Tuesday, February 12, 2013
We lost power here for three days, thanks to winter storm Nemo. The house got terribly cold, but we were able to prepare hot meals whenever we wanted thanks to our gas stove, which we can light with a match. We cannot however, use the oven in a power outage, so knowing that we would likely experience an interruption in service we found a recipe to bake on Friday evening, just as the first flakes began to fall. Our freezer is still stocked with frozen veggies from our summer CSA deliveries so I used some puréed squash to make squash flans, based on a recipe from good ol' Deborah Madison. The recipe also called for mixed greens, which I also had in my freezer. I started by mixing the thawed squash with1/4 t cumin and 1/4 t cinnamon, two eggs and 1/3 c milk. This mixture was divided into custard cups, which were then placed in a baking pan, filled halfway with boiling water. The pan was then put into a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Meanwhile I prepared the sauce on the stovetop. I melted 2 T butter into a saucepan, and added a small chopped onion (Madison calls for a shallot, but I had none and was not prepared to fight the panicked storm shoppers at the grocery store). When the onions were browned I added red cooking wine, fresh ground peppers, and 2 t. Gin (a substitute for juniper berries according to ehow.com http://www.ehow.com/way_5344941_cooking-substitute-juniper-berry.html). This was cooked down by about half, then 2 more T butter were whisked in along with a few dashes of balsamic vinegar. The greens were defrosted in the microwave, then quickly heated on in a cast iron skillet with some olive oil. When the flan was cooked through I removed them from the oven and let them sit for a few minutes, then they were turned onto plates and topped with the sauce, with greens on the side. These were savory treat for a winter's eve. Next time I will use a bit more spice.