Savory French Onion Bread Pudding {vegetarian}


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Last weekend I made two batches of rolls both of which turned out slightly overcooked. I was pissed. I hate overcooked baked anything. Plus I don’t like to waste food. Especially when I’m feeling a money crunch. So I threw them in the freezer and decided to deal with them later.

Inspired by the upcoming holiday and the thought of eating gobs and gobs of dressing/stuffing, I thought I could turn my not-so-moist rolls into a savory bread pudding.

I found a recipe for French Onion Bread Pudding at the foodnetwork.com. Here’s my interpretation.

ingredients.

  • 1 pound onions (1 large onion), thinly sliced
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1 T. sweet sherry
  • 12 c. stale bread or rolls, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 10 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 c. whole milk, half and half or cream
  • 1 T. grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • kosher salt
  • 2 c. shredded parmesan, romano, Gruyère cheese

directions.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.
  2. In a large skillet, saute the onions in browned butter over medium-high heat; stir constantly to prevent burning. Cook until golden brown. Add sherry and stir to lift any browned bits of onion on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Place bread cubes, thyme and olive oil in a gallon-sized Ziploc baggy and shake to evenly distribute. Spread out the bread pieces evenly on a baking sheet (you may need two baking sheets). Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, until golden and slightly crunchy, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, milk and mustard.
  5. In a casserole dish, layer the bread with the onions. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Cover with cheese. Let stand for a few hours, up to 1 day, before baking. (I made mine the night before and baked it in the early afternoon the next day.)
  6. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the egg mixture is set and the cheese has begun to brown.

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When I eat Baked French Onion Soup, I tend to put so many croutons in my soup that most of the soup soaks into my croutons and it becomes a bowl of soggy croutons, onions, and cheese. This dish sorta reminds me of that (except the bread isn’t soggy!).

This is one of the best smelling dishes I’ve ever made. While it was baking, my dad emphatically asked what was cooking. As the dish continued baking and imparting the smell of what my dad said was a big grilled cheese sandwich, we both agreed that we hoped the bread pudding tasted as good as it smelled (given that the recipe was a bit experimental). Thankfully it did.

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Recipe rating: 

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