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    Tuesday, February 28, 2006

    Garlic, Oyster and Mushroom Flan

    We all love Bluff oysters they are supreme, and served with a little balsamic vinegar, black pepper, a little triangle of fresh Vogels…you can’t get much better than that. Maybe a drop or two of Tabasco sauce for an extra zing. Don't waste these on this dish.

    Of course there are lots of other oysters and particularly the Pacific oyster (which I personally find very soapy and bit slimy) but it works really well in chowders, and is great for this little flan. The price is very appealing as well.
    Cook Like a Chef (which is a wonderful programme out of Canada, teaches all sorts of chefie techniques to us home cooks) featured this flan. I tried it out and it was delicious, very delicate and really simple to make. A nice little lunch or a starter for dinner.

    The recipe called for oyster mushrooms but my greengrocer didn’t have any on that day so I substituted little white cap mushrooms.

    So take
    25 gms butter
    100 gms mushrooms finely sliced

    8 cloves of garlic boiled about 5 minutes and pureed with a knife
    ½ doz oysters in shell with juice (pacific or rock)
    1 cup milk
    ½ cup cream
    2 eggs
    2 tablespoons chives chopped
    Sea salt & ground pepper

    First sauté the mushrooms in the butter till soft but not browned and cool a little.
    Then into your food processor add mushrooms, garlic puree, milk, cream, eggs, oysters, chives and whiz till fairly smooth a little texture doesn’t hurt. Season with salt & pepper.

    This should make 6 x 100 ml ramekins. Butter the ramekins, divide the mixture between them and prepare a bain marie (i.e. a roasting dish with some newspaper on the bottom to stop the dishes moving around)
    Place the flans in the bain marie, take it to the oven and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the little dishes.
    Bake 165-170◦ about 30 minutes.
    To test for doneness, wiggle a ramekin around. It should be wobbly like a jelly, but not soupy. When the custard in the ramekin moves as one mass rather than as a cup of liquid cream, it's ready. If a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, then the custard is probably overcooked. If this happens, remove the ramekins immediately from the water bath and plunge them into ice water to bring the temperature down and stop the cooking.

    Cool and turn out onto dish garnish with sprig of parsley and serve with some fresh bread. So smooth...and tasty.