Thursday, June 17, 2010

Born-Again Bread

In some places they use it for croutons, panzanella or fresh bread crumbs. But in New Orleans when you find yourself with a loaf of stale French bread you only make one thing - bread pudding. And since I am officially a New Orleans resident again, that is exactly what I did when we found ourselves with two rock hard baguettes.

I was happy to find a somewhat slim-downed version of the New Orleans staple and was eager to commence my first attempt at this classic custard creation. I was pleased at how easily the recipe came together and even more delighted with the reaction to the dish. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all and is the perfect solution for an otherwise unfortunate outcome of hardened bread.

New Orleans Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
Adapted from Cooking Light November 2002

  • Pudding:
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed stale French bread (about 8 ounces)
  • Cooking spray

  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

To prepare pudding, combine raisins and 2 tablespoons bourbon in a bowl.

Let stand 30 minutes.

Drain mixture in a sieve over a large bowl.

Combine reserved liquid, milk, and next 6 ingredients (milk through eggs) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Add to bread, tossing gently to coat.

Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with raisins, pressing gently into bread mixture.

Cover with foil; chill 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place dish in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

To prepare sauce, combine 1/2 cup sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Bring to a simmer; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup bourbon.

Serve each bread pudding serving warm with about 1 tablespoon sauce.

My Adapted Printable Recipe

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy 300th Post

This is my 300th post on this blog. I can't believe I have that many recipes behind me. I have learned so much and ate A LOT. What a wild and exciting ride! I still have the emotional scars from some of the tougher recipes and can make my mouth water at the simple thought of others. I can't wait to get into my new kitchen and start the second chapter of this blog as a homeowner in her own custom designed kitchen! Watch out.

Baja Fish Taco Recipe
Adapted from Cooking Light December 2002

  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 pound mahimahi or other firm whitefish fillets (I used catfish)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups presliced green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 ears of grilled corn on the cob, kernels removed from cob
  • 8 lime wedges

Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl.

Brush mixture on fish using a pastry brush or a fork.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish; sautĂȘ 5 minutes or until fish is done.

Cut fish into finger size pieces.

Combine chipotle powder, black pepper and sour cream in a medium bowl.

Add the cabbage and onions

and combine.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/4 cup cabbage mixture down center of each tortilla. Divide fish evenly among tortillas - top with corn; fold in half. Serve with lime wedges.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Along with all the other other exciting changes going on in our lives right now - moving back to New Orleans, building our first home and a new job for Forrest - I am ready to announce the most exciting change of all. We are expecting our first child and today I am officially half-baked! I am 20 weeks pregnant and find out the sex tomorrow. It has been a very smooth journey so far and I am hoping for a similar 20 weeks on the back end of this pregnancy. Both Forrest and I are elated with the pending arrival of our future foodie and we can't wait to meet our new little one. Stay tuned for updates on gender and in the meantime enjoy this perfectly fitting dessert that is only "half baked" just likes its maker.

Strawberry-Kiwifruit Pizza in a Cookie Crust
Adapted from Cooking Light March 2006

Pizza Ingredients
  • 1 (18-ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup Pineapple Curd (Recipe Below)
  • 8 large strawberries, sliced
  • 3 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
Prepare Pinapple Curd:

Curd Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Curd Preparation

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium, heavy saucepan, stirring with a whisk.

Stir in juices and eggs;

bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add butter, stirring gently until butter melts.

Spoon mixture into a medium bowl; cool. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight (the mixture will thicken as it cools).

Pizza Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place cookie dough in a large bowl; knead in coconut until well combined.

Pat dough into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Combine cream cheese and juice in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Spread evenly over prepared crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

Spread Pineapple Curd over cream cheese mixture.

Cut into squares. Arrange sliced strawberries and kiwifruit on top of the curd on each square.

Serve immediately.

My Adapted Printable Recipe