Friday, April 16, 2010

Gadzooks! A recipe!

I don't even want to think about how long it's been since I posted a recipe here. I'm not sure what my excuse is-- like all other things, my passion for food comes and goes inexplicably and without fanfare-- which isn't to say that I've lost my passion. It's just that lately, with autumn's rich bounty well behind us, and the first green leaves of spring still ahead, my cooking exploits are more focused on getting rid of the things I canned/froze too much of last season. Not glamorous or blog-worthy, not in the least. And not terribly exciting, given that the most abundant leftover ingredient from last season is block after grayish block of frozen eggplant. Eeew. You don't even want to comprehend the number of variations on ratatouille that have come out of my kitchen this winter.

But anyway. Yes. On to the recipe.

This came about for two reasons: 1) I had the heels of about four different loaves of bread languishing in the fridge, and 2) I love me a good cheesy eggy comforting plate of food like none other. I started with my Favorite Bread Pudding of All Time, (which is unabashedly an autumn recipe), and began tinkering. Here's the end result.

Asparagus and Sundried Tomato Bread Pudding

7 large eggs
1 1/2 cups skim milk
6 tbsp wine (I used red, which turned the eggs and milk an alarming purplish gray, but don't worry, the effect is temporary.)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
10 cups cubed stale crusty bread

1/2 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup asparagus, cut into inch-long pieces

8 oz grated cheddar cheese

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl, whisking thoroughly to make sure the eggs are incorporated. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and generously oil a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Heat the oil in a large skillet, and add the garlic and sundried tomatoes. Throw in a half a cup of water and put a lid on the pan, letting the tomatoes steam and rehydrate a little. After they're softened a bit, take them out and chop them up and throw them back in the pan with the asparagus. Let cook, covered, for another five minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and crisp-tender.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer half of the eggy bread cubes to your baking dish. Spread them out over the bottom. Add half the tomato-asparagus mixture, and top with half the grated cheese. Repeat the layers of bread-vegetables-cheese once more, cover the pan with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool five minutes, cut into squares, and serve. Serves 6.

There. I did it. I posted a recipe again after about a six-month hiatus. You know what else I haven't done in awhile?
Ahhh, there. That feels better.


Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about how good a bread pudding would be tonight! Thanks for the incentive to actually do it :)

Lisa-Marie said...

This looks and sounds amazing!

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