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Savory Bread-and-Butter Pudding

Here's a cheap, easy, and filling main dish, suitable for any meal of the day.

SAVORY BREAD-AND-BUTTER PUDDING
(serves 6)


Preheat oven to 325° F., and butter a 2-quart baking dish.

Soft butter
7 or so (depending on size) slices of any good white bread - French or Italian bread that's started to dry out is nice for this.
1 quart milk
3 eggs
dash salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 /2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (or see below for other seasoning ideas)
1 to 1 1/2 cups grated or shredded cheese
[Optional additions - see below]

Generously butter one side of each slice of bread, and press it against the inside of the dish, butter side against the dish. Sprinkle some of the grated cheese over the bread. Add the rest of the bread slices, butter side down, and sprinkle with more of the cheese. Beat together the eggs, milk, salt, and other seasonings, and pour this mixture gently over the bread. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes so the bread soaks up the liquid. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover (with foil if the dish didn't come with a cover) and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake another 30 minutes, or until firm and nicely browned on top.

Optional: Think of things you'd like to season it with instead of (or in addition to) Worcestershire sauce, such as Tabasco or Sriracha, "to taste". Use a different kind of cheese, or a combination. Scrounge around the fridge for leftovers or other things to add - some cold cooked meat, diced or cubed, would be good. Or get some loose sausage meat, or even plain ground meat (any animal), and pan-fry it and drain off the fat, then mix that with the other stuff. Or cook some bacon and crumble it. Some very lightly steamed broccoli florets, or some cooked spinach or kale with as much of the water as possible squeezed out of it, maybe as a layer on top of the bread and custard, topped with the extra cheese. Basically, anything you've got, or anything you like, as long as it's not very wet. You may have to use a bigger dish and/or adjust the cooking time.

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Food Snobbery: Hardcore food.

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