Last week I made the delicious Leek & Blue Cheese Bread Pudding from Beth's recipe on Jam & Clotted Cream. Ever since then I've been thinking about other flavor combinations that could be used. It seemed to me this technique could be used to compliment a variety of meals or just use up what's in the house. Last night I decided to try my hand at it with some leftovers we had around.
We had half a semolina fennel baguette & some fig goat cheese so that was my starting point. The baguette was 3 days old, quite past the point of soft but I figured it would be perfect soaked in the custard. I caramelized an onion to throw in because I thought the sweetness of it would compliment both the fennel & fig. I kept the custard simple & used Parmesan as my second cheese. It cooked in the oven for about 35 minutes while Matt was roasting a chicken at 400 F. Boy, was this great. I love they way it puffs up like a little souffle while cooking & that cheese bread texture. Goat cheese was great in this & add a nice tartness. The fennel flavor in the bread really came through in the final taste, actually more than it did when eating the bread fresh. Matt really liked this combination quite a bit.
I think I'll find myself making a lot more of these puddings throughout the winter to play with different combinations. Here's the basic recipe for you to play with. What flavor combinations do you think would be good in it?
Basic Savory Bread Pudding
(adapted from Jam & Clotted Cream)
6 1/2-inch or thinner slices of bread, cut to fit your ramekins
mustard or spread of choice such as mustard (optional)
vegetable of choice (onions, leek, fennel), sautéed until softened
2-2.5 oz cheese (or mixture of cheeses)
2/3 c milk
seasonings of choice
Two 1 1/2 c ramekins
Spread one side of the bread slices with butter & spread if using one.
Beat egg & milk together. Season with salt & pepper plus other herbs or spices of your choice.
Lay one slice bread with the butter side up on the bottom of each ramekin. Top with 1/3 of the vegetable. Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese on top. Spoon 1/3 of egg mixture over that. Repeat two more times until all ingredients are used.
Let sit for about 20 minutes so the bread can soak up the egg mixture. This is especially important if you are using stale bread.
This can be baked anywhere from 325 - 400 F along with whatever else you are cooking. It should take 30 - 45 minutes. Its done with the top is brown & all the cheese is melted.
Makes 2 individual puddings
Now I'm wondering how it would be with some fig jam spread on the bread or how about using a garlic rosemary bread, oh the options....