Cajun-Creole Dessertnew orleans bread pudding

New Orleans Bread Pudding
(Serves 8-10)

Traditional New Orleans Bread Pudding is served with Bourbon sauce. Wow!

1 loaf French Bread (tear into 1" pieces → 6 or so C)
1 qt. whole milk
4 eggs (beaten)
1 C brown sugar
1 C granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4-1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 C raisins (soak 1-2 hours in bourbon)
1/2 C pecans (toast in a little butter)
2-3 T butter (melted)

2 T butter
1/2 C brown sugar
1-1/2 C heavy (or whipping) cream
1 egg (beaten)
2-4 oz. bourbon (to taste)

Bread batter: preheat oven to 350 F. Put pieces of bread in a large bowl and add the milk. Use your hands to mix and toss the bread, making sure the milk is absorbed. Using a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Add this to the bread mixture; then stir in raisins and pecans.

Bake: using the melted butter, thoroughly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13" baking pan. Pour in the bread mixture and bake for 35-45 minutes. You can tell the pudding is done when the edges begin to brown and pull away from the pan's sides.

Sauce: melt butter in a heavy sauce pan. Add sugar and cream, stirring continually to blend. Add a small amount of the warm sauce to the beaten egg, stir,  then add the egg mix back into the sauce pan. Continue to stir for least 1 minute more. Stir in the bourbon, blending till the sauce is creamy and smooth.

Serve: spoon the boubon sauce over each piece as you serve it...or serve the sauce on the side.

| See more Cajun-Creole recipes |

Tips & Glossary

Creole cooking, centered around New Orleans, blends French, Spanish, and African cuisines. Its origin is pre-civil war and more aristocratic than Cajun cuisine.

The word Cajun, associated with the Bayou backwaters of Louisiana, comes from "Acadian," French Canadians deported to the "Acadian" region of Louisiana. Cajun cuisine is simpler, spicier, and more countrified than its Creole cousin.

Blonde Roux (or Creole roux): used to thicken stews, especially Etouffee. Melt 1 part fat and gradually add 1 part flour. Stir constantly over medium-low heat till mixture is a light golden brown (10 minutes or so).

Brown Roux (or Cajun roux): used as a thickener for gumbo. Follow recipe for blond roux but continue stirring for a longer time, till you achieve a rich brown, mahogany color. Be careful not to burn it.

Cajun seasoning: a seasoned salt; buy it at most grocery stores or make your own in a blender: 3 T each of black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, oregano, and 3 bay leaves. Add the ground spices to a standard 26 oz. box of salt. You can also add basil, nutmeg, paprika, or thyme. Experiment.

Chile Powder dried, ground hot chili peppers; an ingredient in chili powder (see below).

Chili Pepper: any small, hot pepper, as opposed to larger, milder bell peppers; includes, cayenne (red), chipotle (smoke-dried jalapeños), habanero, jalapeño, paprika, poblano, serrano, and tabasco.

Chili Powder: different from chile powder (see above); dried ground chili peppers typically mixed with cumin, garlic powder, and oregano. You can make your own blend with cinnamon, cloves, coriander, even nutmeg. Briefly heat dried peppers and spices in a skillet to release flavors, then grind them into powder.

Crabmeat: meat from body, legs or claws of numerous varieties of crab. Most prized is jumbo lump from the hind leg. But for crab cakes and casseroles, use regular lump, as well as finback from the body. Claw meat is brown and stronger flavored, though also good for crab recipes. Buy it fresh if you can.

File Powder: also called “gumbo powder”; a spice made from dried, ground sassafras leaves. Used as flavoring and thickener in Cajun cooking, especially gumbo.

Holy Trinity: the combination of diced onions, bell peppers, and celery, which forms the basis of flavor in Cajun and Creole cooking, especially Gumbo, Jambolaya, and Etoufee.


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