How to strike fear into a cook's heart? "Alanna, I'm bringing so 'n' so to Thanksgiving dinner. He's a vegetarian." Even though I was a vegetarian myself for many years, and often cook simple vegetarian and vegan meals, there's something about meat, well, that's celebratory. The good news about this dish? It tastes good to everyone, carnivores and vegetarians alike. It feels special. It tastes substantial. And it smells divine while it's baking! One of my book club tasters walked in the door asking, "What smells so good in here?" and another, "You could bottle that aroma ..."
Here's what makes this bread pudding work:
* Proportions - This is an 'unbready' bread pudding, light on bread and heavy on vegetables. I use about a 4:1 vegetable:bread ratio.
* Good Bread - A flavorful, slightly dense whole-grain bread is perfect for bread pudding. It doesn't 'deflate' with the weight of vegetables and custard, it holds its own. And it's not just filler, the bread itself actually tastes good.
* Contrast - The butternut squash and the cheddar are quite creamy. In contrast, the chard is slightly astringent, that's a good thing! -Alanna Kellogg, "Veggie Venture" blog.
Hands-on time: 50 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours (can be made ahead)
Serves 8 as a main course, 16 as a side dish
2 Tablespoons butter
2 large onions, chopped
2 large bunches Swiss chard, washed well, stems discarded, leaves chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, whisked
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cream
2 Tablespoons good mustard
2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
A generous sprinkle of freshly ground pepper
1 butternut squash, washed well, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes (aim for 1-1/2 pound of squash cubes)
1/2 pound whole-grain bread, crusts on, cut into half-inch cubes
8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut in 1/3-inch cubes
The set-aside cooked onions
In a large skillet, melt the butter til shimmery.
Add the onions and cook until just soft.
Set aside half the onions.
Add the chard a big handful at a time and stir to coat with fat.
Let it cook a minute or two, then add another handful.
When all the chard is added, let cook until soft.
Add salt and set aside.
Mix all custard ingredients together.
(If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375ºF).
In a large bowl, combine the squash, bread, cheese and cooked onions.
Transfer HALF the mixture to a lightly buttered baking dish about 8x11 or 9x13.
Arrange the cooked chard evenly on top, then the remaining squash-bread-cheese mixture. (See Notes, if making ahead, you may choose to stop here).
Gently pour custard mix over top, being careful to wet all the bread pieces, especially.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven.
(If any pieces of butternut squash are still firm, gently push them into the custard.)
Cover and bake for another 15 or so minutes.
Let rest for about 10 minutes or so before serving.
Source: As copied from Alanna Kellogg's blog, Veggie Venture, "RECIPE INSPIRATION: While I fashioned today's bread pudding recipe after my favorite recipe for Asparagus Whole Wheat Bread Pudding, the genesis of the inspiration came from Molly Wizenberg of the food blog Orangette, this time from her recipe published in the November 2009 issue of Bon Appetit. Thank you, Molly!"; posted by LuAnn for KRT.
Source of recipe and : http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2009/11/savory-bread-pudding-with-butternut.html