New Rule of the Kitchen

Flan at rest in the Bain Marie or water bath.

There have been rumors that I am a good cook.  If I am, it is not something that comes easy to me these days.  Let me relay my example.

Currently two of my friends are under the weather and cannot eat solid food.  My idea was to make them something they might be able to get down.  After much pondering, I decided a flan would do.  You can make it ahead.  It travels well.  My friends like it (more on that later).  So a flan it would be.  

When I inspected my cupboards, cajeta was discovered lurking in the bowels of the pantry.  Two bottles of it.  So I looked for a flan recipe that called for cajeta.  Eureka.  I found it and for the last two days I have been collecting needed food stuffs from the grocery stores.  

This a.m. I dove right in the cooking the cajeta flan.  First things first.  Upon opening the bottle of cajeta, I observed white “dots” all over the surface of the cajeta.  Oh, I’m sorry.  Cajeta is a goat milk product.  It’s like condensed milk but made using goat milk.  Unsure if it was good, I called the company and spoke with a nice person, Theresa, I think…and she said that it probably had spoiled…and what was the expiration date?  Upon inspecting the bottle, I saw the date of December, 2016.  At this point, Theresa, became adamant that I should not, should not use it.  

So the search was on.  Went to our local Mexican food store that had two shelves of food stuffs and there was zero cajeta so I asked the man behind the cash register if he knew of another place that might carry it.  He said, “Santa Maria’.  Good grief.  So I sauntered back to the car and googled Mexican markets near me.  There was one in Los Osos.  I called them.  Nada.  Guess he was right.  

Santa Maria was out of the question.  Okay.  Needed to find a new recipe.   So I drove home and searched for flan on my machine.  I found an old blog entitled, “The Flan from Hell”.  So I pulled it up and recalled the effort in all its glory but the recipe was not written out.  Bummer.  So I searched far and wide.  No luck.  Then I retreated to the garage and brought about 10 different cookbooks into the house and went thru them.  Not one flan recipe of any kind in any until I looked at Rick Bayless’s book.  Voila.  A chocolate and Kahlua recipe.  Okay.  That would work because I had all the ingredients.  So off I went.

Preheating the oven, steeping chocolate and cinnamon in the half and half.  Bingo.  As soon as the milk mixture began simmering, Rick Bayless  told me to cover the pan and let the mixture steep.  I did.  Only I didn’t turn off the heat under the pan and in no time, the stove was covered with hot chocolate milk.  Eeekkk.  

After staring into the pan yelling expletives, I threw the mixture out.  Luckily I over bought and could recreate it.  

So….that is where the new rule became a thing.  From this day forward I hope to remember (big ask) to turn off the heat AND move the pan to another spot.  I do this out of a love of chocolate as well as the hate of cleaning and I hope I am successful at this new rule.  

While the flans were cooking in the oven, I decided to go back and read my blog entitled “The Flan from Hell” to reminisce.  I refer it to you here because it was pretty funny.  And the reason it is now so funny is that I am making the flan for the two women that I made the flan for in The Flan from Hell blog.  Now ain’t that something?  

The Flan from Hell

P.S.   In re-reading “The Flan from Hell”, I discovered the recipe called for using annatto seeds.  So I did a goggle search for flan recipe with annatto seeds.  And you know what showed up?  My blog!!!!!  

P.P. S.S.   Never found the original recipe.  Too bad.  It was quite good!!




1 comment

add comment
Nancy Cleland (2 months ago)

The BEST flan I have ever eaten was in Buenos Aires in 2008. We were there for 3 days prior to taking the Antarctic cruise. Greg, Terry, Al, and I had dinner at a great steak house. For dessert we had the flan. It came with a toooing called milk jam. Might have been one of the most scrumptious things I have ever tasted. The next night Don and Eileen arrived. We took them back there just for the flan!! Did the recipients of your flan like it?

Leave Comment to Nancy Cleland