Prep 8 hrs 30 mins
Cook 45 mins
This is like a hot ham and cheese sandwich! Velvety comfort food in a dense cloak of eggs and bread, both creamy and crunchy in the same bites. I've been on a tangent to utilize ingredients I have on hand in a creative fashion and I came up with this savory bread pudding because of a need to use up some homemade bread that was starting to go stale. I used homemade beer bread, but you could use sourdough, wheat bread, or any other 'sturdy' bread just as well. I used 1% milk with great success, but please use whatever you have on hand. Gruyere or Swiss cheese could be used in place of the Parmesan. Prep time includes refrigeration time. Some might like this for brunch, but I've had it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and it's very satisfying. It packs very well as a brown bag lunch for me to take to work too. If the ham were left out, it would make a fabulous side dish to your roasted pork loin or other roast meat.
- 4 -5 cups bread (maybe half a large loaf, cubed or torn into 1-inch pieces, leaving crusts on)
- 1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces ham, finely chopped
- 4 eggs
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard, good quality
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, minced into small pieces
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄8 white pepper (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- Spray an 8" pan with cooking spray (or butter bottom and sides of dish) and place bread cubes in pan.
- Heat oil in skillet, add onions and 1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp black pepper. Saute onions over medium-high heat until translucent, continue cooking until onions are beginning to brown and caramelize.
- Add garlic and ham, cooking until ham is heated through and any moisture from ham has evaporated off.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, rosemary, salt and black & white ground peppers.
- After combining thoroughly, mix in cheese.
- Spread onion and ham mixture uniformly over bread cubes.
- Evenly pour mixture over bread and ham, taking care to moisten bread in corners and at edges too.
- Cover pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight, but no longer than 24 hours hours or bread will disintegrate.
- Remove pan from refrigerator 1/2 hour before preheating oven.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake pudding uncovered for about 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, but moist. It will be puffed up and edges and corners will be golden brown.
- Let rest 5 minutes before cutting.
- Leftovers reheat wonderfully.
So good! I followed the recipe mostly (more than I usually follow!) but used a few different kinds of cheese I had on-hand and added about 1/2 c. leftover peas and about a cup of chopped frozen collard greens. To read more about it, check out my blog post: http://greenpennypincher.com/?p=638
This was easy and terrific! I added green chiles and used mexican casserole cheese instead of the parmesan to give it a little zip. My sorority sisters ate hearty and took the rest home to the husbands.