Monday, December 14, 2009

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

Emily and Curtis joined us for a comfort food-themed dinner on Saturday night and WOW!, did we feast. She made fantastic Sloppy Joe's, which I haven't had in years, and forgot what I was missing; salty, sweet and spicy, who could ask for anything more? Not me ... But more is exactly what I got ... Buttery-salty-creamy-OMG-delicious scalloped potatoes; oatmeal cream cheese butterscotch bars, and gluehwein (warm, German spiced wine). And, for our part, I made butternut squash bread pudding and clementine cake with triple sec-whipped cream. The cake recipe is forthcoming.

The original bread pudding recipe called for a 1 and 1/2-pound loaf of bread, but I weighed my loaf after coming home from the grocery store and it was only one pound, so I reduced the eggs and half-and-half by a third, as well. Everything else (the squash, leeks, spices, etc.), I left the same, since they weren't too extreme / potent in proportion. I actually think the original recipe would have been overflowing in the called-for dish size, so it really worked out perfectly.

Mmmm ... this was so yummy and definitely falls in the comfort food category. One of my favorite things I've made in awhile -- it's a perfect option for any vegetarian guests you may have during the holidays, too.


Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
One 1-pound loaf of sourdough bread, ends trimmed, loaf cut into 1-inch cubes (do not remove crusts)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 large eggs
4 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Butter a 10-by-15-inch (four-quart oblong)baking dish. Peel and seed the squash, then cut the flesh in 1/2-inch dice. Season the squash liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in a covered casserole dish. Bake the squash for 35 minutes, or until just tender, stirring / turning once halfway through roasing. Set aside and let cool.

On 2 large rimmed baking sheets, toast the bread until dry and just crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the leeks and garlic and cook over moderately high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the milk, cream, thyme, nutmeg and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Add the bread cubes and let stand for 15 minutes.

Gently fold in the squash and leeks and transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 1 hour, or until browned on top and just set. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead
The bread pudding can be prepared earlier in the day and reheated.


Missy said...

Don't tease me! I am sorry (for me!) that I missed this.

Emily said...

Considering leeks and butternut squash are two of my favorite foods, this bread pudding was heaven on earth. It’s better than Thanksgiving stuffing. And I need to watch my gluehwein consumption; it goes down so easily that I could quickly turn into an alcoholic!

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

Oh my, that looks delish. Last night, I had a sweet version of this at the Juanita Cafe. Theirs had butter gelato on it. That's right. I said BUTTER gelato.

Emily said...

May I please have some butter gelato?

Bridgett said...

I am so glad you came to visit my blog as it led me back to yours. This recipe looks and sounds fantastic and perfect for the season. I have been wanting to try more recipes with butternut squash and this one will be fun to try.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday! It was nice to meet you, Hillary!

Sook said...

This looks great! I want to make that for a little gathering we are having with my hubby's co-workers. :)