Friday, March 14, 2014

Bread Pudding: Savory or Sweet?

Dear Husband and I recently had a good friend over for dinner. (He had lent me a laser printer to print the dissertation for my defense committee, thereby saving me $150 in printing costs, plus paper.) I knew he likes bread pudding for dessert, and it turns out there are many good savory recipes, too. I needed to use up some cooked ham, so I chose this recipe. Halved, it fits nicely into a glass pie plate. Serves 4. Goes well with green salad, broccoli, or maybe asparagus with lemon butter (ask me how I know!). The base is so simple (bread, eggs, milk) that I will probably experiment with other ingredient combinations in the future.

  • 2  large egg whites (use the yolks for scrambled eggs or egg-fried rice)
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 cups whole-grain bread cut into cubes
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers (as long as the jar hasn't gone bad in the fridge)
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese (we tried mozzarella and Gruy√®re)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a pie plate.
  2. To prepare custard: Whisk egg whites, eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Add mustard, pepper and rosemary: whisk to combine.
  3. Toss bread, spinach, roasted red peppers and ham in a large bowl. Add the custard and toss well to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and push down to compact. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake until the custard has set, ~ 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, ~ 15 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving. (Times are approximate since I can't remember how long it took, even though I've made it twice. You can smell when it's done: it's delicious!)

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