Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bread Pudding

I also made Bread Pudding last weekend, that I learned how to make in my cooking class.  Bread pudding is fairly simple, I had most of the ingredients on hand and it turns into a tasty dessert.

The best thing about bread pudding is it a great use up for day old french bread. You can just keep the stale bread in the freezer until you have enough to make a batch.  I didn't have any stale bread so I just bought a loaf of po-boy bread, cut it up into pieces and let it get stale on the counter while I made the gumbo.

What I really liked about the recipe we learned in class was it uses a package of Vanilla Pudding mix.  Makes sense right? Bread PUDDING?  It definitively added to the moist texture.

Then I combined the milk, eggs etc and poured over the bread and pudding mix.  

I let this soak in for a good 10 minutes before transferring it to the baking dish.

I baked the bread pudding for 50+ minutes, and it turned a beautiful golden brown.

I made the breading pudding with Splenda instead of sugar so my dad (a diabetic) could enjoy some.  You definitively couldn't taste a difference.

We also learned how to make a Praline sauce, which was AMAZING!! There was no way to make this sugar free (Sorry Dad).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Seafood Gumbo

Last week I took a cooking class at Simplee Gourmet. In the class we learned some local Louisiana favorites - BBQ Shrimp, Seafood Gumbo, Chicken and Sausage Jambalya and Bread Pudding.

I was always too intimidated to try making these, knowing they would never taste like my Mom's and Grandma's.  I was surprised to see how easy they were to make!

So I decided to make a pot of gumbo for my family this past weekend.

One of the big things I learned in the class was to get EVERYTHING ready before you start cooking.  So I chopped up all my ingredients before I even turned on the stove.

Then I sauteed my okra to "rope" it - AKA to make it not snotty. I only did this for about 10 mintues, but next time I will continue to saute until all the "rope" is gone.

The next step was the most stressful, the Roux. Watching it done in the class, made it seem fairly easy, just keep stirring so it doesn't burn.

Within a few minutes it was at the Dark Chocolate stage and ready for the veggies, I don't have any pictures of this step because I was moving quickly so I wouldn't ruin the Roux.

Then I combined the roux and veggies with the homemade seafood stock (which I made from the shrimp peelings.)

I added the crabs and let the gumbo simmer for 40+ minutes.

Then 10 minutes before I was serving the gumbo, I added the peeled shrimp.

I served the gumbo with rice and french bread, and it was delicious.  It reminds me of my Grandma's gumbo.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zucchini Boats

Since the garden has been producing loads of veggies, I've had to get creative with my recipes.

Average Daily Pickings

So with all the zucchini, I decided to try a stuffed zucchini boat recipe. 

I started by sauteing some onions and garlic in some EVOO.  I cut the zucchini's length wise, and scooped out the insides with a spoon.  I then added the zucchini insides to the saute pan.  

In a separate bowl I combined one package of fat free cream cheese, salt, pepper, and a little grated Pecorino Romano cheese.  Then I mixed in the sauteed onions, garlic and zucchini. 

At this point I realized I had more filling than zucchinis, so I decided to stuff some Anaheim peppers as well. I split the peppers on one side to remove the seeds and ribs.

Then I filled the zucchinis and Anaheim peppers with the cream cheesy goodness. 

I had some turkey bacon on hand, so I wrapped the peppers each with one piece of bacon to help keep them closed.

I baked them  at 400° on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet for 15 minutes, until they were browned on top and the peppers were slightly charred. 

It was very delicious!  I've made these at least 3 times already! It's an easy and healthy way to eat your home grown veggies.