June 19, 2009

Grilled Shrimp and Pork - Perfect Summer Dinner in Los Angeles

HollywoodLast night my friend Luis cooked dinner for a group of us - going all out with meaty slabs of pork on the grill and skewers of shrimp done up with orange glaze.

Set upon a gorgeous view of Los Angeles from a house high in the hills of Los Feliz - it was the perfect meal! It's only on nights like that when I sometimes wonder why I live in rainy old New York.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from dinner as I forgot my camera! But hopefully the description is good enough...

The pork was marinated with a sweet glaze and cooked right on the grill - love those dark grill marks you get - and we rarely get to grill in New York so this was quite a treat! The shrimp was seasoned with pepper, lemon and an orange glaze giving it a tangy & sweet complement.

As for the side dishes - they were no slouch either. Orzo with turkey sausage, a fresh colorful salad of tomatoes and red peppers, and finally a salad with apples, tomatoes and avocados. Avocados + apples is a great flavor combination that I was first introduced to at Aki Sushi on West 4th in their tuna mille feuille and I look forward to seeing it on a lot of restaurant menus this summer.

For dessert we were treated with something we were all convinced had to be store bought. Caramel cream cheese flan. I had never had cream cheese in flan but it is delicious! It adds a richness and creamy texture to the flan without the tartness of traditional cheesecake.

I looked up a quick recipe for it from Food Network.

Ingredients:
Caramel:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Cheesecake base:
  • 1 pound 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • (can also add sweet condensed milk)
Directions:

Caramel:
In a heavy metal saucepot combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Over high heat cook the sugar to a deep caramel color and pour out into a round 9-inch cake pan, turning around the perimeter so as to cover the sides and bottom of the pan. Set aside to cool completely while you make the cake.

Cheesecake Base:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on low speed work the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and orange zest. Continue to mix for 2 minutes until smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and scrape down after each addition.

On low speed slowly stream in the heavy cream. Scrape down every 30 seconds. Remove from bowl and pour out into prepared cool caramel pan.

Bake in a hot water bath for 1 hour. When finished the cake will be slightly firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and place in the refrigerator. Make sure to cool down for at least 4 hours before flipping over. The cake can be made up to 2 days in advance.

Flip over by placing a 12-inch flat plate over the top of the cake pan. Hold with a firm grip and flip cake upside down. Let the pan sit on top for a second. Lift pan off the cake and serve on its own or with berries.

2 comments:

Jhinezka said...

It was so nice meeting you and thank you so much for posting that receipe for the flan. I am definitely going to try to make it. I woke up this morning still full from the good food that Luis cooked. Best home cooked meal this summer thus far!

Christine said...

It was great meeting you too! The food was awesome! Let me know when you come to NYC? I have lots of recommendations for good food :)

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