As a number of people truly imbibe the spirit of generosity in the Holy Month of Ramadan, there are a number of companies who share free Iftar and Suhoor packed meals to their employees, whether Muslim or not, who work during the odd hours of 24-hour operations. The Husband is luckily employed by one of those generous companies. Hence, I also get to enjoy the fruits of the free Iftar and Suhoor meals. Hehehe!
Why so? Doesn’t The Husband get to enjoy and finish the free meals?
Well, the meals are quite hefty. Imagine: 2-3 pieces of dates, 3-4 Arabic bread rounds, 3 pieces of Arabic pastries like kibbeh, spiced ground meat encased in a crunchy bulgur wheat mini football, a bowl of salad and / or a small plate of hummus, a humongous plate of rice and grilled meats like kebab or stews and a small tetrapack of fruit juice. That was a meal for one person. So obviously, The Husband and I had quite a pile of leftovers (literally), most of which were the rounds of Arabic bread.
The pile of Arabic bread was too tall that it practically begged the questions: What about me? What will you do with me? Will you just throw me away?
Throwing away is, of course, out of the question. The Husband and I hate waste (though he hates it more than I do…I have a compulsion to throw unnecessary things, especially space eaters). Despite the staleness, I knew there is a hidden foodie gem in the pile of Arabic bread. I just needed easily accessible ingredients and, of course, something as easy as pie.
Errrrm…Is pie even easy?!? For someone like me with nil baking experience, maybe pie is not an option. And so, with my new kitchen gadget ready, I settled with bread pudding, a recipe adapted from Mr. Ball-Park-It
- 15-20 rounds of small-sized (with around 4-5 inch diameter) stale Arabic bread
- 3-cups of trail mix (nuts and dried fruits like raisins, golden sultanas, dates. My mix included Iranian barberries)
- 250 grams of slightly salted butter
- 800ml low-fat milk
- 6 small eggs
- 310 grams of white granulated sugar
- Seeds from 1-vanilla bean
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees (To be honest, I don’t even know if mine is in Celsius or Farenheit. LOL!)
- Line your baking pan (or roasting pan in my case. Hehe!) with parchment paper or aluminum foil. I used aluminum foil this time around.
- Break up Arabic bread into bite sized pieces, then line them up like disciplined Catholic school girls on the baking pan until you form 1-layer.
- Once you finish a layer of bread, evenly distribute 1-cup of trail mix onto the layer.
- Repeat the process until you have 3-layers of bread and trail mix.
- Melt the butter in a bowl (using the microwave is fine), then pour the melted butter onto the bread layers.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla seeds and sugar. I whisked the mixture using a fork as I am not in possession of a wire whisk yet. Note to self: buy a whisk.
- Then pour the mixture onto the baking pan until the layers are drowned in milky, eggy, sugary goodness.
- Bake inside oven for about 20-30 minutes until the top layer turns crispy and golden.
Serve warm and top with a dollop of cream or ice cream or caramel sauce or dulce de leche if feeling extra indulgent
I now think that I should change the expression from “Easy as pie” to “Easy as bread pudding”. It really is! This is another monumental win for the beginner cook in me Hooray!
Delirious about delicious,
P.S. I just finished half of the Arabic bread pile and still have more. Any takers of another pan of bread pudding?