Savory Bread Pudding

Once again, I’ve neglected my blog… but now I’m feeling inspired again so here’s a new recipe. I made this last night and it was soooo good! Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo, but might try to get one of the leftovers later today. Stay tuned! So here’s the recipe for a savory bread pudding. You can add pretty much anything you want to it. My inspiration was the bread pudding at Serpentine, which is to die for. They change the ingredients depending on the season, and so should you. You can easily make this vegetarian by omitting the sausage, but I’m afraid there’s just no way to do this vegan or carb-free. The first bread pudding I made was in my class at Tante Marie (we made one with wild mushrooms) and I was hooked. It’s really very easy to do, just takes a bit of time. This one I made with some Acme bread, but you can also use challah or brioche, in which case you could leave the crust on.

SAVORY BREAD PUDDING

1 acme bread sweet batard, crust removed and cut into 1” cubes
1 italian sausage
1 leek, chopped
1 large fennel bulb, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup white wine
8 asparagus spears
½ bunch swiss chard
1 cup swiss cheese, grated
1 cup fontina cheese, grated
½ cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
4 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1-2 cups milk
thyme
rosemary
salt
pepper
small grating of nutmeg
chives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • Toss bread cubes with olive oil and some chopped thyme and rosemary. Spread on a baking sheet and put in oven for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • Meanwhile, remove sausage from casing and sauté in some olive oil till browned. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add leeks, fennel, and red pepper to pan with a bit of salt and cook till softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, blanch asparagus in a pot of salted water for about 2-3 minutes till just tender. Remove and spread out in one layer to cool. Remove stems from swiss chard and blanch in same water. Drain and chop, add to leek mixture.
  • Add wine to leek mixture and cook till reduced.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs, add cream, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, chives, swiss, fontina, and half the parmigiano. Chop asparagus and add. Add leek mixture. Add bread cubes and stir well, press down and let soak for 10-20 minutes so that milk is well absorbed into bread, pressing down every now and then.
  • Butter 6 ramekins and set into a baking dish with high sides.
  • Fill each ramekin with bread mixture, pressing down and doming a little at the top. Top with a sprinkle of parmigiano.
  • Bake in water bath for about 40 minutes, till set and the top is golden brown and crunchy.
  • Remove from water bath, let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

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