Savory Bread Pudding

Posted: January 26, 2010 | Author: Alyssa | Filed under: Alyssa, delish | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

After last week’s fried chicken debacle, I felt the need to redeem myself by trying a new recipe.  I was a little nervous, because unfortunately this past week was even worse than the previous, so god only knew how I was going to screw up this time.  Perhaps I could screw up ramen noodles, the easiest food on earth.  Maybe destroy a salad and make it inedible…at this point my life is so ridiculous that I wouldn’t be shocked if a foray into cinnamon toast resulted in the amputation of a toe.  The good news is, it can’t really get worse from here, so I might as well just start assuming that its going to get better.  Which is why I decided to set out on a new adventure entitled: Alyssa tries to make bread pudding for the first time without F-ING it up, burning the building down, or losing a toe.

I’ve been looking at this recipe for a while on epicurious.com for leek bread pudding, which sounds super good.  Although the more I thought about it, it felt like it was kind of missing something, and we all know by now that I can’t just leave well enough alone with a recipe, I have to mess with it.  The first thing I decided to do was to take away some of the ridiculous salt they have you put in as well as some of the butter and make up for it by adding a couple slices of diced pancetta (I KNOW, I add bacon to everything, but seriously how is that bad?).   I also traded out the emmentaler for havarti, which was not entirely based on flavor, rather than price.  In small town Ohio, good and affordable cheeses and breads are kind of difficult to find (I was shocked too), so I have to make do with what I can.  I love havarti because its so creamy and delicious, but I think you could substitute for pretty much any cheese that melts smoothly.

I added the pancetta to the sautee pan with the leeks so that they absorbed all the pancetta-y deliciosity.

raw leeks and pancetta

Make sure you cook the leeks until they are extremely soft.  They should fall apart fairly easily when you press them with a spatula.  Some of them will get a little brown and crispy (same with the pancetta), but the rest should almost melt.  That way they will absorb into the bread with the custard and bring its flavor with it.

cooked leeks and pancetta

I also used a little extra cheese when I was layering, because you really can’t go wrong with cheese.

Luckily for me, this turned out really well and when I pulled it out of the oven I felt like I was on Food Network Challenge transporting my 6 foot tall muppet cake to the table without destroying it, because leave it to me to get through this whole recipe and then drop it on the floor as I lift it the one foot up from the over to the stove top.  Thanks to a steady hand and a prayer to the food gods, I was successful and had this to show for my efforts:

Leek bread puddingI really wish that I could somehow make your computer screen scratch’n'sniff right now because I was salivating as this cooled just smelling it from the living room.  It turned out beautifully, and it is just what I needed to get my mind back on track.  I’m taking it as a sign that since this recipe went so well, things will start to look up soon :)



Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.