This was my first attempt at bread pudding, and I made it for traditional reasons: I had old bread I wanted to use up. I'd cut off the crusts from a nice loaf because I neede bread crumbs, and I didn't want to waste them.
I used Julia Child's method of custard: egg plus (milk or cream) equals 1/2 cup. Since I used two eggs, I topped off the measuring cup at one cup total.
I went light on the sugar out of curiousity. I added a pear because it was ripe and needed to be eaten. I added cardamom and orange extract to give it some life.
The results were ok but not perfect. The pear was soft and bland… I need an unripe pear, or better yet, an apple. Or I could use the more traditional choice of raisins. The results were not very sweet, so Ulysses and I drizzled it with some caramel sauce. The custard and stale bread came out great though.
Beat the eggs, then add milk and mix. Toss the bread and let it sit for a little while to soften. Peel and chop the pear. Add everything else to the bread mix. Spread in a greased pan.
Bake for 25 minutes at 400*F, or until the custard is set.
Rip the bread into chunks and put it in a blender or food processor using the chopping blade. Blend a few seconds at a time on low. You may need to pour off the crumbs and then return the stubborn chunks to the blender to start over. I was surprised to learn this works quite well even with fresh bread, as long as the bread is reasonably low moisture. Hard crusts will be stubborn, so either cut them off in advance or live with some bigger pieces.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute the bread crumbs until golden and fragrant. Add breadcrumbs and stir until toasty. These come out a little soft. They get crisper if you top an oven dish with them. (They're good both soft and crispy.)
Dice the chicken and veggies quite small. The ratio of chicken to veggies should be somewhere between 2/3 and 1/2 chicken. Add pepper and mayonnaise and mix so it's wet but not drenched. Start slow, but the flavor blossoms when you reach sufficient mayo.
Sort peas to make sure there's no rocks. Put them in cold water and bring the water to a boil. Then turn off the heat and let the peas soak for an hour or more.
Turn the heat back on and bring the peas to a gentle simmer. Mince the garlic. Dice the onion. Fry the garlic until aromatic, then add onions and fry until translucent. Dice carrots. Add everything to the pot with peas.
Fry the ham steak to bring out the flavor (optional.) Add to pot.
Simmer until peas are mushy - about one hour. Simmer longer to let flavors blend if you have time. Finish soup by adding salt, pepper, sugar, and sriracha sauce.
The soup can taste a little bitter and bland until the salt and sugar get added. If it's drab, add a little more–the soup will really be delicious once it's spiced properly.
Prep all ingredients and prepare rice before starting, it cooks really fast.
Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat, add oil, and heat until oil hot. Add garlic, fry for a few seconds. Add pork, fry for one minute. Add fish sauce, sugar, and pepper, and fry for another minute and a half.
Serve over rice, and garnish with crispy shallots.
This is from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, True Thai by Victor Sodsook.
You want to be sure the pork is done through. If you've sliced the pork thin enough the two and a half minutes is plenty, with thicker pieces you may need a bit longer.
Sweet and delicious.