Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Por favor, ven a cenar

In an effort to stay true to my intentions to write a post at least once a week, I will post a recipe!

This past weekend the bf and I hosted a dinner for friends who have just come back from a few months in Central America.  What were they doing in Honduras, Guatemala and San Salvador for a few months you ask?  That's just how they roll.  They're both retired (well and happily! and young!) and often spend several months at a time driving - yes, driving! - all over the continent.  Most years they spend at least a good part of the winter in Mexico and/or Central America, fishing, spending large amounts of time in hammocks (that last part may or may not just be in my imagination) and generally just living the dream.  My dream, anyway.

Anywayyyy... they came back to town just after New Years so we had a Mexican style dinner (as a former Californian I like to think I know my way around Mexican food, but I don't know anything about Central American food, although I suspect it's similar). Apps consisted of Ceviche with shrimp and scallops, and for dinner I made my favorite chicken enchiladas, cheese enchiladas and some Mexican style rice, and one of the guests brought an avocado salad.  It was all delicious, but the biggest hit of the night was the Flan we had for dessert.  I've made this before and it is incredibly easy, which of course makes it even better, right?  But honestly I was surprised at the reaction of my guests - they loved it and we finished it off quickly!



  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a small nonstick saucepan, heat the sugar over medium heat. Shake and swirl occasionally to distribute sugar until it is dissolved and begins to brown. Lift the pan over the heat source (4 to 6 inches) and continue to brown the sugar until it becomes a dark golden brown. You may slightly stir while cooking, but continually stirring causes the sugar to crystallize. Pour caramelized sugar into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish or a large loaf pan, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan evenly.
  3. In a blender, combine sweetened condensed milk, cream, milk, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for one minute. Pour over the caramelized sugar.
  4. Place the filled casserole dish into a larger pan and add 1 inch of HOT water to the outer pan. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until set.

This is actually one of the "mini-flans" I made before.  I forgot to get a picture of the bigger one I  made for this dinner.

**A couple of notes:

When I made this flan before I used a large muffin pan and made 18 or so individual mini-flans.  This time I used the casserole dish and there was enough to make two!  Also, in the muffin pan it did set up in about 50 minutes, but in the casserole it took more like 75 minutes (maybe a little more). I would suggest just checking to see that it's "set", however long that takes.

It's important to bake the flan pan inside another pan with the hot water.  If you don't it will crack and not look very appetizing.

Flan can be made with a lot of "extras" - fruit, etc., but I made it plain and honest, and it was fabulous.


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  2. Looks amazing! But the ceviche, enchiladas and avocado salad don't sound too shabby either.

  3. It looks fabulous! Oh how I love flan. Hope your new year is going well! Bonnie