Friday, April 9, 2010
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When Julia Child first captured the culinary airways she taught her viewers how to make timbales of spinach and mushrooms. The timbales were delicious and easy to make, and that first venture led many of us to explore other varieties. Timbales became popular at dinner parties and holiday celebrations. Then food styles changed and they seemed to disappear from the culinary scene. While there are many types, the most common timbale is a savory custard or pudding that is baked in a drum shaped mold. It is heartier than a souffle and has the consistency of a rich pudding. I use to make them on a regular basis. Now before you start to roll your eyes and think I'm putting on airs, I must quickly add that I had a sick child who didn't eat a lot and need to be coaxed - bribed - to eat. There was a period when the only thing she would touch was pudding. I very quickly learned how to make egg-enriched vegetables look like pudding. This recipe survived that era and I still serve these timbales for an occasional guest dinner. Their great advantage is that they can be made ahead of time, unmolded and reheated before serving. A true timbale uses copious quantities of heavy cream and is usually served with an additional dollop of sauce. This recipe has been pared way back and uses buttermilk or yogurt in place of cream and is served without an additional sauce. These are lovely with roast pork or ham and are as easy to assemble as the parent recipe from which they sprung. I no longer have timbale molds, so I use my popover pans to achieve a drum-like shape. If you have neither, feel free to use custard cups. Here's the recipe for a pretty dish that is simple to make but worthy of your guests.
Carrot Timbales...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite with inspiration provided by the Vegetable Gardene
1-1/4 pounds carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch of nutmeg
1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
Parsley or scallion for garnish
1) Heat oil or butter in a heavy saucepan. When oil shimmers or butter has melted, add carrots and toss to coat. Cook, covered, over medium heat until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.
2) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease or spray four (6-oz.) molds. Set aside.
3) Scrape carrots into bowl of food processor. Add eggs, salt, paprika, nutmeg and yogurt. Puree for 1 minute or until mixture is perfectly smooth. Spoon carrot purée into molds until they are 7/8th full. Place timbales into a roasting pan. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Pour water into roasting pan until it comes 2/3 of the way up the sides of molds. Bake in hot water bath for 30 to 35 minutes. Unmold gently by running a knife around sides of timbales. Serve warm or slightly chilled. Yield: 4 servings.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Moroccan Carrots - One Perfect Bite
Braised Carrots and Shallots - One Perfect Bite
Herb Roasted Carrots - One Perfect Bite