Savory Stuffed Squash with Gruyère Bread Pudding

Need a party show stopper recipe for the communal table? Impressive them all with this Savory Stuffed Squash with Gruyère Bread Pudding.

Did you know that pot-lucks and many parties are just around the corner? Got an invite to a Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or insert-your-local-holiday-here party. Any ideas what to bring? I would suggest this Savory Stuffed Squash with Gruyère Bread Pudding recipe. It is a meal in itself, uses seasonal squash, and people will love your dish.

Savory Stuffed Squash with Gruyère Bread Pudding

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

SRC: Creamy Coconut Bread Pudding

Today is my group’s reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club. What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time.

Over the last few months I have often read blogs of the lucky few who got the The Heritage Cook as their SRC match. So when I saw I was the lucky one to recreate one of Jane’s recipes I was ecstatic. Where to start! There are so many recipes on her blog it is mind boggling. It really took me a long time to finally settle on one recipe. More about that in a bit.

Jane is an avid cook, baker, and passionate foodie. She says she fell in love with cooking when she got her first Easy Bake Oven.I so remember having one too! Ah the memories. Jane was also heavily influenced in the kitchen by her wonderful grandmother Mimi. I wish I lived where Jane live: in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have been to San Fran 3 times in my life since one of my best friends lived there for a while. I spent about a month in total there living like a tourist and a local while I stayed at my friend’s place. Jane sasy she has a wonderful selection of some of the best fresh ingredients, such as heirloom, organic, and sustainable crops that grow all year long. My favorite quote from her: “try a new recipe and if it doesn’t turn out, we can always order pizza! “

So what on earth would I settle on as a recipe. I decided to go with Jane’s Creamy Coconut Bread Pudding. I LOVE bread pudding and the more original the flavor the better. What really got my attention here was the lemongrass. The flavors reminded me of an old recipe I made once for a Lychee, Coconut and Lemongrass English Pudding. It was a challenge of steaming the pudding and I used the version where you needed suet or the such. Hated the crust part but loved the filling.

Ξ Creamy Coconut Bread Pudding Ξ
adapted for the hot and lazy person

Ingredients
6 cups of 1-inch cubes of white bread (with crusts)
2 cups half-and-half
1-1/2 cups shredded unsweetened dried coconut
1 (13-1/2 or 14 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
4 tbsp prepared minced lemongrass
Pinch of salt
6 large eggs
1/2 cup shaved palm sugar or packed light brown sugar

Directions

Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Put the cubed bread in the prepared baking dish.

Whisk the half-and-half, 1 cup of the coconut, the coconut milk, the lemongrass, the salt, the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly.  Pour the mixture over the bread and push down all the bread with a spoon to submerge it. sprinkle with the remaining toasted coconut. Let stand for 1 hour or up to overnight in the fridge covered.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until set and the edges start getting a bit brown. Spoon the warm pudding into bowls and serve immediately.

I did a lot of modifications to the recipe. Now the original recipe looks amazing and is probably much creamier and flavorful than my version because I did not toast the coconut or bread and I did not make the custard. With the crazy hot temperatures there was no way I was going to slave over a hot stove and hot burners in my zero-air-circulation tiny kitchen. I mean it is 29 C/ 84 F in my kitchen right now. So I did a quick version, my usual bread pudding technique, with all of her ingredients. I keep frozen finely chopped lemongrass in my freezer so I used that instead of stalks of lemon grass. I left the lemongrass in the mixture as I like the taste and this way the mixture would infuse as it cooks. I am very happy with my quickie version and recommend it if you don’ t have as much time or convenience either.



Boozy Scotch Bread Pudding, Weston and Glymm

About 10 days ago I was fortunate enough to attend an media event for a product launch by Weston Bakeries Canada. The new lined entitled Première Fournée is made of 4 different breads made the old fashion way. The breads are made with unbleached wheat flour, pure water, yeast and salt, and contain zero preservatives, color or artificial flavor. Then each bread has additional quality ingredients added to achieve the fours breads varieties: Stonemilled Wheat, Hearty Grains, Rustic White and Light Rye.

weston première fournée

These breads qualify by the food norms as Artisanal Breads. Although the breads are kneaded by mechanical equipment, each bread is hand shaped – by a human being – and then baked in a stone hearth oven without a mold. Each bread takes 17 hours to make and taste like the bread your grandmother use to make. These breads just hit the shelves this week in supermarkets in Canada.

A fun event and we all got to take home a full loaf of each bread, like close to 5 pounds of bread without preservatives. I live alone! The hearty grains I kept but I divided 3 of the breads in 3 and made a loaf all  flavors and repackaged them. One loaf went in the freezer, one I gave away and the last one I used for an awesome bread pudding recipe. This recipe claims to have its roots in the South, New Orleans more precisely. The original recipe calls for Bourbon but I only had Scotch on hand as a close substitute.


Ξ Boozy Scotch Bread Pudding Ξ

Bourbon Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey (or Scotch)

Bread Pudding:

  • 1 loaf bread, at least a day old, cut into 1-inch squares (about 6-7 cups)
  • 1 qt milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup raisins, soaked in 1/4 cup bourbon for a few hours (or Scotch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Soak the bread in milk in a large mixing bowl. Press with hands until well mixed and all the milk is absorbed. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, and spices together. Gently stir into the bread mixture with the raisins.
  3. Butter generously bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking pan. Pour in the bread mix and bake for 35-45 minutes or until set and the edges start getting a bit brown.
  4. While bread pudding is cooking, melt butter in a saucepan; add sugar and egg, whisking to blend well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens a little bit. Whisk in bourbon to taste. Remove from heat. Whisk before serving.

scotch bread pudding

Serve with the bourbon sauce on the side or just slather it on top and let it soak like I did. BEST BREAD PUDDING EVER, hands down!

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Totally unrelated to food but I am so impressed I just had to mention it, plus we stay in the Canada only theme: have you heard of Glymm? It’s a high end beauty product club where you receive your Glymm Box once a month for only 10$ plus tax, shipping included. And you can cancel your subscription at any time, no strings attached.

Every month, your Glymm Box will contain 3-5 luxury samples that span over several beauty categories including cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, tools, spa and body, nails and lifestyle. Month-to-month, the products you receive will be different, and curated according to your beauty profile. I got my first Glymm Box yesterday!

Is that not the cutest pink box? Open it and pull the bow to see the detailed card telling you what sample beauty products are included.

This month I got a a blood orange and vanilla body wash and body milk from John Master, a blush from Vasanti, an Oscar de la Renta perfume, a pretty make up bag and some jelly beans! Of course if you fall in love with a product you can then purchase a full size version on the Glymm website. There is a point reward program too. A small price to pay for a monthly gift in the mail.