Impromptu Savory Bread Puddings

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Bread pudding is a gem of a main dish, and frugal to boot. With next to no effort it flourishes on bits and pieces of vegetables, cheese, and leftovers, making them an ideal dish for end of the day cooking.

Here is a basic guide to improvising your own savory pudding.

1. Tear up whole grain bread (stale is great here) and spread it in a buttered baking pan. You want enough to cover the bottom in a single layer.

2. Sprinkle on cheese to taste — enough to lightly cover the bread and the perfect place to use up odds and ends.

3. Add a few generous handfuls of chopped vegetables (raw or cooked), fresh herbs, salami, even leftover pieces of cooked meat or poultry.

4. Make enough custard to mostly cover everything figuring two eggs to every cup of milk. Season the custard with a little salt, pepper and fresh grated nutmeg, and pour it over the contents of the pan. Give anywhere from 15 minutes to overnight in the refrigerator to soak in.

5. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees F. until the center of the pudding reads 170 degrees F. on an instant read thermometer.

6. Eat warm or at room temeperature.

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