Employee Spotlight: In the Kitchen with Joe Skupinsky

Author:
Zenput HR
Published On:
Oct 7, 2020

*This is part of our Zenput employee cooking blog series

The Zenput team is full of talented and unique individuals, but there’s one thing that many of us have in common: the ability to cook delicious food! As the quarantine and social distancing guidelines have started becoming the new normal, many of our team members have taken to the kitchen, sharing photos of their creations in our #fun-food channel on Slack. 

*This is part of our Zenput employee cooking blog series

The Zenput team is full of talented and unique individuals, but there’s one thing that many of us have in common: the ability to cook delicious food! As the quarantine and social distancing guidelines have started becoming the new normal, many of our team members have taken to the kitchen, sharing photos of their creations in our #fun-food channel on Slack. 

Today we’re getting our sweet tooth fix with Joe Skupinsky, one of our Enterprise Account Executive. Check out his recipe below.

 

What’s cooking? Any story behind the recipe?

I don’t necessarily know when or how I was introduced to Flan but it has been my favorite dessert since I can remember - it’s simple but delicious. When I travel, I always have to order the Flan at restaurants. I find that no matter where I go, the taste and consistency tends to be different and I enjoy rating it against other versions I’ve tried before.

Joe's Flan

 

Has the quarantine changed your cooking habits at all? (I.e. do you cook more often/less often?)

Absolutely! I have been cooking almost every meal on weekdays and usually have some leftovers for the weekend. My girlfriend and I have expanded our grocery shopping and started going to farmer’s markets, butcher shops, and boutique grocery stores in order to find the best and freshest ingredients to cook with. We used to not eat breakfast either, but now we’ve started to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner, as we’ve been working from home. Normally, we would usually have breakfast and lunch at the office.

 

What is one of your favorite cooking tips/tricks/secrets you’d like to leave us with?

I don’t think I have any tips or tricks but I have learned that the quality of your kitchen equipment goes a long way. Cooking with pots you get on Amazon versus quality pots like dutch ovens, iron skillets, and proper spatulas translate to a much easier experience and better tasting results.

 

South Indian Beef Curry (quick and easy - Instant Pot):

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 strips lemon zest
  • teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Steps:

  1. Make caramel: Pour 1 cup sugar into a saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, swirling the pan to combine the sugar and water. Do not stir. Let boil until deep amber in color, swirling the pan occasionally to caramelize evenly, about 10 minutes total. Watch the pan carefully after the mixture starts turning golden; it will quickly become light brown, then amber, then dark amber.
     
  2. Immediately pour caramel into a 9- by -5-inch loaf pan and swirl to coat the bottom evenly. Set aside to harden.
     
  3. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
     
  4. In a saucepan, combine milk, lemon zest, salt, and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar. Over low heat, heat through, stirring to melt the sugar. Set aside.
     
  5. Using a hand blender, combine eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
     
  6. Remove the lemon zest strips from the hot milk mixture. While blending, gradually pour the milk mixture into the eggs. Go very slowly at first so that the eggs don’t cook from the heat of the milk. Blend just until smooth. Pour egg-milk mixture into the caramel-lined pan.
     
  7. Place a 9- by- 13-inch baking dish in the lower third of oven. Carefully place the loaf pan in the baking dish. Pour hot tap water into the baking dish until it comes about halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. 
     
  8. Bake 55 to 65 minutes, until flan is set but still jiggly in the center. Remove flan from water bath and cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate, uncovered, until cold and firm, at least 8 hours or up to 3 days. The caramel will soften as it sits.
     
  9. To unmold, run a thin sharp knife around the edges. Center a flat-bottomed platter or serving dish with a rim on top of the pan and, holding both, carefully flip the pan and plate together. The flan will fall onto the plate with a squelch; lift off the pan and let the caramel run all over the top. (If the flan doesn’t come out, flip it back over and rest the bottom of the pan on a hot wet kitchen towel for a few minutes, to melt the caramel.) Serve chilled, in slices.

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