June, folks. We are in June. That means half of this amazing year is pretty much over. Carpe diem. The months always end on a nice note for me, because the last Monday brings Reveal Day of The Secret Recipe Club. I was paired this month with Dena from “Oh! You Cook!”. Dena describes herself as a librarian by day, recipe blogger by night, except on nights in which she works as a librarian… Not only she works around books, but she is an author herself, having published last year “The Everything Kosher Slowcooker Cookbook”. Check it out here. Reading her blog is a lot of fun! She is quite witty, and often opens her articles with remarks that will bring a smile to your face. For instance, the recipe I chose, carrot flan, is under a post entitled “Go Forth on the Fourth…” I quote straight from her blog:
Go Forth on the Fourth… and barbecue, of course!
Skewered chicken… check!
Carrot flan… huh? 🙂
So there you go. Whether you are making this dish as a side for a barbecue or as a light meal, it will turn your day into something unique. Elegant, light, sophisticated, and the best part: it’s actually quite simple to make.
CARROT FLAN WITH GREENS AND LEMON VINAIGRETTE
(adapted from “Oh! You Cook!”)
Makes 6 individual servings.
for the flans:
12 ounces carrots (enough to make 2 1/2 cups of chopped pieces)
4 ounces (1/2 cup) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
pinch of grated nutmeg
for the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon honey
Make the flans: Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter 6 ramekins (3/4-cup size). Cook the pieces of carrots in boiling salted water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth, and let cool slightly.
Whisk the pureed carrots together with the eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Divide the mixture among the buttered ramekins, and place the ramekins in a baking pan. Add enough hot water to the baking pan so that the water goes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pain with foil and bake until the custards are set and a knife inserted near the middle of one comes out clean. (In my pathetic oven it took almost 1 hour, but you should start checking it at 40 minutes, normally it should take around 45 minutes). Remove the ramekins from the baking dish and let cool slightly before unmolding.
For the vinaigrette: whisk together the lemon juice, lemon peel, mustard, and honey. Stream in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until an emulsion forms. Season well with salt and pepper, and store in the refrigerator.
Final assembly of the dish: Place a handful of salad greens of your choice for each serving of flan in a large bowl. Drizzle some vinaigrette over the greens, season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss to dress. Run a knife around the inside of the ramekins to loosen the flans, then invert them over a plate to unmold. Serve the flans with the salad and an additional drizzle of the vinaigrette.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: This might be a bold statement, but I’ll go ahead with it: I think this was my favorite recipe of all the “Secret Ones” I’ve made in the year and a half participating in the event. Phil raved about it from the first bite, and said that these flans could be served on the best bistrots of Paris. How’s that for a compliment? The leftover flans were warmed in a microwave for 40 seconds, and they unmolded perfectly then. So, this recipe is a wonderful option for a dinner party.
Polishing off the meal with non-stop compliments: Nice! Wearing a tie-die shirt with more colors than the dinner plate? Optional, but so very cool… 😉
If you want to see what my friends from Group D cooked up for this Reveal Day, click on the blue frog at the bottom of the post…. have fun!
ONE YEAR AGO: The Secret Recipe Club: Granola Bars
TWO YEARS AGO: Awesome Broccolini
THREE YEARS AGO: A Twist on Pesto
FOUR YEARS AGO: Ciabatta: Judging a bread by its holes