The last time I made chili I also made Cornbread with Bacon and Pepper Jack Cheese (without the bacon this time). I had about half of it left, and put it into the freezer. I used it to make a savoury bread pudding, to accompany our slow baked ribs, and it was a success....especially since my husband was a bit skeptical about it!
This was also a perfect use stuff up dish...not only did I use the cornbread, but also the last 2 eggs, the extra grated cheddar from another meal, half a red pepper and the 3 green onions in the fridge, and the half cup of frozen corn left in the bag.
There was also enough bread pudding left for us to have for breakfast today, with scrambled egg, salsa and diced avocado. The Cornbread with Bacon and Pepper Jack Cheese gave us three meals!!!
If you do not have leftover cornbread, start off by making a recipe of the Cornbread with Bacon and Pepper Jack Cheese. You can include the bacon if you choose to. Make it at least a day ahead, as bread pudding works best with stale bread. As I only used half of the Cornbread with Bacon and Pepper Jack Cheese, why not make it to have with chili or soup, and save the rest for the bread pudding.
Start by greasing a 6" X 8" ovenproof dish.
1/2 red pepper, diced
3 green onions, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup milk
This will be the custard for the bread pudding.
Slice the cornbread into 1/4" thick slices.
Mine was already cut into squares, this makes it easier.
Arrange a third of the sliced cornbread in the bottom of the prepared dish. It doesn't matter if you have small gaps.
Sprinkle a third of the vegetables over the cornbread.
Sprinkle a small amount of grated cheddar over the vegetables. I used about 3/4 cup of cheese in total.
Repeat the layering with the remaining cornbread, vegetables and cheese, finishing off with the remaining cheese.
Carefully pour the custard over the cornbread, vegetables and cheese.
Gently, but firmly, press down on the top layer.
Place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, so that the custard can be absorbed by the cornbread. Press down gently on the top layer occasionally.
Turn the oven on to 350F, and place the dish onto a baking sheet.
Bake until the pudding is set, slightly puffed up and golden on top, about 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
I served this as a side with baked ribs and green beans, along with barbecue sauce, but it can also be served with salsa.
- Bread pudding is best made with old or stale bread, as this absorbs the custard well. When the custard sets, you have a crunchy outside and a moist inside...the more custard that is absorbed, the moister your pudding will be.
- Any bread can be used. Some of my favourites include croissant, French bread, cornbread or cheese bread.
- The cheese and vegetables can be adapted to what you have available. Some cheeses to try are goat cheese, Asiago, Swiss cheese. Some other vegetables include sundried tomatoes, olives, artichokes, cooked diced squash, caramelized onion, roasted garlic, grilled eggplant or zucchini.
- Flavour the custard with hot sauce, sriracha, adobe sauce from chipotle peppers, fresh minced garlic, or chopped fresh herbs.
- The bread pudding can be assembled ahead of time, and kept well wrapped in the fridge. This also gives the custard time to absorb.
- Another option for the cornbread is to cut it into 1" cubes, instead of thin slices. These can be layered as I did, or they can be mixed with the vegetables and custard in a large bowl, until the custard has been absorbed. Place the bread cubes and vegetables into the prepared dish and top with the grated cheese before baking.