Saffron Flan

Flan is an amazing dessert whose name has been sullied by countless abuses. You can buy premade powders, single-serve containers, or order it from many restaurants where the only thing that these tasteless, gelatinous mounds have in common with actual flan is the general shape and color. Flan should not be flavorless and it should not resemble jello. Flan is actually a sweet, rich, delicate custard with a dark caramel sauce. To stand up to those dark caramel flavors, you add some subtle savory spices to bite back, giving the dish a surprisingly dark and complex flavor.

Slice of saffron flan

I’m glad to say that this dish is actually authentic (you know, in that passed-down-from-a-friend-from-her-family sort of way)–not a common thing on this blog! Of course, authenticity would demand that this dessert be Spanish in origin, but the more I look into it, the more things point to French, so I’ll just take the easy road, call it “Mediterranean,” and claim authenticity.… click to read more…

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Chicken Francaise

I’m not sure what it is, but it seems that when I want something quick, easy, and tasty, I fall back on Italian-style food. This week’s not-actually-Italian-but-common-in-Italian-restaurants food: chicken francaise (but doesn’t “francaise” mean French?).

Chicken francaise with creamy garlic pasta

This version of the dish has a light and delicate sauce that packs a surprising amount of punch. The core ingredients are some very Mediterranean flavors: white wine, lemon, capers, and parsely with broth standing firm as the backbone. Of all of those components, I really like to try to highlight the lemon in a big way–it brings a vibrant, fresh flavor, and if you can get any great produce in Florida, its citrus 😉 . The capers bring that peculiar salty sweetness (not quite sure how I’d describe their taste) to the dish and the parsely just gives that earthiness that you need to temper the lemon. Like chicken marsala, the core idea to preparing… click to read more…

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Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Rosemary Sauce

I think pork can be a really fun meat to cook with because it goes surprisingly well with fruit, and in this case, pomegranate.

Slices of pork tenderloin with pomegranate sauce

Pomegranate is a curious fruit if you’ve never worked with it. The flavor is kind of hard to describe: sweet but tart, as well as both dark and somewhat tannic (that mouth-drying feeling you get from red wine). Given the history of this fruit, pomegranate can add either a real middle-eastern or Mediterranean flare to a dish, which is just what we’re going for. We’ll rub the pork with a middle-eastern styled dry rub and glaze it with the dark, subtle fruity flavors of pomegranate mixed with the complex sweetness you get from basalmic and fresh rosemary. This is also my entry for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Haalo from click to read more…

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