Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Give Me My Daily Bread: Savory Bread Pudding

Whoever said, "man cannot live on bread alone" does not know this woman. I can and have! For the first two weeks I was in Paris, I was more than a little jet lagged and shell shocked from the "intensive" nature of Le Cordon Bleu. By the time I crawled back to my apartment at the end of the long days, all I could usually manage to "make" for dinner was a piece of bread, some stinky cheese, and a glass of wine to wash it down. Many nights those first couple of weeks, I feel asleep with glass in hand and bread crumbs on my pjs. 
While I can still happily make a meal of bread and cheese, I decided to forgo a full scale re-enactment of my Paris days. Eric (Le Chef) has gone to Florida this week to do a little fishing so I'm cooking for one. I had half a baguette left over from a bleu cheese and bread binge on Friday that was rapidly turning hard as a rock by Sunday, so I decided to make a kitchen sink version of Tartine's Savory Bread Pudding using what I had on hand, or rather in the fridge.

Savory Bread Pudding
adapted from Tartine cookbook

6 oz baguette
1 T olive oil
1/3 c chopped yellow onion
5 large eggs
1/2 t salt
1 c whole milk
1 c heavy cream
ground black pepper, to taste
freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
3 oz smoked ham (I used slices I had deli cut for sandwiches)
1 T tarragon (left over from my goat cheese experiment)
1/2 c braising green (all I had was green leaf lettuce- worked just fine)
1/2 c + 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and oil a 9x9 inch baking dish.
2.  Cut the bread into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sautè the yellow onion until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Whisk together the eggs and salt until well blended, and then whisk in milk and cream. Season the custard with pepper and nutmeg, to taste (I like a lot more pepper and nutmeg than the original recipe calls for).
5. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg custard, bread cubes, ham, tarragon, greens, cheese, and sautèed  onion. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with remaining 1/4 c of cheese and freshly grated black pepper.
5. Bake approximately 45-50 minutes until no longer runny in the middle. 

3 comments:

  1. This looks fantastic! Except that now I have a craving for that Pure Luck Hopelessly Bleu...do you think that would work in this pudding?

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  2. Great idea! Being versatile and creative is very important in cooking - it can help you be economic and not be wasteful :D

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  3. Michelle, now you're giving me ideas. Bleu, bacon,and spinach would probably work really well. Duly noted for next iteration!

    Matt,I'm patiently waiting on you to update FoodOuji. At the very least, keep posting more beautiful cake pics on FB!

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