Two Goods Make a Right

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to experiment with bread pudding and beurre monté.  The results were fantastic!  We ate it with asparagus and a big spinach salad dressed with a bit of orange and bacon to bring together the flavors of the pudding.  The monté was a little on the sweet side.  Next time I will experiment with a tart citrus and add even more heat. 

Savory Bread Pudding
Serves 4

2 - 3 cups dried bread cubes
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 eggs
1 cup good dry cheese, grated (such as Piave or Parm-Reg)
1 cup total seasonal vegetables and herbs, chopped (I used red pepper, red onion, and chives)
3 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
Salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste

1. In a medium mixing bowl, pour half and half over bread cubes. Allow to soak about 30 minutes.

2. Saute vegetables quickly over medium high heat (use drippings from bacon or olive oil) until they are just soft, about 3 minutes.

3. Pour any unsoaked liquid from bread (should be about 1/2 cup).

4. Whisk eggs into half and half; add cheese and vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Fold in moistened bread cubes.

5. Butter insides of a small (1-quart casserole); sprinkle a bit of the cheese over the butter to coat. Pour egg-bread mixture into casserole. Bake in preheated 300 degree oven about 40 minutes or until set.

Sort of Beurre Monté
1/2 nectarine
1/2 plum
1 Serrano pepper
Juice and zest from one orange
3 tablespoons cold butter
Salt and pepper

1. Puree fruit and chili pepper with juice and zest. Strain puree through fine mesh colander.

2. In small sauce pan, bring strained puree to simmer; reduce heat to low. Whisk in cold butter until sauce is emulsified and butter is completely melted. Season to taste.


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