Bread Pudding Recipe(Pouding de Pain)

bread puddingBread pudding is really easy to prepare and can serve as a great way to use up some unused bread that is going stale. You can substitute this for the French bread and still end up with a great dessert. This recipe is over 80 years old and when I compared it to more contemporary recipes for bread pudding, I found that it uses alot less sugar than many of today's recipes for bread pudding.


4 cups of French bread, diced
3 eggs
1 cup raisins
3 cups of milk
1 1/2 tspn pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a 9 inch by 13 inch baking pan, sprinkle 1/3 of the raisins across the bottom of pan.
  3. Cover the raisins with 1/3 of the diced french bread.
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2, until all of the bread and raisins are used.
  5. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
  6. Add the milk, vanilla, and the sugar. Mix until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread and raisins.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Serve warm with ice cream.
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Chicago Style Pizza Recipe

Chicago style pizzaChicago Style Pizza is the Second City's take on the dish made popular in New York. The Chicago style pie is a much thicker, heartier pizza designed to keep you warm through the cold Chicago winter. There are many variations of this style of pizza. This one is based on one that is served at a pizzeria called Gino's East.

Recommended Equipment:
deep-dish pizza pan
pizza pan

1 1/2 packages of dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tspn salt
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water

1 28 oz. can plum pealed tomatoes
1 tspn dried basil (I used 2 tspn fresh basil)
1 tspn dried oregano
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
10 oz. mozzarella cheese
1 pound Italian sausage
salt to taste
extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced

  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water.
  2. Add sugar and mix well.
  3. In a large bowl or mixer, combine the flour, salt, and cornmeal.
  4. In the center of the bowl, make a well and add the yeast mixture, the vegetable oil, 1/2 cup of water.
  5. Mix well until the dough cleans the side of the bowl.
  6. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough, dusting it with flour for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth.
  7. Form the dough into a large ball and put it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel. Let the dough rest in a warm place for about an hour and a half. The dough should double in size.
  8. After dough has doubled in size, turn it out of the bowl and knead it again for 2 minutes.
  9. Oil the sides and bottom of a pizza pan and spread dough across the bottom of pan and up the sides.
  10. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork every 1/2 inch.
  12. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 4 minutes then remove from the oven.
  13. Brush the crust with olive oil.
    pizza crust
  1. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, oregano, and salt.tomato sauce
  2. In another bowl, combine the sliced onion and 2 tbsp olive oil. Mix the onions so that they are coated with the oil.
  3. Slice the mozzarella into thin sheets.

Assemble the pizza
  1. Cover the crust with the slices of mozzarella.
    mozzarella cheese
  2. Flatten the Italian sausage and spread it across the layer of cheese.
  3. Cover the sausage with the tomato sauce.
  4. Layer the onions on top of the tomato sauce.
  5. Dust the top of the pizza with Parmesan cheese.
  6. Drizzle the top of the pizza with a little bit of olive oil.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
Related Recipes:
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Chocolate Pizza
Basil Pizzas
Neapolitan Pizza

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Bacon Asiago Bread Recipe

Bacon Asiago breadBacon Asiago Bread is another great tasting bread that originates in Asia. It can be toasted and served with an egg for breakfast or served warm to start off any meal.

Making this bread is a two part process. First, you make a mixture of flour and water known as tangzhong. This is added to the other ingredients of the bread so that the bread maintains a soft and moist. This mixture should be prepared the night before you plan to bake the bacon asiago bread.

The second step in making the Bacon Asiago Bread is to combine the tangzhong with the other ingredients and construct and bake the loaf.

1/4 cup all-purpose baking flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk

2 1/4 cup all-purpose baking flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tspn salt
2 eggs
1 tspn milk powder
1/2 cup of milk
3 tbsp butter, softened
2 tspn yeast
1/2 cup tangzhong
crispy bacon
asiago cheese, grated

  1. Mix the flour with the water and milk until all of the flour has dissolved.
  2. Cook in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir the mixture continuously with a wooden spoon.
  3. When lines start to form in the mixture and you can see the bottom of the pan, remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a lid. Let cool in the refrigerator overnight.
  1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the bowl. Whisk together the tangzhong, milk, and one of the eggs and pour it into the well.
  3. Knead all of the ingredients together then add the butter. Once the butter has incorporated into the dough, you may need to add a little more flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
  4. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl.
  5. Cover with a towel and let the dough rest in a warm place for about an hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Deflate the dough and divide it into 4 equal parts.
  8. Flatten each of the four parts with a rolling pin.
  9. Cover the middle of the dough with asiago cheese and bacon bits and wroll up the dough into log and place it in a greased loaf pan.
  10. Repeat steps #7 and #8 with the other three pieces of dough.
  11. Let the loaf rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.
  12. Glaze the top of the loaf with egg yolk.
  13. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
    a slice of bacon asiago bread
Related Posts / Recipes:
Ni Su Mien Bao (Milk Crispy Bread)

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Cuban Black Beans Recipe

Cuban black beans in the potCuban black beans is a versatile side dish that goes well with almost any Latin American entree. Cuban black beans, combined with rice, provides all of the necessary amino acids that the body needs in order to produce protein. It is extremely economical and its popularity is unmatched throughout Central and South America.

