When early fall comes, my thoughts turn to comfort foods. Classic comfort foods like bread puddings.
Hey! Who says bread pudding is low class? Even Martha herself makes savory bread pudding! And Cooking Light magazine recommends this comfort food classic for chilly autumn nights. So, I say, why not add a southwest twist?
One of the recipes my family begs for is my creation "Chile Cheese Bread Pudding." If you've never made savory bread puddings, I highly recommend that you try this recipe. The chiles and the melted cheese with the egg custard is a winning combo. Oooey, gooey and delish!
This main dish is easy and filling - I am guessing it will become one of your new standbys - 20 minutes of prep time makes it a very do-able weeknight dinner.
Happy Fall Everyone!
SOUTHWEST CHILE CHEESE BREAD PUDDING
3 Anaheim chiles, cut in half lengthwise, with seeds, stem and pulp removed
8 cups day-old French bread in 1-inch cubes (See note below)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
½ cup thinly sliced green onion
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
6 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (below)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grill or broil chiles, skin sides facing heat, for 3 to 5 minutes, until skin is blackened. (Alternative method: use a small kitchen torch to blacken chili skins.) Place in a zip lock bag and allow to sweat for 5 minutes. Remove skins and dice chiles. Toss bread cubes with chiles, cheeses, onion and cilantro. Place bread mixture in a 9 by 13 inch baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over bread mixture, making sure all bread cubes are saturated. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned and almost set in center. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Cut into squares and drizzle with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Serves 4 to 6.
NOTE: Bread cubes must be dried out with crispy surfaces to insure that egg mixture is properly absorbed. Use one of three methods: 1) use stale French bread; 2) Cut bread into cubes and place on a wire rack on counter and let air dry for at least two hours, or up to overnight; or cut bread into cubes, place on a wire rack and place in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes, turning cubes over once to insure uniform dry texture.
ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE: Cut 3 red bell peppers into strips. Grill or broil peppers, skin sides facing heat, for 3 to 5 minutes, until skin is blackened. (Alternative method: use a small kitchen torch to blacken chili skins.) Place chili strips in blender. Add ½ cup cream, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth.
OTHER SAVORY BREAD PUDDINGS TO CHECK OUT:
Corn and Tomato Bread Pudding, In Praise of Leftovers
Savory Bread Pudding with sausage and Three Cheese, The Cookin' Canuck
Gorgonzola Bread Pudding, Food Wishes
Zucchini and Goat Cheese Bread Pudding, The Barefoot Kitchen
Butternut Squash and Sage Bread Pudding, Fab Frugal Food
-- posted by Donna
What a great take on bread pudding! The chipotle chile powder would give this a really nice, smoky kick.
Thanks Dara! Don't you just crave bread puddings in the fall?