Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back so soon? My first post in a year...

I can't believe its been a whole year but what a year it has been! I won't offer any lame excuses except to say it has been a roller coaster ride that hopefully is drawing to a close.

In the spirit of getting back on the horse, I want to offer a recipe that we made the other night as a main course for Meatless Monday. The hubby and kids are NOT happy about my desire to be meatless, even for one meal, but they grudgingly ate this and three of us at least actually enjoyed it. It is based on a recipe from Real Simple but I made some tweaks, which I've indicated below. Next time I make it I'll use either sweet potato or pumpkin instead of the butternut squash, though, and if I make it for a non-vegetarian meal some chicken-apple sausage might be a nice addition as well.

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
2 medium onions, chopped (I used one)
1-1/2 pounds butternut squash (about half a medium squash)—peeled, seeded, and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
kosher salt and black pepper (I added a lot more salt than the directions indicate below and it still needed salt when we ate it)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
6 large eggs
2 cups whole milk (I used 1%)
3/4 pound soft French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 7 1⁄2 cups)(I actually just eyeballed the baking dish I was using and cut up enough bread to fill it)
1/2 pound Gruy√®re, grated (2 cups)(I didn’t want to use up all my good Gruyere so I used about ½ a cup of it and the rest was grated Swiss from the grocery store)

Heat oven to 375° F. Oil a 2 ½- to 3-quart baking dish.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the squash, season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cook, tossing frequently, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Stir in the sage. Let cool for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the bread, cheese, and squash mixture and toss to coat. (I actually used less bread than they suggest so I poured the mixture into the baking dish and let the milk and egg mixture really sink it for about 15 minutes)
Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake until golden brown and set, 55 to 60 minutes.

I wish I had taken a picture because it was gorgeous - golden brown and puffed. Oh well, maybe next time. Because there will be a next time and I will post about it, I promise.