Holiday Recipe Hookup: Savory Bacon Bread Pudding from Bar Tartine's Chris Kronner

Categories: Holiday Meals

Chris Kronner
Moment of truth time: The party that seemed like such a good idea last month is now keeping you awake at 3 a.m., wondering what the hell you're going to make without embarrassing yourself. Fear not. We've asked some of our favorite local chefs to hook you up with easy-to-fix dishes that'll kill your potluck panic and let you focus on fun stuff. Like drinking.

Step away from the omelet pan, Julia: having a house full of hungry people over for brunch is no time to show off your mad flipping skills. Instead, try this simple bacon- and cheddar-fortified bread pudding from Bar Tartine chef Chris Kronner. It's delicious straight from the oven or left to go tepid, meaning you don't have to stress about prying everyone away from Madden NFL 10 to get their asses around the table. Kronner says the pudding is also good next day, cut into slices and reheated by frying until brown on both sides. So who cares ― let 'em go on sacking each other till they're good and done. Even if it takes hours.

Chris Kronner's Savory Bacon Bread Pudding
Makes 4 large servings

6 ounces cooked bacon lardons (thick-cut bacon, diced into half-inch pieces)
6 ounces sharp cheddar, cut into half-inch cubes
¼ cup chopped fresh sage
5 cups day-old country bread, torn into pieces
6 whole eggs
2 cups whole milk
½ tablespoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Combine bacon, cheese, sage, and bread in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the milk and salt to make a custard. Pour over the bacon-bread mixture, combine thoroughly, and let sit 15 minutes.

Pour pudding mixture into a 4- x 8-inch loaf pan and cover with foil. Set the loaf pan in a metal roasting pan; carefully add enough hot water to the outer pan to come three-quarters of the way up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, until the risen pudding has browned.

Cut in slices to serve, either straight from the oven or after the pudding has cooled.

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