December 12, 2013

Bacon & Rosemary Bread Pudding

Bacon and Rosemary Bread Pudding

When it comes to the holiday meal I find that I usually keep our main course the same, either a ham or turkey, but I love to play with the side dishes. There are a few things I keep tried and true, like creamed onions for Dad, but there is a lot of room for experimentation. Lately I’ve been making a lot of bread puddings and will be incorporating it into our meal this year.

My latest favorite version is a savory bacon and rosemary pudding topped with a terrific cheddar crust. It is rich and salty and perfect for an easy Thanksgiving side dish. I love how the top puffs up as it bakes. It looks like a fancy soufflé when it comes out of the oven! The poof deflates a little, of course, once I dig in with a spoon but that is no matter. The rich, cheesy pudding is piping hot and is the perfect counterpoint to the moist meat on our plate.

When I make this awesome pudding I use my favorite Sargento Sharp Cheddar that is shredded straight off the block. To give it your own personal twist it would also taste great with the 4 State Cheddar Blend, or even a lighter Cheddar cheese. To make it extra, extra rich you could even stir in a little Sargento blue cheese crumbles. That would taste ah-mazing! But you’d probably only want small portions because it would be so rich.

To give you more menu ideas for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal I am thrilled to be sharing recipe ideas from my friends and fellow bloggers:

·         The Fountain Avenue Kitchen, “Wild Rice and Sausage Casserole” (Side Dish)

·         Baked Bree, “Ham and Cheese Pinwheels” (Appetizer Course)

·         Flanboyant Eats, “French Onion Soup” (Soup Course)

·         Big Girls Small Kitchen, “Cheesy Mushroom Crostini” (Appetizer Course)

·         The Noble Pig, “Cheesy Browned Butter-Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes” (Side Dish)

Sargento Holiday Menu Inspiration No matter how you cook it the most important thing is serving it to your friends in family. Gathering around a table, surrounding yourself with loved ones, and enjoying a warm meal. That is what the holiday season is all about.

(Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Sargento. The recipes and photographs are my own where noted, and the graphics are provided by Sargento. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make The Naptime Chef possible.)

Bacon & Rosemary Bread Pudding

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 4 cups bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 cup Sargento Sharp Cheddar, divided
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x9-inch baking dish.
  2. 2. In a small skillet warm the olive oil and add the onion, rosemary, and salt. Saute the rosemary until it is soft and translucent.
  3. 3. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and toss the cooked onion, bacon, and 1 cup of the cheese with them until everything is evenly combined. Spread them evenly in the prepared pan.
  4. 4. In a large bowl whisk the milk and eggs and while until well combined. Pour the mixture over the bread crumbs, pressing down so they all get absorbed. Then sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly on top.
  5. 5. Bake the pudding for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a crust forms at the top puffs up. When it is cooked move it right to the table to be served. Scoop a little bit out to let the casserole deflate, then scoop and serve for everyone.
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