Thursday, October 8, 2009

Opening a Can

I have a killer weakness for fried plantains. Actually, I've yet to meet a plantain I don't like! Another Achilles Heel of mine would have to be plantain chips but that's another post for another time!

A few weeks ago, I went to the Yardley Harvest Festival. I had two food goals inspired by my experiences from the year before. I had the most amazing fried plantains at a food stand in the court. I also was hoping to get more of the Best Darn Kettlecorn! I managed to accomplish both of these missions. I ate a few plantains at the festival but decided to stash them for when I got home because a friend of mine had mentioned to me (a few months ago) that I needed some plantains foster. That sounded almost too decadent but I went for it anyways.

I don't remember how it came up but my boss and I were talking and she started telling me about caramelizing condensed milk while it's still in the can by placing it in hot water and letting it simmer. I wasn't 100% sure if it was safe but I was so curious that I had to try it. I bought a small can of condensed milk and put it in a heavy pot with a lid. I let the can boil in some water for about 20 minutes. When I removed it. I could tell that some pressure had built up inside. I put it in the sink and decided to see what would happen if I opened it. I didn't blow anything up but hot milk did gush out of the small puncture in the top. It made it as high as the cabinet and splattered a bit. It also scalded my hand. After the initial spurt, it settled down and I opened the rest of the can. I was giddy to see that the milk was a slightly tan color because that indicated that the sugar had caramelized! I got a spoon and drizzled some on top of my plantains. They were cold from being in the fridge but I figured this would warm them up a bit. I took a bite and it was everything I hoped it would be. Chewy, sweet and a little salty. It was so rich, I couldn't finish it.

I have to find a better way to safeguard against aggressive gushes because I've already thought of several different things I can do with caramelized condensed milk! I didn't come out of this experience unscathed but I feel like it made me a better person.

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