Sweet, rich and filling bread pudding is tough to hate, except for its unfortunate falling into the dreaded "enjoy only occassionally" category — or sometimes even venturing into the sadder "remorse" column. So let's not dwell on that and instead focus on this delicious goat cheese bread pudding
Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes and this offering goes very nicely with all the traditional favorites. The herbs echo the most popular dressing recipes, yet the rich creamy goat cheese takes this bread-based specialty in a whole new direction. The black and white checkered effect created by the criss-cross layering of the two breads certainly stands out from its companions on the table. When you think of it, there's a lot of flavor in the Thanksgiving meal but not a lot of geometry. This is a statement in design, taste and creativity. Very memorable too. You'll get high marks, and though we may not like to admit it, there's always a bit of culinary competition going on at Thanksgiving. You can bake it earlier in the day and reheat it before serving, it's pretty sturdy.
BLACK AND WHITE GOAT CHEESE BREAD PUDDING
1 loaf good white sandwich bread
1 loaf sliced pumpernickel bread
4 extra large eggs
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. herbs de provence
4 scallions, white part only, finely chopped
2 cups half and half
11 oz. goat cheese
For my 12" x 9" x 3" baking dish, I used 16 slices from each loaf. You may have to adjust up or down a bit to fit yours. Trim the crusts and cut each slice into thirds - you'll end up with finger sized rectangles.
Mix eggs with salt, pepper, herbs and half and half.
Now the fun part. First divide the goat cheese into four equal portions. This will make it easier to distribute it evenly throughout the pudding.
Next butter your baking pan well and then create alternating striped patterns with the black and white bread "fingers," with the goal of ending up with four layers in all. Create stripes the long way first, then cross-ways, then back to the long way. On top of each layer add evenly spaced dollops of the goat cheese. Pour some of the egg and half and half mixure over each layer. You can start with less on the bottom, since what you add to subsequent layers is going to seep down.
Let the pudding sit so the bread can absorb all the liquid, at least 30 minutes, and in the fridge just to be careful. If you're leaving it in there longer cover with wrap so the top doesn't dry out.
Then bake for 35 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.
Creamy, tangy, rich and lovely. Happy Thanksgiving!
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Written by skfsullivan on November 10, 2009 under Side Dish.