RADIO | RECIPE: KALE BREAD PUDDING FOR A HUNT COUNTRY BREAKFAST

Looking for a rich, hearty start to a winter morning breakfast, whether during the holidays or not?  Virginie Eats + Drinks contributor Karla Jones Seidita, owner of Cheesecake Farms in Virginia’s Hunt Country, about 50 miles from Washington D.C., offers this savory Kale Bread Pudding. 

You can find this on her Hunt Country Breakfast menu. What’s a Hunt Country Breakfast, and what’s on the menu? Check out this post for all the delish details HERE [LINK] 


KALE BREAD PUDDING

Not sweet like dessert bread pudding but savory like stuffing you make for your Thanksgiving turkey – only better.  Rich, creamy and carb-y.  Uber healthy kale.  A nice breakfast side; dinner, too.  Extra yummy with cream gravy!   What’s not to love? This can be prepped a day in advance, refrigerated and baked the next day.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium onion – chopped (about 1/2 cup)

3 tablespoons water

5 cups (random 1-inch) bread cubes with or without crust (any type bread – even raisin bread – or rolls or combo)

3 tablespoons melted butter

4 eggs

1-3/4cups whole milk

3/4 teaspoons dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

8 ounces Velveeta (any type) 

Cheese alternative – 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded and lightly packed to measure)

8 ounces frozen kale (about 2 cups) thawed, rinsed and squeezed dry

METHOD

Position oven rack so pudding will bake in center.  Preheat oven to 400F.

Grease an 8-inch round or square pan/casserole dish or coat with cooking spray.

Cook onions in water till soft.  (About 3 minutes in a pan on the stove or 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave.)

Pour the softened onions and any remaining water into a large bowl.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven until puffed, lightly set and slightly brown on top, about 40 to 45 minutes.   Do not over bake. 

Serve hot with Cream Gravy, if desired. Yields 6 to 8 servings.

TIPS AND NOTRES

Although really good cheddar is classic and divine, I usually use 8 ounces. of cubed, sharp Velveeta instead. Don’t laugh. I love it!  Everyone loves it! It makes the pudding extra moist and extra creamy. Use which ever you prefer or happen to have on hand.

Notice that I specify ”shredded” cheddar and not “grated”.  You want to see pieces of cheese in the finished pudding. “Grated” cheddar would disappear during baking. The pudding will still taste yummy but the visual effect of melting cheese would be lost. Velveeta does not shred so cut or tear it into small pieces.  There is a commercially shredded Velveeta that comes in bags like any other shredded cheese but I don’t recommend it.

All pre-shredded cheese is dusted with invisible cellulose flour so that the shreds don’t stick together. I don’t like that.  Pre-shredded cheese is low end, ordinary bulk cheese to begin with so adding cellulose flour really masks any hint of good cheese flavor.  For really great tasting cheese that’s worth the fat and calories, get some good stuff and shred or (in the case of Velveeta) cube it yourself.

Don’t omit the hot sauce.  This small amount gives depth to the flavor rather than heat.

You can use 2 percent milk or any milk (including almond or soy milk) for that matter. Whole milk just makes it creamier. If you use evaporated milk, you’ll want to add a bit of water to thin it down to the consistency of regular milk.

Cream gravy is just a bechamel made to the thickness you like. Don’t feel like/Don’t want to make a bechamel? Heat a can or two of mushroom soup thinned to a consistency you like with half & half or cream.

For more information on Cheesecake Farms visit their website HERE [LINK]   


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