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Monday, November 1, 2010

Savory Bread Pudding



It’s official; Fall has begun at our house. The tomatoes are giving their last hurrah at the grocery store before they become the mealy, gassed kind you find all winter. I found myself in the kitchen last night with one last beautiful, local tomato that weighed a hefty pound all on its own. I was tempted to make a refreshing salad with it to have one last glimpse of summer, but my tomato was starting to see its final days and was begging to be cooked.

Did you ever have stewed tomatoes growing up? My mom would always make them and we’d spoon some on top of our macaroni and cheese. It was such a good combination of acid and cream. I decided I wanted something like that for dinner; something hearty and wholesome. After reviewing a few recipes I had in mind, I decided on a savory bread pudding. It was delicious and was the first time I felt like I appreciated cayenne in a recipe. You didn’t taste the heat at all, but merely felt it on your tongue after you ate each bite. It was a tease that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope you will too.

Savory Bread Pudding
-adapted from here (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Savory-Tomato-Bread-Puddings-10513)

1 lb tomatoes, cored and cubed (peeled if you like)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
4 large basil leaves, loosely torn
2 slices of bread with crusts removed, cut into ¾ inch cubes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put cubed tomatoes, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar in small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Simmer about 5 minutes. Add basil and cayenne halfway through.

Melt butter in microwave; about 10 seconds. Pour melted butter over bread cubes. Toss to lightly coat.

Split bread cubes between 2 ramekins. Pour stewed tomatoes over bread. Place in oven for 20 minutes.

Enjoy with a salad or be totally gluttonous and serve it with homemade macaroni and cheese like I did. Let husband fill up on your macaroni while you finish the rest of his bread pudding in pure bliss.