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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Leek Bread Pudding

The Martha Stewart Show, November 2009
  • Yield Serves 12 as a side dish, 6 to 8 as a main course

Ingredients

  • 2 cups leeks (white and light-green parts only), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
  • Coarse salt
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cups 1-inch cubes crustless brioche or Pullman sandwich loaf
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded Comte or Emmentaler

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill a large bowl with water and add leek slices. Swirl leeks so that any dirt falls to the bottom of the bowl. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat; using your hands, lift leeks out of water and transfer to skillet. Cook, stirring often, until leeks begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue cooking until leeks release their liquid. Add butter to skillet and stir to emulsify; season with pepper. Cut a parchment paper round the same size as the skillet with a 1-inch hole in the center and set round in skillet. Cook leeks, stirring every 10 minutes, until very soft, 30 to 35 minutes. If the butter breaks or looks oily, stir in a tablespoon water to re-emulsify. Remove and discard parchment lid.
  4. Meanwhile, spread bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in oven for about 20 minutes, rotating pan about halfway through, until dry and lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl. Add leeks to bread; toss to combine. Add chives and thyme.
  5. In another large bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Add milk, cream, a generous pinch of salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg; whisk to combine. Set custard mixture aside.
  6. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread half of the leek mixture in baking dish and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat process with remaining leek mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Pour enough of the custard mixture over leek mixture and press gently on bread so it soaks up the custard. Let soak for 15 minutes.
  7. Pour remaining custard over leek mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and season with salt. Transfer to oven and bake until pudding is set and top is brown and bubbling, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve.

Holiday Side Dishes

So a few years ago, a friend of mine did away with making a turkey for Thanksgiving. Not because they don't eat turkey, but because she realized the BEST part of Thanksgiving was all the side dishes. She's kinda right.
Many times we make the turkey, because we feel we "have" to. And think about it, you always have pounds of turkey left over, and all the sides are gone. Then you spend a week eating everything with turkey in it. Until you are so sick of turkey it takes you a whole year to wanna cook a whole one again. Am I right?
Now... I'm not going to be in the country this Thanksgiving, but if I was here, I would seriously be considering a "different" kind of holiday. Write my own rules. So I'll be posting only side dishes for this week. Get your creative cooking juices flowing.
 Broccolini and Feta Galette
Everyday Food, November 2010
  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Total Time 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 bunches Broccolini (1 pound total)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta (3 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup cold water. With a fork, stir to combine. Knead dough 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook Broccolini until bright green, 1 minute. With tongs, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  3. Roll out dough to a 14-inch round; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle dough with Parmesan and top with Broccolini, leaving a 2 1/2-inch border. Top with feta and red-pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Fold dough border over filling and brush with egg. Bake until crust is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
{Credit: Martha Stewart}