The first time that I tried this style of beans with rice was at a restaurant called Pipos in Tampa, Florida. Tampa, with its large Cuban population has some of the best Cuban restaurants in the United States and Pipo's is no exception.

Cuban black beans is a great side dish for almost any meal. Definitely try them with rice, Carnitas or Ropas Vieja and fresh fruit and create an authentic Cuban meal.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Serrano peppers, diced and seeded
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 green onions, diced
1/4 pound bacon, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 handful of chopped cilantro, stems removed
1/2 tspn ground cumin
1/2 tspn dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 cans of black beans, drained
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tspn sugar
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add bacon and cook until just crisp. Remove and set aside.
  3. Drain off 1/2 of the bacon fat and discard.
  4. Add the Serrano peppers, onion, green onions, garlic cilantro, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes until onions start to change color and are translucent.
  6. Stir in beans and wine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  7. Stir in sugar and chicken stock.
  8. Reduce heat back to medium for 5 minutes.
  9. Simmer on low heat until ready to serve.
  10. Remove bay leaf.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
Related Articles / Posts:
7 Most Efficient High Metabolism Foods

Cuba [ print this recipe for Cuban Black Beans ]

Spam Musubi

spam sushi with pineapple
You are not likely to find Spam Musubi at your average sushi bar. The thought of using Spam in a dish may seem strange to most people, but it is extremely popular and common to find it used in various recipes in Hawaii and other Pacific islands. It is also very popular in China, Japan, the Philippines, and Korea.

Spam was introduced by the Hormel Company back in 1937 and its name was derived from "shoulder of pork and ham." It was standard issue for US military personnel during World War II which eventually lead to it becoming popular with many of the civilian populations in the Pacific region.

Spam Musubi features the classic nori wrapper with sticky white rice. The savory marinated spam provides a great contrast to the sweet slices of pineapple providing a taste that is distinctly Hawaiian.


medium grain rice
1 can of Spam
slices of fresh pineapple
nori seaweed wrapper
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tspn sugar

  1. cook the rice
  2. cut the spam into about 10 square slices.
  3. combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar in a bowl and mix well.
  4. Add the spam to the bowl and marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Fry the spam in a skillet over medium heat along with the marinade until the sauce caramelizes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Use the empty spam can to mold the rice. Fill the can 1/4 of the way full with rice and use a spoon to pack it down.
  7. Cut a piece of nori wrapper in half.
  8. Turn the can upside down on the nori wrapper and tap the top of the can.add the rice
  9. Put two pieces of Spam on the rice and two pieces of pineapple on top of the Spam.add the pineapple
  10. Wrap the nori wrapper around the Spam and the pineapple. You can use water to seal the nori wrapper. Cut the roll in half and serve.
USA flag United States Hawaiian flag Hawaii


sliced PicanhaPicanha is made from the tri-tip (also known as rump-cap or rump cover) and is considered the best cut of beef available in many South American countries. Here in the United States tri-tip is often divided up among other cuts for pricing reasons. However, you can get picanha at many butchers or you can pre-order a custom cut.  Be sure to instruct your butcher that you want the cap of the top sirloin.

If you go to a Brazilian churrascaria (or steak house) like Boi na Braza, Fogo de Chao, or Texas de Brazil, you will find picanha in abundance. The first time that I tried this dish was at a churrascaria in Rio de Janeiro called Porcão. I haven't been able to duplicate the taste of the picanha at Porcão but this recipe comes close.

The preparation of picanha is very simple using only a few ingredients. After the picanha has been cooked, you can use the remaining juices in the skillet to make a dark rich gravy that goes well with potatoes. You can use the gravy recipe described in the recipe for Loco Moco under preparation (step #6). I also like to serve this with the Brazilian vinaigrette relish.

