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FLAN (Mexican Custard)

Ingredients:

6 dabs brown sugar, about the size of walnuts
1 quart milk
1/2 cup sugar (3/4 if you like your custard on the sweet side)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon grated lemon or orange rind (optional)
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Cooking Instructions:

To caramelize custard cups -- Put the dabs of brown sugar in the bottom of 6 individual cups, one to a cup. Place cups in hot oven. Move the cups from side to side as sugar melts so the surface of each cup is covered with melted brown sugar.

For custard -- Combine the milk, sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and lemon rind and cook over a very low flame, stirring constantly, until mixture has reached a custard stage.

Cool.

Combine the lightly beaten yolks and whites to add a custard. Mix well. Pour the custard into the little cups and place them in a larger pan containing hot water. Bake in a slow oven (300 degrees) for about 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center of a cup comes out clean. Cool. Chill several hours before serving.

Serving Suggestions:

If you like, pour 6 or 7 tablespoons of warmed brandy or rum over the cold flan
at serving time and ignite when carrying to the table.

Additional Comments:

For Coconut Flan, add 1/2 cup grated canned coconut.

CHICKEN WITH RICE

Ingredients:

1 cup rice
1/2 clove of garlic
1/2 onion
4 black peppers
Salt to taste
Cumin seed to taste
1 frying chicken 2-3 pounds, cut into serving pieces
Shortening for frying
3 Chorizos or pork sausages (optional)
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups chicken broth (canned may be used)
1/4 teaspoon saffron (dissolved in the chicken broth)
2 small green peppers, sliced
One 2-oz can pimientos, chopped

Cooking Instructions:

Soak rice in warm water for 15 minutes and drain. Grind together the garlic, onion, black peppers, salt and cumin seed and spread over raw chicken pieces.

Melt shortening in large skillet and brown sausages well. Remove sausages.

Brown chicken in the fat, add rice, and cook until rice gets lightly browned. Add tomatoes and cook 5 or 6 minutes. Add the broth, in which saffron has been dissolved, sausages and green peppers.

Cover and cook slowly until rice, chicken and sausages are done--about 35 - 45 minutes. Add a bit more broth if necessary.

A few minutes before rice is done, add the chopped pinientos and mix them through with the chicken and rice. All the liquid should be absorbed into rice during cooking process.

Season with additional salt if necessary.

FISH, VERACRUZ STYLE

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons oil
1 no. 2 1/2 can tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
Salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped well
6 - 8 red snapper fillets
1 small can pimientos, chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons capers
One 3-oz jar green olives, pitted and chopped coarsely
Parsley, fresh, chopped as a garnish
3 boiled potatoes (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy skillet. Combine the tomatoes with the sugar, chili powder, allspice, garlic, orange rind, salt, pepper and onion. Blend well and simmer in oil for about 10 minutes, covered. Coat baking dish with remaining oil. Put the fish in baking dish; add the pimientos, capers and olives to the tomato mixture and pour over the fish.

Bake in a moderate (350 degree) oven for about 30-35 minutes or until fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork.

Sprinkle with just enough fresh parsley to add a little color.

Additional Comments:

Serve the potatoes on the side or some people prefer to add cubed, hot, boiled potatoes
to the fish during the last 5-7 minutes of cooking.

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