I mentioned in my recent post that I’m working on eating out of my pantry. My plan is to make meals from the foods I have available in my kitchen, and limit grocery shopping to just milk, fresh veggies, and fruits. The first thing I did was take a look at what foods I have in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. I started with the fridge, looking for things that might be reaching the end of their shelf life.
I found a quarter loaf of whole wheat bread in the fridge. This bread has been there for quite a while. I probably should have placed it in the freezer for longer storage. The fridge is not really a good place since bread actually goes stale quicker in the fridge. That’s one thing I’ll keep a note of for future reference. Bread doesn’t last long on the kitchen counter here. It gets too warm at times and the bread ends up developing mold in like <2 days.
I inspected the bread. They were stale, but looked fine. There was no mold and it smelled fine, just a little dryer than normal.
I decided to use up this stale bread and make bread pudding…
Savory bread pudding.
Stale bread is great for bread pudding. It’s also great for making croutons. Here’s what I did… I turned the sliced bread into croutons and then incorporated it into the savory bread pudding recipe.
Croutons are actually very easy to make. You can use any kind of bread you like. Cut the bread into half inch cubes. Heat the oven to 325 F. To season the bread, coat the bread cubes with a mixture of olive oil and your choice of herbs. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 mins, or until crisp. For 2 cups of cubed bread, a mixture of 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of herbs (basil, oregano, italian, thyme, or parsley) works well.
Usually, a slice of bread will make about a cup of croutons. The bread slices I had were a bit smaller. I used 4 slices and that made about 2.5 cups of croutons.
Now that I have the croutons, I proceeded to making the Savory Bread Pudding. I collected the other ingredients. This recipe yield 4 servings. I portioned each serving into 5-inch round aluminum bake pans (which are good for making individual pot pies as well). Or, you can just pour it into a large baking dish and divide the pudding after it is baked.
- 2 cups croutons
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 1 small onion, diced
- In one bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
- In another bowl, mix croutons, onions, and cheese.
- Spray each baking pan with cooking spray.
- Add the crouton, onion, and cheese mixture in to the pan.
- Pour the egg mixture over the crouton mixture until full.
- Gently submerge the croutons.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes so that the croutons soak up the egg mixture. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F.
- When the oven is ready, place the pans in oven.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until pudding is set and slightly golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Ready to serve!
The bread pudding smelled great. They turned out nice and moist. It was a bit on the gooey side. For a less gooey pudding, you can cut back on the milk a little bit, maybe subtract a 1/4 cup or so.
I’ve seen sweet bread puddings, but never tried a savory version. The bread pudding made me think of a quiche with chunks of bread. I like it!
The bread pudding is best consumed fresh out of the oven. Two of the pieces were chowed down soon after they were cooked. I put the remaining two pieces into the fridge to eat the follow day. On the next day, I reheated it in the toaster oven, but it didn’t taste as good as it did the day before.
Re: Operation EatPantry
Eating out of my pantry is going well. From going through my pantry, I realized I had good stash of dried beans… red beans, black beans, soy beans, garbanzo beans. I took some of the red beans and made a chunky red bean paste and a red bean loaf. I’ll be posting the recipes later this week.
Operation EatPantry will be placed on a temporary halt next week since I’ll be traveling for work. But when I return, it’s back to eating out of my pantry. Stay tuned.