The week before Thanksgiving, our friend Anthony invited people in our department over for a pre-Thanksgiving holiday potluck. John and I naturally decided to bring two foods that we love, but that we wouldn't want just hanging around the house for us to finish off ourselves.
John made Alton Brown's recipe for green bean casserole. You can see (above) him putting the dredged onions in the oven for browning. No funyuns here! Also, side note, it turns out you can't get funyuns in Canada. Some of our classmates knew what we meant by funyuns, but others had never seen them. Weird.
This recipe was labor intensive, and I'd like to publicly give John credit for doing the whole thing himself. I know I write the blog posts pretty much all the time, but he cooks a fair amount of what we make. We normally work as a team, but he wanted to make this all himself to show people that he knows how to cook - it's not just me giving him directions.
This casserole tasted amazing. It's like I'd never had green bean casserole. It's made from fresh ingredients, so you don't ingest all the chemicals in funyuns or in canned cream of mushroom soup that would be in the traditional version (not that there's anything wrong with that version!). But that means there's heavy cream and a lot of it in this recipe. I'm glad we could take it somewhere that everyone could have some without us having tons leftover.
The same pretty much goes for the bread pudding that I brought. This is from a recipe that John's mom, Julie, sent me last year. She made it once when I first spent Christmas at their house and I was blown away! Anything almond flavored like this really knocks my socks off. The good thing is, it's not really that hard to make and it's a real crowd pleaser. It was completely eaten by the time we left the party (and I consumed a not-so-small portion of it myself, of course).
One of the best parts of the recipe is the sauce, which is basically made of a stick of butter, lots of sugar, and amaretto. We had a bunch of it leftover, so I froze it and hope to bring it back out as the topping for something else someday.
Mmm butter, 1/2 and 1/2, and sugar, boiling together at last.
Julie's Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce
3 large eggs
4 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup melted butter
1 loaf French bread (ideally, stale)
Preheat oven to 325 F. Tear bread into small pieces. Butter a 9x13 pan.
Mix all ingredients and pour over bread, pushing bread into the liquid gently so bread can absorb it.
Bake until golden brown, approx. 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Check and add more time, depending on your oven.
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup amaretto
Cook first three ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Add amaretto, stir to combine.
Serve in small dishes over warm bread pudding.