Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bread and Rice Puddings

I got on a bread pudding and rice pudding kick.  I realized how incredibly versatile it is, in that you literally can add whatever you have on hand to it and make it into whatever course you want.  Appetizer, entree, dessert, vegetable side. My husband isn't crazy about it, so I haven't had a chance to experiment with it the way I want to.  I have yet to make a solid "plain" pudding as a base from which to experiment - I jump straight into the alternatives.  But there will be more posts on this to come, especially as we move into winter. Once I develop a base, that will make options and add-ins much easier to play with.  For example, I chose the exotic tropical flavors in the rice pudding below to complement the aromatic basmati rice.

Here are two that worked in the trial runs:

Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomato Bread Pudding
Serves 6

½ loaf day-old crusty Italian bread, diced into 3/4-1 inch cubes
2 Italian seasoned sausages
1/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
½ shallot, finely diced
2-3 tbsp olive oil, or oil drained from tomatoes
3 eggs
½ cup egg beater
2 cups milk (fat free works fine)
2 tsp whole grain mustard
Crushed red pepper

Heat oil in heavy saucepan.  Add sprinkle of crushed red pepper or to taste.  Add shallot and saute until tender. 

Chop or crumble sausages and add to pan with tomatoes.  Saute until heated through.  Stir in bread cubes until coated and allow to toast slightly in pan.

While the mixture is toasting, in a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, egg product, milk, mustard. 

Transfer bread mixture to a buttered 2-qt casserole dish.  Pour milk mixture over and press down bread to cover.  Allow to rest, soaking the bread periodically in the milk mixture by pressing down solids, for at least 15 minutes, up to overnight.  Cover dish and bake at 375 for 40 minutes.  Uncover, and allow to brown an additional 10 minutes.  Serve hot. 

Note: I also threw in a bit of sour cream because I had it.  Any combination of milk or cream would be fine.

Coconut-Banana Rice Pudding
Serves 4

1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup cream
½ tsp coconut extract
½ - 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
¼ - ½ tsp ground cardamom

Approximately 1 ½ cups cooked basmati rice (if tightly packed and refrigerated – as in leftovers –  
     be sure to break apart into individual grains of rice)
1 medium banana, thinly sliced, or diced

1 tbsp butter
¼ cup flaked sweetened coconut
¼ cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk together first six ingredients. In a 6-cup casserole, combine banana and rice.  Pour custard over and stir to combine.

Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over pudding.

Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, until tested inserted comes out clean and top is toasty brown.

No comments:

Post a Comment