Dairy-Free Egg Nog

Yes, you read that right:  it is egg nog that is dairy-free.  And a darn tasty one, too.

You see, I didn’t get any egg nog last year, and I missed it.  I love the stuff, and have to force myself not to overindulge.  Well, then it’s a good thing you didn’t drink any, Jan, you might say – and you’d be right.

But it’s egg nog, y’all.

So this year, I became determined to make my own health(ier) version of everyone’s favorite holiday beverage.  I’ve read countless egg nog recipes – traditional, sugar free, dairy free, even vegan (yeah, that kind of stumps me, too) – but it’s been a sacrifice I’m willing to make so I can bring you what is a simply delicious treat that you would never guess is dairy free.

In the end, I decided to adapt the recipe found in my 1975 edition of The Joy Of Cooking.  Now, there are some caveats – the recipe is for one serving and includes up to 1/4 cup of alcohol.  For most of my life I’ve been an egg nog purist, and to this day, while I don’t necessarily object to a touch of brandy in my nog, prefer the taste of it unadulterated.  I also had to replace the heavy cream in the recipe, then multiply it since I simply could not see making this one serving at a time (especially the way Beloved ended up drinking the stuff).

I should also mention that this egg nog is not cooked – most of the recipes on the internet are, in an effort to decrease the risk of salmonella.  Indeed, if you are using battery-raised eggs from the grocery store, you probably should make a custard of the milks, sugar and eggs but be aware that no matter how carefully you temper your eggs with the hot mixture, you WILL have to strain small bits of cooked egg out of the mixture by pouring it through a fine-mesh sieve.   However, I’ve been eating our pastured eggs raw in various dishes/preparations for over a year now, and we have not had one instance of any food-borne illness in our household, so I was completely confident that we wouldn’t suffer any ill effects if I used raw eggs in this.

And I was correct.  So, grab your farm-fresh eggs and whip up a batch of this.  You will love it – the taste is far superior to anything you can buy at a grocery store.

Note:  Since the egg whites are whipped, which keeps the egg nog from being heavy and cloying the way commercial egg nogs often are, it will “separate” – the egg whites will rise above the yolk mixture – while it rests in the refrigerator.  Simply whisk, stir or shake the egg nog and it will blend back together beautifully.  Also, I’ve made this twice – once with evaporated cane juice and once with coconut sugar, and the version with the evaporated cane juice was better.  Coconut sugar isn’t as sweet as evaporated cane juice, so if you want it sweeter you might want to consider a few drops of liquid stevia in the recipe.  Finally, this is not a bright yellow egg nog like those you can purchase at a store – it’s more a rich, golden color due to the pastured egg yolks and the color of the sugar you choose to use.

Note #2:  I’d never used almond milk before, and don’t intend to make a habit of it, but please try to use a brand that has as few added ingredients as you possibly can, and make sure it is unsweetened.

Dairy-Free Egg Nog

Dairy-Free Egg Nog

serves 8 (makes about 2 quarts)

8 large eggs, separated
1 cup coconut sugar
1 can coconut milk
2 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
nutmeg to taste

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and creamy. Add the almond milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the coconut milk until the mixture is smooth; stir in the vanilla.

Gently whisk the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture until the egg nog is smooth and light. Cover tightly and refrigerate until very cold, preferably over night.

Whisk the egg nog and pour into two clean 2-quart jars. Shake before serving and top each glass with a little freshly grated nutmeg.

Nutrition (per serving): 254 calories, 16.7g total fat, 186mg cholesterol, 122.5mg sodium, 239.7mg potassium, 18g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 14.4g sugar, 7.4g protein.

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Broccoli Beef

Well, it’s Monday…again (I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day).  I wish I could say I’m feeling all perky and in-your-face and all, but…no.  It’s just going to be one of those (unbloggable) days.

Oh, well.

I do have some good news, and it’s this recipe.  I believe I’ve waxed poetic about my love of Asian food before and this dish, based on a recipe by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen fame, is a lulu.  The original recipe is made with ingredients I no longer consume or cook with – mainly corn starch and commercial soy sauce, which contains wheat – but the substitutions in no way detract from the dish, nor do the additions of the onion and water chestnut.  It is a delicious, and quick, meal – even The Young One ate it with enthusiasm.

Note: You can use dry sherry in place of the Chinese rice wine or, if you want to avoid the alcohol, simply skip it in the sauce and replace it with the chicken stock in the marinade.

Broccoli Beef

Broccoli Beef

serves 3

4 cups broccoli florets
14 ounces beef sirloin
2 cloves garlic minced
5 ounces canned sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tallow or other cooking fat

1 teaspoon tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (rice cooking wine)
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (rice cooking wine)
1 tablespoon tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Stir together the beef marinade ingredients in a medium bowl; add the beef slices and stir until coated. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Cook the broccoli in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

Heat a large, heavy frying pan over high heat until nearly smoking. Add the tallow; as it melts, swirl to coat. Toss in the onion and quickly fry for about 30 seconds, browning the onion and softening it slightly. Add the beef and immediately spread the beef out all over the surface of the pan in a single layer. Leave the beef undisturbed for 1 minute. Flip the beef slices over, add the garlic to the pan and fry for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until no longer pink, Pour in the sauce, add the blanched broccoli and water chestnuts; bring to a boil. Add the dissolved arrowroot and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, 30 seconds more.

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