A Sweet Taste Of New Orleans

Sam Choy
By Sam Choy
Wednesday - May 14, 2008
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New Orleans’ Chef Paul Prudhomme whips up the following Big Easy favorites on the show this week. This show aired originally in May 2006.

NEW ORLEANS BREAD PUDDING WITH CHANTILLY CREAM

* 3 large eggs
* 11/4 cups sugar
* 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 11/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
*11/4teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
* 2 cups milk
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, dry roasted
* 5 cups very stale French or Italian bread cubes, with crusts on


In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs on high speed until extremely frothy and bubbles are the size of pinheads, about 3 minutes (or with a metal whisk for about 6 minutes) Add sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and butter and beat on high until well-blended. Beat in the milk, then stir in the raisins and pecans.

(During the preparation of this dish, the milk and egg mixture might come across as being too sweet and the rest of the ingredients as being too strong, but it will all be absorbed by the bland bread. After baking, the result is a magnificent bread pudding.)

Place the bread cubes in a greased loaf pan or baking dish. Pour the egg mixture over them and toss until the bread is soaked. Let sit until you see only a narrow bead of liquid around the pan’s edges. Soak for about 45 minutes or, if possible, 3 hours, patting the bread down into the liquid occasionally. Place in a pre-heated 350 degrees oven. Immediately lower the heat to 300 degrees and bake 40 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425 degree and bake until pudding is well-browned and puffy, about 15 to 20 minutes more.

Makes eight servings.

For Chantilly Cream:

* 2/3 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon brandy
* 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons dairy sour cream

Refrigerate a medium-size bowl and beaters until very cold. Combine cream, vanilla and Grand Marnier in the bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Add sugar and sour cream and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes or until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat (overbeating will make the cream grainy; once the cream becomes grainy, you can’t return it to its former consistency).

Add the chantilly cream to your bread pudding and serve.

Makes about 2 cups.


BANANA BLISS

* 1/2 cup pecans, half or chopped pieces
* 4 large bananas
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
* 1 cup dark-brown sugar, lightly packed
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 tablespoons banana cream liqueur
* 2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
* 1 tablespoon cognac
* 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
* vanilla ice cream

For Seasoning Mix:

* 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Peel the bananas and cut them into diagonal slices about 1/2 inch thick. Set aside.

In a small, nonstick skillet over medium heat, roast the pecans, stirring constantly until they begin to darken and give off a rich toasted aroma. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, whisk together the water, butter and sugar. When the butter melts, add the seasoning mix and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, then add the reserved bananas and pecans. Continue to cook, stirring gently for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve warm.

To serve: Ladle 1/2 cup of the sauce over two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Be sure the ice cream is very cold and the sauce is still warm.

Serve immediately.

Makes about 4 cups of sauce, enough for eight servings.

(Watch “Sam Choy’s Kitchen” Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on KHNL News 8.)

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