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White Chocolate and Cherry Bread Pudding with Crème Anglaise and Fig Puree

1 (18-inch) baguette, cut into 1-inch slices 

8 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped 

1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) dried cherries 

1 cup sugar  

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

6 large eggs

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed


Preheat oven to 325°F.

In large mixing bowl, toss together baguette slices, white chocolate, and dried cherries. Set aside. In second large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Measure out 1/4 cup of mixture into small bowl and set aside.

In third large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk, and vanilla. Whisk egg mixture into larger bowl of sugar mixture, then pour over bread-chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

Pour batter into 9-by 13-by 2-inch baking pan and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar mixture. Scatter butter cubes over top and bake until golden brown and just set in middle, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve warm or at room temperature with White Chocolate Grand Marnier Crème and a Spoonful of Fig Puree.


White Chocolate Grand Marnier Crème

½ cup heavy cream

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped

Splash of Grand Marnier

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon vanilla


Bring the cream to a bare simmer in a saucepan. Meanwhile, place chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Pour the hot cream into the chocolate and stir or whisk until smooth and combined. Add the Grand Marnier to taste. Stir to combine and serve.


Black Mission Fig Puree

10 Dried Black Mission Figs

2 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1 cup dry red wine


Sauté figs with butter until soft. Add the wine and sugar and cook for 10 minutes. Puree until a thick puree.


Fresh Cranberry Horseradish Mignonette 

1 Tablespoon minced shallots

1/3 cup white wine or champagne vinegar

1 Tablespoon finely minced cranberries

Pinch of Sugar

Cracked black pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon grated horseradish


Stir shallots into vinegar. Add in cranberries and a pinch of sugar. Add cracked black pepper to taste. Serve over freshly shucked oysters.


Pan Seared Roast Tenderloin of Beef

Serves 8 to 12

1 (3 1/2-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied

1 tablespoon olive oil (or rendered duck fat)

Fresh thyme sprigs


Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 450.

Bring the tenderloin to room temperature. Season generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil (or duck fat) in a large, heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add tenderloin and sprigs of thyme and sear the meat well on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Place in the oven and roast to desired temperature, about 25 minutes for medium-rare.

Remove the roast from the oven and place on a cutting board. Loosely cover and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with Olive Oil and Rosemary Oven Roasted Carrots and Potato Parsnip Puree.


Olive Oil and Rosemary Roasted Carrots

Simplistic and delicious! High heat roasting of the carrots intensifies the flavor and almost caramelizes them…

1 pound of carrots (if using whole carrots, peel and cut into 2″ diagonal sections )

1 head of garlic finely diced

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Sea Salt

Freshly cracked black pepper 


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel garlic cloves and finely dice. Toss all ingredients in a roasting pan that is large enough to hold everything. Roast approximately 20-30 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately.


Potato Parsnip Purée

Serves 8 to 10

2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 pounds russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 Tablespoon plus

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Cover parsnips and potatoes with cold water by 1 inch in a 6- to 8-quart pot, then add 1Tablespoon salt and bring to a boil, partially covered. Reduce heat and simmer vegetables, partially covered, until very tender but not falling apart, 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring cream, butter, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to a simmer in 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat. Drain vegetables in a colander.

Add to cream mixture and mash and then whisk to a smooth consistency.