Spanish Flan

Slice Of Spanish Flan seen ovcer head on a white dessert plateThe Romans are said to have invented the culinary dish they called Flan. After hundreds of years being enjoyed by many cultures, Spain popularized flan as a sweet custard dessert made with caramelized sugar, and the Moors added

Orange and Almond Flan by Patis Mexican Table

Orange and Almond Flan by Patis Mexican Table

citrus and almonds to the Flan. The Moors were Muslim inhabitants of Maghreb, the Iberian PeninsulaSicily, and Malta during the Middle Ages.

When Christopher Columbus the Spanish explorer found America, flan had soon after that made its way throughout Mexico, central and South America.

Though flan today is especially associated with Mexico where it prepared in the kitchens of most all the inhabitants of Mexico.

Flan is a favorite desert at our house. Once you get the hang of it, flan is easy and simple to make. Here is what you will need to make Splendid Recipe and More’s version of Spanish Flan…

½ cup sugar
1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
5 eggs
1- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1- 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, add sugar, stirring constantly (can also vigorously move sauce pan back and forth over burner with one hand while stir with the other) until the sugar becomes liquid and golden.

caramelized sugar for Spanish Flan in a 9-inch metal pie panPour into a 9-inch round metal baking dish, tilting to coat bottom and sides if possible. We found that a metal pan works’s the best for making flan. Also after pour the hot golden liquid sugar into the pan, use gloves as you move the pan about coating it, as it will become hot to the touch. Set aside.

three images preparing Spanish Flan

In a food processor, or a large boil with a hand beater, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Mix in condensed and evaporated milks and vanilla until smooth. Strain egg mixture while pouring into the caramel coated pan.

Spanish Flan in a roasting pan - filled with hot waterPlace pan into a roasting pan. Carefully fill the roasting pan with hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the metal baking dish.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until flan is just set (does not wobble). place the flan on a wire rack. First loosen the sides with a knife and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Spanish Flan inverted onto a platter seen over head Next invert carefully on a rimmed serving platter. Be careful as the liquid caramel will flow out over flan and down the sides. Place platter in the refrigerator and chill 3 hours up to 24 hours.

Spanish Flan with a picture incert of a slice on a dessert plate When chilled, and you are ready for dessert, remove flan from refrigerator, plate and serve.

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Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

close up of Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

This salad has flavors of the tropic’s, as it contains mango, avocado, and coconut sugar. It is a quick and easy recipe to prepare.

mango tree with ripe fruit Did you know that mangoes are eaten fresh more than any other fruit in the world?

The mango has been around for some 4,000 years now, and it is biologically a close relative with other flowering plants like the cashew and pistachio trees.

The mango trees originated in sub-Himalayan plains, and there are over 1,000 different varieties, with the Hayden being the most popular.

Mango_tree_Kerala_in_full_bloom

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Mango trees grow up to 115–131 feet tall, with a crown radius of 33 feet. The trees live a long time, as some specimens still fruit after 300 years. Though not a related tree spices, avocado trees can grow just as tall.

When preparing this recipe, it reminded me of our visited to the south of Mexico were the mango trees grow profusely. We seen young children throwing rocks up into the trees to bring down a mango. Yes, they threw a rock up 115 to 133 feet, and never missed to bring down a ripe fresh mango.

Now for our featured recipe: Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

shredded chicken

Preparation is for two servings.

1 large cooked chicken breast, without bone or skin

3 tablespoons mango puree

3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (Link Here For Homemade Recipe)

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

Shred the cooked chicken breast into a medium bowl and mix with mango puree, mayonnaise, and sugar. Set the mixture aside.

For the Guacamole

1 avocado, seeded and peel removed

1 small tomato, without seeds

2 garlic gloves

2 teaspoons powder coriander

3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion

1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon lemon juice

fresh lemon lime water1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

5 to 6 whole pepper corns

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend together for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.

Unless you have another use for the other half of the citrus half’s, and including the juiced half’s, you can either freeze the juiced rinds and save for zest in another recipe, or slice them up for lemon-lime water.

