Bread puddings aren't exclusively the domain of desserts, as this savory concoction proves. Use this recipe as a starting point and add mushrooms, sautéed vegetables, herbs, or other ingredients that you like. The pudding works as a side dish, fulfilling both vegetable and starch categories, or makes a nice light supper or luncheon entrée when paired with a green salad.
|4 cups||1-inch bread cubes (from a hearty, country-style bread)|
|6||ears fresh sweet corn|
|1 tablespoon||minced garlic|
|3/4 cup||diced ham|
|2 cups||half and half|
|1 cup||heavy (whipping) cream|
|1/4 teaspoon||cayenne pepper|
|1 cup||grated sharp Cheddar cheese|
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until toasted.
Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
Scrape kennels from corn cobs with a small sharp knife. Melt butter in a large skillet and sauté the garlic and corn for 3 minutes, stirring continually. Add the ham and cook another minute.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the half and half, cream, salt, and cayenne. Add the corn and ham mixture to the bowl, then stir in the cheese. Gently mix in the bread cubes.
Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes or until pudding is puffed and set.