Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Savory Buttermilk Bread Pudding

I've been singing the praises of buttermilk for a while now (see here), and it looks like buttermilk is finally getting it's due. I see it soon getting pantry status, as it is in my house during the winter months. Buttermilk does take a back seat during the warmer months because I don't do as much baking. And just like soups and stews, I get so excited to see it back in rotation after its long absence. So much so, that at the moment I have an over-abundance and have needed to make something every day with it. Which is not that hard: pancakes on Sunday, Irish soda bread on Monday, and this for dinner on Tuesday. This made a lot, so you get leftovers the next day. It would be a great addition to a holiday meal.

The above was a mix of challah rolls and a cheddar-jalepeno sourdough loaf. I love buying day-old bread! The extra cheese and spicy pepper were a good foil to the sweet challah and kale. I think it goes without saying that creativity is welcomed in this dish. Varying the types of bread or vegetables will be a welcome change in your dinners.

If you are serving this as a main dish, you might want to go luxe and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top, with some extra fresh cracked pepper, as you plate it up. I served it alongside steamed romanesco broccoli. It was an amazing meal!

Savory Buttermilk Bread Pudding
yields one 3-quart casserole (although I used a 2-qt. and a 1 qt.)

1 large onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, smashed
1 head of kale (red winter kale), de-stemmed and chopped finely
1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup milk

4 ounces of feta
pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Day old bread, cut in 1 inch cubes, about 8 cups (cheddar-jalepeno sourdough and challah rolls)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until golden.
2. Add the kale in large handfuls, mixing to coat with the oil. I like to add a little water to steam the kale down, or if you just washed it, the water clinging to the curls will help this. Add the salt when it has wilted down.
3. In a separate bowl beat the buttermilk, milk and eggs together.
4. With the bread cubes in another separate large bowl, add the hot vegetable mixture and toss gently, adding pepper to taste.
5. Add feta and toss gently.
6. Add egg-milk mixture. Toss gently and let sit for 15 minutes to an hour.
7. Put in a buttered glass or porcelain casserole dish, sprinkle generously with grated cheese and bake in 350 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes, until it has puffed out, has golden edges and feels firm when you gently rest your palm on it.

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