Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Savoury Bread Pudding

Bread & butter pudding has always been a favourite of mine. There's something about the soft, souffle interior and the crusty brown sugar & cinnamon dredged topping that hits the spot for me. I can't remember when I first thought about making a savoury version, but I'm pretty sure that beer was involved somewhere.

I'd like to say that over the years I have honed & refined this recipe into the masterpiece you see today (and called it Deconstructed Ploughman's Lunch or something poncy), but no, it's pretty much the same wet-weather or post-pub comfort food, the only thing that changes is the vegetables. I use whatever is in season to make this, so cold & bitter February means chopped kale or shredded cabbage. October is slices of pumpkin & chestnut mushrooms scattered with pecan nuts & crumbled Stilton. Right now its courgettes. This recipe uses round courgettes, because I really liked arranging the thick round slices between the slices of bread, but you can use courgettes of any shape and size.

Savoury Bread Pudding

4 thick slices of good bread (or a stale baguette, or whatever you have to hand)
2 courgettes
2 eggs
200ml milk (or yoghurt, single cream or quark, depending on how decadent you're feeling)
30-50g cheese (I had some Spanish Manchego, so used that, but experiment - goats cheese, Stilton, chedder & mozzerella all work well in this)
salt & pepper
home made chutney (come on, you must have some!)

Preheat oven to 190C/375F/G4. Grease a baking dish.
Whisk together the egg, milk & seasoning. Set to one side. Spread the bread with chutney & cut into whatever size makes them fit in your baking dish (if you're using a baguette, you don't need to do that, just cut into slices). Slice the courgettes thickly. Arrange the bread & courgettes in the baking dish, poking & prodding until you're happy with how it all looks. Carefully pour over the egg & milk mix, making sure you cover everything. Leave to stand for 10 minutes (this allows the bread to soak up all the egg, otherwise you'll end up with bread pudding on an omelettey base. Still tasty, but kind of weird). Top with cheese & bake for 20 minutes, or until golden on top.
Serve with salad to assuage any guilt, and there's no shame in having seconds.

You can use any chutney in this, chunky or smooth. Ploughmans pickle & piccallili are favourites, and cut through the richness of the egg & cheese, but mustard or pesto work really well too.
Om nom nom!

1 comment:

Shaheen said...

I have to say I have never been a fan of bread pudding. I have never liked soggy bread. In fact I really dislike it when my husband puts beans on my toast. He knows better to put it on the side. Anyway a savoury bread pudding has got me all curious and I could def see me trying it, as the ingredeints are far more appealing.