If I have to think of my "Julia Child", that would be Satrupa Banerjee. Her book " The Workaholic's cookbook" has been my guide to cooking. Like she sums up in her preface " the book is for people who want a satisfying meal in the shortest possible time with the fewest dirty dishes at the end of it". Her book guides a beginner through basics like kitchen sense, stocking up the larder, short cuts, using gadgets, time management etc. Even basics( which other cookbooks assume you already know) like how to cook rice, how to extract coconut milk, how to set curd etc. are explained in easy steps. Like Julie I have worked my way through most of Satrupa's recipes. They did not require endless preparation or great expertise. Neither did they require expensive and exotic ingredients. Recipes were quick to prepare and delicious to taste. More important they made me feel empowered, Yan could actually cook :-)
Baked Bread Pudding is a recipe from the book. It is also a good way to re-use stale bread.
Baked Bread Pudding
Milk: 1 liter
Bread: 6/7 slices
Butter: 1 tbsp
Sugar: 4/5 tsps or to taste
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp
Cashew nuts: 5/6, chopped
Boil the milk with the sugar for about 10 minutes. Add the bread( break into small pieces, leave the crust). Allow the mixture to cool. Beat eggs with the vanilla essence and add once the bread milk has cooled. Add raisins and cashew nuts. Bake at 170 degree centigrade for about 45 minutes. Can serve it warm or cold.
I usually serve it warm along with vanilla ice cream.
This post is dedicated to Satrupa. Like Julie I feel I have also known Satrupa quite intimately and felt her presence as I cooked.