Brush a whole garlic head with olive oil. Wrap it in foil and bake for 2 hours. Let garlic cool enough to handle, then cut off the top of the garlic head and squeeze the soft cloves out onto a cutting board. Using the side of a broad knife, mash the cloves slightly. (This may be done up to a week in advance. Refrigerate roasted garlic.)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Butter 8 (4-ounce) ramekins. Blend the custard ingredients together thoroughly. Pour into the ramekins and place them in a baking pan. Place the pan in the oven and carefully add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, but you may leave the custards in the water bath to keep warm for up to 20 minutes. You may wish to prepare the Salsa Fresca and the Vinaigrette while the custards bake, and the Herbed Hazelnuts while the custards stay warm after baking.
To serve, turn the custards out of their ramekins onto plates. Spoon warm Vinaigrette over each one and sprinkle with warm Herbed Hazelnuts.
Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together in a small saucepan and heat gently. Set aside to keep warm.
Yield: 1 cup
Melt the butter in a skillet and saute the hazelnuts with their seasonings until the nuts are well coated. Chop coarsely.
Yield: 3 cups
Mix all the ingredients together. For best results, let salsa stand at least half an hour before serving or incorporating into recipe. Use within 24 hours. (The Vinaigrette calls for 1 cup. Enjoy the remaining 2 cups in Tortilla Soup or just with chips.)
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.