Plating The Salad

Now that you have your chicken mixture and guacamole prepared, let’s start to plate it.

plate of baby greens

Add a mixed few hand fulls of baby greens, like spinach, chard, beet greens, and arugula.

baby greens and Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

Next, using a 5 inch in diameter ramekin, fill chicken mixer to the top, and invert it over the baby greens.

Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

Next, spread some guacamole carefully over the chicken mixture, and enjoy.

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Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Fajita is a Tex-Mex pint sized term for little meat strips. The word fajita did not appear in print until 1971, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The exact time in which the dish was named fajita is unclear.

Fajita is taken from the Spanish word “Faja” meaning “strip”, “band”, “sash”, or “belt”, and that would make sense, as fajitas are strips of meat.

Fajitas are really a Tex-Mex invention. The ingredients used are some popular ones used in Mexico. But the Mexican did not make the first Fajita.

We did have a blog guest speaker who spoke on this matter about Mexican verse Tex-Mex food on May 5th of this year (2014). The theme was Tastes of Mexico.  Read more what our guest speaker had to say on this matter. – HERE-

Now for our featured recipe: Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas, and here is what you will need.

Spices for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

1 teaspoon of dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon of dried ground cumin

1 teaspoon of dried minced garlic

Place all of the spice in a small mixing bowl.

lime juice, olive oil and sea salt for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

To the dry spices add 3 tablespoons of lime juice (fresh juice  from half a lime), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt or sea salt. I personal use Himalayan salt as it has all of the trace minerals the body needs, it is unlike table salt which has had all other minerals remove. Also when using sea salt or the Himalayan salt you can use less, than you would if using the table salt.

Now that the wet ingredients have been added, mix in well with the dried spices. Set the bowl aside.

one pond of chicken breast for Gralic Lime Chicken Fajitas

 

You will need one pound of chicken breast. It may not seem like much, as one pound is two breasts, but once they have been cut into to strips, you have plenty of meat, for 4 to 6 servings.

using plastic bag to marinade chicken strips

I don’t like using plastic bags or any plastic container to store left overs, as plastic doesn’t breath, and the food spoils faster. I only use plastic freezer bags to freeze vegetables and meats. But I make an exception to marinade meat, as it is in the bag a short time.

Take the chciken strips and place them into the bag and pour in the spice mix, using a spatula to scrape the bowl and get every drop of mix. Seal the bag and put into the refridgerator for 30 minutes or more.sliced sweet peppers and yellow onion for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Before removing the meat from the refrigerator to cook, slice into strips 6 to 7 sweet peppers using red, orange and yellow colors. Also cut into thin slice one small yellow onion, and set aside.

cooking Garlic Lime chicken Fajitas

 

Heat a large ceramic coated frying pain on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and any marinade, and cook for 5 minutes while stir continuously. Next add the sweet peppers and onion, mis in and continue to stir while cooking for 2 to 3 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender-crisp and the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees internal temperature).

Garlic Lime chicken Fajitas -up close-

Warm some 100% whole wheat flour tortillas and spoon chicken mixture and roll up. Serve with assorted toppings, if desired.

Here we have a side of quinoa with black beans, onion, corn, and chili pepper mixed in. We prepared the quinoa according to packaged instructions, using one cup of quinoa, and one cup of chicken broth and 8 ounces of tomato sauce.

For dessert, check out our favorite coffee cake: Chocolate Mexican Coffee Cake, and to be honest with you, we don’t know if it is a Mexican recipe original, but it sure tastes good!!

 

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Quinoa Maya Chicken Bake

Ouinoa Maya Chicken Bake

This is a really delicious and healthy recipe. It’s made with quinoa, which is a whole grain rice grown in its natural environment, the Andes Mountains of Peru. The native soil and climate affect its taste, scent and texture.

The Incas called quinoa “the mother of grain” and fed it to their warriors before battle. Today it is referred to as a “supper grain” as it has many health benefits including a balance of essential amino acids. There are 23 known essential amino acids, and our bodies make only 10 of them. That requires that we eat foods that will provide the other 13, and quinoa does that for us when we consume it.

