Mardi Gras: Beyond Beads and Booze

March 3, 20140 Comments

Mardi Gras: Beyond Boobs, Beads, and Booze #bakespace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At BakeSpace headquarters, we’re getting ready for a week of food, drinks, and events inspired by the South. First, be sure to post a recipe to the cookbook of the week before Friday! Wednesday check out how to make the easiest hot sauce that tastes like a mash up of Texas Pete, Tabasco, and Crystal sauce. Then we’re heading to Austin on March 9th for our TECHmunch conference. See more posts here about TECHmunch later in the week.

But first, let’s talk about tomorrow—its Mardi Gras, people! a.k.a. Fat Tuesday, the final hurrah before the restrictions of lent begin on Ash Wednesday. At least that’s the original intent—lots of people just keep on hurrah-ing until Easter and after anyway. As a person who’s never actually participated in the legendary party in New Orleans (a regular Thursday evening on Bourbon Street did enough damage for me), I usually connect staggering bare-chested spring-breakers flinging beads off of or on to balconies with Mardi Gras, not religion.

Stereotypes aside, like any other holiday, this one has loads of good food along with the expected excess of drinking to celebrate with. For inspiration, I turned to some of our member’s recipes and found what I needed. Start the party with a pitcher of Hector’s Hurricanes by sprite. If you suddenly feel like taking off your top, slow up on the cocktails, and snack on a few of kcqueenm’s Mardi Gras Shrimp for sustenance. Then help yourself to a bowl of goodwitch_md’s Seafood Gumbo or some Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya by aleah.

Follow up your Mardi Gras meal with classic sweets like HolidaysCentral’s Mardi Gras Beignets or a festive and impressive King Cake posted by foodie444.

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I like this lemony and warm spiced bread pudding topped with boozy cream by one of my favorite old school chefs, Paul Pruhomme. It comes from his classic cookbook, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen.

 

 

 

bake space bread pudding (2 of 3)New Orleans Bread Pudding with Lemon Sauce and Chantilly Cream

Adapted from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

For the bread pudding:

5 cups (about 8 ounces) day-old Italian or French bread cut into 1-inch cubes (with crust on)

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (plus more for coating the pan)

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup pecans toasted and coarsely chopped

For the lemon sauce:

1 medium lemon, halved

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

3 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Chantilly Cream:

1 1/2  cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons brandy

2 teaspoons Grand Mariner

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons sour cream

 

Directions

For the bread pudding:

1. Coat a 9-by 5-inch loaf pan with butter. Place the bread cubes in the pan and set aside.

2. Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on high until very frothy and the bubbles are the size of pinheads, about 3 minutes. (Alternatively, you can whisk by hand for about 6 minutes.) Add the sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and butter and continue to whisk until evenly blended. Slowly add the milk and whisk until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the raisins and pecans.

3. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and toss, evenly distributing the raisins and pecans, until the bread is soaked. Set aside, patting the cubes down into the liquid occasionally, until you see only a narrow bead of liquid around the pan’s edges, about 45 minutes.

4. About 20 minutes before the bread mixture is ready, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the pan in the oven, immediately lower the heat to 300°F, and bake for 40 minutes. Increase the temperature to 425°F and continue to bake until the pudding is well browned and puffy, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and set aside on a wire rack to cool while you prepare the sauce and cream.

For the lemon sauce:

1. Squeeze 2 tablespoons of juice from the lemon halves and place in a small saucepan. Add the squeezed lemon halves, 1/2 cup of the water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

2. Stir in the cornstarch and water mixture and the vanilla. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl squeezing the sauce from the lemon halves. Discard lemon halves. Let cool while you make the cream.

For the Chantilly Cream:

1. Place the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk attachment (or large bowl and hand whisk) in the freezer for 10 minutes.

2. Place the cream, vanilla, brandy, and Grand Marnier in the chilled bowl and whisk on medium-high speed for 1 minute. (Alternatively, whisk by hand for 3 minutes.)

3. Add the sugar and sour cream and continue to whisk until soft peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes more (or about 4 minutes more if whisking by hand). Do not over whisk.

To serve:

Cut the bread pudding into 1 1/2-inch thick slices and place 1 piece on a serving plate. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon sauce around the pudding and top with a large dollop of the Chantilly cream. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

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