Friday, 23 March 2012

Savory Bread Pudding

There's always that sense of excitement, anticipation and stress when I have people try my food for the first time.  First impressions matter so much, especially when it's about a particular..skill.  I remember the first time I cooked for my friends in university, I served them raw chicken with orange juice.  Yes, my cooking skills have improved since then.  Although I'm still not very comfortable with meat. I'm getting better with chicken though.  Living on a student budget means I get my source of protein mainly from eggs, milk and chicken.

These were for some very special people in our university.  I wanted to make something quick but different.  I wanted to make something savory but I didn't want to make just a savory muffin, and ah, I'm sure if you browse through my recipes you'll find out how much I love caramelized onions. Anyway, one thing led to another and I was inspired to make savory bread puddings with caramelized onions and goat's cheese.  I like adding goat's cheese to most things, it just makes everything better.  It can never sound bad if it's got "goat's cheese" in it.  Ok, the important thing is the people enjoyed them! I love to impress with my cooking. Some people have their singing, dancing, some people have their grades, some just have charisma.  I just try to impress with my food.  Nothing makes me happier than knowing people like my food.

Total time: 25 min  Serves: 6  

Ingredients
3 cups stale bread, cubed
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 large onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
olive oil
butter

70g goat's cheese
3 tbsp blackcurrant jam

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.  Whisk together the milk, egg, parmesan and nutmeg, and add the bread.  Stir and make sure the bread soaks up all the liquid, leave it to rest for a couple of minutes.  Divide them equally among 6 muffin tins and press down.  Put it in the oven for 15 minutes.

Caramelize onions:  medium heat, coat the base of a large pan some olive oil and a nob of butter, you want maximum surface area.  Add your onions, coat them in the oil and butter and let cook, stirring occasionally.  After about ten minutes, add the balsamic vinegar, stir and wait till evaporated, then add the brown sugar.  Let cook for another 30 minutes.

Take the puddings out and top them with a spoonful of the caramelized onions and a slice of goat's cheese each.  Place it on the top shelf of the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Take out and top with a bit of jam.

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