Nov 07

Savoury Chilli Cheese & Bacon Bread Pudding



Over the weekend I hosted a dinner for a couple of friends and inevitably there were leftovers : some roast lamb, carrots, heaps of peas, gravy and dinner rolls. I ate the lamb and what veggies I could the following day; some carrots even went to the dog (he has to eat his fair share of veggies too) but I have a bread basket full of lovely assorted rolls that I am loathe to chuck out. I am not a fan of throwing leftovers out for it seems like such a waste of perfectly good food. My mother brought me up on this very same principle, ergo now in adult life I find it hard to do the opposite, even though my partner constantly rolls his eyes at me for doing so.



Today tho, I had an idea : why not turn the now-dry and hard rolls into savoury bread pudding? They’d be perfect for this dish coz they have had two days to dry out and stale a little. And I am sure this bread pudding would be well received by my finekey partner should there be bacon involved. Chilli cheese and bacon was the chosen flavour coz R’s sister does a real mean chilli cheese and bacon bread. The flavours go really well together and keeps you wanting more … like A LOT more!






What this recipe does is help you recycle leftovers and turn them into delectable side dishes fit for any foodie table. I bet you my last dollar that top restaurants probably serve something similar and charge an arm and a leg. In this age of surplus people rarely give a second look to leftovers. In my house, R would prefer to have a fresh new meal every day of the week. Rarely does he partake of leftovers unless it’s my signature bolognese sauce which he eats cold, liberally spread on toast; or if there is leftover beef curry which, incidentally, tastes way better after spending some time in the fridge anyway.



Bread puddings have been around for a very looooong time apparently, with food historians tracing its history as far back as the 11th – 12th century. I imagine food wasn’t a luxury for everybody back then so people made the most use out of what they had. They wouldn’t dream of chucking out yesterdays bread so it was turned into a sort of one-pot meal, rehydrated with a bit of liquid and placed over hot coals. Voila! … another meal to see you thru yet another day.



Which reminds me of a rather hilarious yet very entertaining BBC programme I came across some months back called ‘Supersizers Go Wartime’, in which two t.v personalities take on the challenge of living and eating in a particular style for a week. In this instance they went back to 1940’s Britain, smack-bang during WWII and lived a life of food rationing. I learnt a lot out of this programme. To watch the video, click the YouTube link below.



  The Supersizers Go … Wartime (part I)


  The Supersizers Go … Wartime (Part 2)


 The Supersizers Go … Wartime (Part 3)






The BBC programme, though lighthearted, says a lot about the food we take for granted, doesn’t it? Anyway, this is me doing my bit to save a few dinner rolls from the bin. Firstly, butter some individual ramekins or a single baking dish. Preheat your oven to 180ºC and fill a deep roasting pan half way with hot water.



Cube the bread into 1 cm x 1 cm squares. Place them all into a mixing bowl and season with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper.





Fry up the diced bacon and drain on paper towels. Reserve some of the fat and sautee some green onions. Then place everything in with the cubed bread and spices. Give everything a good mix.





Now beat the eggs with some cream. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and all the dry spices. Pour this over the bread and leave it to soak for 15 – 20 mins. Stir to coat evenly and then place in the baking dish. Cover with foil, place in the roasting tin and bake for 40 mins.





After 40 mins, remove from oven and place some dried bread crumbs, grated Gruyere (or aged Cheddar), chopped parsley and thyme in a bowl. Give it a good mix and then sprinkle this over the top of the bread … sorta like a savoury crumble.



Now place the bread back in the oven and switch the oven setting to broiler mode. Broil for five minutes until done.





Now you will have a sumptuous side dish that would go really well in place of potatoes. Serve with grilled chicken or fish and some green salad. DELICIOUS!!




Savoury Chilli Cheese & Bacon Bread Pudding.

  • 4 cups stale bread, cubed
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 stalk spring onion
  • 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 4 rashers bacon, cubed
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Gruyere, grated
  • 1 cup bread crumbs



 ~ Enjoy! ~



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