Friday, September 5, 2008

Hot sauce heats up tomato bread pudding

Like the tomato crop, the bread pudding recipes just keep coming in. So many nice ones using tomatoes that it’s hard to decide which one to try next. And some, like today’s recipe, have been around for a few years.

“This dish is sooooooo good, and one can add whatever one wants or simply do it as is,” says MaryLee McAllister of Ohio, who contributed the recipe. She likes to use her heirloom tomatoes in this bread pudding, which she actually found in an article in the now-defunct Cincinnati Post from Joyce Rosencrans, their food editor at the time. “Tabasco Chipotle Sauce adds a nice, different, rather smoky taste,” notes MaryLee, who adds, “I like lots!”

Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheeses also give this pudding an extra kick along with chopped fresh onions and herbs. And, depending on the size of your group, you can enjoy this dish for dinner, and also serve it for brunch the next day.

Prep. Time: 35 minutes

Baking: 30-40 minutes

1 pound fresh tomatoes
12 cups bread cubes (from 12-ounce French bread)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning (or mix basil, oregano, thyme)
4 cups milk
5 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 13X9-inch baking dish. Set aside. Dice tomatoes to approximately 3 cups (medium dice). (Peel and seed if desired.) Place bread cubes in single layers on cookie sheets; bake until toasted, about 5 minutes, turning once or twice. Add toasted bread cubes to tomato bowl, along with shredded Jack and Parmesan cheeses, onion, and herbs. Spoon into baking dish. In same large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, hot sauce, and salt. Pour over tomato mixture. With pancake turner, press down bread to cover with custard mixture. Let stand 5 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F., uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly before lifting out squares to serve.
Recipe from Joyce Rosencrans, Food Editor, Cincinnati Post, 1998.
(Notes from MaryLee: Tabasco Chipotle Sauce gives a nice smoky taste, and she likes lots. Also, she uses sea salt.)


Anonymous said...

OMG - Portia - this sounds so good and I have a ton of my garden tomatoes right now. Thanks for the inspiration and you know I'll be adding a ton of hot sauce. The only question is which one? The Tabasco Chipotle sounds good but I might go with their Garlic Pepper or one of the hotter ones I picked up on vacation.

Portia Little said...

You are the expert on hot sauce, Risa! Let us know which one you use in this BP. Actually the Garlic Pepper does sound great!