Savory Bread Pudding, aka Stuffing!!
I had three chicken breasts, a container of mushrooms, a log of goat cheese and a fresh block of pecorino-romano in the fridge and figured they would all go great together but did not want to do yet another pasta. I also had four Trader Joe’s brioche buns that were a few days old that I didn’t want to waste since they are sooooo good…so I made my first attempt at a savory bread pudding. Overall, I am not a huge bread pudding fan, not rich enough for my dessert tastes and always seem to make a better cold breakfast to me! I do however have one go-to sweet bread pudding recipe that seems to get rave reviews so I will share that recipe as well! The savory bread pudding turned out to be very good; moist and creamy, yet reminded both Josh and I of stuffing at Thanksgiving! This is obviously not a bad thing at all, but savory bread pudding is essentially a version of homemade stuffing! I would definitely make it again and again, adding different ingredients and seasonings each time, great recipe to play around with!
Savory Bread Pudding:
- 8 ounce container mushrooms of choice (I happened to have Portobello)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced finely or sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 T butter
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 6 or so cups of torn bread (I used 4 Brioche buns from Trader Joe’s and it was a little too much actually, but I didn’t want to waste any 😉
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk (or you can do 2 cups heavy cream for more richness)
- 5 ounce log goat cheese
- 1/2 cup pecorino-romano, plus more for topping
- Thyme and rosemary to taste (this is what really gave it the Thanksgiving stuffing feel)!
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 boneless chicken breasts, diced
Heat oil and butter in large saucepan over medium-high until butter has melted. Add in mushrooms, zucchini and onions, saute until softened, 5-7 minutes, salt and pepper to taste (you can also add a little thyme and rosemary to the veggies as well). Add in garlic and saute a few minutes more. Pour in white wine to deglaze the pan and let simmer until most of the liquid has reduced. In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk, seasonings to taste and cheeses. Add in bread pieces and chicken, toss to combine. Add vegetables to bread mixture, mixing so everything is coated with the liquid. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours, tossing every so often. When ready to cook, top with more pecorino-romano and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and center is heated through. We ate it right out of the oven for dinner last night and cold for breakfast this morning and I can’t say which I liked more but I am leaning towards cold breakfast, just like the sweet bread puddings I’ve had!
As is custom, no meal in our household is complete without dessert and I stumbled across an amazing looking picture online and wanted to repeat the recipe and of course after much research, could not find a recipe online! The bars are for sale online by Whimsy and Spice and look divine! Just look at this picture:
My own version of Chocolate Butterscotch Bars:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 T dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional but enhances that deep chocolate flavor)
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 (14 ounce) can condensed milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup butterscotch morsels
For the graham cracker crust: pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together crumbs and melted butter until moistened. Press into greased 9X9 baking pan. Bake 11-12 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile, for the brownie layer, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a double boiler and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan and let cool. Add 1 egg to the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining egg and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be too cakey. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible. Pour the batter over the top of the graham cracker crust. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. While cooling, for butterscotch layer, heat sweetened condensed milk and butter in saucepan over medium heat until thickens and begins to turn a nice amber color, about 10-12 minutes. Add in butterscotch morsels and remove from heat, stirring until smooth and morsels have melted completely. Pour over brownie layer in pan and let bars cool completely before cutting.
These turned out to be just ok. A little too much butterscotch in my opinion and by the end of the night when they had really fully cooled, the butterscotch layer became quite hard and unappetizing in my opinion! The only thing I can think of would be to use less condensed milk and a few tablespoons more butter next time! Here’s how mine looked…not quite as pretty as Whimsy’s!
Lastly, as promised, here is the only bread pudding recipe I have yet to really like!
Cinnamon Caramel Bread Pudding:
- 20 slices cinnamon-raisin bread
- 12 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups chilled whipping cream, divided
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- Purchased caramel sauce, warmed
Cut or rip bread into 3/4-inch cubes. Place in very large bowl. Whisk eggs, milk, 1 cup cream, and next 4 ingredients in large bowl until sugar dissolves. Pour egg mixture over bread; toss to coat. Cover with plastic and chill at least 4 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Let stand at room temp 30 mins. Preheat oven to 375. Butter 13X9 baking dish and pour in bread pudding. Bake pudding until puffed, edges are golden, and tester comes out clean, about 1 hour. Serve with caramel sauce over top!
With that much cream and fattiness, there’s no wonder this is the only one I’ve ever really cared for…sadly though, it is still a breakfast to me, fattiness and all!