Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Butternut squash and chard bread pudding: a recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers

I know, I know -- Thanksgiving isn't until tomorrow and I'm already giving you a recipe for leftovers.

You will thank me this weekend, I guarantee it.

I had some cooked butternut squash, half a loaf of italian bread and the last of the swiss chard from my garden on hand last night that I wanted to use up, so I turned to Google to figure out what to make.

Lo and behold, I got a sweet hit. One of my favorite food bloggers, Molly from Orangette, had published a recipe in Bon Appetit last year for a bread pudding that I could adapt.

I think the best part about this recipe is that there is very little cooking prep involved, short of soaking the bread -- the perfect level of effort for Black Friday, if you've just spent several days preparing a Thanksgiving feast. And you will likely have some kind of leftover squash, greens (spinach or kale would also work in this pudding) and bread with which to work.

You know, I bet this would be great with some leftover cooked turkey thrown in there as well!

Given that I was dining solo and had only small quantities of leftovers, my version only makes a small amount, suitable for 2, so go ahead and double or triple it as necessary.

Butternut squash and chard bread pudding (adapted from Bon Appetit)

1 cup cubed, cooked butternut squash
2 large eggs
kosher salt
1/2 cup half and half
1 tablespoons white wine
1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 cups of cubed, day-old bread
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cups swiss chard, coarsely chopped
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add half and half, wine, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt; whisk to blend. Add bread cubes and fold gently into egg mixture. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Add chard and cook about 2-3 minutes, until just starting to wilt but still bright green. (Note: if you are using leftover cooked greens, skip the chard-wilting step and just saute the shallots, then add them to the greens).

Using slotted spoon, transfer half of bread from egg mixture to a greased baking dish, arranging to cover most of dish. Spoon half of the chard over bread. Spoon half of squash over bread and chard, and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat with remaining bread, chard, squash, and cheese. Pour any remaining egg mixture over bread pudding.

Cover bread pudding with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until custard is set and bread feels springy to touch, about 15-20 minutes longer.

Preheat broiler; broil pudding until cheese browns slightly, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

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