Southern Recovery

As I am writing this, New Orleans is preparing to play in the NFC Championship game in the Superdome in New Orleans. Five years ago, after hurricane Katrina, it was said that another football game would ever be played in the dome. Win or lose – the people of New Orleans have something to celebrate. The people of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast are resilient people. Yes, some will never go back, but those that do are the people who love their cities and are helping to rebuild.

Here is an ariel view of the Superdome just after Katrina.
Here is an aerial view of the Superdome just after Katrina.
And now.

The Bay St. Louis Bridge in Mississippi after Katrina
The Bay St. Louis Bridge in Mississippi after Katrina

And now.
And now.

Some of my very favorite places – New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Great people, great food, great views, great music – just a great place.

Today’s before and afters are my contribution to

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch
Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe: Commander’s Palace Creole Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
Absolutely delicious, this recipe comes from the Commander’s Kitchen Cookbook (lots of other yummy delights in this cookbook as well! See details below the recipe.)

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 12 medium eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 ounces day-old French bread, sliced 1 inch thick (see Note)
  • Whiskey Sauce (see below)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Butter a large (11 x 8 1/2 x 3 inches) casserole dish and set aside. (Once in the oven, the casserole will sit inside a larger pan. A roasting pan would be good.) Mix the eggs, cream, and vanilla in a large bowl, and combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a separate bowl. This helps to evenly distribute the spices. Add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture, and combine thoroughly.

Place the raisins in the bottom of the buttered casserole, and add the bread slices in a single layer. Gently pour the custard over the bread, making certain that all the bread thoroughly soaks up the custard. Cover the casserole with foil, place in a larger dish (the roasting pan, if that’s what you’ve decided to use) partly filled with hot water, and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the foil, add increase the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Bake for 1 hour more, or until the pudding is golden brown and slightly firm. Use a spoon to make sure the custard is fully cooked; it should be moist but no longer runny. If you’re unsure whether it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it cool while it remains sitting in the water bath; the carryover effect will keep it cooking but it will not overcook. Serve slightly warm with whiskey sauce.

Note: New Orleans French bread is very light and tender. Outside New Orleans, use only a light bread. If the bread is too dense, the recipe won’t work.

  • Whiskey Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup bourbon

Bring the cream to a boil, combine the cornstarch and water, and add the mixture to the boiling cream, stirring constantly. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the mixture. Add the sugar and bourbon, and stir. Let cool to room temperature.






8 responses to “Southern Recovery”

  1. Nancy Avatar

    What a great post!! We are rooting for the Saints-even if we are from NY!!! Never thought we’d see the bowl so soon…

  2. Andrea @ The Train To Crazy Avatar

    Those changes are amazing. Now I pray the rest of the area continues to see that restoration. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  3. Chandy Avatar

    Wow, those changes are gorgeous!

  4. PATTIE Avatar

    Well, we’re native New Yorkers, but if the Jets can’t have it, we’re hoping the Saints can! What an emotional time for New Orleans! The bread pudding looks delicious. It’s almost identical to a recipe I use with leftover croissants or tea breads! Thanks so much
    xoxo Pattie

  5. Sharlotte Avatar

    We’ve been watching the game too and it just ended and the Saints won! Good for them!
    Katrina was indeed a terrible storm the the state of LA took quite a beating. It was so hard to imagine such devastation. This win is surely a shot in the arm for the entire state! Thanks for sharing your pictures.

  6. Julia @ Hooked on Houses Avatar

    We’re watching the game right now! It really is wonderful to see life coming back into New Orleans after such devastation.

  7. Sheri Avatar

    The katrina devastation was just amazing and so sad. Glad to see some improvements being made.

  8. Nancy Avatar

    Geaux Saints! My college student son generally works the games at the Superdome, but today he is watching which I find comforting because my sister said things in town were pretty crazy.

    Up here in Vermont we are watching the game! NO was truly devastated, and I still see some areas where it is awful. But, it has come so far since the days of phone calls with my husband with the thundering of the Blackhawk helicopters in the background.

    Thanks for the recipe.

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