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Cuban Pork Roast de Julio Montero

Cuban Pork Roast de Julio Montero

This recipe arrives on the blog courtesy of my friend and salsa instructor Julio Montero. This year, we co-hosted a party for the lovely people who took salsa classes with Julio and he treated us to Cuban pork roast. If you’ve got a crowd of…

Grand Marnier Flan

Grand Marnier Flan

Grand Marnier Flan is simple to prepare after you get the hang of melting the sugar melting down and the water bath figured out. This is my third adventure with flan and I think I finally have it perfected to something that is smooth, creamy…

Orange Bourbon Flan

Orange Bourbon Flan

The first flan I made was a traditional Cuban flan and it was so sweet it hurt my teeth. So I went in search of something that was creamy but less sweet and found this recipe for Orange Flan on Eatingwell.com. However, then I read the Caramel Flan recipe from Once Upon a Chef. I did what any reasonable person would do and combined the two recipes. The result is Orange Bourbon Flan…man.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 and 2/3 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tbsp Bourbon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Get organized to make a bain marie (I used a 9″ pie plate and a large roasting pan)
  3. Put the sugar into a sauce pan and heat over medium-high until the sugar melts. Don’t stir it, you can swirl the pan to make sure it melts evenly. When the sugar turned the colour of amber remove it from the heat and swirl in a Tbsp of warm water. It’ll spit and bubble so be careful, but keep swirling until it is incorporated (takes about 10-15 seconds).
  4. Pour the sugar into the pie plate and swirl around to coat the bottom. It will cool pretty quickly so work fast. Set the pie plate aside and make the flan filling.
  5. Whisk the eggs and add the sweetened condensed milk. Continue whisking and add the half-and-half, Bourbon, orange juice and zest. I didn’t bother to strain it, but I suppose you could.
  6. Pour the flan mixture into the cooled pie plate.
  7. Cover the flan with foil or a pot lid if you have one that fits (I did).
  8. Put the flan into the roasting pan and pour enough boiling water into the pan around the pie plate to come at least half way up the sides.
  9. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (or until the sides are set but the middle is still jiggly).
  10. Remove from oven, take off the lid and let it cool in the bain marie for an hour.
  11. Take the pie plate out of the bain marie and wipe it dry. Cover with plastic warp (or non-plastic wrap of your choice) and pop it in the fridge overnight or up to four days according to the Caramel Flan recipe. I did notice that the Cuban Flan I made actually tasted better a couple of days after it had been in the fridge….cured flan I guess.
  12. To unmold the flan, slide a knife (carefully) around the edges of the pan. Cover with an inverted serving dish or plate that is deep enough to hold the caramel that is going to spill over the top when you flip the flan over.
  13. Once you’ve got it on the plate scrap any left over loose caramel onto the flan. Some of it may be stuck to the bottom of the pie plate, that’s ok – it happens.
  14. To serve, slice the flan and drizzle on some extra caramel.
  15. If, and it’s a big if, you have leftover flan, cover it loosely with plastic wrap (or invert a large glass bowl over top) and put it back in the fridge. It’ll keep for up to four days.

Serves 10-12 – a little goes a long way.

 

Crock Pot Black Eyed Peas with Smoked Ham Hocks

Crock Pot Black Eyed Peas with Smoked Ham Hocks

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to taste real soul food you know that black eyed peas and smoked pork are amazing. I decided to try out a crock pot black eyed peas version to go with the Jambalaya I made the other day. There…

Creole Seasoning II

Creole Seasoning II

I made Jambalaya the other day and found a recipe for Creole Seasoning Blend from AllRecipes.com. When I went to make black eyed peas to go with it, I saw another variation from Black Eyed Eyed Peas with Smoked Ham from Philly Boy Jay. His…

Slow Cooker Jambalaya (No Shrimp)

Slow Cooker Jambalaya (No Shrimp)

