Got something resembling trash in your fridge?

28 Feb

Hey, gals!  I was planning to blog today about my family birthday brunch this morning at the Motley Cow, but in my state of utter ecstasy over a stack of Salt Fork Farm fried eggs, house-made sausages, and fresh biscuits smothered in tasty gravy, I forgot my camera!  Thankfully I’ve been holding on to some stock footage of a bread pudding I made a couple of weeks ago.  Enjoy!

My dear friend and co-founder of PvPF, Zoe, taught me long ago the virtues of bread pudding.  It is the perfect solution to a stale loaf of bread, and/or a fridge full of left-over and wilting produce.  In my case, I am often confronted by a plastic container I keep in my fridge that houses a rotation of sad-looking salad scraps (apple, onion, pepper, etc.):

Add to this some random greenery, a loaf of bread, and a simple custard–and viola: instant (warm, savory, crunchy, moist) gratification.  I might also add that it’s the perfect dish for brunch, because it can be made sweet or savory (for a sweet version of this recipe, try adding apples and raisins, and maybe a little cinnamon).

Bread Pudding (adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)

3 cups milk

4 T. unsalted butter, plus some for greasing the pan

Pinch salt

8 slices bread (something crusty and day-old is perfect)

Whatever produce and greens you have in the fridge (here I used red/white onion, apple, mushroom, and spinach)

About 1 c. grated firm and salty cheese (gruyere or manchego is tasty!)

Cut or tear your bread into bit-sized pieces.  If your bread is less than day-old or so, you can toast them on a baking sheet in the oven.  Don’t cut yourself!  Especially if your bread knife is old and dull because you bought it for $.50 at a thrift store…ouch!

Bandaged up! Ok, shameless ring-shot...

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Over low heat in a small saucepan, warm the milk, butter, and salt, just until the butter melts. Meanwhile, butter a 1 1/2quart or 8-inch square baking dish.

Lightly saute whatever produce you’ve been eye-ing for your pudding in a bit of olive oil or butter.  Place the bread in a large mixing bowl, and add the veggies and about 1/4-1/3 cup of cheese.  Pour the whole mess into your baking dish, and pour the hot milk mixture over top.  Let sit for a few minutes, occasionally submerging any pieces of bread that rise to the top.  Beat the eggs briefly and stir them into the bread mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Set the baking dish in a larger baking pan and pour hot water in, to within about an inch of the top of the dish:

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a thin-bladed knife inserted in the center comes out clean, or nearly so; the center should be just a little wobbly.  Run under the broiler for about 30 seconds if you like, to brown the top a bit:

Yum!

In the meantime, put the stereo on and mix up a green salad…and contemplate the fact that the time you spend standing in the kitchen chopping veggies for your daily eats is your favorite-est time of all!

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2 Responses to “Got something resembling trash in your fridge?”

  1. Julia February 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    What green veggies were you sauteeing to add to the whole mess? Is that spinach?

    • Emma March 1, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

      If I remember right, it was red onion, mushroom, apple, and spinach…yum!

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