Should have posted early in the day when the computer was working, but for a while I've been posting in the evening. Bad idea. By evening the computer was having trouble finding Windows (according to my tech guru), so I turned it off to give it a rest. Of course that meant no post on Saturday, breaking the chain. Let's pretend that I posted this yesterday as planned, OK?
I've been doing a happy dance because we got about 2 inches of rain between Wednesday night and Saturday noon. We still have a long way to go, but it really helps put a little moisture in the aquifer.
Although we had leftover pork roast and steamed yams and peas for dinner, I do have a recipe for a wonderful casserole that I made earlier in the week.
It is sort of a strata or maybe a savory bread pudding with cheese. Elaine, who gave me the recipe, calls it a cheese souffle. It does puff up during baking, but by the time I was able to serve it, it had deflated. Not low calorie, but pretty easy to make and you make most of it ahead, a bonus at this time of year when time seems to just fly by!
You butter day old bread and cut off the crusts. Pi was quite taken with the crusts that kept showing up in his food bowl. Then you cut the buttered bread into cubes. The cubes get layered in a buttered baking dish with shredded cheddar cheese and green onions. A custard mixture which includes Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and cayenne pepper gets poured over it all. Seems like an odd combination of flavors, but it works. The baking dish gets covered and the whole thing sits overnight and is baked the next day. Don't forget to take the baking dish out of the fridge enough in advance to let the whole thing warm up to room temperature before baking.
You could get creative and add things like cubed ham, or cooked bacon, or add some chopped spinach to the custard or to the layers. Herbs or a different kind of cheese would change the flavors but it would still be easy to make. Since it serves 12 it's great for a holiday buffet. Imagine what other times you could serve it!
10 slices day old bread, trim, butter and cube. ½ tsp. pepper
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated ½ tsp. Beau Monde Seasoning (I used Penzy's Mural of Flavor and it worked fine)
6 eggs beaten ½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. brown sugar ½ tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 bunch green onion, chopped 2 ½ cups milk
¼ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. dry mustard
Put ½ of the bread in a buttered 9 x 13 casserole. Top with half of the cheese and the chopped onions. Repeat the layers.
Mix all remaining ingredients and pour over bread mixture. Let covered casserole set over night in refrigerator.
The following day, remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake uncovered in a 300 degree preheated oven for 1 hour. Serves 12.