It dawned on Eric yesterday that November is here and that means Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Yup, it took him until the 20th to figure that out. A month of 70 - 80 degree days here in the Bay Area can do that to you but this past weekend November came back with a vengeance. Cold, blustery and full of rain it was the perfect kind of weather to build a nice big fire (in the fireplace of course!) and cook up some warm filling food. From the looks of things, this is going to be a trend for the next few months as winter rolls in. So we spent the day doing projects and getting ready to fire up something that could keep us warm even when Eric refuses to turn on the heat. What better to keep you full and warm than a big savory bread pudding with sausage? Not much. Eric's not always the biggest fan of bread pudding but this one sent him back for thirds. All the flavors just come together in a mouthful that hearty and warming. The texture and flavors together reminded us of our honeymoon in England. English food gets panned here in America but the pubs over there are renown for the English version of down home cooking. Shepard's pie and Sticky Toffee Pudding with that dark English ale somehow brought us across the pond and into Grandma's kitchen while she cooked up something hearty and delicious. For us the flavors and textures of this pudding brought us all the way back to London. When the bowls were empty and Eric was off doing dishes Charisse was tied up keeping the cat warm on the sofa enjoying the dying fire and watching a movie and November settled in for the long haul.
Savory Sausage Bread Pudding What You Will Need 3/4 lb day old french bread (cut into 1 inch cubes) 5 Tbs butter 1/4 cup olive oil 1 lb pork sausage 2 leeks (halved length wise and sliced) 1 lb mushrooms (thinly sliced) 1 green apple (cored and thinly sliced) 2 cups heavy cream 5 large eggs 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1 cup parmesan cheese 1 Tbs parsley pinch of thyme pinch of savory salt and pepper Preheat oven to 350* Melt the butter and toss the bread cubes to coat. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast for about 30 minutes or until the bread gets crispy and golden. Once bread is done up the oven temp to 375* In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs oil and cook sausage, breaking up into pieces. Once cook through, place in a large bowl to cool. Using the same skillet add the rest of the 3 Tbs oil and add the leeks and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, add the apples and transfer mixture into the sausage bowl. Toss in the bread cubes and combine everything together. Pour into oiled baking dish. In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, eggs, vinegar, cheese, 1 Tbs salt, 1 tsp pepper, parsley, savory, and thyme. Pour over bread mixture, cover and bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.