Friday, 4 November 2011

Leek and Mushroom Potato Flan

The word flan derived from the Latin name (flado) meaning flat cake. Flan dates back as far as ancient Rome when the Romans kept domesticated chickens used for laying ended up with large surplus of eggs . They looked to the Greeks for their great culinary skills, and developed many recipes using eggs in their make up, one of which is the flan. Originally it was created as a savory dish .

The flan survived the fall of the Roman Empire and reemerged as a sweet tasting flan ! In Spain it became a sweet custard generally made with caramelized sugar. While the English with their love for  pastry crusts introduced flan in yet another form .

This recipe doesn't call for pastry , but uses mashed potatoes to form the shell of the flan and does away with a whole load of calories by way of butter and flour .

Set the oven to 200C .
Grease a flan mould / over proof dish with butter .

For The Potato ' Shell '
5-6 Large Potatoes ( boiled and peeled )
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano ( use any or none if not handy )
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil .
! Teaspoon Salt.

Mash the potatoes well along with the oil , herbs and salt . Pat the potato ' dough ' onto your flan dish even;y covering the sides and bottom (  1/2 " thick ) and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes . Take out and cool .

The Filling 
1 Packet Mushrooms ( chopped medium thick ).
2/3 Cup Chopped Leek ( 1/2  or a little less thick ).
2/3 Cup Milk.
2/3 Cup Cheddar Cheese (  grated )
3 Eggs.
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder.
Salt and Freshly Crushed Pepper. 

In a 1 tablespoon olive oil over very high heat smoke the pepper and immediately add the leek and chopped mushrooms . Don't allow the mushrooms to loose water which is why we cook them no more than a minute and under very high heat.Remove from heat and cool .
Meanwhile whip the eggs , milk , cheese , baking powder , salt and any leftover mashed potato .Stir in the cooked leek and potatoes , pour the filling into the potato shell , bake 25 minutes .

The potato shell gives you a moist and soft flan which is also quite light unlike the traditional quiche . 

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