Monday, January 23, 2012

Pumpkin Yuck... I mean Flan. Yeah...

You know how I always say that dessert is the best part of any meal?  

Oh, contraire mon fraire (spelled phonetically because I don't know French...)

At least this time.  So sorry to subject you all to this.  So very sorry, but here it is.  The worst dessert... I won't say EVER, because there have been some bad ones around here... but at least IN A WHILE.

FIRST, though, here's the yummy meal - which I've made before and still love.  Oh, deliciousness.  Thank goodness it appeared in some form for this meal.  Remember the baked potato soup I gave you a heads up on here?  Well, here it is again.  In full.

Baked Potato Soup

10 to 12 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, baked in the microwave
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 scallions, sliced thin (The white part will go into the soup, and the green part will be garnish.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, fine sifted such as Wondra or Pillsbury’s Shake and Blend
6 cups whole milk
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 or 5 grinds fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup real bacon bits (about 3 or 4 pieces of cooked bacon)
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (use a brick of cheese and shred it)
8 ounces sour cream
scallions, green parts
shredded cheddar cheese
bacon bits
Scoop the flesh of the potatoes into a bowl and set aside. Discard the skins.  Melt butter in the pot and saute the white part of the onions and garlic for about 1 minute. Add flour and whisk constantly until the flour and butter mixture thickens and forms a light roux. The roux should have a slightly nutty taste, with no hint of flour. Watch carefully and do not over cook the roux.  Gradually whisk in the milk a cup at a time. Cook over medium-low until thickened and hot. Raise the heat as necessary, but watch it closely to make sure the milk doesn’t boil.  Add the potatoes, using a potato masher or stick blender to mash the large chunks. Stir to distribute the potatoes throughout the soup. Add the salt, black pepper, and paprika and stir.  Add 1/2 cup bacon bits, the sour cream, and the cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and thoroughly incorporated into the soup. Cook over medium-low until hot.  Pour into bowls and garnish with bacon bits, scallions, and shredded cheese.

Thank you, Andrea Meyers, Making Life Delicious.  You'll want to check out her post for variations on this recipe... ones I may try next time.

For the record, I did not use bacon bits, because frankly, I don't really like them.  Give me some genuine pig and I'm happy.  So I cooked up some real bacon (in a pan, not the microwave) and just chopped it up small.  I have used regular baking potatoes before instead of yukon gold and it tastes just as yummy.  I swear.

I know I've been sharing a lot of soup and stew lately, but it's winter.  And, did I mention winter finally arrived?  After all that complaining and wondering what in heaven's name was wrong with this state's weather (I mean, 60 degrees and no snow in January???  Come on!) I had little reason for concern.  It's been around 2 degrees for many, many days now.  Soup just hits the spot.

Now, I've made a vow to show you the good, the bad and the ugly on this here blog (a fact that I'm sure gives you lots of laughs) and it has, unfortunately, come to that time to introduce you to:

Oh, it's disgraceful.  And I swear to you, I followed the recipe to the T.  It's supposed to be some kind of Creamy Pumpkin Flan.  How convenient it is now that I can't find that recipe... seriously, it's lost to the annals of history.  But, you know, it's ok.  I tried it out for you, and take my word, you do NOT want to make it.  It's all around bad - looks, taste, texture - it all gets an F.  However, I DO very much like THIS flan recipe.  The one I made for my mom's birthday last year?  Delicious.  Also, I thought I would direct you to this flan recipe I noticed on which looks incredibly easy (too easy? We shall see...).  If you're dead set on Pumpkin Flan - which is what I was trying to go for here - I'd try this recipe out, from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy.

Aren't you glad I did the research for you so you can make your meal (and more important, your DESSERT) tres magnifique?

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!


Grammy Goodwill said...

Don't worry. The soup sounds delicious. Yummy on these cold winter days. (I don't like pumpkin, so I can't feel bad about that. Sorry, ma soeur (sister in French, mon frere is brother - high school French - 1968. hehehe)

Jill said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with baking fails:

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