That’s what I said after I finally finished making today’s dish, Tomato Bread Pudding. I found it pretty time-consuming, probably because I was doing a few other things at the same time.
I’d never come across TBP earlier. A few years ago, my aunt presented me Michele Anna Jordan’s The Good Cook’s Book of Tomatoes but somehow, this recipe escaped my eye. I had a surplus of tomatoes this week and I needed to use some of them, so when I spied this recipe, it sounded interesting enough to put in the blog.
My experiment resulted in a moist, very slightly pinkish custardy bread when you broke through the golden-brown crust on top. The recipe asked for half a pound of bacon but since I don’t stock any, I just left it out but added an onion fried in olive oil.
What you need:
Pure olive oil
4 cups bread, torn into medium-sized chunks
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
An onion, fried till pink (optional)
3 tbsp finely minced coriander
2 ounces Cheddar
2 eggs, beaten
2-¼ cups milk
2 tbsp commercial tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method: Rub a decent-sized but not too large baking dish with a thin coating of olive oil. Toss bread, tomatoes, cheese, coriander in a mixing bowl. (At this stage, you can pause, admire your handiwork and go on to serve this as salad with a bit of salt and pepper!) Transfer to the baking dish. Whisk eggs, milk, tomato puree and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Pour custard over the bread and make sure it is distributed evenly.
[Photo]Bake in a 325 F oven (160 C) for 35 minutes and then in a 425 F oven (about 230 C) for another 10-15 minutes till top browns. The top browned in the first stage, though a knife inserted into the centre came out wet - I baked it in the second stage, it got browner, as you can see, but the inside was still moist (notice the pale patch in the dish, I scraped off the top to see how the inside was) - it had been 40 minutes by then, so I lost patience and switched off the oven, but as it turned out, didn’t end up tasting too bad. Don’t need to tell you the aroma from the oven was heavenly![Photo]
PS: I must say this tasted rather like the Tomato Baath that is made in South India! I knew it tasted like something but it came to me only a few hours later! I heated the leftovers well today for dinner - it tasted different, like bread and pudding, maybe the trick lay in the heating.