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Recipes of the week: Simple, savory bread puddings
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bread pudding is “disarmingly simple” to make, said Amy Scattergood in the Los Angeles Times. Yet these unassuming dishes can capture “a wealth of soulful flavors” and satisfying textures. Proof literally is in the pudding. These easy-to-make yet “surprisingly nuanced” savory dishes are also a creative way to use up leftovers.

Recipes of the week
Fennel and Sausage
Bread Pudding
2 tbsp butter, plus more for buttering the pan
3 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 links mild Italian sausage (about 15 to 18 ounces each)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, thinly sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
1 tbsp minced shallots
1/2 tsp kosher salt
5 eggs
8 cups stale sourdough bread, crust on, cut or torn into about 1/2-inch pieces (about a 1-lb loaf)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 375 degrees; butter 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In medium saucepan, combine milk, fennel seed, black pepper. Cook over high heat until just before milk reaches simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove sausage from casings and break into small pieces in medium sauté pan. Cook over medium heat until sausage is thoroughly cooked and beginning to brown. Remove sausage from pan and set aside on plate covered with paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Wipe out pan; heat 2 tbsp of butter and olive oil over medium heat until frothy. Add fennel; cook until caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add shallots and salt; cook for additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside. In large bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in cooled milk, stir in bread, sausage, fennel mixture, parsley until well combined. Pour mixture into baking dish, pressing down to make sure bread is submerged. Let mixture sit for about 15 minutes while bread absorbs liquid. Bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown, rotating once for even cooking. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Corn and Brown Butter Bread Pudding
Note: Use any high-quality country white bread such as pain rustique; you
will need a loaf that weighs about 1 pound.


3 cups whole milk
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, plus
additional for buttering the pan
2 ears fresh sweet corn,
kernels removed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
5 eggs
8 cups stale country white bread, crust on, cut or torn into half-inch pieces
2 cups grated Gruyère cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees; butter 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In medium saucepan, combine milk, rosemary, thyme, sage, black pepper. Cook over high heat until just before milk reaches simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat, whisking occasionally until melted and solids turn golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add corn and salt, stir over low heat for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In large bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk in cooled milk, stir in bread, cheese, corn mixture until well combined. Pour mixture into baking dish, pressing down on bread to make sure it is submerged. Let mixture sit for about 15 minutes while bread absorbs liquid. Bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown, rotating once for even cooking. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

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