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Food
Bread Pudding

A childhood favorite, with a very adult sauce. This is an adaptation of a recipe from Alzina Pierce of the Bon Ton Restaurant in New Orleans.

1 loaf stale French bread
1 quart milk
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) sweet butter, softened to room temperature
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup raisins
1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons whiskey

Crumble the bread into a bowl. Pour the milk over it and let stand for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the butter

In another bowl, beat together 3 eggs, the granulated sugar and the vanilla. Stir this mixture into the bread mixture. Stir in the raisins.

Pour into the prepared baking dish, place on the middle rack of the oven, and bake until browned and set, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

To make sauce, stir 8 tablespoons butter and confectioners' sugar together in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until sugar is dissolved and mixture is very hot. Remove from the heat. Beat the remaining egg well and whisk it into the sugar mixture. Remove pan from base and continue beating until sauce has cooled to room temperature. Add whiskey to taste.

To serve, preheat broiler. Cut pudding into squares and transfer each square to a heatproof serving dish. Spoon whiskey sauce over pudding and run under broiler until bubbling.

Yields: 8 to 10 portions.

"The Silver Palate" by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins

ROASTED RED PEPPER SPIRALS

You can roast your own peppers or use the ones from a jar, available at most supermarkets.

4 10-inch flour tortillas
1/2 cup Herbed Cream Cheese (recipe follows)
4 roasted red peppers, well drained
Half bunch of red lettuce

Spread each tortilla with cream cheese. Cut red peppers into 1-inch-wide strips. Arrange, in a single layer, in row over cream cheese. Cover with lettuce, leaving 1-inch border around edge.

Roll up tortilla. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 6 hours.

Cut each on the diagonal into 12 slices. (Ours didn't make that many.) Discard or eat ends. Makes 40 pieces.

HERBED CREAM CHEESE

This can also be used as a topping for baked potatoes, as a spread in pita sandwiches or mixed with a little light mayonnaise when making tuna or chicken sandwiches. Don't overdo the garlic because it becomes much stronger in flavor after a few days.

2 cups cream cheese (we used regular)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
Half to 1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper

In bowl, combine cream cheese, onions, parsley, basil, garlic, salt and pepper, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours. Makes 1 cup.

Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to three days.

Adapted from "Anne Lindsay's New Light Cooking"

Thursday, January 31, 2002

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