Bread pudding is most commonly seen as a dessert, with sugary sweet or liquor-based sauces, served at the end of a meal.
My first encounter with a savory bread pudding, designed to be an entree, was in The Mediterranean Slow Cooker, a cookbook by Michele Scicolone. The recipe for Mozzarella, Sausage and Sun-dried Tomato Bread Pudding is a knockout (check it out here on Google Books: Mediterranean Slow Cooker p 58).
We have had it for dinner a couple of times, we like to jazz it up by changing the seasonings and making different sauces. A Tomato Basil Cream Sauce goes very well with it, as does a rich Marinara-style sauce.
In the previous post we discussed John Thorne’s Outlaw Cook and his essay on the Plowman’s Lunch, so we’d like to share the results of an experiment we did with one of the recipes in Thorne’s book: Bread and Cheese Pudding.
The recipe is ridiculously simple, as are the techniques involved. Even if you have never made a bread pudding you can’t mess this up.
Since this was an experiment I cut down the recipe a bit, you can scale it up as needed. This makes enough for two.
- 4 slices of Gluten-free bread, lightly toasted (I use the Glutino Multigrain)
- 4 ounces of Aged Cheddar, grated
- 1 Egg
- 1 small Onion, (1 cup) chopped fine
- 6 ounces of beer (I used Anchor Stout)
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Butter
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the egg, beer and cheese in a large bowl. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne and onions. Stir well to distribute the yolk and the seasonings.
Cut the bread into 3/4 inch squares and stir them in to the liquid. Let it set for a few minutes to soak up the beer.
Use the butter to grease a baking pan, I made this batch into a mini-muffin tin. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size and shape of your pan, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
These took 35 minutes.
Eat them while still hot!
While this savory bread pudding was delicious on its own, crispy on the outside and creamy inside, we tried a few topping and condiments.
Here they are cut in half, topped with a small slice of the aged cheddar and a teaspoon of Sweet Onion Compote:
Delicious. We also tried them with Stone Ground Mustard, Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard, and French’s Yellow Mustard. This particular combo was best with the Stone Ground.
We will definitely be making this again, with some small changes, depending on the rest of the meal we are putting together. I’d like to try it in a bread-pan, about 2 inches deep, so I can cut it into slices and make an open-faced sandwich with Ham and Cheddar. Or change the bread to Rye and top with Pastrami and Swiss.
So many possibilities!