I am making “Classic New Orleans Bread Pudding” as a sentimental tribute to all the Mardi Gras parades and festivities which have been cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sad, but true — hard to social distance with these huge crowds and parades — and they have all been cancelled in the greater New Orleans area. Most restaurants in southern Louisiana offer a variation of Bread Pudding on their dessert menus — I view this as the quintessential New Orleans dessert. My favorite bread pudding recipe comes from well-known Cajun chef, Paul Prudhomme, and his Louisiana K-Paul’s restaurant. His recipe hits the spices just right — it is something special. I have adapted Prudhomme’s recipe slightly and am making it in honor of Mardi Gras this year. I will miss the fun and revelry!
I have fond memories of visiting New Orleans in past years for Mardi Gras parades and events. Really, we love to visit the city any time of the year, take in sights and eat at one of the many wonderful restaurants. Recently we visited a small, eclectic neighborhood restaurant for breakfast. The mid-city restaurant, in a shot gun house, always serves very creative dishes. It inspired me to make a similar French Toast entree based on the one we ate at the restaurant to commemorate this great city and Mardi Gras!
This summer I tried cooking something new. Falafel, made from chickpeas, is a mainstay in the cuisine of the Middle East. But they are new to me. My inspiration comes from the tiny but innovative New Orleans’ restaurant, “1000 Figs,” and their food truck, “The Fat Falafel.” The falafel was soft and flavorful, elegantly served. I was inspired to make my own. Here’s how the cooking adventure turned out.
Several weeks ago, we visited New Orleans and ate at a tiny but exquisite restaurant in the mid-city section of New Orleans. All the food arrived at the table in a beautiful presentation. We tried the nightly special: grilled baby summer squash served with hummus, feta cheese and pumpkin seeds. It was a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. I decided to make my own version of our supper entree.