Savory Leftover Bread Pudding
– Leftover Christmas Ham (any type), about 2 cups, diced
– Bread (any type), cubed, about 8 slices
– Brown Sugar, 1 ½ cupsHazelnuts, peeled and blanched, 1 cup
– Pearl Onions, 1 cup (diced Vidalia or white onions can be substituted)
– Fennel, ½ bulb, diced
– Allspice, Tbsp
– Clove, 1 Tbsp
– Nutmeg, 1 Tbsp
– Ginger, 1 Tbsp
– Salt, to taste
– Pepper, to taste
– Butter, 2 Tbsp, divided
– Heavy Cream, 1 quart
– Hickory Syrup (or maple syrup), 1 cup
– 6 large eggs
1) Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, crack eggs and whip for 2-3 minutes with a fork or wire whisk. Set a medium sauce pan on the stove on medium heat, add heavy cream and syrup. Heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring every 1-2 minutes.
2) Place two pans on stovetop on medium heat, a small pan to toast spices and a medium or large pan to sauté ham and onions. To large pan, add 1 tbsp butter and let melt. Add diced fennel, onions, and ham, let sit for 1-2 minutes, then coat with brown sugar. Once the brown sugar starts to dissolve, turn heat to low. Remove heavy cream from heat and allow to begin cooling.
3) In small pan, add spices to dry pan on medium heat, stir for 30 seconds to toast and release aromatics. Once it starts to smoke, add remaining tbsp of butter and hazelnuts. Let sit for 1-2 minutes to toast, then remove both pans from heat.
4) Once heavy cream mixture is cooled, slowly pour heavy cream into eggs and whisk until fully incorporated.
5) In large baking pan, pour in ham mixture, cubed bread, spices and hazelnuts, mixing thoroughly. Pour heavy cream mixture over top, mixing ingredients together. Press firmly into pan. Cover with cling-wrap and foil, bake for 30-45 minutes.
6) After baking, allow to cool slightly. Check doneness with knife, make sure nothing sticks to knife. Cut into large squares and plate, garnish with fennel tops if desired.