july

Recipe: White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Margarita Hard Sauce

I don’t know why I am on the bread pudding kick right now but if I had to guess it was the catering job we did a few weeks ago at Bay City Grill.  I made four pans of Bread Pudding with a Spiced Rum Hard Sauce.  People loved it.  Then when Studio 10 called last week I thought I could finally demo my French Toast Bread Pudding.  Tonight I was sitting here thinking of other variations.  I had some leftover dinner rolls, plenty of cage-free eggs, organic milk and demarerra sugar.  I also had some white chocolate I had planned to use to make Christmas Tree Bark.  The result of my tinkering was this little gem:

White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Margarita Hard Sauce
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 8
Ingredients
    White Chocolate Bread Pudding

  • 2 cups demarerra sugar
  • 5 large beaten eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups French bread, cubed and stale
  • 1/2 pound white chocolate chips
  • Hard Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2 TBL Key lime juice
  • Tequila to taste
Instructions
    Bread Pudding

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (American).
  2. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with butter.
  3. Whisk together the sugar, eggs and milk in a bowl then mix in the vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and set aside for about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle white chocolate, mix and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.
  5. Hard Sauce

  6. Mix together the nectar and butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  7. Stir together until well blended.
  8. Add the Key lime juice, stirring well then the tequila.
  9. Pour over the top of the bread pudding.

July Fourth Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta SaladThis recipe was one of the favorites from my days at Mars Hill Cafe.  It is almost too simple to make.  In essence it is just pasta tossed in pesto mayo.  You can easily alter to fit your own tastes like adding sun dried tomatoes or perhaps a little Italian olive salad.  Heck, you can even add both; I won’t judge you.  Listed below is the base recipe.  Don’t hesitate to freestyle.  Check this out:

: Pesto Pasta Salad
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh pesto
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  1. In a large bowl mix together the mayo, pesto and most of the cheese reserving a pinch or two for garnish.
  2. Cook the pasta to al dente and shock in an ice bath then drain.
  3. Add the pasta to the bowl and toss to coat. Best if refrigerated for at least an hour.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Going Coastal Recipe: Texas Smokehouse Soup

According to legend, Brunswick Stew was first created in Brunswick Bounty, Virginia in the 1820’s. The original recipe varies vastly from the contemporary. That first stew was made with squirrel, stale bread and butter while today’s stew is made using potatoes, chicken and corn. It is the perfect day-after recipe for that weekend cookout as it’s prime ingredients are usually leftovers. This is why it is a staple at BBQ joints from Charlotte to Tulsa.

When I ran the kitchen at Mars Hill Cafe I did a variation on a theme with Brunswick Stew that replaced the chicken with brisket, smoked sausage and smoked turkey meat or pulled pork, replaced the potatoes with kidney beans and replaced the corn with Cajun trinity (onions, celery and bell pepper). Too add to the BBQiness of the soup I use BBQ sauce in the broth.  Since BBQ along the Third Coast tends towards walking meat as to flying meat this recipe is better matched to our lifestyle.  The beauty of this soup is that you can use any smoked/grilled meat – chicken, turkey, brisket, beef ribs, steak, ham, pork ribs, chops, pulled pork and even leftover burgers.  You’ll find the recipe is a perfect use of Fourth of July leftovers.  Happy July 4th!

Texas Smokehouse Soup
4 ounces diced smoked sausage
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion,chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ounces diced smoked brisket or beef rib meat
4 ounces chopped smoked turkey and/or 4 ounces pulled pork
2 quarts beef broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 15-ounce can kidney or pinto beans
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup BBQ sauce; adjust for taste
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large soup pot render the sausage over medium heat until browned.  Add the trinity (onions, celery & bell pepper) and sauté for roughly five minutes or just until soft.  Then add remaining meats and cook for another 5 minutes.  Pour in half of the beef broth, the diced tomatoes, the beans, smoked paprika, garlic powder, chipotle chili powder then simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir in half the tomato paste, the BBQ sauce, liquid smoke (if using), Worcestershire sauce and salt & pepper to taste.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.  Taste!  If the soup is too thick add some of the remaining beef broth.  If the soup is too thin add more tomato paste.  Serve with Texas toast.

July Fourth Recipe From Nicky Morse, the Racing Chef

Known throughout the country as “The Racing Chef,” Nicky Morse has thrilled millions on his acclaimed cooking show on SPEED Network. Having roamed the country cooking for and with drag racers, NASCAR icons and fans alike Chef Nicky gave me the recipe for his luxurious Chili Corn which is perfect for your Fourth of July celebrations.Ingredients:

  • 5 Ears Corn
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice (Fresh Squeezed)
  • 1.5 Ounces Romano Cheese (Grated)
  • 2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
  • To Taste Salt
  • To Taste Pepper (Fresh Ground)

Procedure:

  1. Cook the ears of corn. Some people like to boil their corn, and some like to cook it on the grill in the husk. You choose the way that you like it best. They both will work.
  2. Mix the mayonnaise and lime juice together; brush it on the corn.
  3. Mix the cheese and chili powder together; sprinkle it evenly on the corn.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy!

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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