Spinach and Tasso Bread Pudding with Gruyere cheese

Recipe by Malriah
READY IN: 1hr 20mins




  • Slice the bread into 1/2" slices and let dry out overnight.
  • You may also dry them in a 200-225°F oven for about 30-40 minutes until they're completely dried; make sure you don't brown them.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy skillet (don't use non-stick).
  • Add the diced tasso.
  • Brown the tasso for 5 minutes until some of the fat has been rendered out and you've got some nice brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove from pan, drain on papertowels and set aside.
  • Add the wine to the pan, making sure to scrape up all the browned bits.
  • Reduce the wine by half.
  • Pour out into a large bowl and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter with the rest of the olive oil.
  • Add the onions and garlic.
  • Sauté for about 3 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  • Add the spinach water and let it reduce.
  • Add the chopped spinach.
  • Continue to cook for 3 minutes, making sure that there's hardly any moisture left.
  • Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Whisk the eggs in a large bowl.
  • Add the half-and-half.
  • Add the molasses, Worcestershire, hot sauce, the reduced wine, about 2 teaspoons of salt, plenty of fresh ground black pepper and Creole seasoning to taste.
  • Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish.
  • Make one layer of dried bread slices on the bottom.
  • Use little broken-off pieces if you need to fill any little spaces.
  • Cover the bread evenly with the spinach mixture.
  • Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 of the grated cheese.
  • Spread the diced tasso evenly over the cheese.
  • Season with more Creole seasoning and pepper.
  • Sprinkle with more cheese.
  • Add a second layer of bread,filling the holes with broken pieces as needed.
  • Give the custard a final mix with the whisk and pour evenly over the entire surface of the bread, making sure you wet everything.
  • Season the top with more black pepper and Creole seasoning, the remaining cheese and a sprinkling of salt.
  • Wrap the pudding in plastic wrap.
  • Weigh the top down with a couple of boxes of brown sugar, a bag or rice or whatever you have available.
  • This helps compress the layers of the pudding so that the custard will soak all the way through allowing it to cook more evenly.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to cook,take the pudding out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 325-350°F for about one hour, until the edges and center are puffy.
  • Let the pudding cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Slice and serve.