On weekdays I am not a breakfast person. Mostly because I wake up at the last possible minute, 6 pre-set alarms later. No time for omelettes on a Monday.
But on Sundays? Sundays are made for brunch. Brunch gets made. Brunch gets eaten.
Brunch is my favorite meal of the week for many reasons which include, but are not limited to:
- waking up late
- drinking champagne
- eating breakfast food & lunch food in one sitting
- taking a post-brunch nap
- drinking champagne
Another reason I love eating brunch, and perhaps the most important, is because I can now actually enjoy the luxury of being able to eat brunch. Ya see, for years I worked brunch. I cooked brunch for everyone other than myself. I looked out of the restaurant kitchen window in envy as patrons drank champagne and ate the delicious food I cooked for them while, well, not eating brunch and drinking champagne.
It was a tough life.
Four years and a corporate job later I can now eat brunch with the rest of the non-restaurant industry population and I enjoy every second of it. And, as much as I love cooking and have occasional withdrawals from chef-life, it never fails that every time I go to brunch and see the wait staff running around like crazy, overhear customers ask if something can be made “gluten free” and, finally, know that the kitchen crew is probably all hungover working in a hot ass kitchen, I end up saying “FUCK THAT”.
I’m not about that life.
My recipe for Savory Bread Pudding is a great brunch option for when you decide to stay at home and have friends over. Everything gets mixed in one bowl, put in a casserole dish and then thrown in the oven. Top it with a fried egg and spicy pepper jelly and you got yourself something really special. Perfect for your post-brunch nap.
What the heck is spicy pepper jelly?
To make it plain, it’s basically one of the best condiments you will ever have the blessing of tasting and I bet you’ll find a way to put it on pretty much anything. Not even lying.
It’s sweet. It’s spicy. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Breathtaking, in fact.
You can totally enjoy the Savory Bread Pudding without it but you’ll basically be dead to me.
Don’t forget to drink champagne and don’t forget to thank God that you are able to.
Savory Bread Pudding
- 1 loaf Pullman or Challah Bread (8 cups), large cubes
- 1/4 lb bacon, large dice
- 1/4 lb hot sopressata, thinly sliced & then sliced into strips
- 1/2 onion, small dice
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 1 tsp nutmeg, ground
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a saute pan or cast iron skillet, cook bacon until cooked through. Remove from pan.
- Add the diced onion to the bacon fat and cook until translucent and light golden brown. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, add the eggs and whisk until scrambled. Add the milk, heavy cream, spices and gruyere. Whisk to combine.
- Add the remaining ingredients, including the cooked bacon and onion, mixing well and ensuring to get the bread well saturated with the liquid.
- Let sit 30 mins.
- Stir once more to incorporate and add to a buttered 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
- Cook 45-55 minutes or until the top is crispy and a deep golden brown.
- Let cool 5 minutes and serve with fried eggs and hot pepper jelly.
Hot Pepper Jelly:
- 1 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar
- 3/4 cup corn syrup
- 1 red bell pepper, guts removed & finely diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, guts removed & finely diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, guts removed & finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper, guts removed & finely diced
- 1 jalepeño pepper, guts removed & finely diced
- 2 Thai chilis, finely diced
- 1 habanero pepper, guts removed & finely diced.
- Add vinegar and corn syrup to a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/3 of the original amount. Mixture will be thick and syrupy.
- Gut, de-seed and finely dice peppers. If you decide to use the hot peppers in this recipe I highly suggest you wear latex gloves to prevent their oils from getting into your skin. THEY ARE HOT!
- Once the vinegar & corn syrup has reduced, add all of the peppers to the sauce pan and mix. The mixture will get loose again due to the peppers releasing all of their liquid when hitting the heat. Turn the heat up to high and continue to stir until the mixture has once again reduced to 1/3. The result will be thick but loose enough to drizzle. Keep in mind that the mixture will thicken slightly after cooling. If you’re unsure, pull off of the heat when you think it’s close to the syrupy consistency, let cool and check. If the mixture is still too loose the return to the heat and reduce further.
- Store in an air-tight container. Can be refrigerated up to 2 months but it won’t last that long.
On a side note, this recipe for Savory Bread Pudding doesn’t have to be limited to breakfast or brunch. Serve as a side dish with lunch or dinner. Think: refined stuffing.
Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit’s Parmesan Bread Pudding