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Asparagus Bread Pudding

Source: Fine Cooking - Issue No. 26
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 5 Minutes
  Serves 8
This dish was inspired by a recipe that Georgeanne Brennan brought back from France and shared with her friends at Chez Panisse. You can play around with it by trying different cheeses and even substituting other vegetables when asparagus isn't at its peak.
RECIPE INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon water
1 pound (2 small) leeks, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (white and light green parts only)
5 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 pound dry bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (if fresh, toast lightly)
1/4 pound fontina cheese, shredded
1/4 pound Gruyere or Cantal cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, tarragon, chervil)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Pinch cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Other necessary recipes:
Asparagus and Citrus Salad Linguine with Asparagus, Morels and Cream
Asparagus Bread Pudding Recipe at Cooking.com
DIRECTIONS
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the water and a pinch of salt. Add the leeks and cook until tender, about 10 min. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add the remaining ingredients, including the leeks, and gently toss them. The mixture should be well coated and somewhat soupy.


Spread the mixture into a 4-quart soufflé dish, a 13x9-inch baking dish, or another ovenproof dish that’s at least 2 inches deep and big enough to hold the mixture. Put the dish on a baking sheet and bake until the top is crusty brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 to 60 min. If the pudding looks too dark before it’s finished, cover with foil. Let cool slightly before serving.


Recipe reprinted by permission of Fine Cooking Magazine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 8
Calories: 599
Fat. Total: 31g
Fiber: 4g
Carbohydrates, Total: 57g
Sodium: 770mg
% Cal. from Fat: 47%
Cholesterol: 219mg
Protein: 24g
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