I’m baaaack! Yup, that’s right, after a week+ away from blogging, I finally plopped myself in front of the laptop to write about a savory bread pudding. Don’t worry, I didn’t stop cooking, I just haven’t been terribly chatty lately. I guess I’m a bit stressed with life…but hey, that’s a story for another day. Lets get back to bread, cheese, and bacon-y goodness!
So, this recipe was inspired by something I saw on Epicurious.com. One night I was wasting some time by flipping around online and an interesting title caught my attention. To be honest, I initially misread the site and thought it said “apple, bread, and gruyère bread pudding”….yup, words are hard after midnight! Fail. But I bookmarked the recipe anyway and revisited it in the morning. On second glance it sounded so delicious that I wanted to make it immediately. However, I naturally changed almost all of the measurements to better suit my tastes haha. Lets just call it my creative license. ;)
Whenever you’re trying to sneak vegetables into your family’s meals, serving them with bread and cheese is the perfect disguise. The wilted spinach pairs beautifully with soft, custard soaked bread that’s covered in a gooey gruyère. Scattered throughout the other ingredients are fresh cherry tomatoes that add little bursts of vibrances to the whole dish. Did I forget anything? Oh yeahhhh, the bacon. Salty, crunchy, and indescribably tasty, the bacon gives this bread pudding a savory amazingness that you can’t get from anything else.
Before I sign off for the day, let me give you the secret to making a great bread pudding. Use stale, day old bread. You see, when they’re dried out, it’s easier for the custard to soak into all the nooks and crannies while still maintaining some texture (no one wants a blob of mush). If you don’t have any handy, stick the cubed bread in the oven while it’s preheating. The raising heat toasts the bread up perfectly.
Anyway, ttysoon guys! :)
6 slices of bacon
1 small red onion (diced)
1 heaping tablespoon garlic (minced)
7 oz baby spinach
10 cherry tomatoes (halved)
5 oz gruyère (shredded)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz bread (cubed)
Salt/pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cube bread. If fresh, lightly toast in the oven. Put the cubed, toasted bread into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the gruyère over the bread.
Crisp bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to some paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
In the skillet, add the minced garlic and diced onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and halved tomatoes with a large pinch of pepper. Stir until wilted. Add in crumbled bacon. Turn off heat.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the milk, heavy cream, and eggs with a pinch of salt/pepper. Pour over the bread/cheese.
Add the spinach mixture to the bread. Using your hands, mix everything together.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes more, or until the top browns slightly.