For that very reason our featured recipe is Quinoa Maya Chicken Bake. Are you questioning what does Maya have to do with the recipe? The Maya’s were native’s that spread their influence to Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and western El Salvador to as far away as central Mexico, more than 620 mi from the central Maya area. The many outside influences found in Maya art and architecture are thought to have resulted from trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest.

Today the few Mayans that exist grow there own coffee beans in the known areas that they dwell. The coffee is very good and is known as Mayan Coffee beans. The flavors of coffee beans, either poor flavor or rich flavor, all depends on the earthy soil and climate the coffee tree is grown in. The Mayans know how to grow their coffee beans.

The spices we used in our featured recipe is a Maya Coffee Rub that was purchased at the Whole Foods Market.

Here is what you will need:

ingredients needed for Quinoa Maya Chicken Bake

Click Image to Enlarge to View Ingredients for the Maya Coffee Rub

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next cook the quinoa according to package instructions and set aside.

steaming vegetables for Ouinoa Maya Chicken Bake

Put your frozen fresh vegetable mix into a steamer and steam according to package instructions. You can use your choice of vegetables that you prefer. When done, set steamed vegetables aside in a large bowl with a lid over it.

While the vegetables are steaming, prepare the chicken breast for marination. Cut the chicken breast crosswise, 3 times. Cut each section into one inch chunks.

marinating chicken breast for Ouinoa Maya Chicken Bake

In a measuring cup, mix the Maya coffee rub, vinegar, and oil. You can also choose to use olive oil if you wish. Place cut chicken into a large bowl and pour spice mixture over meat. Mix up meat with the spice mix till chicken is well coated. Set aside for about 30 minutes for flavors to infuse.


close up baking chicken in Nu wave oven for Ouinoa Maya Chicken Bake

After chicken has marinated for 30 to 40 minutes, place onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until chicken is done. The meat should cook fast, as it is cut thin. Here we baked ours in a counter top Nu wave oven. set aside when done.

bowl of steamed vegetables

Next take the bowl of vegetables, pour in the one cup of quinoa, and meat. Mix up the ingredients in the bowl until will incorporated.

Ouinoa Maya Chicken Bake

Plate and serve. That Maya Coffee Rub, is a bit spicy. But oh boy what flavor it has!! I believe, if the Mayans from the past could taste this dish, they would approve.

If you wish, you can use 1/4 slice of turkey breast in place of chicken. Turkey was the main staple meat of the Mayans over 3000 years ago.

 

Sources on the Mayans:

Mayan Civilization 

 

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Tastes of Mexico with Pico de Gallo and Flour Tortillas

Tastes of Mexico with Pico de Gallo and Flour Tortillas

 

Our post is a day late but here we are. Welcome again to the Tastes of Mexico here at Splendid recipes and More with Norma our guest blog speaker (If you missed any posts with Norma link here and scroll the page to Speaker Norma spoke May. 4-8, 2014 on the Tastes of Mexico).

So lets get started.

SRandM: So Norma tell us what you are doing with those tomatoes?

Norma: I am dicing them up to make some Pico de Gallo.

SRandM: So how is it prepared?

Norma: Will this is what you will need.

8 fresh ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced

½ large onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed and finely minced

Juice from 1 fresh lime

SRandM: What kind color of onion should you use? I am asking as there are a few different colors.

Norma: Yes, the most popular one used in this dish is the yellow onion. Though you ca use the white or red onion if you want to.

You could liven up this dish by adding other ingredients like shrimp, avocado, cucumber, radish or firm fruit like mango.

I just wanted to add, that pico de gallo is much like Kenyan’s kachumbari, or chutneys made in India, but since pico de gallo contains less liquid, apart from dipping tortilla chips into it, you can also use it as a main ingredient in dishes such as tacos and fajitas.

SRandM: Wow that is good to know.

Norma: So once you have prepared the ingredients, place diced tomatoes, and onion, in a glass bowl and stir to combine. Next stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Though I would recommend adding the juice and cilantro a little at a time, tasting it with each addition until you have the flavor you like. You can also add a little salt if you like.

