Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Ever since I was a little girl - Mexican food has been a part of my life.
My dad loves Mexican food - so we had it pretty regularly.
I remember going to a local restaurant every couple of weeks with my family.
When I was little - with a limited palette-
I ate a taco.
I remember trying refried beans for the first time.
I liked them - alot.
Enchiladas - tamales -Mole - etc - etc - etc
The older and braver - the more my palette expanded.
There is very little in that cuisine that I dislike.
Except for maybe - tripe.
Sorry - just can't get my brain to accept that one.

But with all of the culinary explorations - can you believe I was an adult before I tried flan?
And what's more - I never tried making it.
Until this last weekend.

Flan -
I am in love. For many years - flan has not been a part of my life. So very sad.

I tried making my first flan this last weekend.
It was not difficult to make - in fact, it was really quite easy.
The carmel gave me a little bit of an issue -
and it wasn't the making of the carmel that was hard.
It was the fact that the dish I was going to initially use didn't like it.
I poured the hot, amber liquid in the bottom of the stoneware dish and heard a low resonating pop.
I swirled the carmel around.
Hmmm -  another pop.
Then another one.
I lifted the bowl and looked around - and there it was.
A long crack.
Dang! I loved that bowl. To the garbage it went.

Oh well - another batch of the caramel.
I poured into a different bowl and swirled it around.
It's a fascinating process.
The caramel cools quickly to a hard candy - golden in color - and almost as clear as glass.
But really, really hard.
Must trust the process . . .
Then we whipped smooth the other ingredients -
eggs, evaporated milk, sweeted condensed milk, vanilla, a little sugar. . .
seriously - how could this not be good.

I poured the custard mixture into the bowl with the caramel and put it in the over in a water bath.
And wait. Almost an hour.
Then after it is cooked - we wait.
I'm feeling anxious.
It has to cool.
Then the unveiling - turn it upside down on a plate.
I'm nervous - will it release? Will it fall out in pieces? Will it land on the plate and then collapse into a gooey mess?

My daugther helps me - we flip and . . .
we are rewarded with a satisyfying sound as it releases and drops on the plate.
It is beautiful.
We stand and just admire it for a few minutes.

We slice it and take the first taste.
Oh my.
Smooth - velvety - sweet, but not overly sweet.
The texture was perfection.
A new favorite to be sure . . .

Oh and - believe it or not -
I have been painting and creating art.
I've been filling a lot of orders.
This last week has been spent on stacks of lazy susans, mirrors and smaller plaques.
A few chairs have been thrown in there for good measure.
I'll get some pictures up soon - I promise.
In the meantime - go make a flan!

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