“One of our class projects for Sra. Fabrin’s Spanish class in high school was to bake a traditional Spanish/Latin American item. I chose these sweet dessert pastry puffs. Apparently, they are also supposed to be filled with something, if a dessert, honey. Depending on the region, these may also be made into savory treats, filled with taco or enchilada type fillings. The cinnamon-sugar type variety are great with vanilla ice cream.” – April Ferre
Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Gradually add the water, stirring with a fork (dough will be crumbly). Turn onto floured surface; knead into a smooth ball. Divide dough in half; let stand 10 minutes.
Roll each half into a 12.5×10 inch rectangle. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares (do not re-roll or patch dough). Fry a few at a time in deep hot fat (400 degrees) until golden. Drain on paper towel.
Serve with honey or roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Best if served soon after frying. Makes 40.
2000 Recipe – April Ferre – From Better Homes and Gardens Mexican Cookbook, 1977
“Anupama made this for Tim’s Mexican-themed graduation celebration and send off to Emory University in Atlanta. Along with Donna’s Margaritas, it was a big hit! So much so that it keeps being requested. We’ve had it for Julie’s Birthday and Delandy’s going away party as well.” – April Ferre
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until liquefied and golden in color. Carefully pour hot syrup into a 9 inch round glass baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside until completely cool.
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Mix in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour egg mixture into baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake in hot water-bath in a preheated oven for 60-70 minutes maximum. Check if flan is done by inserting a clean knife in the center and if the knife comes out half clean and half watery that’s fine since the flan will harden in the fridge when left overnight. It’s very important to let flan cool at room temperature for 4-5 hours and then place in fridge overnight.
To serve, carefully invert on serving plate after warming the baking dish in a hot water bath.
1) For first time flan makers: The recipe does not say that the sugar will go from syrupy to hard and rocky looking and that continued cooking and stirring will return it to the liquid caramel state you are striving for. Be patient, it takes almost half an hour. Keep the heat low and keep it moving in the pan.2) Keep your baking dish warm/hot in the oven while you make the flan, so that when you do pour your caramel (melted sugar) into it, the caramel doesn’t harden as quickly. 3) When you pour the custard into the sugared pan, pour it through a sieve to strain the mixture (recommended with all custard type dishes). Bake the flan in a hot-water bath. It’s not hard to do, and yields much better results. 4) Last, bake this dish a day ahead of time. Let it sit overnight in the fridge (cover with wrap) before warming the pan’s bottom in a warm water bath, then invert to release on a plate. Much of the caramel will have liquefied and will run over the flan.
“Too many taco seasonings have MSG, by making your own seasoning, you can eliminate the MSG without having to read all the labels.” – Calla Ferre
“For ground beef tacos, I generally prefer our other Taco recipe; however, for amore classic flavor it is nice to have this spice blend available. I do make a couple changes. I halve both the salt and the cumin and add 1 teaspoon Paprika for color.” – April Ferre
Combine oil, lime juice, brown sugar and spices in a small bowl. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness and pierce with fork or meat tenderizer. Place chicken and marinade in a plasti bag and refrigerate overnight.
Make Chipotle Cream Sauce.
Grill chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Assemble tacos with Chipotle Cream Sauce, onion, cilantro, cheese and avocado.
“It may be easier to open a can, but it is nice to have your own recipe because the flavors can vary so from brand to brand and it can make such a huge difference in how your recipe comes out. I’ve opened up many a can and threw it out because I didn’t like the taste. This way, you can also vary the amount of heat.” – Calla Ferre
“In the very first version of this cookbook, when I was preparing it for my move into my very first apartment, I made a little mistake in this recipe. Well, maybe not so little. The original recipe called for 3 Teaspoons of Chili Powder. I happened to know that 3 Teaspoons equals 1 Tablespoon, and it is easier to measure once than 3 separate times, so I converted it to Tablespoons. Except I accidentally wrote it down as 3 Tablespoons. Yikes! I had to call everybody I had made copies for and let them know, or else they would have had quite a surprise when they took a bite of their enchiladas! Oooops!” – April Ferre
“I’ve probably mentioned it elsewhere in this cookbook, but I am a big fan of fish tacos. I jump at the chance to eat at Rubio’s when I am near one. They have a fantastic Chipotle Cream Sauce for their tacos, and this is my version that I cobbled together from various recipes off the internet. It’s also great with chicken or carnitas.” – April Ferre
“I often like to add black beans to my tacos or enchiladas. While they are fine plain, having them seasoned makes for a much better meal. The quick version uses items in stock at all times in my kitchen, but depending on what you have in stock, you can add all or some of the enhanced recipe ingredients. ” – April Ferre
Add all ingredients to saucepan and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.
Enhanced version: If you want to put in a little more effort, first sauté 1/2 chopped onion and 1/2 to 1 finely chopped Jalapeno pepper in saucepan until soft. Then add spices and sauté until fragrant. Add black beans and simmer. Finish with 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and 1 Tablespoon lime juice.
“The original name from Let’s Dish Recipes was ‘Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice’. I’d say this is a bit spicier than I normally find at a Mexican restaurant, but it is close. Adjust the level of spice to suit your own tastes.” – April Ferre
“I was making a ‘Buddha Bowl‘ for the first time and wanted something other than plain brown rice as a base. The recipe had called for cilantro, so I decided to incorporate that ingredient into the rice portion. I had some extra toasted almonds, so I thew those in as well and it was a nice addition. This rice can be used with so many different types of food, from Thai to Mexican.” – April Ferre