Some recommended sides include:
Cuban Black Beans

Recommended Equipment:
cast iron skillet


1 to 2 pound tri-tip
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped

  1. In a mortar, combine the garlic, salt, and olive oil.
  2. Crush these ingredients into a paste.
  3. In a large bowl, apply the paste evenly on both sides of the meat. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
    Picanha marinating
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. After oven reaches 350 degrees, put cast iron skillet (greased in olive oil) in oven for 15 minutes.
  6. While skillet gets hot, turn stove top burner to medium - high.
  7. Remove skillet from the oven and place on pre-heated stove top burner.
  8. Put picanha in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes.
    Picanha in skillet
  9. Flip picanha and cook for another 2 minutes.
  10. Cover skillet with aluminum foil and place in oven for 25 minutes. (Do not cut into picanha to check if it is done).
  11. After 25 minutes, remove the skillet from the oven and let the picanha rest for 10 minutes before you cut into it. Cut the meat perpendicular to the striations in the meat (see below) as this will provide more tender cuts of meat.
    Picanha cooling
Need a wine to go with the Picanha? Try this one: Main Street Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

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Brasil [ print this recipe for Picanha ]

Brazilian Vinaigrette Relish

Vinaigrette Relish
Brazilian Vinaigrette Relish is an excellent side dish for any type of steak. It provides a healthier alternative to steak sauces or butter.

The first time that we tried this dish was at a beach side restaurant called Picanha in Baja Tijuca, Brazil. Picanha is actually a type of steak that is extremely popular in Brazil and will be featured in tomorrow's post.

Anyway, Brazilian vinaigrette relish should be prepared within an hour of when you plan to serve it as the vinegar tends to break down the vegetables over time and compromise the flavor.

1 cup diced tomato (I use romas)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green pepper
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

combine all ingredients and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.

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Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad is a popular side dish for plate lunches in Hawaii. It is a "must have" when you are making Loco Mocos, Huli Huli Chicken, or just a simple dish for picnics or cook outs.

3 cups elbow macaroni
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
salt & pepper

  1. Cook macaroni in boiling water until tender.
  2. Add mayonnaise, milk, and carrots. until well coated.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
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Basil Pizzas

basil plantIf you do any cooking at home, you should take advantage of the warm weather and keep a couple of basil plants on hand. You can get them at Home Depot for about $2 a piece and they will keep you supplied with fresh basil throughout the spring and summer. They don't require alot of space so you can grow them in the back yard or out on the fire escape. It really doesn't matter. However, they grow pretty fast so you will need to harvest the leaves regularly. These three pizza recipes should help you thin out the crop.

For all three of these pizzas, I used the Neapolitan Pizza Dough recipe and the tomato sauce recipe listed below:

1 15oz. can of tomato sauce (I use Red Gold brand)
1 tspn dry oregano
1 tspn dry basil
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a small sauce pan.
  2. Cook over medium heat.
  3. Spread a thin coat of sauce over pizza dough using the back of a spoon.
  4. Add toppings listed below.
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Form dough into a thin oval.
  3. Add the toppings below.
basil and pine nuts
basil with pine nuts
tomato sauce
minced garlic
extra virgin olive oil (on crust and drizzled across pizza)
Parmesan cheese
chopped pine nuts
chopped fresh basil (1/2 on pizza before baking and 1/2 as garnish after pizza comes out of the oven)

basil and zucchini
basil and zuchini
tomato sauce
mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil (on crust and drizzled across pizza)
thinly sliced zucchini
chopped fresh basil (1/2 on pizza before baking and 1/2 as garnish after pizza comes out of the oven)

basil and red peppers
basil and red peppers
tomato sauce
minced garlic
chopped red bell pepper (cooked in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat until soft)
Parmesan cheese
chopped fresh basil (1/2 on pizza before baking and 1/2 as garnish after pizza comes out of the oven)

Related Recipes:
Buffalo Chicken Pizza

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Loco Moco (lo-koo mo-koo)

loco mocoThe Loco Moco is Hawaiian soul food. It's not exactly a healthy choice but if you have a serious hunger or hangover this may be exactly what you're looking for. From bottom to top, the Loco Moco consists of a bed of sticky white rice, two hamburger patties, two fried eggs, topped with gravy.

The first time that I tried this dish was in Corvallis, Oregon at a place called Local Boyz Hawaiian Cafe (see photo below) which at the time was run by two 280 pound Somoan gentlemen from the Islands.
Local BoyzLocal Boyz logo

They served up alot of authentic Hawaiian fare at this establishment but the Loco Moco was by far my favorite. Over time I came to love this dish so much that I started to wonder where it all started. Who invented this dish and when? With a little bit of research, I found that the Loco Moco dates back to around 1949 and originated in Hilo, Hawaii at one of two restaurants: the Lincoln Grill or Cafe 100.

Apparently, there was a group of teens that formed a "gang" called the Lincoln Wreckers Athletic Club. The Wreckers used to hang out at the Lincoln Grill after their football games, playing cards, listening to the Wurlitzer jukebox, playing pinball, and just having a good time. They didn't have alot of money so they ate hamburgers or saimin. After a while, the Wreckers grew tired of the same old food so they asked a member of their gang, a guy nicknamed "Crazy" to ask the owners of the restaurant, Richard and Nancy Inouye to create a special dish just for them. That is how the Loco Moco came to be.

