"Reclaiming Homemade in a Small Space"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Jenny and the Giant Turkey - Chapter Five - Savory Turkey Bread Pudding

After the Kentucky hot browns , soup , and maybe some sandwiches, you might still have over a fourth of your 20 lb. turkey left.  Try a bread pudding. I have to be honest, I didn't try bread pudding until I was an adult.  Up until then, it sounded kinda gross to me.  I don't know what I was thinking, maybe Wonder bread meets vanilla Jell-O instant pudding?  It just didn't sound appetizing at all.  Matt and I went out to eat one night and the restaurant had a bread pudding with a whiskey sauce.  I tried it and I have been in love with bread pudding ever since.

If you thought bread puddings were only sweet, think again.  With a base of eggs, milk and bread (omit the sugar, of course), they are a fabulous way to use up leftovers! The night before, I made a beautiful loaf of Italian bread, but I'd forgotten to add the salt, so the bread was flat and tasteless.  (It happens to the best of us!)   I also found myself with a single parsnip and a leek that needed to be used.   With my turkey leftovers, it sounded like a perfect bread pudding night.  I threw in some carrots, onion and celery since I nearly always have those on hand.  It was a hit.  Here's what I did:

Turkey Bread Pudding:
2 c. of chopped cooked turkey
1 T. oil
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 leek, trimmed, chopped and rinsed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 lb. of hearty bread, cubed
3 c. milk
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. Swiss cheese (Parmesan would make a good substitution)
salt and pepper

First, chop all your veg.
I also had one green onion....it got added too.

Over medium high heat, add one T. oil and all your veg and cook for 8 minutes.
While the veggies are cooking,  if your bread isn't already cut up, cut it into cubes
 In a large bowl, combine your eggs and milk.  Toss in your bread, Swiss cheese and the turkey.

Then add all the veggies and salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into a 9 x 13 dish and place into a 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes.

Test for done-ness by sticking a butter knife in the center; if it comes out clean, it is done.

My family loved it.  As a matter of fact, I warmed up a piece the next day for lunch.  As I pulled it out of the microwave, my son said, "Ooo, THAT'S what I want for lunch!"  He got it instead of me...ah, yes, the sacrifices of a mother.  (And don't worry if you don't have parsnips or leeks, just use whatever vegetable you have on hand!)

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