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Sausage, Apple, & Cheddar Bread Pudding

October 13, 2012

OCTOBER 13th, 2012 — I’m baaaaack! After concluding my summer with 3 weeks in the Middle East (round 2) I’ve started my third year of college, but now living in a private apartment with its own kitchen, which hopefully means the Mad Gastronomist will be more active during the school year as well!

To kick off the year, I wanted to introduce myself to my apartment-mates by making a brunch, though I didn’t want to do Operation Sugar-Overload with pancakes and french toast. I also didn’t want to be the hotel omelette bar, hence the brilliant idea of savory bread pudding—fantastic for old (about-to-expire) bread and other leftover ingredients and staples!

So what did you do?
I first prepared the mixture, by finely dicing 1/3 of a large onion, and caramelizing it in 2/3 tbsp of butter and a little bit of water. If you don’t add enough fat / moisture, the onions may burn and dry out. Then I added some salt.

While the onions sat there on the stove for about 5-7 minutes, I finely diced 1 medium Gala apple, and 2 chicken-apple sausages (from Trader Joe’s). I then added this mixture (that makes about 2 cups total) to the caramelizing onions, adding a dash more salt, some ground black pepper, and a few drizzles of honey to bring out the sweet in a sweet-savory dish. I let that cook on med-low heat for about 7 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, I mixed 1 cup lowfat milk, 2 whole eggs, salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Then I chopped some old French bread into cubes, around 5 cups loosely packed, and gently folded it into the milk mixture.
Then, I folded the sausage-apple mixture in, and let the whole thing sit for 10 minutes.

I then baked it in a lightly greased pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, after sprinkling some more shredded cheddar on top.

Result? Absolutely heart-warming in your mouth, yet with complex tastes and textures. It’s unlike plain sweet bread pudding, with its weight of sugary milk. You can never be too shy with mix-ins. The sharpness in the cheese and sausage makes the whole dish heartier, and the soft and sweet flesh of the apple just rounds out your weekend morning.

Lessons learned?
Bread pudding is such a versatile that eats up leftover ingredients. I think I’d definitely make this again. It was really simple as well. And, from what I understand, it makes even better leftovers–hot or cold.

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