I always used to think of it as something dramatic. “Inspiration strikes,” they say. And “strikes” is, if not violent, at least something reasonably significant. That time when the skies open, the heavenly host sings, and you are handed that game-changing idea.
I’ve found that it rarely works like that. In fact, never, in my case. Rather, inspiration is something you choose to seek. Once found, it comes not in one huge rush, but in small ideas and little pushes that lead you to the next inspiration.
For 2012, my intention is to be open to the inspiring things that are everywhere around me, and to seek inspiration more often.
Hmm. I just paused to read that.
Have I really become so serious? And didn’t the post title imply a recipe for mushroom custards?
Ah, well. Apparently 35 (and a half) is the age at which you become morosely reflective over things like creating a recipe for recipe swap. I’m sure I’ll return to my normal madcap, slapdash ways tomorrow. Until then, I present the series of inspirations that lead to mushroom custards.
#1 Classic Recipe presented by Christianna at Burwell General Store.
#2 Ologie Holiday Party, where each of 7 teams was tasked with creating a signature drink, appetizer, and themed display to go with it. My team (represented by the sweet little pine cone drinks below) served an appetizer of rye crackers, carmelized onions, mushroom ragu, and goat cheese.
#4 Bacon. Always its own inspiration.
With an idea of an earthy, savory custard in mind, I borrowed Lidia’s custard technique, and Elise’s onion technique. And mushroom custards were born.
Before you start, carmelize your onions, cook and chop your bacon, then saute your mushrooms.
You can use nice ramekins, but I love these Pampered Chef mini bowls because they have their own lids.
These would make a nice first course for a winter dinner. They’d also double nicely, but I made only three since I’m the only one around this house that would even consider eating such a thing.
- 1/4 C chopped bacon
- 1/4 C carmelized onions
- 1/4 C sauteed mushrooms
- 2 eggs
- 1 C whole milk
- 1/2 t salt
Preheat the oven to 375, and place a rack in the middle. Butter ramekins. I used 3 one-cup glass dishes. Whisk eggs and milk together until smooth, then stir in rest of ingredients. Pour evenly into ramekins, then place in a 9X13 pyrex or other large, flat dish. Place in oven, with the rack pulled out. Pour hot water into the 9×13, until it reaches about half way up the sides.
Bake 10 minutes, then jiggle it. If they’re still liquid-y, put them in for 5 more minutes. After that check them every 2-3 minutes. You want them a little wobbly in the middle, but no liquid should come to the top when you press with a finger.
When finished, remove them from the oven, then the hot water bath. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.