Oh my, we loved our dinner at Jacques-Imo’s!
Maybe because the restaurant is far from the Quarter and you don’t feel like a tourist. Or maybe because its quirky decor and even quirkier characters personify the New Orleans experience. Whatever, Jacques-Imo’s is one of my favorite meals in town. Plus they’re generous with the food.
Still recovering from po-boys at Domilise’s, we bypassed their famous Alligator Cheesecake appetizer and ordered Pan-Fried Drum with Pecan Meuniere, Grilled Grouper with Crabmeat Imperial and Cajun Bouillabaise, plus sides of greens, red beans and rice (a meal in itself!), butter beans, smothered cabbage and corn maque choux. Whew! That table couldn’t hold any more food. And after we finished it off, neither could we. So we asked for the check, ready to relocate next door to hear the famous Rebirth Brass Band.
Our waiter returned, but not with the check. He said he couldn’t let us go without SOMETHING for dessert, so presented us a bowl of warm coconut bread pudding, plus 3 spoons. He left us no choice! Despite being ex-treemely well-fed, we managed to devour the entire bowl in about a minute. Something about the fluffy, light French bread, combined with the butter, coconut and rum, created a unique and memorable dessert.
Here’s a version we made at home. You can control the sweetness by limiting the amount of sauce put on the pudding. But I’m afraid I don’t have that much self-restraint.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 (14 ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup Malibu Rum
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut (Found in the bulk section of my grocery store.)
- 1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans[br]
- Coconut Rum Sauce:
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- 1 cup Malibu rum (substitute dark rum for a less sweet flavor)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan.
- Mix sugar, eggs, unsweetened coconut milk, spices, salt and rum together in large bowl. Stir in unsweetened coconut.
- Next stir in bread cubes and pecans until evenly coated.
- Pour into prepared pan and set aside for 30 minutes to allow egg mixture to soak into bread.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until center springs back when lightly tapped.
- Mix all ingredients, except rum, in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until thickened (about 10 minutes) and sauce coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow it to boil or the egg will clump.
- Remove from heat and stir in rum. Makes 2 cups.