Lactose-free ham and spinach quiche

My boyfriend is lactose intolerant. You can probably imagine that this occasionally makes cooking tricky. I’m not a big fan of food substitutes and fakes – “tofurkey” and mycoprotein dressed as lamb can go hang. Soy milk just doesn’t taste right to me, and the texture always seems off when I cook with it.

Fortunately, there’s lactofree products. This is regular cow’s milk, passed over what I assume will be lactase to remove and break down the lactose, rendering it largely safe. It works, and there’s minimal impact on the taste. Their faux cheddar tastes a bit rubbery and bland, mind,  but I can’t fault the milk, cream, or cream cheese.

More importantly, this let me service a quiche craving and win moderate boyfriend points.

Pancetta & spinach quiche
Pancetta & spinach quiche

It was a cobbled-together and very much from-memory recipe, but here it is. This isn’t quite dairy-free, but for the intolerant rather than the outright allergic, it’s probably fine. That said, I accept no responsibility, please don’t sue me, and so on, and so forth.

It’s also surprisingly quick and easy.

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Lightly-spiced pork empanadas

Or “Empanadas de Picadillo”, apparently.

I love empanadas, but rarely make them from scratch. Sometimes I’ll cheat with a pack of puff pastry, authenticity be damned. This works, is quick, and fits particularly well into the cram-more-cheese-up-it school of buffet food.

Empanadas de Picadillo, ready for the oven
Empanadas de Picadillo (spicy pork), ready for the oven

But I had a free afternoon, and Rick Bayless’ empanada pastry dough contains three tablespoons of lard, and is then fried rather than baked. How Could I say no?

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