We created this amazing brunch concoction over Christmas break, when we had lots of time to rest, relax and enjoy time in the kitchen. Its inspiration, in fact, was a Christmas gift from Amy's bestie Karen - a piece of "Temp-tations" cookware. Isn't it gorgeous? Not only is it non-stick, but it can go straight from the fridge to the oven to the table. We especially love the pretty glass trivet (also serves as a lid!) and the iron rack that come with it, making it so very table-ready.
Since Karen is in New Orleans, we wanted to make something inspired by the Big Easy. After plenty of consideration and exchanging various ideas, the two of us finally came up with this: Bacon, Egg and Cheese Bread Pudding, a play on the ubiquitous sandwich. This savory bread pudding is fluffy and custardy, with salty and smoky bites of bacon and tangy cheese. Loved it, and it was perfect for our new cookware! Perhaps we'll make it again today, since we have a SNOW DAY!
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
4 slices bacon
1 shallot, minced
5 cups cubed day-old French bread
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
kosher salt and ground white pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 and spray the baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk together milk, cream, eggs, salt and white pepper in a large bowl; set aside. Cook bacon until crisp, remove from pan and drain on paper towels, then chop into bite-sized pieces. Cook shallot in bacon fat over medium heat until golden, only about one minute. Add bacon, bread, cheese, cooked shallots and dried parsley into custard mixture so that all bread is covered; allow to soak for about 1/2 hour. Transfer mixture into baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.