Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Adjust oven rack to center position. Lightly butter eight (1/4 cup) custard cups or ramekins and set them into a large baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine, garlic, jalapeno chilepepper, cream, egg, egg yolks, white pepper, and nutmeg.
Pour egg mixture into prepared custard cups. Place the baking dish with the custard cups into your hot oven. Carefully pour warm water into the baking pan to come half-way cup the sides of the custard cups.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from oven leave the custards in the water bath to keep warm (can be kept in water bath up to 20 minutes).
While custards are baking, prepare Salsa Fresca Vinaigrette.
To serve, turn the custards out of their ramekins onto individual serving plates. Spoon warm Salsa Fresca Vinaigrette over each one and sprinkle with Herbed Hazelnuts.
Makes 8 servings (depending on size of custard cups).
SALSA FRESCA VINAIGRETTE:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 cup Salsa Fresca (see recipe below)*
* If you don't have the time to make Salsa Fresca, you can purchase a good-quality salsa.
In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and Salsa Fresca; set aside to keep warm.
Cut tomatoes into 1/4-inch dice; put the tomatoes with their juices into a bowl. Rinse and stem the jalapeno chile; shake out seeds and cut out the veins. Finely chop the chili. Add it to the bowl, along with the onion, cilantro, and juice. Stir gently to mix; add additional lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
Makes about 2 1/4 cups.
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted*
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
* Your favorite nuts may be substituted (walnuts, pecans, or a mixture of nuts).
Coarsely chop nuts. In a large frying pan over low heat, melt butter. Add hazelnuts, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper; saute until the nuts are well coated. NOTE: Herbed Hazelnuts can be prepared in advance.