Dinner Menu of awesomeness:
-AB Roast Chicken (posted prior)
pour water into large skillet until it comes about 1 inch up sides of pan, set over high heat.
when water reaches somewhere between a simmer and a light boil, drop in 1-2 bunches of trimmed asparagus (to trim: grab one stalk of asparagus at both ends, bend until it snaps. assuming the rest of the bunch is of similar thickness, cut the rest to the same length as the snapped piece)
lower heat to medium…ish, cover.
simmer until asparagus is cooked to desired tenderness. i like mine with just a bit of crisp to them… it’ll probably take between 10 to 15 minutes.
toss with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, a couple good squeezes of lemon juice, and whatever else you think would go. (i used a few shakes of mrs dash table blend, as there was a lack of salt and pepper on the premises)
get a good sized soft italian loaf.
mince the hell out of several cloves of garlic. you want to eventually end up with probably at least 2-3 tablespoons worth. or you could buy a jar of pre-minced garlic.
plop garlic in microwave-safe bowl. add 1 1/2 ish sticks butter.
nuke til melted. or at least easily stir-able.
split the bread lengthwise.
spoon garlic and butter mixture over bread. Make sure to really spread the minced garlic around. Yes, use up all that butter. It’ll taste awesome.
generously cover the buttery bread pile with parsley. (dried works fine… if fresh, chop the crap out of it)
sprinkle some paprika on for color.
toast to desired done-ness.
preheat oven to 350. construct water bath out of large roasting pan. make sure to only have enough water to come 2/3 to 3/4 up side of the cake pan you’ll be using, and not spill water *into* the pan. What I do is put the roasting pan on the oven shelf, add in some water, and then push down on the cake pan to make sure the water doesn’t go over. leave water bath in oven as it preheats so that the water will get nice and hot.
put 3/4 cup sugar in medium saucepan and plonk over medium heat. swirl the pan occasionally so it doesn’t clump too badly. (note: this worked WAY better over Emily’s glass saucepan than my crappy metal one)
once it starts to melt, turn the heat to low/medium low and finish melting, till you have a good caramel color. swirl the pan to melt evenly… his instructions are very explicit on this point. swirl, don’t stir. don’t touch the sugar with anything.
pour melted sugar into bottom of round cake pan (8.5 or 9 in) and swirl that to coat evenly. set it aside to cool.
grab a big bowl and whisk together 4 large eggs, a can of sweetened condensed milk, a can of evaporated milk (one of those os 12.5oz and the other is 14oz…. i can’t remember which is which, but it’s not like “oh which one to get” it’s like “that’s the size it comes in.”) and 2 tablespoons of something happy. Emeril uses Kahlua. I’ve also used vanilla extract, and I bet it would be awesome with hazelnut syrup. Either way, use 2 tablespoons of it.
Pour that whole whisked up mess over cooled (hardened is just fine) sugar in pan.
Gently slide out oven rack until you can easily put flan mixture into the roasting pan/water bath. gently slide the whole thing back into the oven.
bake for 50 minutes to 1hr, until flan jiggles slightly in middle but is not liquidy. cool completely on rack.
chill in fridge for 2 hours at least, preferabley 4 or so, until completely set.
to serve: run a small sharp knife around edge of cake pan. place large flat plat or platter upside down over cake pan. flip both over. flan should drop neatly onto plate, and caramel should drip down all over and be pretty and happy. serve as is, or with whipped cream. for added pizzazz, you could sprinkle the top with cocoa powder.