Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tropical Bread Pudding

It's not often that I buy a $6 loaf of bread. Only when desperate and no other options are available. Now if that loaf of bread is only half eaten and stale two days later, it certainly will get used! I know of no tastier way of using stale bread than in a delicious bread pudding.

Having watched the animated movie "Ratatouille" for the umpteenth time again recently, I was reminded of tastes that take you back to your childhood. Home-made bread pudding does that for me. Just the first spoonful transported me back to my childhood home, my mum in the kitchen whisking eggs and vanilla essence in her oval Pyrex bowl and the sweet fragrant smells wafting through the kitchen. I'm so glad that I can recreate those feelings with this pudding.

There is no exact science to making a bread pudding. It really does depend on the size of the slices of bread, the consistency of the bread and your personal taste. I like a moist bread pudding, with a tropical taste and not too sweet. Just like my mother used to make. It may never turn out exactly the same twice though.

In this pudding I've used dessicated coconut, almonds and dried mixed fruit (my mum used to use dried cut mixed peel). Eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla essence are the other basic ingredients.

I like it best served warm with soothing custard. Aaah... the taste of home!


You will need:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Greek style lamb baked with pasta (Giouvetsi / Γιουβέτσι)  

This particular dish really impressed me the first time I had the pleasure of eating it. My mother-in-law always makes this dish for me whenever I visit Greece. It's a simple dish to prepare with basic ingredients, but the flavours are truly awesome! She uses a Greek pasta called hilopites (χυλοπίτες), but orzo pasta can also be used. The hilopites (χυλοπίτες) she used were made from fresh local ingredients that she would supply to the pasta maker and needless to say they were of a truly superior quality. They are easy enough to find in packets in your local continental grocer as well though.

I've used a shoulder of lamb, cut into 6 large pieces by the butcher. I have also previously used leg of lamb to make this dish, but find that the shoulder yields a more tender meat. There are various recipes for this particular type of Greek dish. The recipe I have followed here is inspired by my mother-in-law, the best Greek cook I know!

This dish is complemented really well by the traditional Greek sides of Kalamata olives, feta cheese and crusty bread.

Eat it hot. It will be hard to further resist the smells of roasting lamb wafting through the kitchen.


You will need: