Capirotada, Mexican Bread Pudding for Lent

Recipe & Article From HomeSickTexan.blogspot.com-  I did not grow up eating capirotada. Truth be told, I had never even heard of it until a Capriotadafew years ago when I was at a Mexican restaurant on a Lenten Friday. “Hay capirotada,” was written on a chalkboard and curious what it was, I ordered some. The waitress brought me a small plate with a dessert made of toasted bread slices drenched in a sweet and spicy syrup. It was soft and sticky, but there were crunchy almonds, chewy raisins and a creamy tang to keep it from becoming cloying. Capirotada? I was in love!

 Capirotada Ingredients

  • 1 24-inch loaf of French bread, cubed and toasted (about six cups)
  • 2 cups of brown sugar or 16 oz. of piloncillo
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup of pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • ½ cup of dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted

READ MORE FOR ARTICLE AND RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

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Bryant Bagel Bread Pudding Recipe

Recipe from Teresa of San Diego-I created this recipe after my loving hubby brought home enough bagels to feed all of San Diego. I certainly couldn’t let them make their way to the trashcan, so….Bryant Bagel Bread Puddingevolved! Super-dooper easy to make, and super-dooper tasty to eat — ENJOY! –READ MORE

Sherman Oaks, CA: Señor Fred Mexican Restaurant

Located on Ventura Blvd, Señor Fred’s lovely inviting exterior does not dissapoint once you walk inside, more importantly it does not dissapoint when you take a bite.    Señor Fred easily should be ranked as one the best restaurants in the valley.  The layout of the establishment also provides multiple ambiances.  The dining areas whether outside or inside are romantic.  Prime spots for a romantic dinner would be the one both in front of the fireplace and a small elevated bungalow in the back of the bar area.  The red decor seems to fuel the passionate essence.  The outdoor area with its red draperies drive a Mediterranean feel.

Photo by Crystal Johnson: Churro & Chocolate

Readk the rest of the review and See food pics slideshow at: http://www.examiner.com/x-9408-LA-Comfort–Soul-Food-Restaurant-Examiner~y2010m1d12-Sherman-Oaks-Senor-Fred-Mexican-Restaurant

Atmostphere: Romantic but Casual, Regulars

Price:

Website: http://www.senorfred.com/

W Hotel: Dining at Nine Thirty Restaurant

On a Saturday night my guest and I met at Nine Thirty Restaurant,  the trendy looking new restaurant at the W Hotel in Westwood, CA at address 930 Hilgard Avenue.  Their claim to fame in dining is  “modern American cuisine with global influences.”  Before our tongues are privy to tantalizing global influences, we find parking to be scant in the area so we opt  to valet park.  Then we proceed up the glowing neon green steps, bearing left to enter the dimly lit restaurant.  Expected for the restaurant review, we were warmly received and given great service throughout the night.  We took a long time to order because much like the Cheesecake factory, the menu is extensive.  The sections are divided into small plates, medium plates and large size meal options.  The small meal options are mainly vegetarian.  The menu item choices are an impressive cultural assortment.

Despite, no love for onion rings I taste the onion rings which my dining companion orders and find myself pleasantly surprised.  In a Los Angeles Examiner article, I devote a whole story to what I consider my best onion rings experience ever.  I encourage reading the article at http://www.examiner.com/x-9408-LA-Comfort–Soul-Food-Restaurant-Examiner~y2009m12d10-A-Best-Onion-Ring-Story-at-Nine-Thirty-Restaurant-at-the-W-Hotel .  They are simply amazing.

Executive Chef Monique King provides a delightful evening of creative cuisine. As for my first item ordered, I go for the butternut squash soup which is rich with multiple flavors.  Every ingredient makes its individual mark yet congeals into superb fluidity.  For dinner my dining companion has the lamb chops with chipotle mashed sweet potatoes.  The meat is tender and the mash sweet potatoes is not over-powered with spice.  My dish is the Barramundi(fish) with artichoke hush puppies.  There seems to be a running theme of Southwest meets the Mediterranean influence in the meals.  The Barramundi is cooked to perfection with a just enough crispy texture on the outside to compliment tender flakes of meat in the inside.

(Featured in Photo: Barramundi with artichoke hush puppies)

The evening ends on a sweet note.  Desserts would include chocolate ganache cake with a rum raisin ice cream, strawberry shortcake and chocolate s’more bread pudding.   Two out of three desserts are winners.  The chocolate ganache is beautifully presented and more importantly tasty.  However, I yearned for more from the flavor of the rum raisin ice cream.  As the ice cream melted the rum flavor grew in prominence.  I give the concept of the ice cream an “A” for originality.  The strawberry shortcake comes across as spring delight, strong in citrus flavor among the various berries.  The bread pudding is too dry for my taste.  Great concept but it needs to be more moist. 

Nine Thirty Restaurant is a great night on the town choice.

Pricing: Small Plates ($10), Medium Plates (Under $15) and Large (Under $30)

Website: http://www.ninethirtyw.com

(Photo Credit: Crystal A. Johnson- Executive Chef Monique King)

Review by Restaurant Critic Crystal Johnson, Los Angeles Comfort Food Examiner and the Valley Scene Magazine