This week the FFwD group is doing short ribs in red wine and port. You can check their posts out here. Since I don’t eat beef, I’m making up one of the November recipes, and doing Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans. I went beef-free in 2001. It is sort of a long story, but it makes people curious, so I’ll tell the abridged version and say that beef upsets my stomach and so I choose not to consume beef. So I made the flans, knowing they had mixed results with FFwD.
The most exciting part of this recipe was that I had to go shopping for something new in the kitchen – yay! We were blessed with lots of shower/wedding presents from our generous friends and family, so we have more kitchen items than our tiny kitchen can store. But I always find I’m still missing things needed for FFwD. For some things I can do without, for example I have no tart pan, and no springform pan. But I didn’t have any ramekins, and I wanted to pick some up. Lucky me, I had a Home Goods gift card leftover from the holidays. They had some great options, like these rabbit crocks. But, with Mr. Hobby’s feelings in mind, I chose these practical little dishes from Anchor Hocking that can also be used to store leftovers. I was happy to see they were oven safe up to 425. Bonus: they’re made in America! Another bonus: I dropped one on our ceramic floor when I got home, and it didn’t break!
In the cookbook, Dorie comments that canned pumpkin doesn't exist in France. Let me just say that I can't imagine life without canned pumpkin. It is a staple in my pantry, I am loyal to Libby's brand - the canned pumpkin manufacturer of Illinois (and my neighbor state). In 2009, when there was a canned pumpkin shortage - I fully admit to hoarding cans of pumpkin. I bought the inconvenient 29 oz size (a regular can of pumpkin is 15 oz), as that was what was available. I finished off the last of my pumpkin stash this fall, and was happy to grab a 15 oz can from the pantry for this recipe.
I used a hand mixer, and the flans came together quickly. I ended up with 5 flans, the 4 I bought from Home Goods, and a Le Creuset crock I received for free last year.
I got a little nervous when I used the water bath on glass containers, had I made a mistake in my purchase? But I think since the containers were at 350, and the water was boiling from my kettle, it wasn’t a problem.
These came out pretty, but I found the flavor to be bland. I tried stirring the Gorgonzola and walnuts in, but it mostly just sort of tasted like unseasoned fluffy eggs to me. I swallowed one down. Mr. Hobby disagreed, he loved them and ate 2 for dinner.
Next week I join back up with the FFwD group, when we do savory cheese and chive bread. This looks so good, I can’t wait!