That brunch stuff yesterday was GOOD, by the way.
Having 8 people over tomorrow for brunch (in our tiny house!) and I'm prepping lots ahead tonight. (8 people, 11 am, 4 month old baby? You bet your ass I'm doing as much ahead as I can!)
I have the challah in the oven now to use in the Creme Brulee French Toast casserole (2 of the guests are non-pig-atarians, so this is for them.) I'm going to get that soaking once the loaves cool. I've already cooked the leeks and sliced the ham for the Bread Pudding with Ham, Gruyere, and Leeks. I've made Grapefruit Curd (yum!) for spreading on scones - I'm trying to decide if I should do plain ones or maybe ginger ones? Weigh in if you're reading. I also made a Sour Cream-Cinnamon Coffee Cake and a pitcher of Bloody Marys (2 of the other couples are bringing the fixin's for mimosas.) And tomorrow morning, I'll bake off the stuff and prep a simple baked cheese grits casserole along with the other stuff. So hopefully all I'll have to do in the AM is slide some things in the oven, mix up the scones, and clean the bathroom. :)
I found the recipe for the bread pudding on the Cooking Light bulletin boards - the author of the post credits it to Martha Stewart, but I can't find it anywhere but there. So here it is for your delectation:
Bread Pudding with Ham, Leeks, and Cheese – Martha Stewart
Using both Gruyere and fontina gives this savory dish complex flavor-and they melt beautifully. If you use only Gruyere, just double the amount. You can assemble most of this dish up to one day ahead and refrigerate, covered; then add the batter, and bake.
2 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for dish
1 bunch leeks (4-6), white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4 inch thick half-moons, and rinsed well (about 3 heaping cups)
1 tsp course salt, plus more for seasoning
8 large eggs
1 quart milk
8 slices challah or brioche (1/2 inch thick)
6 ounces thinly sliced ham
2 tbsp thyme leaves
1 cup grated gruyere cheese (4 oz)
1 cup grated fontina cheese (4 oz)
1. Preheat oven to 325. Butter a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook leeks, covered, until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a small bowl.
2. Whisk together eggs and milk. Whisk in the salt and pepper. Set batter aside.
3. Layer the bread, ham, reserved leeks, thyme, and cheeses shingle-style in the buttered dish. Pour batter over top; press gently so bread absorbs liquid.
4. Bake until puffed and golden brown (tent with foil if edges brown too much before center is set), about 1 hour.