Cafe Boulud’s Goat Cheese Flans with Garlic-Herb Croutons

Ingredients

For the flans:

6 0z soft fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 c. heavy cream or half and half, at room temperature
large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
salt and white pepper

For the croutons:

olive oil
sourdough baguette or bread, thinly sliced
split garlic cloves
finely chopped parsley, chives, rosemary, and thyme
salt and white pepper

For the salad:

mixed salad greens
olive oil
sherry vinegar
grated aged goat cheese
salt and white pepper.

Preparation

For the flans:

1. Center rack in oven and preheat to 300.  Grease or spray six four-ounce (or vice-versa) custard cups, and place them in a small baking pan.

2. Whisk (or hand-mixer mix) together the goat cheese and eggs until smooth.  Whisk in (just to combine) cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

3. Pour into cups.  Add hot water to halfway up the cups.  Cover tightly with foil.  Poke two holes in the opposite corners of the pan.  Bake for 50 minutes — if you tap the cups gently, the flan shouldn’t jiggle.

4. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes, covered.  (If not serving immediately, refrigerate and reheat in a water bath on top of the stove, or a microwave on low.)

For the croutons:

Toast the bread in the olive oil in a skillet.  Rub with garlic, sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper.

To finish:

Make salad.  Run a knife around the edge of the flans, and invert on a serving plate.  Add a mound of salad, two croutons, and grate more cheese over all.

Serve as-is, or in the middle of a bowl of soup (like barley-mushroom, or tomato).

Daniel Boulud

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