Le Diner en Blanc. Oolala!

Doesn’t that sound so cosmopolitan? So chic? So fancy schmancy? I’m here to tell you it was all of those things and more. Not a whole heck of a lot went pear shaped when preparing for this event. I did almost fall into a small pond a couple of times, but that’s about it. And we did have to hide our wine in bags or thermoses. Classy right?!

It was just a really, cool, lovely night spent with interesting people and interesting food. I’ll let pics tell the story.

‘Le Diner en Blanc is’…a pop up dinner where everyone wears white, eats off white and is surrounded by white. Fortunately not all the food had to be white. I would find that just a bit disturbing. And does anyone really want to eat a lot of white food? Makes me think of a stay in the hospital. And we didn’t know the location until I think the day of the event.

The Menu

When I found out I didn’t have to create an all white menu I was most pleased. It was hard enough for me to come up with an all white outfit. Someone like me should avoid wearing white at all costs since I usually end up wearing something I’m eating or drinking.

IMG_2084

Our fab friend is vegan and gluten free. I admire her discipline. I for one simply couldn’t do it. But it’s her life and she’s learned to make amazing vegan, gluten free food. Her chocolate ‘cake’ was really good. And the white and sweet potato salad…more please.

My menu was a carnivore, vegan mix. I made sure to keep all my spoons, bowls and such things separate when cooking.

I made vegan pesto because I wanted to see if I could pull it off. All I can say is delicious!!! I almost like it better than pesto with parm. Nutritional yeast really does give it the cheesy flavor you’re looking for. I’ve heard it’s also great on popcorn. Say no more. It’s going on the the next batch.

I had a bunch of basil so I doubled the recipe.

VeganPesto

Vegan Pesto

Makes 1 generous cup

  • 2cups tightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/2cup walnuts or pine nuts (I think I may have used almonds. In my opinion pretty much any nut will do. Maybe not peanuts.)
  • 1 to 2cloves garlic, roughly chopped (to taste) (I’m pretty sure I used 6 cloves. 1-2 cloves seems kind of lame)
  • 1/2cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3tablespoons nutritional yeast (these days you can buy this in any grocery. it’s even in the bulk aisle. love me some nutritional yeast! you can feel good about eating the entire bowlful pesto.)
  1. Place the basil, walnuts or pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse to combine, until the mixture is coarsely ground.
  2. Turn the motor on and drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream. Add the sea salt, pepper, lemon, and nutritional yeast, and pulse a few more times to combine.

Oh But Wait There’s More!

I also made a double batch of Lamb Empanadas with Chimmichurri Sauce. I was a bit nervous about making cute meat empanadas for this crowd. But the empanadas were well received and no one spit anything out. And I didn’t have any vegetarians throwing things at me. Always a good thing.

To accompany the Lamb Empanadas were two curried salads. One with Israeli Couscous and one with plain old Jasmine rice.  The latter was for my gluten free friends. Both included chopped shallots, some kind of nut (pine or pecan) and raisins. I know raisins? So good. The recipes wouldn’t be the same without. Take a culinary plunge and don’t forget the raisins.

This is the vinaigrette I used. If you like curry (I know I do) then keep some of this vinaigrette on hand at all times.

Curry Vinaigrette

  • 4 teaspoons curry powder (preferably Madras)
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

preparation

Stir together curry powder and water in a small bowl to make a paste. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir in oil and let stand, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. (Do not be impatient. Do this. Give it an hour. Go read a book, take the dog for a walk.)

Pour curry oil through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a small cup, discarding any solids.

Whisk together vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper, then add curry oil, whisking until combined.

Add curry vinaigrette to other ingredients. Mix like a mad man. Add salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Bouron Rice Krispy Treats. NOT Overkill. 

Last, but not least, I ventured where I believe no home cook has gone before and combined my recipe for Bourbon Rice Krispy Treats with the recipe for Salted Caramel Rice Krispy treats. So not overkill. Sugar buzz yes. Overkill no.

I had so much fun and hope to be invited again. Enjoy! I know I did.

Vegan Pesto Recipe and Image Courtesy of Food52 (how I love that site!)

Curry Vinaigrette Recipe Courtesy of epicurious.com (love as well)

Moose out.

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