What's in a name?

Every once in a while I find a recipe in a magazine or elsewhere that intrigues me.

Generally it is something I wouldn't normally try, or just plain sounds interesting and unlike anything I normally create.  Recently while looking through Cooking Light, one of the many food mags I subscribe to, I noticed one that seemed quirky.

For our family, anyway.

However it had relatively few ingredients, all of which I had on hand, and could be made simply.  I like that combo.

I decided to try it.  Though it's one of those recipes I believe could use a more worthy title.  The name of the recipe itself sounds, well, gross. 

Ham Bread Pudding. 

Yeah.  Does that sounds disgusting to anyone else?  Maybe it's just me.  I'm normally very anti-bread pudding.  It's mushy and goopy and often  has bloated raisins somewhere inside.  NOT my dessert item of choice.    Yet the photo of this savory (not sweet) "pudding" revealed a very tasty-looking dish.  I decided to forgive the recipe's name-founder and give it a shot.  It deserved a chance.

I'm glad I did. 

This stuff is amazing.  SO amazing.  Like, melt-in-your-mouth incredible.  No goop, no mush, perfect blend of savory ham, green onion, and hearty multi-grain bread- not to mention it's nicely portioned out in individual ramekins.

I love ramekins.  Does anyone else?  I have a bit of infatuation with them.  Shh, don't tell.


This was a great find, loved by both my husband and two year old son (not a frequent occurrence these days) and nicely re-heated as a leftover meal.  I highly, HIGHLY recommend it.  Let's get started, shall we?

Savory Ham n' Cheddar Bread Pudding

-8 oz multigrain bread with seeds, cut in 3/4" cubes (it's VERY important that this is good bread, very grainy & seedy.  Please, please, do not use commercial white or wheat bread- if you do, your final product will. be. mush.!).
-cooking spray
- 3/4 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/4 Cup chopped green onions, divided
- 3/4 Cup milk
- 1/4 Cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 oz ham steak, minced
- 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3 large egg whites
- 4 tsp sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Place bread cubes on a sheet pan; coat with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, turning once.  Remove from oven; cool.
3. Combine bread, 1/2 cup cheese, 3 Tbsp onions, and the next 5 ingredients (through egg yolks) in a large bowl.  Place egg whites in a small bowl, and beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy (about 30 seconds).  Gently fold egg whites into bread mixture.
4.  Spoon about 1 cup bread mixture into each of 4 (7oz) ramekins coated with cooking spray.  Divide the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and green onions evenly among the ramekins.  Bake at 375 for 20 min or until lightly browned.  Top each serving with 1 tsp sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.  Serve it up alongside some veggies and you're good to go!

Cube up your hearty, grainy bread:

 I adore grainy bread.  Adore it.

Get all your ingredients ready, cooking-show style.
Did you know the French call this "mise en place"? 
Your fact bite for the day :)

Chop up your ham.
I again used Beeler's Farm ham steak.
I love that place.  Pork from a few miles down the road.
Nothin' beats that!

 Mix up all your ingredients in a bowl.

 Portion the mixture out into your adorable ramekins.
I love ramekins.
Even the name is cute.
Okay, I'm done.

Top with cheese and more green onion.
Doesn't that look good?
It's not even baked off yet.
Wait for it...

Ahhh there she is. 
Perfect with a side of garden fresh green beans and a big ol' sweet potato w/butter and a touch of maple syrup.

Trust me on this one, folks.
It's an incredibly satisfying, tasty meal.
The stick-to-yer-ribs kind.

I'm glad I didn't judge the dish by the name.
What a sad loss that would have been.
Though I think they should pay me to name their dishes...
Just a thought.

Cooking Light, are you out there?
I'm available for hire.


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