Serve as a side with your favorite Mexican dish, as I mentioned earlier, it could be tacos or fajitas, or by itself with corn tortilla chips.

pico de gallo

SRandM: Wow this is great Norma. Tell use about the flour tortillas that you prepared.

Norma: OK. This is how you make fresh flour tortillas. Here is what you will need.

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1.5 cups hot water

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Then make a whole in the center and pour in the oil and hot water.

preparing Homemade Flour Tortillas

Lightly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Next place the dough on a lightly floured surface and continue kneading until a smooth ball is formed. Divide dough into 16 equal sized portions and placing each ball into a bowl covered with a cloth.

making flour tortillas

Next place each small dough portion onto a lightly floured surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin, round shape. Preheat a large dry cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add one rolled out dough circle and heat until golden brown, then flip and cook until golden brown on other side. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. Place each finished tortilla onto a plate.

After you have made your tortillas, have a medium sized piece of wax paper cut out and set aside. Now separate each tortilla and while doing so place the first one onto the wax paper and each additional over each other. Place the tortillas into a large zip lock bag. Seal and allow to cool and store in the refrigerator for up to about two weeks.

 

 

Homemade Flour Tortillas

 

SRandM: Thank you Norma for coming on Splendid recipes and More and showing us all of these great Tastes of Mexico. As well as sharing some history with us.

Norma: My pleasure. I hope your readers have enjoyed it and will be able to prepare theses Mexican delights for themselves.

SRandM: For any posts on the Tastes of Mexico with blog speaker guest Norma just link here and scroll down to – Speaker Norma spoke May. 4-8, 2014 on the Tastes of Mexico -.

 

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Wonderful Beverages From Mexico

Wonderful Beverages From Mexico

Splendid Recipes and More (SRandM) present’s another post with Norma our guest blog speaker on the Tastes of Mexico. If you missed the last three conversations with Norma link here and scroll to Speaker Norma spoke May. 4-8, 2014 on the Tastes of Mexico.

Today Norma is going to present some great beverages from Mexico. What are they Norma?

Norma: Classic Margaritas on the Rocks, and Watermelon Aqua Fresca.

SRandM: OK so let’s get started.

Norma: I think the key to making a classic margarita is striking the right balance between your tequila of choice and the orange-flavored liqueur you pair with it. Strong flavored tequila needs a strong-flavored orange liqueur to stand up to it. As a result, the following is a more of a formula than a true recipe. Use your favorite tequila and orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

SRandM: Can you use any flavor you like other than orange?

Norma: Yes, and actually a true Margarita has no flavoring other than lime. But with the new generation of Mexicans, their changing things up.

So you will need

1.5 oz. tequila

1.5 oz. orange-flavored liqueur

1.25 oz. freshly squeeze lime juice

cocktail shaker full of ice and add the tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice

Fill a cocktail shaker full of ice and add the tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice.

Classic Margarita on the Rocks

Shake vigorously to combine and pour into salt-rimmed margarita glasses filled with ice. Serve with a wedge of lime, if desired.

Note this is a strong drink when first poured. The flavors will mellow a bit as the ice melts.

SRandM: OK Norma, while I enjoy this Margarita you just made…what do you have for us next?

Norma: Will I have a drink that is light and refreshing. It’s a popular drink in Mexico and is perfect for hot summer afternoons. It can be made with any number of fresh fruits, but melons are the most popular. While this beverage is non-alcoholic, rum or tequila and triple sec can be added to create a delicious adults-only beverage.

I am going to prepare a  Watermelon Aqua Fresca. Here is what you will need:

6 cups watermelon, seeded

1¼ cup water

1½ limes, juiced

4 tablespoons honey

½ lime, sliced

Fresh mint leaves

ice

Add the watermelon, water and lime juice to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If any seeds or large chunks remain, strain through a sieve to remove.

Pour the blended juice into a pitcher and stir in honey until blended, though you can replace the honey sugar. Now crush the mint leaves with your fingers and put them in the bottom of each glass. Fill the glasses with ice and top with watermelon mixture. Garnish each glass with a slice of lime or fresh mint leaves, if desired and enjoy the freshness.

