Timbales de Mais

Creamy sweetcorn custards garnished with watercress and crispy bacon make these Timbales de Mais (tahm-bahl d’ mah-ees) a really unusual first course.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

10 oz. canned creamed sweetcorn

1 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated

1 fl. oz. double cream

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons prepared French mustard

4 eggs, lightly beaten

2 bunches watercress, washed and shaken dry

8 oz. streaky bacon, rinds removed, grilled until crisp and crumbled

Preheat the oven to warm 325F (Gas Mark 3, 170C).

Using the teaspoon of oil, lightly grease 6 dariolc moulds. Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, com-bine the sweetcorn, cheese, cream, salt, pepper and mustard, beating well until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Gradually beat in the eggs. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dariolc moulds. Place the moulds in a large roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds. Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre of each mould comes out clean.

Remove the tin from the oven and take out the moulds. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge of the timbales to loosen the sides. Hold indi-vidual serving plates, inverted, over each of the moulds and reverse the two. The timbales should slide out easily. Garnish with the watercress and bacon and serve.

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