Dare to Dream, Make a Meal: Leche Frita!

It was Jacques Houdek who once said, ‘Dare to dream, make a meal’ – ok yes, that wasn’t quite the lyric, but with this year’s slogan ‘Dare to Dream’ why not make a few adaptations! With this year’s contest quickly approaching, it’s time to start planning your Eurovision parties. With the help of Eurovision Union, you can plan out the ultimate Eurovision party for you and your friends!

Over the last month, we’ve gathered some of the tastiest and most intriguing dishes from across the participating nations and we have put our aprons on to test out these recipes! We selected a diverse range of food, as well as both savoury and sweet dishes, so if you are hosting a Eurovision party this year, you can take inspiration from our cooking adventures across Europe and recreate these dishes for you and your friends!

Leche Frita (Spain)

Spain, we need to talk about Lecha Frita. It’s custard…. Fried. Incredible stuff – revolutionary! This was a recipe that was a necessity to try, since on paper it sounds amazing, but in theory it may have been a different story (Spoiler, I can assure you it was amazing).

There are different ways to make Leche Frita, but at its core, it’s a milk based dessert. Milk and sugar are simmered together and infused with a cinnamon stick and sometimes lemon zest. This mixture is mixed into the dry ingredients, and then continues to cook until it’s thick. The custard should be thick enough to cut, then it is put in flour, and then it’s fried. If that wasn’t enough, while hot the fried custard is then rolled in cinnamon sugar!

This isn’t an extremely difficult dessert to make, but there is some labour involved. What we can say is that this totally delicious and worth the effort.

Here is the recipe we used (credit: SBS Food):

Prep time: 25 mins

Chilling time: 3 hours

Cook time: 15 mins

Makes: 15

Ingredients:

  • 500ml milk
  • ½ lemon, zest peeled into strips
  • 6 egg yolks, plus 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 260g caster sugar, plus 150g to dust
  • 75g cornflour
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g plain flour
  • Vegetable oil, to deep-fry

Instructions:

  • Place milk and lemon zest in a small deep saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes or until just starting to simmer. Remove from heat and stand for 10 minutes to infuse. Grease and line a 15 cm x 15 cm x 6 cm heatproof container with plastic wrap.
  • Strain infused milk, removing zest. Whisk together egg yolks and 110 g sugar in a large bowl, then whisk in cornflour. Gradually pour over the infused milk, whisking constantly until combined.
  • Pour mixture into a clean saucepan. Add lemon juice, then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and scraping the sides and base of the pan, for 4 minutes or until thickens. If it appears slightly lumpy, use a whisk to remove lumps. Keep stirring for 1 minute or until thick and smooth. Immediately transfer to the lined container and cover with plastic wrap so it touches the surface of the custard. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 3 hours to set.
  • Turn custard out and cut into 5 slices, then cut each slice into 3 pieces. Combine remaining 150 g caster sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  • Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 180°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds).
  • Place lightly beaten eggs and plain flour into separate shallow bowls. Dip custard squares in egg to coat, draining off excess, then carefully coat in flour. Working in 3 batches, fry custard squares for 2 minutes or until light golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Roll in cinnamon sugar while hot and serve warm.

Here is what we started with:

And here is our finished product!

Beer List

Our resident beer expert has done research (and a whole lot of tasting) to come up with some of the must-try beers of the nation. For each nation there are three suggestions:

  • The National Treasure – this is a beer that is recognisable and accessible to buy
  • The Party Starter – this is a nicer alternative, but still fairly accessible to buy
  • The Show Stopper – this is for the beer enthusiasts or those with a sense of adventure, but may not be as easy to purchase outside of that nation

Spain

The National Treasure – Estrella Damm (Pale Lager – 5,4%)

The Party Starter – Arriaca IPA (American IPA – 6.9%)

The Show Stopper – La Pirata Black Block (Imperial Stout – 11.2%)

Listen to our Dare to Dream, Make a Meal playlist below:

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