna (A Balanced Belly), Sarah (Gluten Free Blogger), and I’m sure you’ll agree it was a recipe for a great evening!
The event was supported by the lovely Christine Bailey, acting as Tesco’s Nutritionist, who was on hand to answer any questions about a lactose free diet, and explaining how lactose can affect those with an intolerance.
On arrival to the purpose built cookery workshop, we were greeted with drinks and canapes whilst we waited for everyone to arrive.
The canapes set the tone of the evening, and let me tell you, they were soooo good!
Seared steak with cheats bernaise on crisp salad leaf
Blue cheese bruschetta with pear and walnuts served on croutes
Mozzarella saltimbocca with crisp sage leaves
They tasted as good as they looked!
Then came the exciting bit, actually getting to cook our dinner with Lesley, who was such fun to work with!
We started by making one of my favourite puddings, tiramisu, using the lactose free mascarpone and crème fraiche from the new lactose free range. It was then placed in the fridge to set while we made the rest of the recipes.
Lesley surprised us with an extra pudding first, a decadent lime cheesecake topped with fresh pineapple and a passionfruit coulis.
Then came 2 delicious dips to accompany our main meal:
- Beany dukkah dip
- Fig and creamy blue cheese raita
They were so quick and simple to make and tasted amazing!
The star of the night was our main meal! I’m a sucker for good food, particularly savoury food, and this didn’t disappoint.
Imagine creamy thyme and pea risotto topped with gremolata chicken, or butternut steak if vegetarian, finished off with lemon spinach.
Sounds fantastic doesn’t it!
Lesley has kindly allowed for the risotto recipe to be shared, so here you go!
For the pea puree:
- 15ml of olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 175g of frozen petit pois
- 25g of fresh soft thyme, roughly chopped
- 200ml of water
For the risotto:
- 30ml of olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 150g of Arborio rice
- 150ml of white wine
- 700ml of hot vegetable stock
- 175g of podded fresh peas (or frozen petit pois can be used)
- 50g of Tesco Lactose Free Crème Fraîche
To make the pea puree, heat the olive oil in a medium pan, add the chopped onion and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened
Add the frozen peas and 200ml of boiling water to the chopped onions. Season well. Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in all the thyme, stalks and all, and cook for 1 minute
Place in a blender and puree until smooth. Season to taste and set aside to cool
To make the risotto, heat 30mls of olive oil in a pan. Stir in the chopped onion and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes
Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and cook until absorbed
Gradually add the hot stock a ladle at a time, stirring continually until the rice is just cooked but still firm (you may not need all of the stock). This will take approximately 15 minutes. Add the fresh peas and cook for a further 5 minutes until the rice is just tender. Season to taste
To serve, mix the risotto with the creamy pea puree and stir through the Tesco Lactose Free Crème Fraîche, and spoon onto serving dishes.
It was such a fantastic and fun night, and the food was simply incredible. I am so grateful that my blog has opened doors to enable me to be a part of events such as this!
In case you want to try out the range for yourself (you should, they're so good!) the lactose free products are in stores now, and include:
- creamy blue cheese
- creme fraiche
- natural yoghurt
- low fat yoghurt in 5 flavours (cherry, apricot, strawberry. raspberry & peach)
- breakfast pots in 2 flavours (coconut and chia granola, red berry granola)
Let us know what you think of the new lactose free range, and how you find it to cook with!
(NB: This post has been sponsored by Tesco, but all thoughts are my own)