Savory Tomato & Leek Bread Pudding
I received a copy of the The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: Waste-Not Recipes for the Wise Cook to review and was pleasantly surprised.
It is a nice paperback book, great for newlyweds or beginner cooks with some great ideas and recipes as well as money saving tips and basic cooking.
I plan on trying the Aubergenius dip (eggplant and tahini), as well as individual frittatas in ramekins using leftover veggies.
Instead of going out for lunch everyday and spending $10 on a mediocre sandwich with gross deli meat, you can save money during the week by making delicious lunches using leftovers. They had some very creative recipes and ideas on how to make your food dollars stretch. I will be giving this book as gifts to all the future brides to be in my life (there are 2!).
The one recipe that caught my eye right away was the tomato bread pudding.
I love bread puddings like I love tarts.
I added leeks (because I had them!) to the recipe and it came out fantastic!
This is a wonderful brunch dish. The combination of sweet cherry tomatoes and caramelized leeks with bread and custard is just delicious.
It's best to use crustless bread cubes and toast them up, but I was lazy and had a leftover baguette, so sliced that up and used that. It was just fine.
There is no cheese in this recipe, but I don't see why you couldn't add grated parmesan or Gruyere cheese to the top to make it richer.
Cherry Tomato & Caramelized Leek Bread Pudding: (adapted from Frugal Foodie Cookbook)
5 cups of crustless bread cubes, toasted (I used 1 baguette, sliced)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 small leeks, sliced (use only white and light green parts)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
handful of fresh herbs, chopped (I used thyme, basil, oregano and chives)
2 cups of milk or half & half
salt & pepper
Toast your bread cubes or slices in a 350 oven for about 12 minutes, turning them once. Watch so they don't burn. Set aside to cool.
Make custard: whisk the eggs with the milk or cream and set aside.
In a heavy large skillet, heat your butter and brown sugar and add the garlic and leeks. Cook on medium heat about 7 minutes until leeks are softening.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cherry tomatoes to the skillet and splash with the balsamic vinegar. Continue cooking until the tomatoes are breaking down a bit, about 6 minutes. Add fresh herbs and turn off the heat.
Add the bread cubes to the custard and incorporate until the bread is soaking up the custard. Add the cherry tomato leek mixture to the custard and bread and season with more salt & pepper.
Pour into a buttered 2.5 quart baking dish or casserole.
Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.
this pudding sounds delicious; every step is important to ensure that you get the most flavor out if it; I am also very partial to leeks, think they are packed full of a subtle flavor.
-Lara Starr, co-author
The Frugal Foodie Cookbook