Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cheddar-Prosciutto Bread Pudding


I'm getting antsy. It's not that I'm not enjoying my time here in New York, but I'm just a little exhausted. Work is great, and it's been a blast getting to explore the city. I think I just need a break. I came home from school and only had a week to spend lolling about, doing a whole lot of nothing. Up here, everything is pretty much non-stop. Go, go, go.

Now, I'm actually sort of pining for the slow South. I cannot wait to curl up with a warm cup of tea and a good book (I just finished Timequake, so I'm on the lookout for new one!), inside, of course. Because there is absolutely no way I'll be outdoors in Charleston in August. What I'm most excited about, though, is food. Shocked? Yeah, I didn't think so.


This summer has been a flurry of restaurant meals, haphazard dinners thrown together in my miniature kitchen, and bags of kettlecorn. Some of the things I've eaten at restaurants have been incredible, but, in my mind, nothing can measure up to a meal made in my own kitchen. My mom is quite a healthy cook, but nothing is ever bland. As my brothers and I grew up, it was a rare occasion when she didn't have a fresh and delicious dinner on the table for us after our soccer practices, swim meets, and piano lessons.

Since my older brother and I aren't at home during the year or this summer, it's been harder for her to make meals. Too little food, and my dad and little brother aren't satisfied. Too much, and it will undoubtedly go to waste. To help her out (and as a thank you for years of food and really inspiring my love of cooking and baking) I whipped up this bread pudding that she could pull out of the fridge for the boys. 

Like the white chocolate bread pudding, this is really just a template. You can tweak it to your liking or what you have on hand. Swap goat cheese for the cheddar and add asparagus for a springy variation. Forget the prosciutto and use feta and sundried tomatoes for a filling vegetarian take. The cheddar and prosciutto were delicious and easy, as I had them in my fridge.


Cheddar-Prosciutto Bread Pudding
Serves 4

2 cups whole milk
3 eggs
1/2 salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
About 2 1/2 cups stale whole-wheat bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4 slices prosciutto, torn into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the inside of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Whisk together the milk, eggs, salt, and pepper. Add the torn bread to the custard mixture until there is little extra liquid lurking in the bowl. Fold in the 2/3 cup cheese and prosciutto. Pour into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup cheese over top. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with a light green salad.

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