French Onion Bread Pudding

FrenchOnionBreadPuddingVertbfLOOnion soup on a plate?

Mebbe not quite, but darned CLOSE!

With this recipe, bread pudding’s not just for brunch or dessert anymore – this is ONE. FINE. SIDE DISH.

Or, OK, mebbe one fine main course for lunch with a side salad – tho’ Rich thinks not.

Since I find myself making two loaves of sourdough bread every week, I’ve been looking at interesting stuff to do with it, and this recipe, courtesy of The Cookworks, showed up on one of those hunts.

I did change a few things: whole milk (leftover from the last batch o’ mousse) instead of heavy cream, red vermouth instead of sweet sherry, Swiss cheese instead of the Gruyère, and, mebbe, most importantly, I scaled the recipe down to a scale suitable for a weeknight dinner for two to four without a huge pan o’ puddin’ left over. The original recipe is here, courtesy of Food Network Canada. For my version, continue reading…

•1 onion, thinly sliced
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp sugar
•2 tsp butter
•1 tsp olive oil
•1 tsp red vermouth
•2 or 3 slices of  good bread, crusts trimmed
BreadToastingbfLO•2 eggs
•2/3 cup whole milk
•1 tsp coarse ground Dijon mustard
•1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
•1/2 tsp sea salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese
•1/4 tsp hot sauce (optional)

Heat the oven to 350º and toss the onion slices with the salt and sugar.

OnionsWinebfLOCut the trimmed bread into 5 inch by 1 inch strips and arrange on a baking sheet. Pop in the oven for five to eight minutes to dry the bread out a bit, but not to really toast or add color. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a hot skillet and add the onion slices. Sauté over medium-high heat until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add the wine and stir to deglaze the pan – picking up any bits of onion stuck to the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

BreadPuddingReadyToBakeAltbfLOWhisk the eggs together with the milk, mustard, thyme, sea salt, and pepper. Add the bread slices and set aside to soak for five minutes.

Remove the soaked bread pieces and arrange in a small baking dish (my stoneware baker measures  7-1/2 x 5 x 2 inches).

Here’s where I added my hot sauce of choice – a bit of Earl’s – to the egg and milk mixture.

Arrange the caramelized onions over the bread in the baking pan, then top with the BreadPuddingBakedbfLOSwiss cheese.

Pour the egg and milk mixture (with or without the Earl’s) over all and bake for 35 minutes until the egg mixture is set – it’ll come out a bit on the puffy side, but will settle down after a minute or two.

How lovely is THAT?

And it tastes even better!



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