This is a savory version of bread pudding that is still incredibly rich with all the eggs and cream. It makes a wonderful “show stopper” for a slow weekend breakfast or brunch. What makes it a better choice than going out for brunch are the quality of ingredients and limited sodium.
Use any bread you prefer or have available – please just make sure it does not have high fructose corn syrup on the label. The marble rye has a distinct and strong flavor that lends itself well to a savory dish (I actually really like it in a traditional bread pudding, too, but I’ll get to that another time).
Add some more nutrients to the pudding by wilting some kale or other greens into the sausage (which I would have done if I hadn’t already eaten them all!) – and if you have a few extra minutes, let the sausage mix cool completely, then mix it and most of the cheese into the bread mix instead of layering in the skillet.
Make it ahead – soak the bread, cook the sausage and onions, mix everything together and put it in a cooking vessel, cover and refrigerate. Just make sure to pull it out of the fridge before preheating the oven so the cooking vessel doesn’t go into shock.
Adapted from: The Little Epicurean blog
Time: Appx 1 hour
Servings: 6 to 8
• ½ loaf marble rye, cubed (appx 8 cups)
• 6 eggs (Bluebird Hill Berry Farm)
• Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 ½ cups milk
• 1 pound beef breakfast sausage (Ratchford Farms)
• 3 green onions (Kellogg Valley Farms)
• 3 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1) Mix eggs, cream, milk, salt & pepper with bread cubes and set aside to soak.
2) Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium.
3) Add breakfast sausage to hot skillet, break apart with wooden spoon and cook until browned.
4) While sausage is cooking, chop up the green onions, separating the whites from the greens. Add the onion whites to the breakfast sausage for the last few minutes – cook until soft. Remove skillet from heat and transfer sausage and onions into a bowl.
5) Layer half of bread mix into the bottom of the skillet. Top with most of the sausage and onions, followed by most of the cheese. Top with the rest of the soggy bread mix, followed by the rest of the sausage and cheese.
6) Tent skillet loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 10 to 20 minutes, until pudding has puffed, the top layer is toasty, and the center is set (test with wooden skewer).
Enjoy: Serve warm with a simple salad of greens, sliced apple, and vinaigrette.