A Bread Pudding For Ruth’s Chris’ 45th

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - July 14, 2010
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Congratulations to Jay Kaneshiro, director of operations for Desert Island Restaurants. Prior to his new appointment, Jay was general manager at Ruth’s Chris Waikiki Beach Walk and has been with the company since 1997.

In honor of its 45th anniversary, Ruth’s Chris is offering a special $45 dinner special, as well as a favorite recipe for MidWeek readers.

Bread pudding dates back to the 1200s. It was known then as poor man’s pudding as it utilized stale bread that was soaked in milk or water, and then sugar, spices, butter and sometimes fruit were added before it was baked.


 

Today bread puddings are much more intricate, but the common ingredients to all bread puddings are eggs and milk or cream, which form the custard base to hold the pudding together.

RUTH’S BREAD PUDDING

This famous New Orleans dessert has proven to be a Ruth’s Chris Steak House favorite.

* 2 8-ounce loaves French bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, toasted
* 1 quart milk
* 1 quart half-and-half
* 12 eggs, beaten
* 2 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 cup light brown sugar
* 2 sticks sweet butter
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 apple, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch dice
* 1 tablespoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* pinch salt
* 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons bourbon

Combine sugars and divide in half. Add cinnamon, eggs, vanilla, bourbon and salt to half of the sugar.

In a saucepan, combine milk, half-and-half and butter with the other half of the sugar and bring to a boil. Whisk milk mixture into egg mixture; add raisins and apples. Add bread cubes and let stand until soaked through to center. Stir in a few raisins from the bottom and sprinkle a few on top.


Pour into a buttered baking dish (10-by-13-by-3-inches) and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Note: To lighten up recipe, use egg substitute and lowfat milk. Smart Balance margarine may be used, or the butter halved. Use vanilla low-fat or nonfat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, and cut portions in half to make 24 portions.

Makes 12 hearty portions.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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