Sunday, January 4, 2009

When the Man Has Too Much Time...

Greg's been off work since Christmas Eve, and has had some time to play around - in the kitchen.
I came home one day to bread baking. Nice.
And he's made supper a couple of nights, and the other day had tomato soup and grilled cheeses ready for lunch when I worked extra hours and got home later than usual.
The other day when we were exploring the new HyVee in Lincoln, he picked up some French bread and was asking me if I had evaporated milk and condensed milk, and did I have raisins? Um, yes, I had all of those things, but why? Oh, he thought he'd make some bread pudding. Hmmm - okay.
This came a little out of the blue, but he's had time to surf the 'net for random recipes, so I wasn't too surprised. He was a little surprised, though, when I told him I was going to photograph the process and put it on the blog. He cooperated pretty well early on, but it wasn't long before he asked me to leave. I ignored him. :o)
Here he's checking the recipe on his laptop that he brought to the kitchen. He first set it next to the kitchen sink, where he was mixing things. Hello? I advised that he move it to the other counter and he ignored me. Then he tried to work with it in the way. Then he moved it. I smiled. He told me to go away. First he cut up the French bread. This bread was very fresh when we bought it, but it was extremely dry by the next day. He said that was the way it was supposed to be, and I shouldn't worry about it. And didn't I have something else to do?
So the bread is sliced and measured and put to the side in the large bowl, and it's time to make the custard. That started out with heated milk and butter. Notice his sophisticated stirring utensil. Yep, a butter knife. Whatever works, I guess!
Next he mixed up the brown sugar, eggs, and spices.
When the milk had cooled a little - he set it outside on the deck rail, then I stood out there and guarded it from a neighborhood cat - he combined it with the egg/sugar/spice mixture. We had vanilla from Mexico and he grated fresh nutmeg, and the custard smelled wonderful.
Spray your baking dish, then arrange the bread chunks in dish. The recipe calls for a casserole, but we chose to use an 8 x 8" pan. .
He sprinkled raisins ancd chopped pecans over the whole thing, then poured the custard all over.
He was thorough and made sure each piece of bread was covered.
Into the oven while we cleaned up the kitchen.
When it was time to dig in, he first whipped up the quick sauce from the original recipe, and I suspect he added something from one of the little bottles in the high-up kitchen cupboard. I was banned from taking any more photos, in fact, banned from the kitchen, so I don't know for sure. But I think so. Just a touch.
What I do know is that he brought me a dish filled with warm, yummy goodness that was a wonderful way to snuggle up on a cold winter's night.
He found the recipe he used here.
Bread Pudding
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar (white or brown, depending on taste preference) [we used brown]
3 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups bread, torn into small pieces (french bread works best)
1/2 cup raisins (optional) [we also added chopped pecans]
1. In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk just until film forms over top. Combine butter and milk, stirring until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm.
2. Combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 1 minute. Slowly add milk mixture.
3. Place bread in a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole.
4. Sprinkle with raisins if desired. Pour batter on top of bread.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Serve warm.

If you make the sauce to put on top of your bread pudding, adjust the sugar in the bread pudding recipe, change it to 1/3 cups sugar (the sauce has the other 1/3 cup in it).

Bread Pudding Sauce
1 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. flour
dash of salt
Mix everything together and bring to a boil for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside for 5 minutes, then pour on warm bread pudding.
P.S. BTW, remember he was asking me about evaporated and condensed milk? There's none in this recipe, but there was in another one, and he wasn't sure which one he was going to use, so he wanted to make sure we had all the ingredients for both recipes. Just fyi.

No comments: