With so many products to choose from I decided to stay with the source and focus on milk and use it in the traditional Spanish dessert of Leche Frita.
Leche Frita, or "Fried Milk" is basically made from milk, flour and sugar - this forms a thick custard which is then spread out on a tray to harden. It's cut into rectangles, crumbed and shallow fried. The result is a delicious bite sized treat of warm custard encased in a crisp shell. This recipe has been adapted from "A little taste of Spain" by Vicky Harris.
Leche Frita (Fried Milk)
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
140 grams unsalted butter
250 grams plain flour
145 grams caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
125 grams dry breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for shallow frying
Line the base of a shallow rectangular tin with baking paper.
Place the milk in a small saucepan with the split vanilla bean, cinnamon stick and cardamom seeds. Cook until it almost boils, stirring occasionally before turning off the heat.
Place the butter into a non-stick saucepan and melt before adding 185 grams of the plain flour. Stir this well - the mixture will form a loose clump around the spoon. Continue cooking for 30 seconds before adding the caster sugar. Strain the milk and then gradually begin to add it to the pan stirring constantly to ensure that no lumps will form. Once all the milk has been adding keep stirring until a smooth mass forms and it leaves the side of the saucepan.
Take it from the heat and add the egg yolks, one at a time. Making sure each egg is completely absorbed before adding the next. This takes a bit of vigourous stirring - the custard should have slackened and become quite glossy.
Spread this out onto the prepared tray and smooth the top. Place it to one side for at least an hour to cool and set.
Very lightly whisk the egg whites with a fork. Sift the remaining flour into a flat plate and place the dry breadcrumbs into a bowl.
Using the baking paper, remove the custard from the tray.
You can use a ruler to help you cut straight lines - cut a slice about 4cm/1½ inch wide. Then cut the slice into squares or rectangles or a bit of both. Only do one row at a time.
Lightly dust these squares into the flour, then dip in the eggwhite before placing them into the breadcrumbs. Place to one side will prepare the rest.
You can store them at this stage in the fridge in a sealed container.
Pour vegetable oil into a small saucepan to a depth of 2 inches deep. Heat until it reaches about 140°C/290°F. Cook a few at a time for about 1 minute or until browned on all sides. Drain on paper towels and if you like you can dust them with cinnamon sugar while still hot.
The are best served hot or warm which shouldn't be a problem as they seem to disappear quite quickly!
Tagged with Jihva for Ingredients