Sunday, October 16, 2011

Butternut Squash & Kale Bread Pudding

Healthy Comfort Food: Not just for Oxymorons..

It was a perfect autumn afternoon in Brooklyn. The leaves were falling, the air was crisp, and I was feeling romantic.  

Unfortunately, my husband was on flight to glorious Pittsburgh, where he'll be working for the next four months.

Enter comfort food.

I found a recipe for Butternut Squash Bread Pudding that was so deadly fattening, it's title would be considered 'deceptive advertising' if it were being tried in a court of law. But oh boooooooy did it look good!!

So I did my "Lighten Up!" thing, and happily enjoyed the leftovers everyday for a week. Ok, some days I ate it twice. Regardless, I was guilt free. 

Butternut Squash & Kale Bread Pudding

2 pounds peeled seeded butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional for sprinkling
4 Eggs
1/3 cup egg whites
1 cup of half an half
1 1/2 cup of low fat milk
6 tablespoons dry white wine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
3 sage leaves diced
Ground black pepper to taste
1 day-old baguette (do not remove crust), torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large)
2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 1 pound), ribs removed, kale coarsely chopped
3 ounces low fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until squash is lightly caramelized, turning with spatula occasionally, 25-30 minutes.

Whisk eggs and egg whites in large bowl. Add half and half, milk, wine, mustard, and pepper whisk to blend. Add baguette pieces; fold gently into egg mixture. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots, thyme,& sage and sauté until shallots are soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add kale and a dash of salt; cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and stir until kale is wilted but still bright green, about 5 minutes (kale will be a bit crunchy).

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Spray a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with olive oil. Using slotted spoon, transfer half of bread from egg mixture to prepared baking dish, arranging to cover most of dish. Spoon half of kale over bread. Spoon half of squash over bread and kale; sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat with remaining bread, kale, squash, and cheese. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread pudding.

Cover bread pudding with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until custard is set and bread feels springy to touch, about 20 minutes longer.

Preheat broiler; broil pudding until cheese browns slightly, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

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