Well, it's been a while since I've posted HERE, hasn't it...?
Thought I'd post an update to this old savory bread pudding recipe I shared here years ago.
This can be infinitely customized for your tastes. Made heavier or healthier, meat-loaded or vegan.
Note: a lot of these ingredients are about what you have on hand, what you like, and what you can find at your local market. One of the reasons I think it works as a meal you're going to eat for a while is the variety of ingredients. Also, when you reheat it, it's easy to adjust the seasoning in whatever way that suits you (hot sauce?), or add ingredients.
2 packages of frozen, chopped spinach, well-drained
1 lb of mushrooms (any kind), chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 cups fake eggs (or equivalent of 6 eggs)
1 quart milk (or milk substitute, if you want to go vegan)
1-2 huge loaves of good crusty bread (whole wheat/grain), torn up
salt, black pepper, any seasonings you like
shredded/diced cheeses are good; whatever you like (Parmesan, mozzarella, swiss, jack, brie, any combination)
vegetables you like (chopped broccoli, frozen spinach, you can really load this veggies)
meats or fake meats, chopped/shredded (I've used torn meat from a whole roasted chicken, sausage, bacon, really anything; you can make this a carnivore feast or a total vegan affair)
you could combine a bunch of different bits of old bread
In a large pan, over a low heat, sauté chopped onions in a bit of olive oil until nicely carmelized. Add garlic, mushrooms, vegetables and any seasonings. Add meat/fake meat any veggies. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a very large bowl, combine eggs, milk. Whisk well.
Add your slightly-cooled sauté mixture, stirring. Start added your torn pieces of bread, folding them in as you go. Eventually, you'll need to use your hands to really get in there.
Add all your cheeses. Incorporate well, with your hands.
Depending on how much stuff you've got in there, you may need to let it soak up a bit. It oughtn't be too soupy. If it is and you don't think it'll all get soaked up by the bread, you might want to add some more bread. If your bread's particularly dry/crusty, you may want to let it soak a little longer. Theoretically, you could/should let this steep for a few hours, but it's not a big deal.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a large baking dish (or several) with olive oil. Scoop your bread pudding concoction evenly to the pans. Sprinkle with any remaining cheese, drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake until firm in the center and golden brown -- "about 1 hour". Serve warm.
REHEATING IS THE BEST.
Heat pan. Add some olive oil. Brown and break up with a spatula:
You can adjust the seasonings easily at this stage. Add hot sauce. Add any new ingredients you want to "liven up" this particular meal. (You can easily make a week's worth of meals with this dish.)
It's essentially a stuffing dish. Great as a side-dish at Thanksgiving. And as a main dish the rest of the lonely year.