Savory Bread Pudding

savorybreadpuddingSavory Bread Pudding, from Executive Chef Karen hoffman, of Cielo. Ingredients:
1 loaf Companion Fennel Semolina & Raisin Bread (You can also use Companion Pumpkin Cranberry Bread, Pain Beaucaire, Miller’s Five Grain, Ciabatta, Rye Batard) 1/4 cup olive oil 4 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian parsley 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme 1 large garlic clove, minced 1/4 cup of diced pancetta, rendered till tender 2 cups whole milk 6 large eggs 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
Directions:
~Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Cut remaining bread with crust into small cubes (about 10 cups loosely packed). Lay out on a sheet pan overnight to dry out or toast off in the oven. If toasting off in the oven, spread cubes out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and slightly crunchy, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Return toasted bread cubes to same very large bowl, add Pancetta, oil, parsley, thyme and garlic. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.
~Whisk heavy cream, eggs, salt, and ground pepper in large bowl. Mix custard into bread mixture. Transfer to prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over.
~Prehear oven to 350 degrees. Bake stuffing uncovered until set and top is golden, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes.
~Serve with roasted pork chops or pork tenderloin.

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