Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 20: Dessert for Dinner? Why not?

I love making a seemingly disgusting invention into a surprisingly delicious treat. And who says flans are reserved for dessert? Latinos do, as I've discovered from some of my Puerto Rican friends, but I'm not Latina, so I can break the rules. I can't wait that long and I'm sure most of you are thinking about dessert while you're eating your dinner anyway, and then there are some of you that even order dessert first just so you'll have enough room in your stomach to devour its deliciousness. WELL, my favorite type of cuisine is Thai food (I'll never tire of it), and my favorite meal is dessert, so I just had to experiment to find a way to turn a sweet dessert into a savory dinner entree. Be bold and try it for yourself! I did, and the first attempt failed, not gonna lie here, but this is the new and improved 2nd attempt! I served this as a side dish to some Thai chicken curry soup that my friend Jamie prepared alongside me in the kitchen. It was a fun, domestic evening. :)

Sweet n' Savory Mini Thai Flans or Soufflés
Makes 6 mini flans 

1/3 c. light coconut milk (or regular, I just happened to find a can with less calories, so I thought, the healthier the better)
2 dozen raw peeled shrimp (no peeling=less of a hassle; Target sells them in a bag in their freezer section)
1 c. sweet peas
1/2 can water-chestnuts (so about 4 oz.)
6-8 mini yellow heirloom tomatoes
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp gluten-free teriyaki sauce (San-J brand)
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/2 block silken tofu
1/2 c. cooked quinoa or brown rice
3 large eggs
1 tsp chopped chives
toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) If quinoa isn't already cooked, rinse 1/4 to 1/3 quinoa throughly in a sifter colander (it looks like a sifter and a colander had a baby)--this will make it less bitter when cooked.
3) In a 1 c. Pyrex measuring cup, combine the quinoa with twice the amount of water and cook in the microwave on high for 8-10 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated--the quinoa should looks soft like cooked rice.
3) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the tofu, eggs, coconut milk, lime juice, teriyaki sauce, peanut oil, chicken broth, and sesame oil.
4) Add in cooked quinoa and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon.
5) Heat shrimp and peas in the microwave on high for several 4-5, until the shrimp is cooked.
6) Chop water-chestnuts and tomatoes into small pieces.
7) Take out shrimp from the bowl and chop them into small pieces--mine just shredded as I chopped them, which is ideal, kind of like canned crabmeat.
8) Mash the peas with a fork in the bowl with the "shrimp juice" and mix in the chopped shrimp and water-chestnuts.
9) Pour shrimp-veggie mixture into the tofu-egg batter and stir with a large spoon.
10) Spray 6 ramekins with Pam olive oil spoon in the mixture, evenly distributing it between each ramekin.
11) Fill a medium sized rectangular casserole pan about halfway with water and place ramekins inside.
*Note: You can also bake them on a pan without the water for a less pudding-like texture.
12) Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the ramekins and place dish into the oven and bake for about  1 hour until the tops are browned a little and are firm to the touch.
13) Remove from oven and using a knife to cut around the edges of the ramekins, invert the flans onto some plate OR you can just eat the flan straight out of the ramekins--it's up to you!
*Note: You can also put the ramekins in the refrigerator for later.

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

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