Monthly Archives: March 2014

Cajun Shrimp Bruchettas

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 Cajun Shrimp Bruschetta
Make the sauce the day before and refrigerate for the ingredients to meld well.
Serve on bruchettas or some good crunchy crackers; if you wish, spread some whipped cream cheese before topping with the sauce; be sure to place one good sized basil leaf as the very last topping.
Ingredients for sauce:
1. 1-2 tblsp. olive oil
2. 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3. 1 small onion, finely chopped
4. 2 or 3 small garlic cloves minced
5. S&P to taste
6. Cayenne to taste
7. 1/4 C. finely chopped Basil
8. 3/4 to 1 C. bay shrimp—chopped
9. 1 C. canned crushed tomatoes or 3-4 fresh finely chopped Roma tomatoes

Ingredients needed for the finished product
a. Whipped cream cheese to spread on bruschettas before putting the shrimp mixture on.
b. Bruschettas that you have made or bought
c. Whole basil leaves for very last topping

Directions:
1. In a medium sized frying pan, sauté the celery, onion and garlic. Season with S&P and cayenne to taste.
2. Add the chopped basil, chopped shrimp and the canned crushed tomatoes if you are using that or the fresh chopped tomatoes if you are using that. Sauté over low heat uncovered for 5-10 minutes.
3. Place sauce on bruschettas or some nice crackers which, if you wish, have been spread first with whipped cream cheese; top it all with a large whole basil leaf.
4. Serve and enjoy.

Below are 2 ways to make your bruschettas: (PS—this is an Italian word so the “ch” is pronounced as a “k” for a totally correct pronunciation. )
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Slice the baguette on a diagonal into about 1/2 inch thick slices. Using a pastry brush, coat one side of each slice with olive oil. Place slices on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven and baking sheet. Place the tray of bread slices in the 450 degree oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Serve olive oil side up.
3. Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.

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Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

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DSCN0471

Bread Pudding with Whiskey (or whatever flavor you prefer) Sauce
Serves 8 to 10 serving
Ingredients:
• 1 pound loaf Soft French Bread Loaf or Challah bread,( crusts trimmed if you wish however I don’t do that), bread cut into 1-inch cubes.
• 8 eggs
• 1 ½ C. whipping cream
• 2 ½ C. whole milk
• 1 ¼ C. sugar
• Optional: Some whole caramelized (by you) pecans to add after you have baked the dish
• Optional: 1 drained can of fruit cocktail if you wish to make it “Deep Southern”. Sprinkle the fruit on the pre-baked pudding after you have poured the custard over it. Then press down all to make sure all is submerged. When serving in this manner, place a mint leaf on top of all.

Directions for Bread Pudding:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees DSCN0473
• Lightly butter a 13X9X2-inch baking dish
• Arrange the bread cubes in the prepared dish
• In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk and sugar to blend.
• Pour the custard over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes gently to submerge.
• Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture.
• Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
• After 2 or more hours, remove dish from frig. and bring up to room temp.
• Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes. Here in our altitude it took almost 60 minutes.

Ingredients for your sauce:
• ½ cup whipping cream
• ½ cup whole milk
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• ¼ cup amaretto or whatever liquor you prefer
• 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions for the sauce:
• Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat, STIRRING FREQUENTLY.
• In a small bowl, mix the amaretto and cornstarch to blend and then whisk into the cream mixture.
• Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, about 2 minutes.
• Set aside and keep warm.
• This sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate and re-warm before serving.

End result:
Spoon the bread pudding into bowls, drizzle with the warm amaretto sauce, serve, and don’t plan for any left-over’s.