Many years ago, to celebrate my sister’s birthday, we had a family dinner at Carmine’s in New York City. The dishes are all massive and served family style, everyone digging in for a helping of this and that. One of the appetizers we ordered to share was a bread pudding. It was the first time I had eaten a savory version of bread pudding, and I was instantly hooked. We all were. Ever since then, I’ve had savory bread puddings in the back of my mind, tearing out clipping after clipping of recipes to try to find one that was as good as the one at Carmine’s that day. I’ve tried a few of them along the way, but after this recipe, I think I just may call off the search.
I found this recipe on A Good Appetite, who got it by way of Jam and Clotted Cream, who got it from BBC’s Good Food magazine. After seeing the original, I’m definitely adding that one to my list as well, since it’s looks different enough to get its own shot. Usually, if a recipe has bleu cheese in it, I’m there. I just love the flavor of it. An important thing to point out about this recipe is that it’s forgivable. Although it called for leeks, I used one yellow onion and one shallot (to give it a little sweetness). Then, I used the basic method to put the individual bread puddings together, doubling the recipe along the way. I loved the fact that these were served in individual ramekins, and they made a delicious start to a recent dinner we had.
Creamy, cheesy, and sinfully delicious from the first bite. With the individual portions, you can stop yourself before you devour more than your fair share. Well, assuming you stop at just one ramekin. Whether you’ve been on a similar hunt for an excellent savory bread pudding recipe or not, this is one to try. You won’t be disappointed.
Tomorrow? Going the Wordless Wednesday route with the Jelly Bean story. And Thursday? The Chocolate Espresso Bars you got a peek of here.
At Nick‘s Cub Scout meeting tonight, there were having a Uniform Check, which sent me into a momentary state of panic. I have all these badges that he’s collected over the last year or so, and I have been a little lax in getting them onto his shirt and vest. I don’t sew. At all. But I spent one hour tonight sewing two badges onto his shirt so he would pass inspection. See those nice little blue stitches along the bottom of that badge? Two badges in one hour is pretty pitiful. Nick kept coming over and asking me if I was done yet, and what was taking so long. No matter. I’m pretty proud of the fact that they’re still affixed to the shirt, that I sewed them into the right place, and that they’re only ever so slightly crooked. Now to tackle the rest of the badges… must find friend with sewing machine.
Individual Leek and Bleu Cheese Bread Puddings
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 leek, cleaned & sliced, white & light green parts only (I used one yellow onion and one shallot instead, for a doubled recipe)
6 1/2-inch thick slices of bread (or only use 4 slices & do two layer if you want it to be less bready)
1 large egg
2/3 c milk
salt & pepper
1 oz blue cheese, grated
1.5 oz cheddar, grated
2 1 & 1/2 c oven-safe ramekins
Preheat oven to 375 F. Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks & cook until they are soft. Set aside. Cut circles from your bread just big enough to sit inside your ramekins. Coat one side of each slice with a little butter & them mustard. Whisk the egg & milk together until well blended. Season with salt & pepper.
Lay one slice of bread in the bottom of each ramekin with the butter & mustard side up. Top with 1/3 of the leeks & cheeses. Pour about 1/3 of the egg mixture on top (for me this was about 4 soup spoons worth). Repeat two more times using up all the ingredients. Allow the ramekins to rest for 20 minutes so all the egg mixture gets soaked into the bread.
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet (the cheese oozes over the side & this will save your oven bottom). Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the cheeses are brown & bubbly.