Friday, August 9, 2013

Savory Tomato Bread Pudding

This recipe uses up more of that basil gone wild and your bounty of tomatoes.  You can play with it and come up with many different tastes and uses.

1/4 cup use chicken broth
3 tablespoons brown sugar
8 large deseeded and peeled tomatoes
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup butter
1 loaf day old bread
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or use your favorite cheddar or Monterey Jack)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

If you are using fresh tomatoes, carefully drop tomatoes in a big pot of boiling water for 20 seconds. Immediately transfer to a big bowl of cold water. Peel and deseed them by cutting them in half and squeezing the seeds out of them. You can also use the tomatoes that you have put up or use canned tomatoes.  Use about a quart of tomatoes well drained. 

Cut up your bread into cubes and set aside.

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  In a small saucepan, combine the broth, brown sugar, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, basil and cayenne pepper. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.  In a large skillet, melt butter. Toss the bread cubes in the butter to coat, then toss with the cheese, and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Pour the tomato mixture over the bread.  Bake the pudding for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is nicely toasted.

Variations – You can also make the bread pudding in small muffin cups and serve as an appetizer.

Try using fresh mozzarella cheese.  It pairs really nicely with the tomato and basil.  Instead of cayenne pepper, use a little dried oregano.

If you have any of the left over caramelized onions, add them to the pudding or caramelize 1 onion.   They sweeten the pudding.  Or use some of your chives from your herb garden.

If you have heirloom colored tomatoes, use them for a change in color.

Want to add a little meat?  Add some pepperoni or fried plain, hot or sweet Italian sausage.

You can also stuff a tomato with the mixture for a tomato with dressing.  Cooking time will vary according to the size of the tomato but start with the 25 minutes needed to cook the bread pudding. 

Tomorrow the famous Miss Lucile's Tomato Sandwich from the book and movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Enjoy your fresh tomatoes while you can.  It is a great time of year.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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