Bread pudding.... No discussion of leftovers would be complete without a discussion of bread pudding...
Got some extra onions, peppers, and mushrooms??? Make a savory bread pudding to serve as a side dish. Did you make fajitas last night, but you have just a bit left over after stuffing the tortillas full??? A Fajitas bread pudding makes a great lunch.
Easily adapted for a single serving (while your hard working wife is out earning the daily bread), or expanded to a side dish for a full meal or even a weeknight meal in itself.
But, of course, bread puddings are best known for desserts. Bake an apple pie, next day make a bread pudding. Grill fresh pineapple one night, next night make a Pina Colada bread pudding. The ideas and the possibilities are nearly endless.
And here's my ad... (BTW, remember I am hosting a contest for BSI this week. This would certainly qualify, as I used my leftover Orange Peels as the flavoring for the bread pudding. Click HERE to see the details of my BSI secret ingredient contest (along with a great prize). But I digress from the recipe). The deadline is Sunday night, I already have half a dozen entries, with promises for more to come.OK, back to the Bread Pudding. This recipe is easily adapted for whatever you may wish to put in. Just leave out the Candied Orange Peels and pop in the ingredients you think would make a sweet dessert. For an alternative savory bread pudding, take a look at this post and see if you are inspired.
First up, the bread. I had the last few slices of a loaf of ENG BREAD (my own version of a sweet French bread, named for my deceased beloved cat... But I morosely digress). Any bread works. If all you have is a loaf of Wonder Bread (shame on you, but I judgmentally digress), BUT, the more stale the bread is, the better. You are adding wet into the bread. If the bread is fresh, it will not absorb the wet. If you do have fresh bread, take a minute and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to slightly toast it.
Next is the flavoring... As you can tell from the title, I am using some of my leftover Candied Orange Peels. I have already used some as garnishes for cupcakes, and in Chocolate Chip Cookies. I am just an empty nester, so using leftovers to feed my wife and me is a bit of a hobby/specialty.
Come back tomorrow to see my final use for the Candied Orange Peels.
But, as I have said. Easily adapted for whatever item you may want to turn into a dessert. Bread pudding is so much fun to experiment with.
Finally, size... No matter what that rotten girl from my past said, size does not matter. At least for bread pudding. I can adapt this recipe to make a single serving (as shown in the photo), or for a big batch that will feed a dozen people (as the recipe to follow will).
I Just LOVE Bread Pudding!
OK, here's what I did...
1 loaf of stale French Bread
4 cups Whole Milk
2 cups Sugar
8 TBS Butter, Melted
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 CUP of diced Candied Orange Peels! I did save a few whole ones to garnish the top.
- Combine all ingredients, moisture should be soggy, but not soupy.
- Pour into buttered 9"X12" baking dish
- Place into non-preheated oven
- Bake at 350 degrees for @1 hour, until the top is crunchy brown (the interior will be a soft custard, great texture contrast)
- Serve with warm Cointreau (an Orange flavored Liqueur) sauce
I just love this picture with the booze sauce glistening.
Traditionally, a New Orleans style Bread Pudding is served with a whiskey sauce. Of course, if you are making a flavored bread pudding (like this orange one), a flavored liqueur can easily be substituted. Of course, a "virgin" sauce can be made with no booze added.
And here's the recipe...
1 stick Butter
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
2 egg Yolks (yes, raw, get over it)
1/2 cup Booze (in this case, Cointreau. Traditionally, whiskey).
- Cream butter and sugar over medium heat until all butter is absorbed.
- Remove from heat and add egg yolks, stirring continually.
- Add booze to taste!
- Serve warm over warm bread pudding!!!
Just as good as it sounds!!!
Candied Orange Peels are very easy to make. I did a post a few days ago with more details, which you can find by clicking HERE.
But, real quick, here are the basics...
1 cups Sugar, plus 1/2 cup for coating
1 cup Water
- Cut tops and bottoms off of the orange and score the orange into quarters, cutting down only into the peel and not into the fruit. Peel the skin and pith of the orange in large pieces, use the orange for another recipe (LEFTOVERS!!!).
- Cut the peel into strips about 1/4-inch wide.
- Put the orange peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat. Then pour off the water. Repeat 1 or 2 more times depending up how assertive you want the orange peels to be. (Test kitchen liked the texture of a 3 time blanch best, it also mellowed the bitterness. But it is a matter of preference.) Remove the orange peels from the pan.
- Whisk the sugar with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 9 minutes
- (If you took the sugar's temperature with a candy thermometer it would be at the soft thread stage, 230 to 234 degrees F.) Add the peels and simmer gently, reducing heat to retain a simmer.
- Cook until the peels get translucent, about 45 minutes. Resist the urge to stir the peels or you may introduce sugar crystals into the syrup. If necessary, swirl the pan to move the peels around.
- Drain the peels, (save the syrup for ice tea.) Roll the peels in sugar and dry on a rack, for 4 to 5 hours. Return to the sugar to store.