Month: November 2019

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…

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 is a debate over whether you need to pre-soak your peas. This time around I didn’t bother and then immediately panicked with all the recipes prescribing “Thou shalt pre-soak.” That was until I read RB and Mindy’s post on slow cooker black eyed peas which debunked the pre-soak mythology. Panic averted. It does seem a bit counter-intuitive to pre-soak when you are slow cooking them anyway. As it turned out, not pre-soaking was no big deal. The peas came out wonderfully delicious with a deep smokey flavour from the ham hocks and just the right hit of spice from my DIY Creole Seasoning II. I’m really happy with how this turned out. It was super simple and big on taste.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs smoked pork hock (or you could use ham)
  • 1 400 g (14 oz) bag of black eyed peas, picked through (get rid of any rotten or misshaped beans) and rinsed in water
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp Creole Seasoning II
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Note some recipes I saw added extra onion and garlic powder and more cayenne but all that stuff is already in the Creole seasoning so I left it out.

Method

  1. Sort and wash the peas. Put them in the slow cooker.
  2. Add the smoked pork hocks.
  3. Saute the chopped onion until translucent, add garlic and saute until aromatic. Add the onions and garlic to the pot.
  4. Add the Creole seasoning and the bay leaves.
  5. Add the chicken stock, then top up with water to cover the works.
  6. Lid on, cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and the pork hock.
  8. Remove the fat and one from the pork hock, shred the meat and add it back into the crock pot.
  9. Adjust seasonings.

Serves 8-10

 

 

 

 

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…

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. This is my first attempt at flan, Cuban or otherwise. Yes, it has a bellybutton and an appendectomy scar, but what’s a flan without a little personality? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. On another note, if you are looking for a fantastic Cuban experience, check out Julio’s new project 7daysinCuba. I had the chance to go with a group led by Julio and his lovely partner Rita, this past March and it was amazing.

Anyway, back to the kitchen. I settled on this recipe, from MinatheBrat, for Delicious, Easy Cuban-Style Flan which I found on Food.com. There were a bunch of recipes that were pretty similar. Some called for 1 egg and 5 egg yolks, one for 3 eggs and two yolks, and one just 4 whole eggs. I didn’t have plans to make anything with egg whites. That was until I started looking at uses for leftover egg whites and realized I had limes that needed to be used (lime curd pavlovas anyone?). So, I tweaked the recipe and went with 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg (plus I only had 5 eggs and was too lazy to go to the grocery store.

I also didn’t have a flanera (I might have to get one), so I used a round oven-proof casserole dish and made a bain Marie which is a fancy name for cooking in a water bath. Gotta love the French, they make everything sound sexy.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Method

  1. Melt the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it caramelizes and is nice and golden.
  2. Pour the caramel into an oven proof dish and swirl to coat the bottom (work fast because the sugar cool quickly).
  3. Set aside to cool and make the custard.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Whisk the yolks and egg together, add the condensed milk, evapourated milk and vanilla.
  6. Pour the custard mixture into the caramel lined baking dish.
  7. Place the custard dish into a larger oven proof dish and fill the dish with hot water (be careful not to get the water in your custard!).
  8. Cover the custard and put in the oven.
  9. Bake 45 minutes, turn off the oven and leave it in for another 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and the water bath and let cool completely.
  11. Run a knife around the outside edge of the flan. Put a plate big enough to catch the liquid caramel and invert (praying a little that it won’t stick might help – I did).
  12. Put in the fridge to chill for at least an hour before serving.

Notes: It should come as no surprise that this is super sweet. A small sliver will go a loooong way.

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…