Watermelon Aqua Fresca

SRandM: Norma you have out done yourself today with these wonderful beverages. So what will you present next time?

Norma: How about  Pico de Gallo and Homemade Flour Tortillas?

SRandM: Looing forward to it Norma. To our readers of Splendid Recipes and More, you know were to return for more great Tastes of Mexico from our guest speaker, Norma.

Link Here for: Tastes of Mexico with Pico de Gallo and Flour Tortillas 

What Others are Saying About Beverages and Foods of Mexico:

Chicken Quesadillas

Chicken Quesadillas

Our blog guest is Norma and she is speaking to us on The Tastes of Mexico. This is her third appearance here on Splendid Recipes and More (SRandM). Link here to view the other blog posts with Norma and scroll to bottom of the page.

SRandM: So Norma, what do you have for us today?

Norma: I am going to show you how to make a really great Chicken Quesadilla.

SRandM: Awesome, let’s get started.

Norma: First of all, I would like to mention that wheat flour was brought here to the New World by Spain. From there the flour tortilla was made a new novelty in Mexico. Though, flour tortillas are only popular in Mexican dishes in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Also you can see these recipes in Tijuana and Rosarito.

Corn tortillas are commonly prepared with meat to make dishes such as tacos and enchiladas. Burritos on the other hand are made with flour tortillas as well quesadillas. These two latter dishes originated in northern Mexico, as I said before the flour tortilla is most popular there.

So now for the Chicken Quesadilla, here is what we will need.

2 tablespoons avocado oil

1 small or ½ medium onion, finely minced

2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced

½ cup chicken broth or water

2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning mix*

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter

8 10” flour tortillas

2 cups pre-cooked chicken, shredded (rotisserie works great)

2 cup shredded white cheese (Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack)

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed and finely chopped.

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced – optional

 

With these ingredients you will have enough to makes 4 Quesadillas. Also at the end of the post I have included the recipe for the seasoning mix.

 

Add the avocado oil and onion to a  large cold skillet.  Heat over medium-high heat until onion becomes translucent, about 6 – 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 – 2 minutes or until it starts to turn brown. Add the chicken broth, taco seasoning and stir until dry ingredients are completely dissolved.

combine seasonings

Add shredded chicken to the pan and toss to coat in the seasonings. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer until any excess moisture is absorbed.

seasoning chicken

Remove from heat and keep warm.

 

Place butter in a clean skillet and heat over medium-high heat until melted. Swirl until bottom of pan is thoroughly covered. Place one tortilla in pan. Top with ½ cup seasoned shredded chicken mixture and ½ cup shredded cheese. Add fresh cilantro and diced jalapeno peppers, if desired.

tortilla topped with chicken and cheese

Distribute ingredients evenly and place second tortilla on top. Carefully flip once the bottom tortilla turns golden brown.

Once both sides are browned and cheese is melted, remove from heat and slice into 8 wedges. Serve immediate with fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream or pico de gallo. You can even have them with a side of refried beans.

Plated Chicken Quesadillas

 

SRandM: Wow this looks delectable Norma. I am really hungry now, should we have some.

Norma: sure, why not.

SRandM: So what do you have for us next time Norma.

Norma: How about Classic Margaritas on the Rocks, and since watermelon seasoning is coming, I will make some Watermelon Aqua Fresca.

SRandM: How do you say Aqua Fresca in English Norma?

Norma: Oh yes, Aqua Fresca is fresh water.

SRandM: Great we look forward to that. To all our readers, we hope you return here tomorrow May. 7,2014  to see how Norma will prepare beverages from the Tastes of Mexico.

Link Here: Wonderful Beverages From Mexico

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

This recipe only takes a couple minutes to put together and costs less than buying pre-packaged taco seasoning. It also has less salt and no artificial additives or preservatives.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and shake well to combine. Use 2 – 3 tablespoons per pound of ground beef (use more or less according to individual taste preferences).

This recipe can also be made in larger batches. Store unused amounts in an air tight container for up to 6 months.

Link Here for next post with Norma: Wonderful Beverages From Mexico

 

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