Laptop Lunches #267

Chicken-apple bites with ketchup (I'll give you the recipe tomorrow), cucumbers and yellow tomatoes, chocolate bread crumb pudding (recipe below), and strawberry chunks.

These chicken-apple bites were really a great experiment. I adapted them from a recipe I found to make a much smaller batch and to use what I had on hand. They are wonderfully flavored, hot or cold, which makes them a great choice for lunch. Ketchup adds a little bit of fun for dipping but you could just eat them plain. But because I've got a recipe here for bread crumb pudding, I thought I'd save the chicken-apple bites for tomorrow.g

Bread pudding is usually made with chunks of bread, but if you make it with bread crumbs, it takes on the texture of a mousse. It's a nice change of pace, accommodates a wide variety of odds and ends, and is generally more nutritionally dense than mousse.

The recipe below is loosely based on this one.

Chocolate Bread Crumb Pudding
Servings: About 6

1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon butter
2 cups of 1-inch cubes of stale bread (roughly speaking--and a bit more or less won't make much difference)
2 eggs
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix sugar and cocoa in a large bowl. Drop the butter on top of the sugar and cocoa. Warm the milk in the microwave or on the stovetop until steaming.  Pour over sugar mixture and stir well. When butter has melted, add bread cubes and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Blend softened bread cubes into milk mixture with an immersion blender or by transferring to a stand blender. When smooth, add eggs, salt, and vanilla and blend again. Pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish.

Place casserole dish in a 9 x 12 cake pan and add warm water to reach about 1 inch up the sides of the 2-quart casserole dish. Bake for 1 hour.

This can be eaten warm (it'll be a bit runny and gooey in the middle until it cools completely), chilled (it'll be like chocolate mousse chilled), or at room temperature (kind of a pedestrian pudding at that point, but still really tasty, and what you're likely to have for lunch). Ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce, hot fudge, and/or berries all make great toppings.

Store any leftover pudding in the refrigerator.


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