Friday, March 27, 2009

Savory Bread Pudding & Asparagus

It's Friday, and once again, I want to offer readers an easy-to-make, family-friendly meal.

Savory bread pudding is a clever adaptation of the old-fashioned dessert favorite, sweet bread pudding.

Making use of any stale bread on hand, leftover vegetables such as chard, eggs and milk (ingredients from the most recent grocery list), this is a delicious dish that will take about an hour to make.

Savory Bread Pudding & Asparagus
1) For the bread pudding: Chop into chunks any leftover baguette you have, or for that matter, any stale bread you have in the fridge or freezer (unfreeze bread first).
2) Saute all the leftover chard (wash it first, and remove woody stalks) in olive oil with a little garlic.
3) Halve all the leftover cherry tomatoes.
4) Set aside a cup of frozen peas to defrost.
5) Break 4 eggs into a bowl & add a cup & a half of milk, beat with a whisk till eggs are thoroughly mixed into milk.
6) Now toss bread & veggies into a baking dish. If you have dried herbs, i.e. basil or thyme or oregano, add about a teaspoon & stir through. Season with salt & pepper, stir again.
7) Pour egg & milk mix over the bread & veggies & gently press the lot down with back of a spatula.
8) Pop into a 350 degree for about 40 mins.

Grilled Asparagus
1) While bread pudding is cooking, break off woody ends of asparagus.
2) Heat olive oil in a skillet and toss asparagus in, stirring it about -- it will brown as it would if over an open-flame grill.
3) Cook for about 5-7 mins, or till it turns bright green.
4) Remove skillet from hotplate and drizzle some olive oil over the asparagus, season with ground black pepper and salt.

To Serve: Dollop a heaping spoon of bread pudding onto a warm plate with a side of asparagus. A bright, slightly dry, chilled white wine would be a fab flavor pal with this simple-gourmet, Friday-night dinner.

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