Our October Cookbook of the Month is My Beverly Hills Kitchen by Alex Hitz! Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt shares why this Southern cookbook, in a sea of Southern cookbooks, really stands out:
“It’s Southern food on Alex’s terms, revived, revamped and revved up, grand old plantation recipes (plus a few newer creations) prepared to foodie-pleasing, haute cuisine specs.”
You’ll have to check it out for yourself to get the recipe for the Corn Pudding, but here’s a preview of another of his brilliant dishes:
Pumpkin Pecan Flan with Roquefort
Growing up in the South, we never had pumpkin anything. It wasn’t until I spent my first Thanksgiving in New York, and then in Los Angeles, that I had pumpkin in the fall with any regularity. Here’s a recipe I devised sev- eral Thanksgivings ago to punchup the flavor of regulation canned pumpkin with the warmth of my favorite nut, the pecan, and the tang of delectably indescribable French Roquefort.
yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
- 3 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄2 cup crumbled Roquefort (or other bleu cheese)
- 1⁄4 cup roasted pecans
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives for garnish
- crème fraîche or sour cream for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-cup soufflé dish or two 4-cup soufflé dishes.
Combine the pumpkin, eggs, yolks, heavy cream, ginger, salt, black pepper, and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dishes and assemble a bain- marie.
Top the pumpkin mixture evenly with the crumbled Roquefort and then the roasted pecans.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until barely still trembling; bake for 5-10 minutes, less time if you will reheat it the next day.
Serve warm, garnished with the chives and crème fraîche.
Assembling a bain marie
Note: it sounds fancy, but it’s very easy, and makes such a difference in cooking perfect custards, that you owe it to yourself to learn how. Place a soufflé dish into a deep roasting pan, and pour boiling water into the sides of the pan, so the water comes about a quarter of the way up the sides of the soufflé dish. Be very careful when you put the bain marie in the oven so you don’t burn yourself!