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Thursday, November 03, 2005 

Know What it means to miss New Orleans

Bon Appetit, in it's September issue, highlighted America's Top 5 Restaurant Cities. New York. San Francisco. Chicago. Las Vegas. And our beloved New Orleans.

The magazine had gone to press before Katrina hit. It was heartbreaking to look over their article on The Big Easy at the same time watching it destroyed live on television. But it is a good issue and the article makes one drool over the food city that was.

Take a virtual tour of The Big Easy. And the BourboCam is back and running.

And please remember, the affects of Katrina are still being felt...and it takes money to restore the city and people's lives. This Thanksgiving, the holiday of food, please remember the city of food that Katrina washed away. And please remember the musicians that made The Big Easy so "delicious".

For your thanksgiving, cook up a little something "Nawhlins" style...

Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding

1 loaf stale French bread
3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
3 whole eggs
1 quart half-and-half cream
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 Tbs. vanilla
2 Tbs. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 can pie pumpkin (the fresh jack-o-lantern pumpkin won't work)
1 cup pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
1. In a mixing bowl, blend the half-and-half, whipping cream, vanilla, and all the egg to make a custard mixture.
2. Slice the bread about 3/4 inch thick.
3. Coat the insides of two 10-inch cake pans with a generous amount of butter. Line the perimeter with the smallest slices of bread, then cover the bottom with an overlapping bread layer. Sprinkle on some of the cinnamon, then pour on enough custard mixture to soak all the bread.
4. Mix the pumpkin with the nutmeg and ½ cup of the custard mixture. Spoon a layer of the pumpkin mixture across the bread. about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle a third of the pcans across the pumpkin.
5. Put down another layer of bread, dust it with cinnamon, soak it with the custard mixture, and top with the remaining pumpkin mixture, and another third of the pecans. Finish with another layer of bread, cinnamon, and custard mixture, with the remaining pecans on top.
6. Bake in the preheated 250-degree oven for one hour and 35 minutes. Remove and cool. Cut into pie-style slices and serve either warm or cold--it's great both ways!

Serves 12.

and mrs. skippy and i were terribly saddened as we watched our favorite reality show this year, the amazing race, which showed the families rushing through new orleans, across lake ponchitrane, down bourbon street, and into the preservation jazz hall.

to its credit, the amazing race put a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode, stating it was filmed before katrina, and at the end of each episode, plugging the link on its website where people could donate to help n'awlins citizens.

but we both love the big easy, and were saddened to be reminded how beautiful a city it was.

god willing, it will be again.

Several magazines have recently had pre-Katrina NO features, it seems. One was about a husband-wife chef team that had left NYC to go back to Southern La and bought a restaurant there and I just found myself hoping that their new venture survived...

The bread pudding sounds great!

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