Thursday, April 7, 2011

A wee bit of the Irish - Cabbage Bread Pudding

Being 1/2 Irish my Family loves St Patrick’s Day (it might also be because ½ of us are redheads!) the kids really like to go all out and eat delicious Irish Fare.
I have many Irish cookbooks and my favorite is Mcguire's Irish Pub Cookbook
by Jessie Tirsch.   The recipes and anecdotes are great!  One recipe made me take a second look….Cabbage Bread Pudding….I don’t know why but I was not sure if this would be a hit with the kids or not. Then I figured I should GO FOR IT, and see what happens.
Well, it has become a family favorite that I have altered and edited over time to suit my family’s likes.  Now we don’t wait until St Patrick’s Day…it is a favorite side dish for any occasion.
Here is the recipe….about 90% from “McGuire’s Irish Pub Cookbook” with some minor tinkering from me.  You really must get this cookbook it is wonderful!!
Cabbage Bread Pudding  - from the McGuires' Irish Pub CookBook (with a few personal taste changes)
1 French baguette torn into chunks
½ loaf (unsliced) dark pumpernickel torn into chunks
3 cups milk
½ cup cream
10 slices bacon cut into bite size pieces
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic smacked and minced
1 small green cabbage cut into chunks
½ small red cabbage cut into chunks
2 tbl butter
½ tea dried thyme
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350.
In a VERY large bowl place all of the bread. Add the milk and cream…mix well and then set aside until the bread has absorbed all of the liquid. 
Cook bacon in a super large skillet until crisp…remove from the pan with tongs, then cook the onions in the rendered bacon grease until the onions are tender, throw in the garlic and stir well...do NOT let the garlic burn.  Cook a minute or two then add the cabbage to the same skillet (ok..I know…but I NEVER once said this was health food, just that it was delicious!) toss to cover the cabbage with the bacon dripping and onions, stir in 2/3 of the bacon. Reduce heat and cover until cabbage is tender (15- 20 minutes). Then remove from heat and stir the cabbage mixture into the bread/milk mixture.  Beat the eggs and stir in the thyme, then gently stir into the bread mixture.  Melt the butter to coat (2 large or 1 huge) baking dish. Be sure to coat bottom AND sides. Pour bread mixture into the baking dish (or dishes) Bake until pudding tests done (like a cake – poke a tooth pick or knife into center and it comes out clean) about 30 to 45 minutes, but this will vary widely due to pan size differences.

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