Note: This recipe makes 4 Loco Mocos. Each Loco Moco uses 2 hamburger patties and 2 eggs. If you don't want to make this many, you can freeze the extra burgers for later.

Recommended Equipment:
cast-iron skillet
rice cooker

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
9 eggs
bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1 cup beef broth
all-purpose flour
1 tbsp butter
Worcestershire sauce
medium grain rice

  1. In a bowl, mix together the ground pork, ground beef, 1 cup of bread crumbs, 1 egg, salt and pepper. Form 6-8 hamburger patties from this mixture. Each Loco Moco uses 2 patties.
  2. Cook one cup of medium grain rice in a rice cooker according to the directions that came with the cooker. When the rice cooker goes to "warming mode", proceed to step #3.
  3. Oil the bottom of a cast iron skillet with olive oil.
  4. Cook 2 of the patties in the skillet over medium heat. 3 - 4 minutes each side depending on how you like your burgers.
  5. Remove the burgers and set on a plate for at least 5 minutes. (Do not cut into the burger to see if it is done).
  6. Make the gravy - Add one cup of beef broth to the skillet along with one tablespoon of butter. Heat the broth over medium to medium low heat. Add a small amount of flour to help thicken the gravy. When it starts to get thick, remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  7. Scoop some of the rice onto a clean plate and form a flat, round bed.
  8. Place the burgers side by side on top of the rice.
  9. In a non-stick skillet, cook 2 eggs either sunny-side-up or over-easy.
  10. Place an egg on each of the burgers.
  11. Pour the gravy over the eggs, burgers, and rice.
  12. Enjoy your first of many Loco Mocos.
United States Hawaii

Ceviche Recipe

Ceviche originates
from Peru's coastal region. It usually features a durable white fish, fresh vegetables, and lime juice. What makes this dish so unique is that the fish is actually cooked by the acid of the lime juice. When the fish is soaked in the acid for a few hours, the proteins are denatured creating the same affect on the fish as a traditional heat source. Because of this unique method of preparation, Ceviche is rich in distinct, natural flavors. The habanero pepper provides heat to this dish without the strong flavor of a jalapeno or Serrano pepper.

1/2 pound tilapia fillet, cubed
2 tspn fresh cilantro, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
juice of 6 fresh limes (strain to remove pulp)
1/2 tspn salt
1/4 tspn pepper
1 red onion, sliced into thin sheets

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the red onion to a bowl. There should be enough juice from the limes to cover the cubes of fish.
  2. Put the pieces of the red onion on top of the fish mixture and then put the bowl in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
    ceviche covered by red onion
  3. Remove bowl from the refrigerator and then remove the pieces of red onion.
  4. Dice about 1/2 of the red onion and add it back to the ceviche and stir all of the ingrdients together.
  5. Serve with warm tortilla chips and guacamole.
Peruvian Flag Peru

Huli Huli Chicken

Huli Huli ChickenIf you're tired of barbecue chicken and want to try something a little different this weekend, give this classic Hawaiian delicacy a try. Huli Huli chicken is first marinaded and then smoked using Mesquite wood chips. Then it is served in a sweet and spicy glaze delivering lots of flavor.

Recommended Equipment:
barbecue grill (Weber)

chicken & marinade
1 pound of chicken
2 cups water
2 cups soy sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
6 garlic cloves, diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

3 6oz. cans of pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tspn Asian chili garlic sauce

2 cups Mesquite wood chips (soaked in water for 10 minutes)

Prep. the Chicken
  1. Combine soy sauce and water in a large bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger mixture to the soy sauce and water.
  4. Add the pieces of chicken to the mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
Make the Sauce
  1. Add pineapple juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ketchup, ginger, garlic, and Asian chili garlic sauce to a large skillet.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce heat to low to simmer until mixture is thick. This will take about 25 minutes.
Prep. the Grill
  1. Wrap the soaked Mesquite chips in tin foil and then poke holes in the top of the packet using a fork.
  2. Light the coals and wait until they begin to turn gray on the edges.
  3. Put the wood chip packet in the middle of the coals and put the cooking grate on top of the coals and the packet. Then cover the grill with the lid vent open half way. (The bottom vent should be completely open).
  4. Let grill reach the correct temperature. This will take a bout 5 minutes.
Grill the Chicken
  1. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat try with paper towels.
  2. Arrange the pieces of chicken around the perimeter of the grill. Chicken on the grill
  3. Put lid back on the grill and grill chicken for 20 minutes.
  4. Flip chicken and grill for another 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from the grill and place on a large platter.
  6. Generously glaze the chicken with the sauce that you prepared earlier.
Chicken before sauce is added

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