April 19, 2012
This recipe was developed with my Farmer’s Market customers in mind. So many will ask me, well what do you do with this? How can I incorporate this into my meals? I researched some recipes on line and found a fabulous one that was written up in the LA Times which I have linked for you below. I eliminated the ham entirely to keep this meatless, used the herbs I had here in my garden, and substituted a jar of my corn relish for the called-for carrots in the original. This makes a hearty, sturdy bread pudding which makes a delightful side dish served with green salad or placed alongside a beautiful cut of beef. The recipe called for using a bain-marie which is an age-old process for cooking with a gentle, steady heat and adds a smoothness to the end product.
The jarred corn relish gives this pudding a slight tang of vinegar, I just love it and hope that you will too!
Inspired by the Savory bread pudding served at the Serpentine in San Franciso
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Prepare a 13 X 9 inch flat casserole or pan (spray with canola oil or use a bit of butter)
Prepare a larger casserole dish to be filled with water (about half-way up the sides) to be used as a waterbath. (Bain-Marie) This will give the bread pudding a smoother texture.
1 1/4 pound Whole Grain Levain, preferably stale – 2 days old is perfect, cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes
6 cups milk (separated into 2 cups, then 4 cups)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Lemon Balm
2 Tsp chopped fresh Rosemary
1/2 Tsp fresh ground pepper
1 Tsp kosher salt
1/8 cup Canola Oil (for onion saute)
12 oz of chopped fresh onion
1 16 oz jar of Sunchowder’s Emporia Corn Relish (or your favorite brand) My relish contains fresh corn off the cob, onions, peppers, cider vinegar and a host of yummy spices.
1 lb Gruyere Cheese, grated
1/8 cup butter (optional, to be added in small pats across the bread pudding before placing in the oven)
1. Lay out the cubes of bread into the prepared pan.
2. Pour 2 cups of the milk over the bread and let this soak in for at least 20 minutes while you are preparing the other ingredients.
3. In a 10 inch or larger saute pan, add 1/8 cup canola oil and add the chopped onions, saute these until transparent and browned along the edges, also called carmelized. While the onions are working you can go to the next step. Once the onions are complete, move them from the heat and let them cool.
4. In a large bowl, add the eggs and whisk, then add the balance of the 4 cups of milk and whisk again to incorporate.
5. Add the chopped Lemon Balm and Rosemary, pepper and salt and whisk again to incorporate.
6. Add the jar of Corn Relish and beat gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate.
7. Gently fold in the cooled sauted onions.
8. Stir in the 1 pound of grated gruyere cheese.
9. Pour this mixture over the bread cubes and mix gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate the ingredients and ensure each bite gets a bit of lovely corn and cheese.
10. If desired, cut the 1/8 cup butter into bite-sized pats and dot across the casserole.
11. Place this casserole into the larger casserole that has water in it that will reach half way up the sides of your bread pudding casserole.
12. Place in the oven uncovered and bake for 1 hour and 20 to 25 minutes.