I spent all day yesterday writing fiendishly (I'm trying to finish my history chapter) and was craving pizza-ish flavors, but not actual pizza. I took a study break to pop over to food52 and take a look at Amanda and Merrill's selections for this week's contest. For those who don't obsessively read food blogs, food52 is producing a cookbook generated through online submissions judged in weekly contests. [Ok, I admit it, I submitted a beet recipe for the current contest and I was checking to see if I had gotten any "likes" or comments. I haven't :( ] Anyway, this week they/we are judging the week 36 finalists in the categories of best sweet bread pudding and best onion or garlic soup.
So I got to thinking tomato bread pudding. Yum! The only problem is that Brad is turned off by foods that are called "pudding" - clearly, he has never been to the UK. Also, last time I made a savory bread pudding, it kind of tasted like vegetarian stuffing with a ton of expensive mushrooms mixed in. So, I started looking for recipes and they are a lot out there. This one from the New York Times inspired the proportions, but I went in a different direction.
- 1/2 lb high quality Italian bread (like a Tuscan Boule) cut into cubes. Mine was not stale so I baked the cubed bread at 375 for about 10 minutes to "toast" it.
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
- 1-2 shallots finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic smashed and chopped
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups 2% milk (or skim or whole or whatever milk you like)
- 1 cup half and half (or cream, if you are into that)
- 3-5 of the ripest kinds of tomatoes you can find in the dead of winter, sliced into 1/4 " rounds
- 1 ball fresh buffalo mozzarella sliced into 1/4" rounds. Do not use American-style mozzarella, it is so not the same.
- 2-3 rosemary sprigs (remove the rosemary and coarsely chop)
- 2-3 oz finely grated Parmesan
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
This was really yummy. I served it with some Swiss chard braised in Muscadet.