Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Flurry of Love on Mother's Day

Reporting from my hometown of Buffalo, NY where the wind is howling, snowflakes are in the air, and the temperature is a chilly 38 degrees. I presume Western New York did not receive the memo, “April showers, bring May flowers”. In any case, there is plenty of food, wine and Drink the Leaf loose leaf teas to keep us cozy. Today, of course, is Mother’s Day. I would like to take this moment to wish all the fabulous mothers out there, who are slaying dragons on a daily basis, a wonderful time with their families (or not). You are admired, loved, and revered. We salute you. Kick off your shoes, grab a book, and steep yourself a steaming cup of brew. Better yet, have someone else do it for you.

I am a big believer in worshipping your Mommy. Who else would put up with you your whole life-- the good, the bad and the ugly? Um, thanks again, Mom. So, what to do for your Mom on this momentous day? As my Mom put it, all she wants to do on her special day (which also happens to be her birthday) is to DO NOTHING. Actually, she made some off the wall comment about “applying Velcro to her backside and adhering herself to the couch”. Ah, the pleasure of nothingness for a day. It recharges the soul. Mom, I grant you this wish, and nothing but all my love! Oh, and, Mom, could you please move over on the couch? I am the proud mother of Little One, after all. Parents these days…

Love you oodles Mom, thanks for your unwavering support, love and friendship. On the menu today is Egg & Sausage Bread Pudding with a Spring Salad, and a nice chilled glass of one of your most coveted Chardonnays. Bon App├ętit !

This is a delicious savory bread pudding that I have served on Christmas morning in the past. I thought it would be fitting for Mother’s Day in Buffalo.

Grocery List:
4 TBSP Butter, unsalted
1 cup chopped onions
¼ cup finely chopped green bell peppers
¼ cup finely chopped red bell peppers
¾ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 TBSP. chopped Italian Parsley
6oz Bacon
6oz Sausage(I used a combination of Smoked Chicken Andouille and Italian Turkey)
8 Eggs
3 cups of Milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 ¼ tsp Creole Seasoning (Essence!Bam!)
8 cups of Italian Bread, chopped in 1" cubes ( leave out the night before)
2 cups of Grated Cheese ( such as Gouda or Fontina)
½ cup dry bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan
2 TBSP of melted butter

Get to Work:
1) Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish(9 x 13”) with 1 TBSP butter.
2) Melt 2 tsp of butter over med- heat in medium skillet. Add onions, bell peppers, pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook until soft.
3) Add garlic- cook until fragrant. Add parsley- stir and remove from heat.
4) In another skillet- Melt 1 tsp. butter, over medium heat. Add bacon, cook, drain on paper towels. Add sausage, cook until browned, remove and drain on paper towels. Let cool.
5) In large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, cream, 1 tsp of seasoning, ½ tsp of salt, and pinch of black pepper. Whisk to combine. Add bread cubes, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add bacon, sausage, onion and pepper mixtures, and cheese. Stir to combine. Pour entire mixture into baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 50 minutes.
6) Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, remaining 1/2 tsp of seasoning, and melted butter. Spread mixture evenly on pudding. Put back in oven, uncovered, for an additional 2o minutes, until down in the middle.
7) Enjoy, then have someone else clean up the kitchen, and put away the dishes.

** recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse/foodnetwork

Serve with a mixed greens spring salad tossed in a light dressing.

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