Friday 24 November 2017

Dairy-free dining recipes for lactose intolerant diets

Ultimate fishfinger sandwich with chipotle mayo and rocket
Ultimate fishfinger sandwich with chipotle mayo and rocket
Dairy-Free Delicious published by Quadrille Publishing, €27.50, Easons. Photography: Laura Edwards
Pancakes
Breakfast

Katy Salter

Katy Salter began devising recipes after she was diagnosed with lactose intolerance. Her new cookery book is full of ideas on alternatives, from coconut milk and cocoa to olive oil and almond milk and her breakfast ideas are very tempting

Ultimate fishfinger sandwich with chipotle mayo and rocket

The fish finger sandwich is a British classic. Food historians trace its roots back to the 1980s, the golden era of frozen dinners and suspiciously orange breadcrumbs.

It was a time when we weren't afraid to double-carb by stuffing fish fingers inside bendy white bread. As much as store-bought fish fingers are still a guilty pleasure, homemade ones, coated in crisp panko and sandwiched between fresh sourdough, are in another league altogether.

Serves 2

You will need

FOR THE FISH FINGERS

200g sustainable white fish fillets, such as pollack

40g plain flour

1 egg, beaten

70g panko breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE SANDWICHES

1 teaspoon chipotle paste

2 tablespoons good-quality mayonnaise (check the label to make sure it's dairy free)

4 slices white sourdough bread

1 handful of fresh rocket

Method

Preheat the oven to its lowest setting.

Skin the fish fillets if necessary and cut into strips 2-3cm wide, using a sharp knife. Mix the flour with some salt and pepper on a plate. Put the bowl of beaten egg next to it, the panko breadcrumbs on another plate next to that, and finally a clean plate. Using kitchen tongs, roll the fish strips in the seasoned flour to coat. Shake off any excess and then carefully dip in the beaten egg with the tongs, before rolling in the panko breadcrumbs - each 'finger' should be thoroughly coated with the breadcrumbs. Place the fish fingers on the clean plate.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan over a high heat. Test whether the oil is hot enough by dropping in a panko breadcrumb - it should start sizzling immediately. Add the fish fingers to the hot oil and fry in a couple of batches for 2-3 minutes on each side until the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden and the fish is cooked through.

Use the kitchen tongs to lift the fish fingers and brown the sides. Keep the first batch warm on a plate in the low oven.

Meanwhile, mix the chipotle paste and mayonnaise together in a bowl. Cut the sourdough slices in half and spread the chipotle mayo on each. Add a small handful of rocket, top with a couple of fish fingers and the other slice of bread. Serve immediately.

 

Spelt 'buttermilk' pancakes

Serves 4

No one should have to live without pancakes, and luckily you don't have to. For a start, you can recreate the slightly sour tang of buttermilk by adding lemon juice to almond milk. Use this 'buttermilk' to make classic American pancakes, with just a hint of worthiness (hello, wholegrain spelt flour). Stack 'em high and drizzle with maple syrup.

You will need

1 tablespoon lemon juice

275ml almond milk

120g wholegrain spelt flour

160g self-raising flour

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Generous pinch of sea salt

2 eggs

50g dairy-free sunflower spread, melted and cooled

Sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying

TO SERVE

8 rashers of streaky bacon

2 avocados, sliced

Maple syrup, to drizzle

Method

Add the lemon juice to the almond milk, stir and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift both flours into a large bowl. Fold in the bicarbonate of soda and salt, using a large metal spoon. Form a well in the centre.

Whisk the eggs and almond milk mixture together. Pour into the well a little at a time, whisking as you go to incorporate. When you've added about half, add the melted sunflower spread and whisk to combine. Add the rest of the almond milk and keep whisking until you have a thick, smooth batter. Leave the mixture to rest for 5-10 minutes and preheat the oven to its lowest setting.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Before it gets too hot, drizzle a little oil into the pan and use kitchen paper to evenly grease it.

Once the pan has heated up, ladle 3 tablespoons of the batter into the pan per pancake and swirl into a circle. You will be able to fit about 2 pancakes into your pan at one time.

Cook for 2-3 minutes, until bubbles start to form on the surface and the edges start to lift away from the pan. Flip over using a spatula and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, until golden and cooked through.

Repeat in batches until you've used up all the batter and keep the pancakes warm on a plate in the low oven, layering each with a sheet of kitchen paper.

Meanwhile, heat a separate frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the bacon until it reaches your preferred state of crispiness.

Once all the pancakes are cooked, divide them into stacks between four plates. Top with the crispy bacon, drizzle maple syrup over the top and serve with the avocado.

 

Courgette fritters with poached eggs

Serves 4 (makes about 10)

These courgette fritters get extra crunch from being made with polenta instead of flour (which makes them gluten-free to boot). They make a fine weekend breakfast, drizzled with hot sauce and topped

with a poached egg. We've also been known to eat them as 'breakfast for dinner', washed down with an ice-cold beer.

You will need

FOR THE FRITTERS

100g fine polenta

1 teaspoon (gluten-free) baking powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

2 eggs

2 courgettes (around 400g in total), coarsely grated

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced

1 spring onion (white and green part), finely sliced

6 tablespoons vegetable, sunflower or groundnut oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. Mix together the polenta, baking powder, smoked paprika and eggs with a fork. Pat the grated courgettes dry with kitchen paper, then stir these into the mixture. Stir in the chilli and spring onion and season.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once hot, spoon in heaped dessertspoonfuls of the batter and pat down gently into discs, 2-3 at a time so the pan doesn't become overcrowded. Fry for 2-3 minutes until golden on the bottom, then flip over with a fish slice and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. You may need to add a little more oil to the pan between each batch.

Keep warm in the oven on a plate lined with kitchen paper until all the fritters are cooked, layering kitchen paper between each to help soak up oil and keep them crisp.

Meanwhile, poach the eggs. There's the proper way to make poached eggs, and the cheat's way. Here are both:

PROPER WAY:

Firstly, use a very fresh egg. Then take a tip from food writer Felicity Cloake and break the egg into a small jug, and add a

drop of white wine vinegar. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then whisk the water vigorously to create a whirlpool effect. Stop whisking, then immediately and carefully pour the egg into the centre of the whirlpool. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 3 minutes.

CHEAT'S WAY:

Line a ramekin with a square of clingfilm about the size of a piece of kitchen paper. Grease with a little oil using your fingertip, then break an egg into it. Gather up the sides and twist the top to secure. Repeat for as many eggs as you need. Lower these carefully into a pan of simmering water and poach for 4 minutes. Serve the fritters in small stacks, topped with a poached egg and perhaps a few drops of your favourite hot sauce, such as Sriracha.

Irish Independent

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