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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Flan, Heaven on a Plate!

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This is one of my favorite desserts of all time.  It is the perfect ending to a delicious meal of Venison/Nilgai/Wild Pork Enchiladas with Creamy Poblano Sauce.  And Pheasant Enchiladas with tomatillo sauce. And Faux Venison Barbacoa.  You get the idea.  Flan is perfect.  Texture, creamy. Simple in preparation and perfectly simple in flavor.

The point I’m trying to make is that Flan is perfect….. and simple.

I got this recipe from a dear family friend, Tony. I wrote it on the back of a Sea World coupon shortly after Sea World opened in San Antonio.  See I was teaching back in those days.  I had stuff like that in my purse all the time; hall passes, detention slips, notes from parents, confiscated rubber bands, water guns, gum.          DSC_0218

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Notice the expiration date; Oct. 1, 1990.

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The best-loved recipes are usually the ones that have been through many years of wear and tear.  Every time I pull out this splattered and worn scrap of paper, I remember the  very evening that Deerslayer and I visited with our new baby in tow. (She’s 27 now and teaching at the university!)   We enjoyed a delicious meal of chicken enchiladas with tomatillo salsa, Mexican rice and the best flan I’d ever eaten.  Tony graciously shared all the recipes and allowed me to watch him prepare them.  Looking back, I think that these were some of the very first GOOD dishes that I ever cooked.  Thank you, Tony!

Ingredients

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1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup sugar (I usually use a bit more cuz I love the caramelized sugar)

That’s right!  There are only 5 ingredients.

You will also need a 9″ Pyrex pie plate, a trivet or folded kitchen towel and a larger oven-proof pan that will hold the pie plate and some hot water.

Preheat oven to 350°.   Combine all ingredients (except sugar) in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.DSC_0223DSC_0234

For the next part, set out what you will need.  Time will be of the essence as you prepare the caramelized sugar and pour it into a Pyrex pie plate.  Have it sitting on a trivet, or folded kitchen towel, ready for the molten sugar.

You will need to work quickly once the sugar is ready to

Pour sugar into a small sauce pan.  Over high heat, gently stir until sugar begins to melt. I like to use a wooden spoon.

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Continue stirring as sugar starts to caramelize.

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It will begin to look clumpy.  Don’t worry.  Keep stirring.

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Be sure that the sugar does not boil over or burn.  Simply lift the pan off the heat if begins to boil over.

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After most of the sugar clumps have dissolved, you may pour it into the Pyrex pie plate that has been set on something to protect the surface of the counter.  It also serves to prevent the Pyrex from being too cold  when you pour the hot caramelized sugar.

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Tilt the pan to allow the sugar to coat the bottom.  You must work quickly because the sugar will harden almost instantly. Don’t worry, though.  The caramelized sugar will create a luscious syrup in the oven. (Notice the trivet that I got as a birthday gift during my first year teaching in 1983.)

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One last whisk of the egg mixture before you pour it over the sugar.

Prepare a water bath for the pan.  I set my pie plate in a larger cast iron skillet.  Place the pie plate into a larger pan on the middle rack of the oven. Add some hot water to the outer pan until the water is half way up the side of the pie plate.

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Bake for 50 minutes.  Flan will jiggle joyfully.  Don’t fret.

Allow to cool for about 20 minutes.  Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.  Run a knife around the edge of the pie plate.  Invert onto A SERVING PLATE THAT HAS A LIP AROUND THE EDGE!  The liquified sugar mixture will spill out onto the plate.  You’ll have to restrain yourself from lapping it up.

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Please let me know if you agree that this is the simplest, most elegant, most perfect dessert you have ever prepared and eaten.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on August 21, 2016 in Sweet Things, Uncategorized

 

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Cool and Spicy Coleslaw

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Recently, during our annual camping trip to Wyoming, I offered to make a side dish for one of the dinners for the 44 campers in our group.  I brought all the ingredients to make a coleslaw recipe that’s pretty popular in the Deerslayer household.  The feedback from the camping crew was positive.  All the coleslaw was gobbled up and I was asked if the recipe was on my blog.  So I was happy to oblige.

There are soooo many varieties of coleslaw.  Some are quite sweet and others lean heavily on a mayo base.  Still others have an almost sauerkraut vibe.  My recipe is creamy, without relying on too much mayo.  There are layers of flavor that come from rice vinegar, greek yogurt, a tiny bit of sugar and some cayenne pepper.

This has become my go-to side dish for BBQ sandwiches and pulled pork, too.  It’s actually pretty good plopped right on the sandwiches  I always have to prepare more than I think I’ll need because it really disappears.  The cool, creamy sauce plays well with the main course. The rice vinegar adds a pleasing tartness and the cayenne brings a subtle, yet surprising, heat.

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½ cup Greek Yogurt

2 tbs. Ranch or Caesar dressing

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tbsp. milk

1 tbs. sugar

3/4 tsp. ground  black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

16 oz. shredded cabbage (Add carrot, slivered fresh jalepeño, radish, jicama, or something else crunchy and delicious if you like.)

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Combine all ingredients (except cabbage) in a bowl.

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Whisk ingredients together.

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Notice the delicious spices!  That’s what makes this coleslaw special.

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Add cabbage and toss together. Set in the fridge or in a cooler (if you’re camping) to allow the flavors to combine.

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Done! Enjoy!

Feel free to add fresh, sliced jalapeño, jicama, or radish to change things up.  Make it your own.

The dressing could be prepared in advance, poured into a jar, and taken on a camping trip.  I wouldn’t advise tossing the coleslaw up ahead of time, though, unless it’s gonna be eaten within a few hours.  You  want the cabbage to stay nice and crisp.  Camp on!

 

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