We left for a week's vacation on Friday, and were dutifully trying to eat through all the perishables in the fridge all week. Friday came and we still had eggs, bread, cheese and milk left - plus some basil and a zucchini - so I grabbed a can of corn and created this savory bread pudding. The best part is when we get home we'll have this yummy dish in the freezer ready to heat and eat.
Tomato Bread Pudding
August 24, 2008
I'm addicted...I'm obsessed...I'm just crazy...for savory bread pudding. This recipe is adapted from Gourmet magazine - generally replacing a lot of the fat with more herbs and skim milk instead of whole milk and heavy cream.
Squash Gruyere Bread Pudding
August 3, 2008
So wow - so much has happened in the last month. We moved; we went to Santa Barbara and enjoyed the Bastille Day Festival, wineries, and a day trip to LA; a new kitchen to cook in with a 1930s stove; a hot, drunken long weekend in Gilroy for the Garlic Festival; and discovery of a new technique to warm up leftover pizza in a hotel with no microwave. I think I'll be blogging about these adventures during the week so please tune in.Until then, I have Squash Gruyere Bread Pudding. I tried this lovely, savory, cheesy dish a few months ago for the first time and fell in love. First I did a sweet onion version with gruyere and then when Gourmet magazine came out with a summer tomato edition complete with roasted garlic, mixed fresh herbs and fontina I was hooked! I feel confident that in under an hour you'll feel culinarily creative and have a fab side or main for four to enjoy. Now's the time to use that summer bounty!
Savory Pumpkin Apple Bread Pudding
September 28, 2008
I'm addicted to bread pudding! The CSA sent us the season's first sugar pumpkins and in my mind this recipe was born. I laid awake at night thinking about it, I dreamt about it, I researched it - I couldn't stop thinking about how to make it work. With thoughts of the warm end of summer, enjoy this savory, cheesy bread pudding as you embrace the fall to come.
Asparagus “Muffin” Pudding
April 10, 2011
I'm somewhat obsessed with savory bread puddings. Those anything-is-possible eggy-bready-cheesey casseroles. I went a bit mad for them in 2008 - hence Tomato Bread Pudding, Summer Squash Bread Pudding and Pumpkin Apple Bread Pudding. I had a fun idea to make them bite-sized for snacks, breakfast on-the-go or as a side dish to a weekend brunch. The asparagus was looking divine at the farmers market so I couldn't pass it up. Paired with Italian fontina and rosemary, these little guys are in the oven in less than 20 and in your mouth in less than 60!
Spicy Pumpkin Bread
October 16, 2011
Even though it's still 80 degrees in NorCal, I wanted Fall so I pulled out some pumpkin puree I froze last year to make this spicy pumpkin bread. It comes together quickly so get the oven going immediately. You could use canned pumpkin puree, but it's thicker than roasted, pureed, fresh pumpkin so you may need to back off on the dry ingredients here. It's great toasted with jam or butter for breakfast.
Orange Almond Bread
January 10, 2010
I make fruit breads for Michael's breakfast, mostly to get him to eat fruit, but also because he loves the warm, moist treat as a nice alternative to yogurt in the morning - and for him it goes great with coffee. A co-worker brought in about two dozen oranges from her yard and I gladly took them off her hands. This is high citrus season in Northern California and even your casual acquaintances will try to dump lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, pomelos and others off on you lest they rot and become a nuisance in their yards. With a great number of them I'm making a very simple orange marmalade, but I also thought I'd make Michael a new variety of breakfast bread. I had almonds on hand, but you could use any of your favorite nuts or omit them altogether.
Polish Easter Babka
April 4, 2010
Half of my heritage is Polish - coming from my dad. There weren't many Polish food traditions growing up so I tried to create this one for Easter. I learned about babka (pronounced 'bob-ka') when I went to Greenpoint, the Polish neighborhood in Brooklyn, to explore the grocery and candy stores and delis. I came back excited to hear from my dad if he had babka at Easter growing up and how it was made. Similar to the Italian panettone or the German stollen served at Christmas, this Polish version is a yeast bread with citrus and raisins that has many different variations - some with nuts, some sweeter, different icings, etc. He said his mother made it very plainly with a simple lemon icing. And that's the way I've been doing my Polish Easter Babka ever since. I've modified this recipe slightly cutting down on the 10 egg yolks (yes, 10!), butter and sugar to lighten it and make it at least a bit more healthy (but don't fool yourself, this is no health food). The double rise is time-consuming, but absolutely critical for a fluffy, buttery texture. Enjoy this bread as you would a coffee cake after Easter dinner or toast it for breakfast.
October 4, 2009
I recently became a recipe tester for Cook's Illustrated magazine. It's not that illustrious. Periodically they email you a dish to make, you make it when you have the time and inclination and then take an online survey. The most recent recipe they sent me was an authentic Spanish Gazpacho. It sounded great because I had most of the ingredients still growing in my summer garden. I thought this recipe would take no time. I mean it's a cold soup - don't you just process everything, chill it and it's ready? Not exactly. When you get started, plan to spend an hour doing something else while things strain. And while it tastes simply lovely, this soup is high in calories, fat and sodium. Perhaps next time I'd cut down on the olive oil and salt. Lastly, their instructions were terribly confusing so I've rewritten them here, including how I altered the recipe - too much straining and transferring from bowl to bowl.
Mushroom Leek Strata
November 4, 2012
I first learned about strata from my step-mom. Kind of like bread pudding, but with more eggs, and you put it all together, refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning for an easy brunch dish - kind of like a savory french toast. For me the name evoked an old world Italian dish, but turns out it's an American creation - first mentioned in a 1902 cookbook. This recipe brings together the homey fall flavors of mushrooms, leeks, rosemary, sage and smoked mozzarella, but you could use it as a base for an infinite number of veg, herb and/or cheese combinations. An easy dish to feed the family crowd coming for Thanksgiving.
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