Border Grill at Mandalay Bay
As a long time fan of chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger I was looking forward to a recent lunch at their Border Grill at Mandalay Bay. The restaurant overlooks the Mandalay Bay pool. It’s bright and colorful (almost uncomfortably so) and the menu is creative and true to Mary Sue and Susan’s innovative style.
Every restaurant has its off days and it was obvious the kitchen was having one. After a long wait our crab nachos were delivered so cold that we needed a fork and knife to chisel through the once melted but now cold hard cheese. The crab appeared to be the genuine article and not imitation crab, but was past its prime and made for a horrific pairing with the congealed cheese. The rest of our experience was equally disappointing. It was obvious the Border Grill is overdue for some quality control. It would be unfair to condemn a restaurant over one bad meal but with so many sure bet restaurants in Vegas it’ll be a while before Border Grill is back in my rotation.
Recipe: Classic Flan
1/2 cup sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Milk
3 egg yolks
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
In a small saucepan melt sugar over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is a medium, caramel-colored liquid, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat and pour into a 4 cup metal baking pan (I use an 8 inch cake pan) or 8 individual molds. Quickly turn mold to coat bottom and sides with the caramel. Let cool 10-15 minutes so caramel hardens.
Heat oven to 325. Combine the condensed milk, eggs,egg yolks, salt and vanilla in a bowl and gently stir or whisk to avoid producing bubbles. Pour mixture into mold. Put mold in a larger pan filled with water to depth of 1/2 inch. Bake for 1 hour. Top will still be “jiggly” when pan is tapped. Remove from oven and remove mold from water. Cool and refrigerate up to 2 days. Best when refrigerated overnight, uncovered.
To serve, gently loosen the edge of the flan with the tip of a sharp knife to help release the custard and cover mold with an inverted serving platter. While holding the platter against the mold, flip over. Gently lift off mold. Caramel will fall as a liquid sauce over the custard.
Cut into wedges and serve with fresh sliced seasonal fruit if desired.