Flan is a delicious and a very easy dessert to make. The most challenging part of preparing a flan is the caramel. However, if you have prepared caramel sauce for your ice cream before, it is a similar method but simpler. The three basic steps to make this dessert include making the caramel, preparing the custard and baking it in a bain-marie (water bath). Steps are in that order.
Pre heat your over at 350°.
For the caramel you will need:
1 cup of white granulated sugar (you have it in your pantry)
¼ cup water
Cook in the stove at medium high until an amber color is obtained. When done, remove it from the stove immediately and very carefully, pour the caramel in a Pyrex-meatloaf mold, moving the mold so the caramel covers the bottom of the pan.
For the Bain-Marie
Put the mold you just poured caramel in, inside another larger mold with warm water. I use a rectangular cake mold.
For the custard:
1 13-oz cans evaporated milk ($1.25)
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk (2.25)
1 tbsp. of vanilla (I use Amaretto Disaronno Liquor)
¼ tsp. Cinnamon (you have it in your pantry) Optional
¼ tsp. fresh nutmeg (you have it in your pantry) Optional
6 large eggs (for a fat free Flan I only use the egg whites) ($1.25)
For this custard, mix all the ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Do not over mix. Pour custard into caramelized mold, cover with foil, and sit in your rectangular cake mold. Then pour hot water into the cake mold, about one and a half cup, this is your bain-marie (water bath). Bake in the oven at 350° for 1 to 1½ hours until done and knife comes out clean.
Prep time: 35 minutes
Approximate Total Cost: under $15.00 (or $3.75/person)
Serves: 4 people
My cooking style is based on the ingredients that I have available in my pantry, fridge and freezer at the time. I create as I go and pretty much eyeball all the ingredients I like to add. I called this recipe "Angie’s Asian Salad". You can add anything else you like as well. It is savory and delicious!
Asian Chicken (Approximately cost of ingredients: $6.00)
In a small bowl add the following ingredients:
5 chicken tenders cut in 1”
1/4-cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
8 chopped garlic cloves
1/4 c. olive oil
Marinate for at least 15 minutes, (while you prep. the veggies).
After 15 minutes, drain the marinade and stir-fry the chicken tender pieces until golden. Carefully add the marinate in low until it cooks thoroughly and set aside.
On a separate medium large bowl add the following ingredients:
6 fresh (cleaned) asparagus chopped in 1” at an angle
10 fresh (cleaned) snow peas chopped in 1” at an angle
1/2 Orange Bell Pepper in slices
1/2 red onion very finely chopped
1 clove of garlic very finely chopped.
1/2 package of your favorite pasta cooked by following the package instructions, drained while it is still very hot. Pour over your bowl of vegetables to blanch and cover. Do not stir for at least 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the Asian chicken.
EXTRA: Add the following to the pasta: Eyeball Olive oil, capers and olives, red wine vinegar, lemon juice. Stir from the bottom up until all ingredients are blended and if you like it and also have it available in your fridge, add marinated Mozzarella cheese balls. Finally, add a good tablespoon of sesame oil. If needed adjust the saltiness by using soy sauce.
If I tell you how delicious, easy and inexpensive homemade Humus is, you will start making it at home this week and will not purchase it again. Here is my recipe.
Angie’s Hummus (Approximate Cost: $5.19)
3 med. size garlic cloves ($.50)
1 tsp. sea or kosher salt (whichever one you have in your pantry at the time)
1/4 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper
1 15.5 oz. can of chickpeas drained (keep 1/4 cup of the chickpeas water. I use Goya brand) ($1.20)
1/4 tsp. of Ground Turmeric (Optional but extremely healthy, see Tips)
1/4 cup of lemon juice (I only use fresh) ($.50)
1/4 cup of Tahini Paste (I use Trader Joe’s Tahini Paste but this product is available in many grocery stores) ($2.99)
1/4 cup of olive oil (I only use Goya EVOO brand)
1. In a food processor process the garlic, salt and pepper.
2. Add the chickpeas, turmeric, lemon juice, chickpeas water, tahini paste, olive oil and process.
3. If the Hummus is not smooth enough for you, for a creamier consistency add more chickpeas water and/or lemon juice until desire consistency is obtained.
4. Do not forget to taste in case you need to adjust for a desired degree of seasoning and remember that if you are serving it with salted crackers to reduce the salt a bit.
Tips: I make this recipe weekly; therefore, for a variety of flavors I add one of the following ingredients to the above recipe to give it a twist. Also, you can use it in bread instead of butter:
1/4 cup of roasted red peppers or 1/4 c of chopped cilantro, flat leave parsley or 1/2 chopped Jalapeño.
When you are ready, serve it in a martini glass, garnish it with a drip of good extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle sweet Paprika and top with chopped scallions.
Turmeric: Is an “anti-inflammatory” spice that can work in a wide variety of conditions such as toothache, bruises, chest pain, and cancer prevention and it tastes great. Google it for further details.
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.