May 22, 2009

Savory Chorizo and Onion Bread Pudding

Leftover French bread. There is never a shortage of it in our house.
We buy a baguette, gros pain, or campaillette almost every other day and usually don't finish the entire loaf.

So what do you do with it all?
There aren't any village dogs to carry it away since our neighbor's dog, Goomy, passed on. And the village cats don't want it.
There are only so many things you can do with croutons and breadcrumbs.
My New Orleans Bread Pudding is so decadent and rich, and I think should be saved for special occasions. (Husband might disagree. I think he would gladly eat it every day)
And I can't fathom just throwing it away.

My Greens Cookbook has a recipe for Savory Bread Pudding that I've glanced at over the years, and the other day, as I sat there looking at this big chunk of day old gros pain sitting on our kitchen counter and thinking that there was simply no more room in our freezer for more breadcrumbs, inspiration struck.

In the end I didn't use Deborah Madison's recipe. Kevin Weeks had a Savory Spanish Bread Pudding recipe on his blog, Seriously Good, that piqued my interest. I fiddled with it to work with what I had available, and the result was seriously good!

Savory Chorizo and Onion Bread Pudding
serves 4-6
  • 6 thick slices French bread (not a skinny baguette - I used gros pain)
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces dried Spanish chorizo, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grated Cantal entre-deux* (white Cheddar would also be good)
Set oven to 200 degrees F. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes and dry them in the oven, being careful not to brown them. If your bread is day old, this will take less time than if not. Keep checking it.

Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium heat and add the cut up chorizo. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add onion and sauté until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic and cook 1 more minute. Set aside to cool.

Raise oven heat to 400 degrees F.

In a big bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the bread cubes, sautéed chorizo and vegetables,
and tomato, and leave it to sit for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times so the bread absorbs all of the liquid.

Pour into a lightly buttered,
8x8-inch square baking dish.
Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for another 20 minutes or until the pudding is puffed up and browned.

Serve immediately.

*I used Cantal Entre-Deux because I had a big chunk to use up. Parmesan or white Cheddar would also work.

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