Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Breakfast Pudding

I usually don't post a recipe before I make it for purposes of providing a picture that I took but I am going to make an exception today....(I have made it several times, I just do it on Christmas so I don't have a picture) This is a delicious breakfast for Christmas and it can be assembled the night before so all you have to do on Christmas morning is put it in the oven and that makes it EVEN BETTER!!!!!!!!

This recipe serves 10 so unless you have a gang of kids or plan on having guests, I would advise you cut the recipe in half. It makes a FULL 9x13 pan and will bubble over the edges so I usually split it into 2 pans which also give you the option to share or freeze half of it. The recipe looks like its a lot of work but it really isn't and it is definitely worth the time and effort.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
6 ounces Canadian bacon or baked ham, trimmed and diced
6 ounces hot smoked sausage, chopped
8 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
8 cups (1-inch cubes) stale French or Italian bread, or rolls
8 ounces grated Gouda or Fontina cheese (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease a 3-quart (9 by 13-inch) baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set aside.

In a medium skillet, melt 2 teaspoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, green and red bell peppers, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the parsley, stir, and remove from the heat. Let cool.

In a medium skillet, melt the remaining 1 teaspoon butter over medium-high heat. Add the Canadian bacon and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add the sausage to the skillet and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and let cool.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, cream, 1 teaspoon of the Essence, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper and whisk to combine. Add the bread cubes and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the cooked Canadian bacon and sausage, the onion mixture, and the Gouda cheese and stir to incorporate the ingredients. Pour into the prepared dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until almost completely set, 50 to 55 minutes.

(Alternatively, the bread pudding can be assembled up to this point, covered, and refrigerated 8 hours or overnight, and then baked. Let sit at room temperature while preheating the oven, before baking. )

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, melted butter, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon Essence. Uncover the pudding and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top. Return to the oven, increase the heat to 375 degrees F and bake until the pudding is completely set in the center, puffed, and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.

Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

FYI... this is an accurate picture of what it looks like when it is done.

Sour Cream Chicken

Since so many people asked for this recipe I thought I would post it. It is super easy and can be made a little more healthy if you want to use fat free sour cream. I loved the sound of coating the chicken in sour cream and once I started making it I was so excited for this recipe because it makes a thick and creamy coating and the breadcrumbs stick to it! This chicken is good, fast and doesn't require any additional seasoning.


4 chicken breasts
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons of onion seasoning (dry onion soup mix will work - or you can substitute the sour cream and onion seasoning for sour cream and onion dip in the dairy section)
2 cups of seasoned breadcrumbs **


1. Mix the sour cream and onion seasoning.

2. Dip the chicken in the sour cream and coat completely.

3. Coat in breadcrumbs.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until juices run clear.

** Another option is to substitute breadcrumbs for crushed sour cream and onion potato chips. I have used this as breading on chicken nuggets and it is good. But my scale tells me that I do not need to bread my chicken in potato chips!

And sorry for not having an actual photo of what I cooked... it was long gone by the time I posted this.

Happy Holidays!