It’s a cold and rainy weekend in Vancouver, so I thought I’d go for some comfort food. I’ve been wanting to try Jambalaya in the slow cooker for awhile so that’s what I settled on. I combined this recipe for Slow Cooker Jambalaya from the Recipe Critic and Rachel Ray’s Everything Jambalaya from Food.com. I don’t like chicken breasts done in the slow cooker so I swapped them for chicken thighs and I didn’t see any need to get skinless, boneless thighs since that’s where half the flavour is! I left out the extra cayenne¬† because I didn’t want it to end up too hot (turns out that was good call). I also omitted the shrimp because I haven’t found a good fish monger yet and didn’t want to risk ruining the batch with “fishy” shrimp (ugh). You could just throw everything in the slow cooker and walk away, but I decided to brown the andouille sausage (fresh house made from Market Meats – thanks guys!) and saute the onions in that. I added the spices to give them a bit of depth and then used chicken stock to deglaze the pan. After that, everything got dumped into the slow cooker. It probably would have been fine just to add everything to the slow cooker, stir and turn it on. I might try that next time.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 2 fresh andouille sausages, casings removed and cut in chunks
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks clearly, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Creole seasoning (I made my own, see below)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I had some bone broth left over and just used that)

Method

  1. Remove the casings from the sausage, and chop in chunks.
  2. Brown the sausage chunks until they render their oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the slow cooker.
  3. Saute the onions for a couple minutes, add the Creole seasoning, thyme, oregano and stir until aromatic.
  4. Add onions and spices to the slow cooker.
  5. Pour the chicken stock into the onion pan and deglaze it to get up all the good stuff. Add the liquid to the slow cooker.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients, give it a good stir, slap the lid on.
  7. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Serve over rice.

 

I decided I’d try making my own creole seasoning with a little help from Allrecipes Creole Seasoning Blend. However, since I’m not sure I’ll like it, I decided to cut the recipe in half. Also, I didn’t have any plain paprika so I used smoked.

DIY Creole Seasoning Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2.5 Tbsp paprika (I used smoked paprika)
  • 1.5 Tbsp salt (used sea salt)

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and put any leftovers in an airtight container.

 

Cuban Flan

Cuban Flan

I absolutely love flan, but have never actually tried to make one, so when it came about that I will be co-hosting a holiday party for the lovely people taking salsa classes with Julio Montero, I thought I had better practice before the actual day.…

Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

Pulled pork is great for sandwiches and tacos and generally just a hearty treat for a cold fall day. It’s also incredibly easy to make in the slow cooker and pork is often a reasonably priced meat. I bought a pork shoulder on special awhile…

Chicken Bone Broth

Chicken Bone Broth

Every time I make chicken bone broth I just kind of wing it. I decided to write down what I did this time. This one is a mish mash of different flavours that I have used for different broths over the years. I thought I’d mix them together to see what happens (I know, living dangerously).¬† The idea was to create a rich broth with a lot of depth that could be eaten just on its own. I’m happy to say it worked. Some recipes call for messing about with roasting the bones. I didn’t bother and the result was just as good as the times I have taken that step.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs chicken bones
  • 2 whole chicken legs
  • 10 -12 cups water (or enough to cover the bones by an inch)
  • 1 large onion, peeled, cut in half and studded with 10 cloves
  • 2 whole allspice balls
  • 2 Tbsp rock salt
  • 10 pepper corns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, peeled and chopped in 6
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • two pieces dried galangal
  • 6-8 cloves garlic smashed and peeled (or more if you like)
  • 2″ chunk of fresh ginger cut in slices
  • 6 cardamon pods (bruised)

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients in a large (and I mean large) pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and skim off any foamy impurities.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and let it simmer for at least one hour (2 is better).
  4. Strain and cool completely in the fridge.
  5. Skim off the fat that will rise to the to and you should have a lovely giggly bowl of bone broth. The giggle means you managed to get the gelatin out of the bones and that’s the “good stuff” of bone broth.
Crispy Oven “Fried” Chicken

Crispy Oven “Fried” Chicken

Quick and easy oven baked chicken recipe that is delicious and filling without the deep fryer. You can add whatever spices you prefer. These were the ones my Mom used. Ingredients 2 egg whites fresh ground pepper 2 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup) 1 tsp…