I am thrilled to say that this week has been a complete success. Though I had a few bumps earlier in the week, my buddy Julia came through as always. This brings me to a periodic concern I have about all the cooking choices available today. Are you testing your recipes?????? I believe the secret to a good cook is a fearless nature with perseverance to the core. You can’t give up if you’re going to make a great dish. There will always be mishap and the flavor combination that becomes disaster. However, if you don’t try to move forward, you’ll be stuck with the old. (Don’t get me wrong…I make my old hat turkey stroganoff a couple of times a year. I have stopped making it weekly though!!)
Now for the details…
As I said, Julia came to the rescue. I am confident that anything Julia Child touched and put to paper is going to be successful. I pulled out the old cookbook and looked for something a bit rustic and different than we’ve had before.
Boeuf a la Catalane was it!
This French dish comes from the corner of France near Spain and the Mediterranean. It’s made with beef, rice, and onions. It’s a stew of sorts. However, witht the addition of rice, I would call it a cross between a stew and paella! Look for recipes for this dish online. I’ve even seen a variation with green olives. Though, I’d be the only one in our household eating the dish then. Hmmm…never thought about it that way. This was good enough to not want to share. Maybe I will make it with green olives next time!!!
Now on to dessert
Since it’s Sweetest Day today, I decided to make my better half a favorite fall dessert flavor, pumpkin. I found a Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipe in the October 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine. I have to say, great choice. Crunchy bread crust, creamy custard, sweet and spicy pumpkin. A hit!!! The only thing to do better would be a nice vanilla bean ice cream scoop. Reader beware: A scoop might send you over the edge with this rich, filling dessert. I’d be happy with just a small, tablespoon size scoop…melting over the warm crusty bread. Maybe it’s time to go to the store and get some ice cream!!! Recipe follows:
Recipe: Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Summary: Gourmet, October 2007
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- pinch ground clove
- 5 cups cubed (1-inch) crusty bread
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Whisk cream, pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, and spices. Set aside.
- Toss bread cubes with butter.
- Place bread in an 8-inch square baking pan and pour custard mixture into pan. Let bread soak in custard mixture for 5-10 minutes.
- Bake bread pudding 25-30 minutes or until custard is set.