I have been flitting about on both coasts the past few weeks and have eaten at every type of place imaginable. I have had white tablecloth service, ethnic restaurants, and little hole in the wall joints for various meals. After a drive from the west coast home I also experienced various McDonald's, Arby's and my first ever trip to Jack in the Box. (Please try not to envy all those road trip meals.)
I try and remember anything memorable I eat to see if I can replicate it. In Portland I stayed at The Hotel Monaco. The Red Star Tavern and Roast House is one of those fortunate coincidences when you have a restaurant with really tasty food in the hotel. I had a great dinner there and tried one of their signature desserts, Peanut Butter Bread Pudding. Do I hear a yum? It was very good and I made mental notes to try it when I finally was home and cooking. (Amazing how soon after a trip you start cooking again!)
Tonight we had a pretty simple stewed chicken and vegetable meal so it was a good time to give it a try. I used a basic bread pudding recipe but altered it so we would not have a huge pan of bread pudding.
Peanut Butter Bread Pudding
3 leftover hamburger buns ( or 6ish slices of white bread)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Serves 3 or 4
Grease a 3 or so cup pyrex pan. ( I used an 8x8 pyrex) I had 3 leftover hamburger buns that I needed to do something with so I spread peanut butter on each half. I did not measure the amount but use slightly less than you would spread for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the inside surface of both the tops and bottoms of the buns. ( I think the restaurant used true peanut butter bread in theirs but I was not about to bake bread just for a dessert) After spreading the bun halves, tear them into bite size pieces and put them evenly in the bottom of prepared pan. Mix the milk, sugars, eggs and vanilla well in a small bowl. Pour over the bread pieces. Turn the oven to 325 degrees and let the mixture sit while the oven heats. Put it on a small cookie sheet and pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the center is well set. Let it slightly cool and cut it into squares. Squeeze a small drizzle of chocolate syrup on the top of the pudding and enjoy!
I thought it was even better than the restaurant pudding. It had a softer texture and was
a tad peanut butterier ( Real word? Perhaps not, but at least it conveys the intention). It probably would have been better if I had taken the time to make an actual chocolate sauce, but I just grabbed the brown squeeze bottle from the fridge and it was fine. A dollop of whipped cream would have been a nice addition also but I didn't have any and even if I had I probably would not have taken the time to make it. It was tasty without it, but if I ever serve it to guests I will whip some.
I give this an A for taste and ease of preparation. Plus it passed The Hub test. He ate 2 big servings and my success yardstick is anything he finds "seconds" worthy.