It’s been awhile since I posted. That happens. Life happens. This flan is yum…especially with Kahlua generously poured over the top and finished with a dollop of whipped cream. I have to warn you though, while the texture is perfection and the flavor creamy and sweet, I really didn’t taste the mango. Just thought I’d share that and be totally honest here.
This flan was the piece de resistance to my Mexican inspired Sunday dinner. Sunday Dinner has always been an event for our family. I went crazy with my themed dinner. It’s a thing in our family to go crazy when making Sunday Dinner. I served carne asada, freshly made tortillas (not by me!), pico de gallo, a cold bean and corn salad, a Mexican style Caesar salad with the most fabulous Cotija cheese and pumpkin seed salad dressing ever in the history of salad dressings, rice and fresh fruit (several acoutrements have been left off this list for the sake of you, my readers).
Of course, without a moments hesitation, I ventured to Vallarta’s a Latin American Grocery store in the next city. Yes, I could have gotten all of my ingredients down the street, but our Ralph’s just doesn’t crank out homemade, fresh, piping hot tortillas like Vallarta’s does. Picking up a warm package of tortillas, fresh with trapped steam and an intoxicating aroma escaping out is exactly the reason why it’s worth the drive.
Other reasons include a plethora of ripe avocadoes, and a “deli” bar of several salsas, grated Cotija cheese, authentic Mexican style Crema (like sourcream) and the list goes on. My one year of college Spanish (some 20 years ago), finds me at a loss as I try to explain that I only want half a container of the Crema. I am the only apparent Gringa there that morning and although I am happily shopping away listening to Latin music played over the speakers, I wonder what it must be like for a non-English speaker to come to the U.S., and try to make his or her way through stores and life.
I have not been much of a traveler to foreign countries and have rarely been in a situation where English hasn’t been useful so I really can’t say that I’ve been there done that, but I can imagine how frustrating and sometimes isolating it can be. I can’t wait until I am at the next stage in life when my kids are done with college and I have what we like to call expendable cash and I can get to travel the world. That would be grand.
But until then, my biggest venture off the beaten path will have to be my escapades to various markets, finding myself exploring new spices and foods and rubbing elbows with people from different places. I love L.A. Some people hate it. There are things to hate for sure, but there are things to love like diversity. You can’t knock that.
I have included recipes for both the Flan and the Mexican Caesar Salad and dressing. They were both delish!
Mango Flan – Recipe found on Food Network from Gale Gand by clicking the link.
My only additional comment is to be PATIENT with the carmelization of the sugar. It took longer than the recommended time for me. Everything else worked well, but once again I did not taste the mango and don’t know if doubling it and subtracting some of the milk would mess with the texture too much.
Mexican Caesar Salad Dressing
Taken directly from Recipe Secrets.com
1/2-1 medium anaheim chili-roasted/peeled/seeded, depending on how hot you like it
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds(pepitas)-roasted
1 large clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup oil (I used a cup)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons grated cotija cheese
1 small bunch cilantro-stemmed
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons water
Place chili pepitas,garlic,pepper, salt,oil,vinegar and cotija cheese in
food processor. Blend about 10 seconds then add cilantro,bit by bit, until
Place mayonnaise and water in large stainless steel bowl and whisk until
smooth. Add blended chili mixture and mix thoroughly. place in airtight
container and refrigerate, may be kept up to three days.
Serve over a salad of chopped Romaine, freshly diced cucumbers and tomatoes, toasted Pepitas, freshly chopped avocadoes and sprinkled with Cotija Cheese.