Thursday, February 11, 2010


Today I'm getting together with a friend to help her prepare a Valentines Day meal for her husband. She's not a cook so I'll be teaching as we go. Fun! Here's the menu:

* Layered Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Stack
* Carrot Soup
* Snapper on Angel Hair Pasta with Citrus Cream (Bon Appetit, June 2002)
* Charred Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta (Thanks Colette!)
* White Chocolate Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Sauce
Let me know if you want the recipe(s).


  1. This seems like it would be challenging. That is so sweet of her! Do you think you've converted Marla into a cook? :) Please share the bread pudding recipe, and let us know how her meal turns out!

  2. Well, come to find out, Marla has more talent than she lets on. Her kitchen was outfitted and she has enough cookie cutters to fill an entire shelf of her cupboard. So, I don't think I converted her. We had fun though! Here's the recipe for the bread pudding:

    White Chocolate Bread Pudding with White Chocolate Sauce. Bon Appétit December 1996. Serves 6. Restaurant: Palace Café; New Orleans, Louisiana
    8 ounces French bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
    3 1/2 cups whipping cream
    1 cup milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
    1/2 cup sugar
    18 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker's),coarsely chopped
    7 large egg yolks
    2 large eggs

    Preheat oven to 275°F. Arrange bread cubes on baking sheet. Bake until light golden and dry, about 10 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to rack; cool completely. Increase oven temperature to 350°F.
    Combine 3 cups whipping cream, 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup sugar in heavy large saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 10 ounces white chocolate (about 1 3/4 cups) and stir until melted and smooth. Whisk yolks and eggs in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in warm chocolate mixture.
    Place bread cubes in 2-quart glass baking dish. Add half of chocolate mixture. Press bread cubes into chocolate mixture. Let stand 15 minutes. Gently mix in remaining chocolate mixture. Cover dish with foil.
    Bake pudding 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer pudding to rack and cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and refrigerate. Rewarm covered pudding in 350°F oven for 30 minutes before serving.)
    Bring remaining 1/2 cup cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove saucepan from heat. Add remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.
    Serve pudding warm with warm white chocolate sauce.

  3. Ladies,
    Preparation (with Adina's help) was pretty easy and is the key to simplifiying the process. Everything was very tasty but honestly the recipe's have way too much fat - cream in everything. I am not sure about the fish and pasta - both items were very tasty with the delicious (but creamy) sauce - however it was like eating two main courses for me. I think I would have preferred the sauce on the pasta and not on the fish. I used sole and my husband had sea bass. Both fishes were flavorful and really didnt need the sauce.

    The soup was good - but cream again and very filling. The appetizer was again VERy nice taste but filling with the cheese! And then desert - very rich, very good but barely any room for it. Ken preferred and made his with a bourbon carmel sauce because he thought the white chocolate was too sweet - not much more than carmel sauce in my mind.

    All in all it was a fun, highly anticpated meal with wonderful flavors. A little too rich for me - BUT I am a very bland eater who can hardly tolerate salt or sauces on anything. I learned so much and had a great time with Adina and would do it again. What fun!!!!

  4. Thanks for your comments, Marla! I did voice my concern about all of the dairy in the menu but we ended up with it anyway for one reason or another. The carrot soup actually had no dairy but, because it was pureed, it gave the effect of being a cream-based soup. Let's cook together again sometime!