Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Savory Bread Pudding

Fall was a whirlwind of lesson planning, paper grading, and reminding myself that it's okay to feel frustrated and confused at a job you know almost nothing about. Teaching (especially for classes where there are no grades, so no built-in way to keep students focused) is hard, y'all.

What's not so hard, for me, is feeding myself. If I learned anything in my first semester as a teacher, it's that even the worst of days in the classroom can be redeemed in the kitchen. And a positive day in the classroom is made even better with a celebratory meal. Basically, it doesn't matter if my kids go crazy during class or sit quietly and complete homework - I'm gonna want a hearty dinner.

Enter the savory bread pudding. It's like bread pudding, just not for dessert. Or a crustless quiche, except with some cut up bread thrown in. Or, to be very Midwestern about it, it's an eggbake. Baked eggs. What more description do you need?

I modified both of these recipes to create my own:

MyRecipes: Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

Five and Spice: Strata with Mushrooms, Sweet Potato, and Bacon

bread (preferably dry/stale) - I used leftover dinner rolls (about 5), cut into cubes
1 sweet potato, cut into cubes
olive oil, enough to cover the sweet potato pieces
chopped mushrooms (I used about 1/2 cup)
onion (between 1/2 to a full, depending on size and preference), diced
2 cloves garlic
chopped broccoli (I used about 1 cup)
1/4 c dry white wine (I used chardonnay)
3 cups milk (I used almond)
4 eggs (when I make this again I'll up it to 5 or 6, so it's really an egg bake)
salt and pepper to taste
rosemary and thyme to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Toss sweet potato pieces in olive oil and spread evenly on a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. While the sweet potato is baking, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan. Add onion and garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and broccoli. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for several minutes, until broccoli is nearly tender and mushrooms have released their liquid. Add the wine and simmer until it has cooked off. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Liberally grease a 13x9 baking dish (I only lightly greased mine and paid for it in all the extra elbow grease I needed to wash off baked on egg). Layer dish with cubed bread, cooked vegetables, and egg mixture. Let sit until most of the liquid is soaked up by the bread.
  6. Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes, checking halfway through. The pudding should be set and the top should be golden brown.
  7. Enjoy while warm and use the leftovers for lunch the next day!

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