On the rare occasion that you find a pack of ensaymada in your pantry (or the freezer! It’s best to keep pastries frozen to prolong their life.) post-holiday festivities, make sure to use them all up and turn them into new dishes that will add excitement to your meals. Don’t settle for packing a piece in your lunchbox or just grilling them in the toaster for merienda. Instead, give them new life! Here are eight fun ensaymada ideas that will prolong the merriment way beyond the holidays.
Chop and crunch
Instead of grilling or toasting the whole piece of ensaymada, chop them up and turn them into sweet-salty croutons. These little golden bites will be great to munch on on their own (Try sprinkling more grated parmesan on them!). You can also add them to a fresh fruit salad or a fun ice cream parfait. Here’s another great idea: ensaymada fondue! Prepare a bowl of melted white chocolate or even cheese, and serve up ensaymada croutons and sliced fruits for dipping.
Who doesn’t like a little French twist to their food? Turn the humble ensaymada into a lovely breakfast dish of French toast! Flatten the ensaymada until about ½-inch thick. Dip ensaymada in a mixture of cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pan-fry in a lot of butter until golden and toasty. Serve up with caramelized apples, whipped cream, and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
Sans the sugar and cheese, ensaymada is still just a sweetish roll of brioche. This means it can serve as the perfect vessel for a slew of fillings to make up hearty sandwiches. Slice up the ensaymada crosswise and fill ‘em up with leftover chorizo patties, roast beef slices, or cheese pimiento. How about an over-the-top holiday extravaganza and use up any leftover ham, fried egg, and queso de bola. You can even smother the whole creation with some creamy béchamel to make a croque madame!
Transform ensaymada into a vessel of all things fun and delicious. That leftover ensaymada can become a little bread basket. Flatten the bread until about ¼-inch thick using a rolling pin. Slice into a 4-inch square. Grease a cupcake pan and fill up holes with the ensaymada squares. Bake in the oven until crisp and toasty. Fill up with egg, ham, and cheese or fruits and chocolate, then bring back to the oven to bake.
Everyone’s favorite ensaymada has origins in Spain. So why not combine two Spanish treats in one? Make ensaymada churros! Slice up the ensaymada into 1-inch strips. Dip in beaten egg then pan-fry in butter until crisp and golden. Combine sugar and ground cinnamon together. (Tip: You can also add some citrus zest to this mixture) Roll churro sticks in the sugar mixture. Serve with thick hot chocolate for dipping and drinking.
Balls of fun
Turn ensaymada into little balls of fun that the kids will surely enjoy eating or making. Transform the ensaymada into rough crumbs in a food processor. Mix it up with egg, milk, and other flavorings. Form into balls, tucking in a piece of chocolate or quick-melting cheese in the center. Deep-fry the balls in hot oil, drain, and serve immediately.
Proof in the pudding
Turn dessert into another dessert! Bread puddings are a classic for good reason. They’re extremely easy to make: Simply tear up the ensaymada into pieces and soak in a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, sugar, and your flavoring of choice. Try some orange rind or peanut butter or crushed chocolate cookies. Keep in the fridge for a couple of hours, transfer to a baking dish, and bake to golden perfection.
Here’s a fun activity with the gang or an afternoon treat for the kiddos: A dessert pizza bar! Flatten the ensaymada into discs to serve as the pizza crust. Prepare sauces like melted chocolate, fruit jams, or peanut butter. Serve toppings in containers which guests can add themselves. Include cubes strawberries, nuts, chocolate chips, and even crushed potato chips. You can even add actual cheese for a salty finish. Bake in a toaster oven, slice up into triangles and serve.
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Writer: IDGE MENDIOLA
ART TRICIA GUEVARA