Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

Feel free to drop me a line with any suggestions or just to let me know what you think. Thanks!

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I want to thank you for the time that you spend here, and hope that you can find useful things here.


Monday, February 6, 2012


Capirotada is the Mexican version of bread pudding, but it is very different than the mushy custard-like type you might know.  Most often seen during Lent and Christmas time, it's is really worth a try even if you don't like bread pudding.

Like many Mexican recipes, there are many versions of this but they all have some things in common.  You'll find them containing bread, raisins, cheese and peanuts, with a syrup made from water, brown sugar or Mexican piloncillo, and several savory "apple pie" type spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, cloves, peppercorns and even
star anise which is poured all over it before it's baked.  I know the sweet and savory combination sounds really strange, but you won't believe how well it works together.

This was way better than I expected it to be the first time, so take the time to try my version below and see for yourself.   


1 24" french bread baguette, or 4 large, stale bolillo rolls
4 T butter
Pam, or other cooking spray
4 1/2 C water
1 1/2 C dark brown sugar or 3 small piloncillo, about 12 oz. total
4 sticks of cinnamon
5 cloves or 1/4 t ground cloves
4 or 5 peppercorns
4 star anise (or 1 teaspoon anise seeds)
2 C cheese - queso fresco, Monterrey jack, or the like, grated
1 C raisins
1/2 C peanuts, crushed, or 1/2 C pecans, chopped 

Preheat oven to 350° and generously coat inside of casserole dish with spray oil.

Cut bread into 1/2" thick slices and lay them out on a baking sheet, toast in oven until dry.  In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan.  When the bread is dry and toasted put it in a large bowl and drizzle the melted butter over it.  Toss to coat completely.

Combine the water and the next 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often.  Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and continue simmering until reduced by 1/2 to 2/3, creating a nice syrup.  Strain and remove the spice pieces when the syrup has reduced.

Layer half the bread in the bottom of the casserole.  

Follow this up with half of the raisins, peanuts and cheese.  Pour 1 cup of of the syrup evenly over the the cheese, and let it sit for 10 minutes.  

Next layer the remaining bread, raisins, peanuts and cheese on top of what is already there, followed by another cup of syrup.  Wait another 10 minutes for that all to soak in, and then pour the remaining syrup evenly over the dish.  Before popping this in the oven, let it wait another 20 minutes to ensure everything is incorporated.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil that you have previously sprayed with the Pam so that it will not stick to the cheese.  Bake this for half an hour, uncover, and bake another 15-20 minutes until cheese is golden brown.  Best warm, but can be served at room temperature as well.


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