Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding

I have made many bread puddings, some of which I have posted on this blog. This one is a bit different. It has more of the flavor of a cinnamon bun.

8 cups worth of leftover bread (cut into small cubes, then measure)
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins

As I have mentioned before I freeze the heals of sandwich bread, or the end piece of a french loaf, the lonely leftover hamburger bun, and when the freezer needs cleaning out, I make bread pudding. Of course you can use fresh bread. Make sure you do not use any bread with nuts or seeds.

Heat your oven to 325F. Place a large pan with water in the center of the oven. Cut up your bread into cubes and measure about 8 cups worth. Place these into a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix your milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon powder and vanilla. Pour this mixture over your bread and mix well.  Add your raisins.  Let it sit for a few minutes so that the liquid may permeate the bread. Grease a bread pan and pour your mixture into it. Place this pan inside the large pan with water. Bake for about 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

For a sugar glaze mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 to 3 tbsp water. Drizzle on top.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Roll Call: Absent

Yikes, I've been "absent" for a while. I've been so busy with work and other obligations that I've barely had time to step into the kitchen, much less to photograph and write about what I've made. Luckily it finally feels like Spring here; the days are longer, and I'm sure I will be inspired to make something delicious!  I will soon be "present."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

Okay, so I've tried this before without success, but this time I think they turned out well. I took the recipe from "Three Guys from Miami."  I halved the recipe. Here is what I used:

2 cups canned black-eyed peas (the recipe calls for canned, but I cooked my own)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup flour
peanut oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)

Since I used dry peas, I covered them with water in a bowl and let them soak overnight. The next morning (they had softened quite a bit already) I made put them in a pot with enough water to cover by a few inches, a dash of salt and a bit of olive oil. I brought it to a boil and lowered to medium heat for about 1/2 hour until tender.

Strain you peas and run rinse twice. Grind the peas, and your peeled garlic cloves in a blender or food processor, adding a little water to soften. The mixture should be thick and lumpy. Mix in your salt and cumin. Saute your onions and pepper in olive oil. (I should have chopped mine finer than in the picture, but no harm was done.) Remove from the pan and add to the mixture. Stir in the flour and the lime juice.

In a deep frying pan add vegetable oil to a depth of about two inches. Heat the oil, not letting it get too hot! Drop your mixture by tablespoonfuls into the hot oil. (I formed small balls in the palm of my hand). Cook a few at a time until golden brown, turning occasionally – about three to four minutes.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with lime wedges and hot sauce if desired.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cuban Crock Pot Pork Roast

Several readers have asked me if they can prepare their Cuban style pork roast in a crock pot. I set off to find out. Obviously a large pork shoulder or pork butt will not fit in a satndard crock pot, but this 4 1/2 lb pork roast fit quite nicely. I marinated it overnight and this morning I set the crock pot on high and put the roast in there. In about 6 hours it was thoroughly cooked and falling off the bone, but it was pasty white and unattractive. I set the oven broiler on high and let it brown for about 10 mintues. It's delicious!

4 1/2 pork roast
1 head garlic (you can use less if you're not a big fan of garlic)
1 cup sour orange juice (or 2/3 cup orange juice + 1/3 cup lime juice)
1 tbsp dry oregano
1/2 tbsp rosemary (optional)
liberal amount of salt

Take 1/2 your garlic head, peel the cloves and slice them in half lengthwise. Stab your roast randomly and insert a piece of garlic into the meat.
Peel and crush or mince the other 1/2 your garlic head.  Place in a bowl and add your juice and herbs. Pour over your roast and sprinkle liberally with salt on all side. Marinate over night.
Place the roast along with the marinade in your crock pot on your preferrable setting depending what your time restrictions are. Remove cooked roast from crock pot, reserve the drippings. Turn your oven broiler on high and let brown for 5-10 minutes (keep your eye on it). Pour dripping over the roast. Slice and serve with a side of white rice and black beans.