Tag Archives: brunch

Mini Tomato-Basil Bread Puddings

9 Sep

Mini Tomato Basil Bread PuddingBread puddings are the epitome of warm, homey comfort food. We always remember all the delicious dessert bread puddings and often overlook that savory bread puddings are celebrated soul friendly brunch entrées or a dinner side dishes.

A few years ago I came across a remarkable Tomato-Basil Bread Pudding recipe created by Giada de Laurentiis. Over the years I have created several brunch versions of this and have enjoyed all of them. It’s a versatile recipe that can take on the addition of any favorite omelet ingredient – ham, mushrooms, green peppers etc. This version doesn’t deviate too far from the original recipe. I add in some Fontina cheese for extra creaminess and some hot sauce for an underlying kick. Creating individual portions in cupcake tins gives a little vigor to comfort classic. Individual Tomato Basil Bread Pudding

These mini tomato-basil bread puddings symbolize comfort food at its best – rustic, humble, inexpensive and heartwarming!  Continue reading

Zucchini, Herb and Cheese Bread

21 Sep

Photo Credit: Sneha

Diets are the worst form of persecution for a foodie. Every time I embark on one, the sights of baked treats taunt me and beseech me to cheat on my diet. I start dreaming of flaky puff pastry, moist chocolate cake, warm fruit pies and hearty loaves of bread!

I had the misfortune of embarking on a diet a few weeks ago. I decided to amplify my exercise routines and cut back on treats and snacks to get into shape for an upcoming wedding. I usually manage to keep up the exercise but end up binging on baked treats after a few days of deprivation.  It took me exactly a week, before I caved in and decided I needed to bake a bunch of treats and devour them. My friend Sneha, who is an amazing cook and an even better photographer agreed to join me for what we dubbed “Bake Fest 2012”! We baked puff pastry stuffed with a potato and cheese mixture, an orange Bundt cake, maple bacon chocolate-chip cookies and zucchini, herb and cheese bread.

Each of these was divine, but the zucchini bread stole my heart. Freshly baked bread is unequivocally the best kind of bread. Unlike a lot of bread recipes that require yeast and time to rise, this bread took less than an hour from start to finish.  It’s also a great way to deceive people who do not usually eat vegetables into eating healthful zucchini, as the cheese and herbs are the prominent flavors in the bread. This bread is ideal for a brunch or as a side to a soup for lunch or dinner.

This recipe was found on the Hobby Farms website and after a few attempts, here is a slightly modified version of the original recipe.

Zucchini, Herb and Cheese Bread
Adapted and Modified from the Hobby Farms website.
Time: Active: 15 minutes, Total: 55 minutes
Yield: 1 8-by-4-inch loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cayenne powder
2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh herbs (I used a combination of rosemary, thyme and garlic chives)
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 large eggs
¼ cup good quality olive oil
½ cup milk (I used 1% milk)
1 cup zucchini, shredded and water squeezed out

Notes:

I used rosemary, garlic chives and thyme, but you can use whatever fresh herbs you have available.

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Grease and flour an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the fresh herbs and green onions to the dry ingredients and mix well till everything is combined.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add the oil and milk to the beaten eggs and mix well.
  6. Stir the zucchini into the egg mixture.
  7. Fold the egg and zucchini mixture into the dry ingredients. Do this just until all the ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.
  8. Pour this into the greased and floured loaf pan. Use a butter knife or spatula to smooth out the top of the batter.
  9. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Place the loaf pan on the countertop and let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then turn it out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  11. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm with butter, cream cheese or goat cheese.
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