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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weekly Recipes: December 19

Butternut Squash & Spinach Bread Pudding

I started with a recipe for butternut squash, kale, shallots and cheddar cheese, decided to change it to spinach, onions, mozzarella and parmesan and messed with the method a little to account for the quicker cooking spinach.

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, more to sprinkle
7 large eggs
2 1/4 cups rich milk
6 tablespoons dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 large loaf of French or Italian bread (I used a three cheese semolina loaf), torn into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 pound spinach, washed and dried
8 ounces mozzarella, grated (I used fresh, after freezing it a little to make it easier to grate, but the regular store type would work just fine)
2 ounces parmesan, finely grated

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft and starting to brown.

Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add half and half, wine, mustard, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt; whisk to blend. Add baguette pieces; fold gently into egg mixture. Let soak 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Add spinach and combine with onion and oil. Spinach will start to wilt a little, but not cook down too much.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Butter 15x11x2-inch baking dish (or two smaller pans). Using slotted spoon,
transfer half of bread from egg mixture to prepared baking dish, arrange to cover most of the dish. Spoon half of spinach mixture over bread. Spoon half of squash over bread and kale; sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat with remaining bread, spinach, squash and cheese. Pour 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 20 minutes longer.

Cool 5 minutes and serve.

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I'm going to make that New Year's Eve for my guests. That looks amazing.
It was really good! I reduced the salt when I typed up the recipe to note what I did. The original recipe had you salt the squash, put 1 1/2 tablespoons in the custard and salt the shallots & kale (onions and spinach in my case). I didn't salt any of the vegetables, but did add the 1 1/2 tablespoons to the mix. I thought that was too much, but that the squash could do with some salting before baking. So, start with a light hand is what I'm suggesting.

I should be able to get that book out to you this week. It's been long enough, I know!
That looks REALLY good. We'll have to try it. I have a lot of eggs in the fridge.
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