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Bambara: Crawfish Étouffer and Bourbon Street Bread Pudding

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ImageAt Bambara (Salt Lake City, Utah), Chef Robert Barker mixes his Texas and New Orleans roots with fresh ingredients, wine compatibility and overall harmony to create tantalizing New American Bistro cuisine with a playful sense of whimsy and style.  The result is one of downtown Salt Lake City's liveliest restaurants. 

Today's recipes, "Crawfish Étouffer" and "Bourbon Street Bread Pudding" are not only intriguing and delicious but they hold special meaning for Chef Barker.  As he says "Growing up in Texas, with family from New Orleans, I really pay attention to my roots I love to celebrate traditional New Orleans cuisine that draws on my experience in some of the Crescent City's best restaurants such as Emeril's, Sazerac and Arnaud.  The Bourbon Street Bread Pudding is one of my favorites…it's my grandmother's secret recipe.  People just love it. The Crawfish Étouffer is something new for some of my diners, but such a delicious and simple dish.  Sous Chef Brad Murphy joined me in adding authentic touches to these dishes.  Brad joined us at Bambara from the New Orleans restaurant, Cobalt, after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina."   With that much history and personal attention how can these dishes be anything other than amazing?

Crawfish Étouffer (et tu fe)

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen, peeled, cooked crawfish tails
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil, butter, or margarine
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green sweet pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 - 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  •  Hot cooked rice
  •  Fresh parsley (optional)

Thaw crawfish tails, if frozen. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, stir together flour and 1/4 cup oil, butter, or margarine until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir for 5 to 8 minutes more or until a reddish brown roux is formed. Add onion, celery, sweet pepper, and garlic to saucepan. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon butter or margarine; stir until melted. Stir in water, green onion, parsley, salt, ground red pepper, and black pepper.

Bring to boiling. Add crawfish. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until heated through. Serve with hot cooked rice. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

ImageBourbon Street Bread Pudding

Executive Chef Robert Barker's grandmother's secret recipe

  • 1 (1-pound) Brioche
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup Frangelico
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tspn almond extract
  • 1 ¼  cup Bourbon Sauce, see recipe below

Trim the crusts from the brioche and reserve. Cut the brioche into cubes and layer in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Whisk the eggs, cream, milk, sugar, Frangelico, vanilla and almond extract in a large bowl.  Pour over the bread cubes. Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread into the cream mixture. Arrange the reserved crusts on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until dry. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Process the cooled crusts in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Sprinkle one Cup of the crumbs over the pudding. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until set in the center. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. Spoon the warm bread pudding on to serving plates. Top each serving with Bourbon Sauce.

Bourbon Sauce

  • ¼ Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Heavy Cream
  • ¼ Cup Bourbon

Melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar. Cool until dissolved, stirring constantly. Add the cream and bourbon and increase the heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve Warm.

About Bambara

Image Centrally located at 202 South Main Street, adjacent to the Hotel Monaco, Bambara occupies the historic Continental Bank lobby, built in 1924. While the building's exterior retains its original cornices, the interior of the elegant space has been transformed with an entirely new kind of energy and artfully eccentric design.  Now, instead of bank transactions, the focus is on the full exhibition kitchen, filling the room with scintillating aromas of pan-roasted and grilled prime meats, fresh seafood, game, house-baked breads.  Chef Robert Barker is recasting Bambara's world of flavors with a flair he developed in some of America's most famous kitchens anchored by a down-home sensibility about the simple pleasures of cooking for friends.  

202 South Main Street     
Salt Lake City, Utah   84101
Telephone: 801.363.5454
Reservations on-line.


Tamara (Unregistered) 2009-12-17 15:44:16

Bambara is delicious! They have this amazing spread that they serve with their bread before your entree. What's in it?? I'm dying to know!!
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