Theresa Wahl, owner of Auntie Em’s Kitchen in Eagle Rock, is a brunch enthusiast. Her forthcoming cookbook, The Auntie Em’s Cookbook: A Musician’s Guide to Breakfast & Brunch is a celebration of her love of homemade food and of the atmosphere she fosters in her cafe. And Theresa, as a former member of an all-girl punk band, infuses her passion for music in each recipe where she suggests a song to cook each recipe by.
Spend your weekend morning in, and cook this savory recipe for Bread Pudding with Bacon & Herbs while listening to some Curtis Mayfield.
If you want more recipes like this, including homemade ketchup and instructions on how to preserve late summer bounty, Auntie Em’s Cookbook will be released on June 10, 2014, but it is currently available for pre-order here.
Song: Superfly, Curtis Mayfield
Serves 6 to 8
• 10 slices applewood- smoked bacon
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 4 tablespoons finely chopped chives
• 4 tablespoons finely chopped basil
• 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
• 3 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
• 1 cup grated good cheddar (such as Hook’s or Cabot Clothbound)
• 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese, plus 3 tablespoons for garnish
• 9 to 10 slices good quality stale white bread, or any other bread, crusts trimmed and reserved for another use
• 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
• 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
• 10 large eggs
• 3 cups heavy cream
• 2 cups milk
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cut into 2-inch pieces and set aside on a paper towel to drain fat.
Rub a medium baking dish (about 10 ½” x 7” or 1-quart gratin dish) with softened butter. In a medium bowl, mix together chives, basil, parsley, oregano, bacon, cheddar and Gruyère. Line baking dish with a layer of bread (about 3 slices), trimming to fit if needed. Season bread with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Scatter half of the bacon-cheese mixture over the bread. Repeat with a layer of bread and the remaining half of the bacon-cheese mixture. Finish with a layer of bread.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs with cream and milk. Season with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne, and mix well. Pour egg mixture over bread. Sprinkle remaining 3 tablespoons Gruyère on top and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 45 minutes. Check doneness by inserting the tip of the knife into the center of the pudding. The knife should come out clean. If it doesn’t, cook for 5 minutes more and test again.