We started out with a lil’ bubbly and fresh raw oysters from my new favorite store, with a mignonette of vinegar, cilantro, jalapeño, vermouth, and shallots. They were so refreshing and delish... and Evan is now a shucking master. I only tried raw oysters for the first time a few months ago, and I think I’m in love (oysters, will you be my valentine?). I can’t believe I’ve missing out on them all these years!
After our refreshing first course, we had a lovely little salad of mixed baby spring greens, crumbled blue cheese, and shallot vinaigrette, and broiled oysters on the half shell with Sriracha lime butter—spicy and still tasting fresh and briny—a Food 52 recipe I highly recommend! They reminded me of the grilled oysters my dad used to make for us squeamish kids that refused try the ol’ shuck and suck method.
Then for dessert, as if we weren’t already bursting at the seams, we had coconut bread pudding with chocolate rum sauce and vanilla ice cream. There's nothing better than the combination of coconut, chocolate, and rum... especially in a creamy, custardy, rich bread pudding. It was like an even more decadent and creamy version of the macaroon. I won’t lie… I had it for breakfast this morning.
Sharing in the love of two good friends, spending time with my parents and sister, and cooking a delicious dinner with my boyfriend… it might not be your typical Valentine’s day, but really, can you think of anything more lovely!?
Coconut Bread Pudding with Chocolate Rum Sauce
1 14 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk (about 2 cups)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1.5 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 pinch salt
1 pinch fresh ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
1 loaf of day old french or italian bread
unsweetened flake coconut
chocolate rum sauce
Tear bread in 1 inch cubes and set aside in a large bowl. Combine everything except the bread and butter, and whisk to mix well. Pour mixture over bread and stir (works best with your hands) to combine. Really get it soaked! Let sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x9 casserole dish. Transfer bread mixture to dish and dot with butter. Bake until the center is set, about 50-60 minutes.Top hot bread pudding with chocolate sauce and flaked coconut... delicious with a little vanilla ice cream on the side! Enjoy
Chocolate Rum Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk (about 2 cups)
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 tablespoon dark rum
Melt butter over medium heat in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Add coconut milk and simmer until just bubbling, stirring often. Remove from heat and add chocolate, stirring until melted, smooth, and well combined. Add rum. Serve over coconut bread pudding!