Thursday, March 25, 2010


You've heard "Two in the kitchen, twice as much fun!"  Well, with nine people (as in our Cooking Capers Club) it is really, really fun!!!   Today we ate the vegetarian meal that I planned a month ago [See my post at 2/26/10 for the full menu.].  It was a delicious lunch but the Zucchini Bread Pudding was perhaps the best of all.  Here's the recipe:

* 2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4" thick
* 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 cup chopped roasted red sweet peppers
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (6 cloves)
* 1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried, crushed)
* 1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
* 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried, crushed)
* 5 cups Italian bread, cut into 1" cubes (about 13 oz.)
* 4 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded (1 cup)
* 3 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans
* 2 cups half-and-half or light cream
* 5 eggs, slightly beaten
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
     Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease a 2-quart baking dish, set aside.  In a large skillet cook zucchini and corn in hot oil for 3 minutes.  Stir in sweet peppers, garlic, basil, parsley and sage.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes more or until zucchini is tender.  Stir in bread.  Place half of the mixture in prepared dish.  Sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Repeat layers.  Sprinkle with nuts.  In a medium bowl whisk together half-and-half, eggs, salt and pepper.  Carefully pour over bread mixture.
     Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  (To make ahead: Layer mixture, but do not bake.  Cover; refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Bake, uncovered, in a 350ºF oven 45 minutes or until a knife inserted off-center comes out clean.) Let stand 10 minutes.

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