Presenting a dish to guests in your venue is just as important as the taste of the dish itself. We love dishing up foods of all types for fundraisers, cocktail events, weddings and conventions. There is something to be said about a beautifully presented dish.
“Dress to impress” is a phrase you often here when one is being advised to kick it up a notch and present the best you. Do the same with your dish presentation. Guests remember both the look and taste of the food. Quite frankly, the presentation of the food is something that makes it more tantalizing!
Don’t spend too much time thinking about garnishes. Although they may add a bit of color, they don’t really have any sort of functionality for plating food. Ultimately, it’s up to you, but so long as you make the hungry guest desirous of the tasty dish, you have success.
In the spirit of feasting, we’d like to share one of our favorite dishes with you. Now when you make it, dress it up, and then dig in! Bon appétit!
Grandma Jo’s Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
1 – Lb. Butter
2 – Lbs. (approx. 1-1/2 loaf) Bread Cubes (cut in ½ inch cubes)
3 – Tbsp. Cinnamon
2 – Tbsp. Nutmeg
7 – Eggs
1 – Cup Sugar
2 – Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
4 – Cups Milk
1 – Cup Heavy Cream
2 – Cups Cran-Raisins
2 – Cups Walnuts or Pecans
-In a small saucepan melt butter; pour butter in an 8” x 10” pan. Add the diced bread and season with cinnamon and nutmeg lightly. Mix to diced bread as well as the cran-raisins and nuts.
-In a medium saucepan add the milk and heavy cream. Bring to slight boil. Whisk gently. Remove from heat.
-In a medium mixing bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk thoroughly. Once combined, add 1 cup of the warm milk mixture to the eggs. Once tempered, add egg mixture back to the warm milk mixture. Whisk once more. Add the custard to the seasoned bread cubes, pressing down gently to make sure bread absorbs custard. Let set and cool.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
-For best results prepare 1 day in advance before baking.
Jim Beam Caramel Sauce
2 – Cups Sugar
2 – Shots Jim Beam
–Place sugar in non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat. Sugar will start to dissolve and change colors gradually to a caramel color. Scrape edges using a steel spoon, preventing any clumps. Once clumps have dissolved, add the shot of Jim Beam to the caramel (it will sizzle). Once the sizzle calms, return to fire.
-Caution – When adding the shot of Jim Beam and returning to heat, it will catch fire. Flame will be 1” to 2” high. Once flamed, removed from heat until flame subsides.
-Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. The caramel will thicken like taffy. Keep heat on low-medium until sugar is smooth and cream is incorporated. Remove from heat and store at room temperature.
-Serves: 12 – 15