We had the pleasure of spending Spanish Market in Santa Fe last July at the Hotel St. Francis, a luxury hotel that strongly resembles a monastery. And while we were there, we enjoyed the cooking of Estevan García, one of the pioneers of refined Southwestern cooking from his days in Los Angeles. A one-time monk himself, he seems right at home at the St. Francis. His cooking is as straightforward and unpretentious as it is subtle and delicious.
We wrote about him for the Boston Globe‘s food section. The piece appeared on May 9. You can find it online here. The article also included García’s recipe for this incredibly rich goat’s milk flan:
GOAT’S MILK FLAN
The goat’s milk adds a slight tang to this flan. While flans can be rubbery, the long, slow cooking keeps this version smooth and creamy.
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup goat’s milk
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
1 vanilla bean
4 whole eggs
2 additional egg yolks
1. In a deep pot, combine 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup goat’s milk.
2. In a shallow nonstick pan, spread 3/4 cup sugar. Sprinkle water over sugar and place over medium heat. Swirl pan to fully dissolve sugar, then continue heating until mixture turns a dark amber. It should look nearly burnt. Remove from heat and divide caramel into six 6-oz. ramekins. Swirl to cover bottoms and spread caramel partly up the sides.
3. Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Sift the vanilla into the sugar using a fork.
4. Whisk together eggs, extra yolks, and the vanilla-sugar mixture until sugar is dissolved.
5. Over medium heat, warm the cream-milk mixture until it looks like it will boil over. Remove from heat and add the other cup of heavy cream to cool it down.
6. Stir some of cream-milk mixture into eggs to temper them. Then stir the egg mixture into the milk-cream mixture. Fill ramekins.
7. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Place folded dish towel in bottom of a large roasting pan. Place ramekins in pan, taking care that they do not touch each other or the walls of the roasting pan. Place in oven and add enough scalding hot water to come halfway up the ramekins. Bake for three hours or until custards are firm in the middle.
8. Cool ramekins on rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours. To serve, dip ramekins in hot water and use knife to loosen edges. Unmold each onto a small plate or shallow bowl.
Adapted from Estevan Garcia, Tabla de Los Santos, Santa Fe, N.M.