Monday, January 28, 2008

.hola amigos.

Yesterday we had company over for dinner and had a delicious fajita dinner with all the fixings. Rice and beans, sweet corn cake, flan... mmm. It was so good!

Since I adore dessert, I thought I'd start off this entry with the flan! This recipe came out of a magazine (remember my food magazine addiction?) I bought years ago. Don't know what flan is? It's a custard with a burnt sugar top. It's rich and yummy... a lot like creme brulee, spanish style. There are two things you can bake this in. A bundt pan, or ramekins. I like using ramekins when we have company because they make the perfect single serving size. I really suggest you get yourself some ramekins if you don't have any.


Use a paper towel and dip it in some oil. Lightly rub the inside of your ramekins or bundt pan.

Put 2/3 sugar in a saucepan and put on the stove over medium heat. Stir constantly until you get a nice amber brown syrup. The sugar goes through a couple stages before getting to the syrup. When it first begins to melt, it forms what I like to call crack. HA! Seriously.. it looks like rock cocaine or something. So if you get this and think you've messed up, no worries, my friend! You are doing things just right.

Spoon a little of the sauce into each ramekin, or bundt pan. Set aside. (Soak your saucepan immediately with hot water otherwise you will have permanent sugar on your pan.)

In a large mixing bowl, put: 4 large eggs, 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk, 1 3/4 cups milk, 2 tsp vanilla, and a dash of nutmeg. Whisk everything together until the egg is mixed in well. Ladle into your prepared dishes over the burnt sugar. Put the ramekins (or bundt pan) in a baking dish and fill the baking dish up 1" with water. Don't let water get into the ramekins. Loosely cover the entire thing with foil. Put into a preheated 350* oven and bake for an hour. When they're done, remove the ramekins from the water. Let cool a little and then put in the fridge (cover with saran first) to chill completely.

To serve: Run a butter knife along the inside of the ramekin to loosen it from the sides. Put a plate on top and then flip it over. Shake gently to release the flan from the dish.

I top this with some fresh whipped whip cream and a marashino cherry. Absolutely delicious! I know you'll enjoy this and while it's super easy and quick to make, it is a SHOW STOPPER dessert! Don't you agree?

Printable version:

Now onto the fajitas. This is a mock recipe of Chili's fajitas. YUM! YUM! I use flank steak and chicken because we like a combo. You can use shrimp too if you want. You'll want to marinate your steak and chicken overnight. Here's the recipe:

1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/3 c. water
2 Tbsp oil
2 clove garlic, minced
3 tsp vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
dash cayenne pepper
dash black pepper
dash onion powder

The following day, (when you're actually going to cook these) prep your veggies -- onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper. I was in such a hurry to get things done, I didn't get very good pictures. I apologize! But hey.. here's a picture of them in a baggie right before I put them into the cast iron skillet to sautee.

I prepped my things early in the day so I wouldn't be stressed out before my company got here. This is a huge time saver. Trust me.

Grill up your steak and chicken on the bbq until nice and done. Remember: Sear the meat on high on both sides, then lower the heat and the lid and let cook all the way through. The centers will be firm and non-spongy. Don't cut into the meat to check for doneness. That will cause the juices to leak out and you'll be left with a dry piece of shoe leather.

About 10 minutes before they're finished, put your veggies on to sautee in a hot skillet (I use cast iron). Slice the steak and chicken on the diagonal and then mix together with your cooked veggies.

For presentation, I like using these plastic faux terra cotta dishes. Secret. These came from Lowe's. In the garden section. They sell those fake terra cotta pots and they have the bottoms. Clean it really well and you've got a great dish to use that looks real and only cost a fraction the cost of something say at... bed, bath and beyond!

Serve with warmed tortillas, shredded lettuce, cheese, and pico de gallo. Oh and don't forget the sour cream and fresh guacamole (I make my guac with nothing but a little fresh lime juice and seasoning salt).

2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and pithed (that's the ribbing on the inside), diced
Cilantro, chopped
1/2 a lime, squeezed
dash salt, pepper, and sugar

Mix all of this together. I make this early in the day too so the flavors have a chance to marry.

Okay.. on to the very last dish in our little fiesta night! Sweet corn cake. You don't want to skip this. It's like very very moist corn bread.

The ingredients you'll need are: Cornmeal, masa harina (which is a mexican corn flour used to make tortillas.), cream, butter, and frozen corn.

Preheat your oven to 375*.
In a blender, cream 1 stick butter until there aren't any lumps. Add 1/3 c. masa harina and 1/4 c. water. Mix. Add 1/4 c. cornmeal, 1/3 c. sugar, 2 Tbsp cream, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder. Mix well.

Thaw 1 1/2 c. frozen corn. Use a food processor and pulse the corn a little. I personally don't have a food processor anymore. So I used my handy dandy Pampered Chef food chopper to break down the corn. Mix in the frozen corn by hand.

Spoon the entire batter into a baking dish and smooth out. Put your baking dish into an even larger one. We're going to steam this much like we did the flan. Fill the baking dish 1/2 way up with water and then cover the entire thing with foil. Put in the oven and bake for an hour.


Ronda said...

Hey Suzanne,
I don't have any of those Remekins. And I have a birthday coming up! Hint, hint! I have never made flan. I've looked at those kits they sell with the thing to burn the sugar on the top (oh, is that creme brulee?) What is the difference? Anyway, I like them all! Love ya Sis!

ArlaMo said...

Mmmmm! Made the fajitas and corn cake tonight. LOVEd it! No flan allowed at our house (DH served a mission in Venezuela and abhors all things flanish) but we did the blueberry cobbler and it was divine!!

Yummy! Thanks so much for sharing.