Friday, May 05, 2006

Quatro De Mayo

I had an early Cinco De Mayo party last night. Mexican is not one of my favorites cuisines. Some of my guests were big fans of those flavors and some weren't so I had to tame the menu to fit all tastes. My main entree was Chicken Enchiladas in a sour cream and monterey jack sauce, with chilies and celery and onions in the filling. I cooked some chicken breasts in my pressure cooker -my favorite way to cook chicken when I need just the meat for chicken salad or a filling. It always comes out moist and perfect. To compliment the enchiladas, I made a Spanish style rice in the rice cooker by sauteing some onions and then the rice and substituting some diced tomatoes with chilies for some of the water. My final side was a cool black bean and corn salad, using frozen corn (uncooked and still frozen), chopped red pepper and black beans and flavoring it with cumin and lime juice and a little olive oil. It was very fresh tasting and a nice compliment to the creamy enchiladas and rice.

For dessert, I knew I had to make flan. Ihave neveer made flan. I am not a big flan fan so I looked for a recipe that I thought I might enjoy as well as my guests and ended up combining two. I made a vanilla bean lime flan in individual ramekins the night before and chilled them. At serving time, I sprinkled some fresh pineapple slices with brown sugar and a little lime juice. I broiled the fruit until the brown sugar was melted and light brown. I served it alongside the flan. The lime peel and vanilla seeds had settled into a pool on the bottom of the flan which was now the top for an interesting effect. The combination of the creamy lime flan and the pineapple worked out great. Plates were licked clean and I lost my fear of flan!

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