From Linda Cicero’s Cook’s Corner Column
Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding)
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 stick of cinnamon
1 loaf French bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 21/2 cups)
8 ounces queso fresco or fresh mozzarella cheese
3/4 to 1 cup raisins (seeded raisins, seedless raisins, currants, or a combination)
3/4 cup chopped almonds
8 tablespoons cold butter
In a pan, combine brown sugar, cinnamon stick and 11/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to high simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved and liquid is reduced by a fourth, about 30 minutes. Take the cinnamon out and then allow to cool. When syrup is ready, whisk in the eggs.
Combine the bread, about half the cheese, the raisins and almonds in a bowl. Pour the syrup on top and toss gently. Spoon into a buttered 8-by-8-inch or 1 1/2-quart casserole or baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and dot with butter. Cover with foil. Bake in a heated 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 to 12 minutes more, until cheese is lightly browned. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream if you wish. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 517 calories (45 percent from fat), 27 g fat (12 g saturated, 9.4 g monounsaturated), 96 mg cholesterol, 13.7 g protein, 59 g carbohydrates, 2.7 g fiber, 506 mg sodium.