To be honest, I wanted to make the caramel-topped semolina cake first but I’m going to make that as part of a celebration dinner on Saturday along with the roast chicken for les paresseux. So, I was torn between this and the potato gratin as my first November recipe, with the runner-up being the side dish for this Saturday’s celebration dinner. (Yes, this will be a completely yummy and rich dinner!)
Anyway, I had to debate between the flans and the gratin. Seriously, this was my thought process:
“Gorgonzola in a flan? But, flans are supposed to be sweet, right? A savory flan? Intriguing…I get to use pumpkin, too. And, I’ve been meaning to try more pumpkin. It is autumn. Plus, I’m not at Fox & Obel for the Gruyère. I hope the flans aren’t time-consuming to make. If I make the flans, will I have enough pans to make roast chicken and the gratin and the cake at the same time? But, do I really want to carry a bag of potatoes home right now? Maybe the chicken will taste better with the potatoes as a side.”
All this while I’m standing in the grocery store in front of the dairy case and deciding whether to turn left to the canned pumpkin or right to the produce aisle for the potatoes. Yes, this is how my complicated mind works. To quote my niece, “Silly Auntie!”
I’m also on a quest for new and different Thanksgiving side dishes. I mean, the holiday is all about the sides, right? I’m somewhat on the fence about these flans though. Gourds aren’t really used in my family, except for the occasional yellow squash used in a Filipino chicken dish.
I used my sister and her girlfriend as guinea pigs. My sister did not care for them and said, “The ramekins tricked me. I thought it would be sweet.” My sister’s girlfriend ate the whole thing but discarded the walnuts because she doesn’t care for those. As for myself, the Gorgonzola is super-creamy while the walnuts add substance so I didn’t feel like I was slurping my dish. I will say this: the tip about placing a double layer of paper towels in the roasting pan under the ramekins really works! The ramekins did not slide at all! I’ll have to do this the next time I make crème brûlée.
This recipe and all the ffwD recipes can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.