So I was trying to come up with something to make with some random, leftover white bread we have. I'd like to preface that statement by saying that neither I, nor anyone in my household eats processed, sliced white bread on the regular and we only had it for a Back to School segment mom did (the bread was a "what not to eat" sort of thing).
I tend to be an elitist when it comes to bread and I don't feel bad about saying it; wonder bread, in my opinion, ain't so wonderful. I just think we can do better. Nonetheless, there sat the bread getting stale on the kitchen counter. And while I'm not a big fan of white bread of the 50s era variety, I'm also not a fan of wasting food. On top of that, we may have accidentally purchased an extra dozen eggs because someone moved the dozen we already had into the cheese drawer. I don't know how this stuff happens guys, but life's crazy sometimes.
So I decided to make a savory bread pudding. I found an interesting and simple recipe on the interwebs that didn't require me to buy too many extra ingredients and also called for tomatoes, which is great, because - have you noticed? - tomatoes are everywhere right now! Including in a giant plastic bag in our refrigerator.
So I got myself together, whipped up the whole mess, allowed it to soak for a bit, baked it and voilà! It was beautiful and looked good. I looked at my masterpiece and then, having kept open the web page with the original recipe, look to see what a great and similar job I had done. And in that moment, as I sat at my computer, I realized that I had forgotten the cheese. Not some of the cheese. Not one kind of cheese. All the cheese. I audibly gasped (very dramatic) and immediately new that I must taste it. There was, after all, plenty of time to hide all evidence. No one would have to know. I could cover this up. I probably new a guy.
I cut a slice of the still warm pudding. I took a bite with concern. I chewed. Fear suddenly turned to relief when I realized that, not only was it good, it was delicious. Like, really delicious. Hmmm, maybe I'll have some for lunch, I thought. mmmmm...
The moral of the story is that everything was fine. Again. And also that you should trying this recipe sometime. And also that you shouldn't be afraid to trying switching it sometime, as I didn't make this recipe exactly to spec, but it still came out great.
While I think that cheese would taste delicious, it was nice to know that there was significantly less fat and fewer calories. Which is a miracle any time you're making something with the word "pudding" in it. I might eat it warm on top of a spinach salad for lunch. Oh yes.
Savory Bread and Butter Pudding (adapted from a recipe at Pioneer Woman)
8 slices stale bread, quartered
4 pieces bacon, roughly chopped (or ham or other meat, or no meat if you’re a vegetarian)
1 large tomato, halved and thickly sliced
1/4 red onion, large dice (I just used whatever we had leftover)
Small bunch of silver beet/chard/spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup Greek yogurt
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Fry bacon until crisp, drain off most of the fat and caramelized the onions in the residual bacon fat.
Scatter bread around dish
Intersperse bacon, tomato, and greens amongst bread
Whisk eggs, yogurt, milk, cheese, Dijon, and salt and pepper together and pour everything over the bread, making sure everything gets covered.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until custard is set.