About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Winter Squash Flans

This is the lazy or time challenged cook's method to make a flan with winter squash. With time running short before I wanted to have dinner and a big winter squash demanding some attention before it spoiled and a desire for something custardy and cheesy I decided to try making a squash flan without using baked squash puree. And now that I look at the ingredients and proportions I can see that it is essentially the same as the crustless quiches that I also make. So call it what you will, flan or naked quiche, it's tasty and not too time consuming to make. The ratio of milk and cream is flexible, use more cream if you want a rich dish or use just use milk for a lighter dish.

4 tablespoons butter, plus additional for buttering the dishes
4 ounces chopped sweet red onion
1½ cups peeled and grated Buttercup Squash
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
4 ounces grated truffle Gouda or other such cheese

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Thoroughly butter 4 individual souffle dishes. My dishes have interior dimensions of about 4 inches by 1.25 inches. In a small skillet, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When it begins to foam, add the onion and sauté, stirring often, until the onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the squash, season with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and cream until well blended. Portion the squash mixture into the prepared souffle dishes and top each one with 1 ounce of cheese. Divide the custard mixture amongst the dishes. Place the filled dishes on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until the tops are puffed and golden, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately or let cool slightly. They can be kept in the refrigerator in the dishes and reheated in the oven or microwave.

Makes 4 servings.

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