miércoles, 14 de diciembre de 2011

Mexicanized Thai Pumpkin Custard

Fusion food makes me cringe. Seriously. You know why? Taco Bell. I fucking hate it. It's insulting and disgusting, it perpetuates stereotypes and its very existence is an affront to my ancestry. Some may argue that it's not fusion food at all, but a cheap knock-off, but I beg to differ. Fusion cuisine derives from the coalescence of different styles and techniques that ultimately leads to an uncategorizable product. 

Glen Bell (may he rot in hell) bastardized mexican food and created something that is not entirely mexican, yet not entirely american, but still pallatable to the uneducated masses.

But then again, there's creole food. The fusion of american ingredients with african and french dishes that created some of the most amazing food you'll ever taste.
And yucatecan food, amalgamating nahuatl, mayan, spanish and french cuisine into a paradoxically well-rounded but explosive cuisine. So... mixed feelings... I guess given enough time, customs will evolve from forced adaptations into entites of their own. In the meantime, however, modern approaches to fusion tend to sadly stride on the Taco Bell side of the spectrum.
This whole diatribe is my fucked-up way of apologizing to any Thai readers who might read this post and to justify the betrayal of my own beliefs for the sake of deliciousness. It's also a way to fill this post with text, because this recipe is just too damn easy.

A traditional Thai custard (Sangkhaya fak thong) is based on a similar recipe from Cambodia, that in turn can be traced back to Portugal, thanks to the influence of Maria Guyomar de Pinha on the Ayutthaya Kingdom. (HOLY FUCK, I'M GOOD!). It's essentially a flan steamed inside a pumpkin. Everybody knows that traditional asian cuisine is not big on dairy, so the milk and cream from the flan were substituted with their coconut counterparts, aromatized with pandan leaves

Finding pandan leaves in Mexico is about as easy as finding a coral snake in Thailand, so here's where the fusion part starts. Thai technique, mexican ingredients.

Start with a smallish Kabocha pumpkin. This one is about 12 inches in diameter. I fucking love kabochas because of their extremely low moisture content, sweet flavor and silky texture. Cut the top off and scrape out all of the innards. Rinse it down to ensure no placental membranes remain to fuck up the final presentation of the dish and set aside.





Now take 4 eggs, 1 can condensed milk, 1 can evaporated milk, 1 Tbsp powdered cinnamon and 2 teaspoons vanilla extranct and whisk until combined. You don't want to incorporate too much air into the mix, otherwise the bubbles will fuck up the final texture.



Wrap the pumpkin loosely in aluminum foil (this will be a sling to pull it out of the steamer) and pour the custard mixture into it. Now set it in a steamer and forget about it or 45 to 60 minutes. Since it's steamed, there's no way to overcook it. 







Let it cool down to room temperature before slicing (otherwise the custard will separate from the pumpkin) and serve in wedges, like a pie. 


Simple brown sugar and clove syrup
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Flan de Calabaza / Pumpkin Custard

1 medium kabocha pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed mil
1 can evaporated milk
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tbsp powdered cinnamon
  1. Slice the top off the pumpkin, hollow it out and wrap it loosely in foil.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients until combined and pour into the pumpkin.
  3. Steam for 45 to 60 minutes, then let cool and slice
  4. Fucking rule
  5. Fucking leave a fuckin comment.


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