A few posts back, I wrote about my experience visiting the Absynthe Bakery on the Gold Coast. One of the lovely items I brought back home with me was a loaf of curry bread. Now, to be perfectly honest, this was good for one feed and afterwards, I got sick of it because the curry flavor is quite intense.
Therein lies the age old question - what to do with stale bread? If this was a neutral or sweet loaf, my options would have been plentiful. E.g. cinnamon bread and butter pudding withe creme anglaise = yum. ANYWAY - because my bread was savory, the only thing I could think of was to grind it up as bread crumbs. But even that wouldn't have been a lot of use because flavored bread crumbs don't have the same versatility as plain ones.
I toyed with the idea of a savory bread pudding. A quick search online revealed that such a creation DID exist and so I thought what the hell. This is my own recipe that I thought up on the spot. It worked out really well so if you're skeptical, come on and have some faith :p. I used a combination of chorizo, cheddar and caramelized onion because they were flavors that I thought would go well with the curry in the bread. You can obviously think up your own combination of savory flavors and use up whatever is in your fridge or pantry. After all, that's what bread puddings are good for.
Cheddar and Chorizo Savory Bread Pudding
Makes 1 (in a 10cm diameter springform tin)
- 2 thin slices of whatever bread you're using, crust removed and cut to the shape of your tin
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of milk (I used soy milk)
- pinch of salt to season
- 1/2 brown onion, chopped
- 1/2 chorizo sausage (about 60g), skin removed and broken into small pieces
- 2 tbsp cheddar cheese, grated or crumbled
- 2 tbsp of bread crumbs (I used the hard crusts that I removed from the bread)
1. I wrapped foil around my springform tin to prevent leakage. Then, made sure that the bread fit inside. Because each slice of my bread was about 1/2 the area of the tin, I used 4 slices pieced together. By the way, I forgot to grease the foil which made the pudding a bit difficult to remove. Save yourself the trouble by greasing the inside of the foil at this stage.
2. Beat the egg and milk together, soak the bread in for 5min and turn. Keep soaking.
3. In the meantime, sautee the onions in a bit of butter or oil until brown. Add the chorizo and keep frying until the chorizo is fragrant and curled around the edges (indicating they have released their fat).4. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
5. Begin layering your pudding. Start with one layer of egg-soaked bread (1). Add on a layer of chorizo and onion. Because my tin is tiny, I couldn't fit all of my chorizo and onion on and ended up with some left over onion - I just served that with the pudding in the end. Top the chorizo and onion with 1/2 the crumbled cheddar cheese (2). Add another layer of bread and pour the remaining egg mixture over the top to reach all the sides (3). Finally, sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and the remaining cheddar cheese. This gives the bread pudding a crunchy crust.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10min till the pudding is set and the top is golden brown.7. Serve with some garnish. I used coriander to compliment the curry flavors, plus some chili flakes because I like chili. I REALLY WANTED to use the spicy tomato chutney I thought I had in the fridge but it was nowhere to be found so I went without and served my pudding with the remainder of the caramelized onions.
I was really surprised with how delicious this pudding turned out. So many times while making this, I thought it was going to be one of those rubbish, throw-together dishes that lazy people make. Well, it WAS lazy and 'throw-together' but it didn't taste rubbish at all. The flavors are beautiful together and the whole thing is so moreish.
The bread pudding itself was set just right and went perfectly with the chorizo. I loved the strength of the cheddar in this dish and the onion brought forward a complimentary sweetness. It was a great idea to have the bread crumb topping because the topping was my favorite part - cheesy and crunchy.