Thursday, 10 January 2013

Breakfast Pine Nut Bread Pudding

Hi, remember my breakfast sesame bread pudding?  Here's a similar one.  This one stars pine nuts, raisins, and olive oil -- a Mediterranean grouping.  I always see pine nuts and raisins together, especially in Sicilian cuisine -- pastas with breadcrumbs, pine nuts, raisins, and anchovies; rolled eggplants with ricotta cheese, pine nuts, and raisins; sauteed spinach with pine nuts and raisins; or cakes with the two.   Genial compatibility.  And then pine nuts and olive oil  -- pesto, anyone?  Oh this is making me miss Sicily.  Sicilian cuisine's got to be my favorite of all the Italian..wait. No, that's a horrible thing to say.  It's like saying which of your children is your favorite.  I take that back.  One of my favorite Italian cuisines.  Rome, Puglia, Tuscany - apologies.  It's just all the pairing of simple ingredients, and I love that they add raisins to so many savory dishes, I love that sharp sweetness that contrasts against the salty flavors.  Savory and sweet has always been a love of mine, like salty goat cheeses jams, roasts with fruits.  Mmmm.

Ok. So this was a breakfast for my sister and her husband again.  They're honestly one of the sweetest couples I know.  They've been together for... at least 3 years, I believe, and they still hold hands when they walk.  How cute is that?  3 years may not be a long time, but they spend so much time together.  I get sick of people after half a year, and that's seeing them a couple of times a week.  Some people are just really lucky to find that special someone for them.  I don't believe in soulmates, I think a lot of combinations and pairings can work, but obviously some are more compatible than others.  I'm just worried I'll end up settling because I won't meet someone more compatible in time.  Okay, I'm 20.  I really shouldn't be worried about settling yet, but today I was having this conversation with my mom and it seemed to lead down to this road or me just being a single dragon lady with an amazing career, which I suppose isn't too bad either.  Okay. I'm 20.  Ages away, Maria.  

Anyway. Tomorrow we're going out for a traditional Chinese breakfast.  May blog about it, if not, will definitely tweet  @Mariasisci

I've mentioned this many times, but just to reiterate, nothing starts your day like a good breakfast.  Yes, it takes a bit of effort, more effort than microwave oatmeal, bread and jam, or cereal and milk, but... mmm these things just make my day.  Or maybe just reserve it for brunch on weekends if you don't fancy waking up too early on a work day to do this. 

Serves 2
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups stale bread, cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp raisins

-Grease two ramekins with olive then dust with caster sugar.  Preheat oven to 180C

-Toast the pine nuts*.  When cooled, put about 3/4 of it in a food processor along with the sugar. Blend until a smooth paste forms.

-Add the olive oil, milk, vanilla, salt and eggs and blend until smooth.

-Break the bread into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour in the liquid mixture and make sure all the bread is covered.  Add the raisins and the rest of the pine nuts.  Let it rest and absorb for about 10 minutes. 

-Divide the mixture between the two ramekins and bake for 30-40 minutes or until browned

*Either put it on the top shelf in the oven and wait for about 5-10 minutes until browned and fragrant. Or have a pan on high heat on the stove top and put in the pine nuts.  Shake the pan about a bit and in a couple of minutes it'll be browned and fragrant, and that's done. 

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