Monday, January 4, 2010

New Twist on Leftover Stuffing

I am frugal by nature. It's in my roots. Both of my sets of grandparents grew up in working class families who lived through the depression. They all worked hard and ultimately thrived. My parents and their siblings were the first generation in both families to be college educated.

Several years ago, while visiting my cousin (born, of course, of these same frugal roots) in Boston, we had a laughing discussion about the sense of satisfaction we both get from "using things up." Emptying a container and having used all of it's contents feels good.

I feel very much that way about leftovers. I try to balance the amount I cook between having enough and a bit leftover for some fast meals later and overkill, where we're sick of eating it by the time it's gone.

This Christmas I overdid it on the stuffing. Not sure how, all of my family loves to eat stuffing, but we had a lot left, and still some left when the roast chicken and mashed potatoes and green beans were eaten for a second meal. So there it sat in my refrigerator for several days, staring at me whenever I ventured in, tickling my brain.Then finally, inspiration struck and this was the result.

I decided to call it Brunch Bread Pudding. I don't know that this idea is truly unique, but I thought it was clever and it turned out quite tasty, so here the recipe to be stored away until the next holiday season.

Brunch Bread Pudding
2 Cups leftover stuffing or bread cubes
9 eggs
1/2 Cup milk or cream
1/2 Cheese..I used sharp cheddar

Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Grease a pie plate, tart pan or 9" x 9" square pan. I used a tart pan because I liked the look.
Spread the stuffing over the bottom of the pan. If you use plain bread cubes, sprinkle some dried thyme and a pinch of sage over the stuffing for flavoring.
Whisk together eggs and milk. Pour over the stuffing and top with cheese. I had cheddar in the house but this would be great with Gruyere and probably many other cheeses as well.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, until center is set and cheese is lightly browned.

This was really tasty, even my finicky 5 year old ate it! And, it filled my need to use it all up!