Every year we do our radio broadcast, Turkey Confidential, on Thanksgiving morning. Afterwards the entire crew packs up their family and come together to celebrate with our own potluck Thanksgiving dinner.
This recipe started life as cornbread stuffing for that feast. Evolution (and leftovers) took hold and it became a favorite winter meal all on its own. It’s really an off-beat bread pudding of herb-garlic cornbread chunks and peppery greens stuffed with pockets of Cheddar and finished with the crunch of toasted pine nuts.
Wine: A lighter, but savory wine with just a hint of fruity sweetness is what you want with this casserole. Try a young Tempranillo-based wine from Ribera del Duero in Spain.
Note: The entire dish can be assembled ahead and the components made days in advance.
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 recipe Herb and Garlic Cornbread, cut into 1-inch pieces and dried 1 to 2 days
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 recipe Country Greens, thoroughly drained of liquid
7 large eggs
3-1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously oil a 2-1/2-quart glass baking dish.
2. Start the Pudding: Spread the cornbread pieces in the prepared pan and tuck one-half cup of the cheese around the cornbread. Spread the greens out as evenly as possible on top.
3. Make the custard and assemble the pudding: In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt, pepper and nutmeg until well combined. Carefully pour the custard over the cornbread, allowing the bread to fully absorb the mixture. Leave it sit 10 minutes so the bread can take in the custard. It will be a very full pan. Top with the remaining cheese and pine nuts.
4. Let the assembled pudding stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. It can be refrigerated, covered, at this point and baked off later, if desired.
5. Bake the pudding: Bring the pudding to room temperature. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the center reaches 170ºF. on an instant-reading thermometer. Let rest 15 to 30 minutes at room temperature before serving. Enjoy the pudding hot or at room temperature.
Copyright 2011 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. From A Spice Scented Thanksgiving Menu.
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