A few days ago, it was a rare day in SoCal…it rained. Being the proud homebody that I am, I adore a rainy day. The heat is on at a comfortable temp, a warm cup of tea sits comfortably on my desk (all day), and my ugg slippers are the shoe of choice.
Eli woke up that morning with a “bit” of the sniffles (I knew he was faking, but we are all entitled a day off now and again). The one condition; he was to stay out of my hair. I had some work to catch up on for a few clients and I was really looking forward to a day to cross some stuff off of my to-do list.
At 10:30 a.m. Eli started asking what was for lunch. I ignored him as much as I could, but then I realized that it is rare that I have a lunch partner. Lunch was going to be a joint effort, something that we could do together. With some turkey sausage in the fridge, washed leeks, a brick of feta, and some left over challah, I knew exactly what I was going to make; the ultimate comfort food – a Savory Bread Pudding.
While Eli cut the challah in cubes, I removed the casing from the sausage, sauteed it with a little olive oil and then pulled other ingredients that would compliment the main ingredients. Eli loves my rustic herb stuffing, thus I was confident that he would love this just as well. This impromptu lunch, using pantry and fridge staples was not only delicious but rewarding. Lunch with a partner, and not just any partner, was a welcomed pleasure.
A Savory Bread Pudding
4 tablespoons organic butter, unsalted (plus more for the baking dish)
1 lb turkey sausage
2 cup leeks, washed and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups baby spinach, washed and roughly chopped
6 large, organic eggs
1 1/2 cups organic, whole milk
8 oz. good feta cheese
1/2 cup hard ricotta, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
5 cups stale bread, cubed
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
• preheat oven to 350*. butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and place on rimmed baking sheet. set aside.
• in a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. add the sausage, breaking it up while sauteing until the meat is no longer pink. this should take about 5 minutes.
• place sausage in a bowl and let cool slightly.
• in the same pan, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and over medium to low heat, saute until translucent (about 10 minutes).
• add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
• add spinach and cook until just wilted. set aside.
• in a glass bowl whisk the eggs until combined. add the milk, feta, ricotta, salt, and white pepper. mix well.
• in large bowl, combine the sausage, vegetables, and cubed bread. toss to combine.
• pour the egg/cheese mixture over cooked ingredients and mix thoroughly.
• place in prepared baking dish. spread evenly and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
• bake for 40-50 minutes or until no longer wet in the middle.
• let rest for 10 minutes before diving in!
The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com