This week I was so absorbed by what was in my farm share on Monday that I almost totally forgot that this month I am sharing squash recipes. Well, my creativity and my obsession got together this week in this recipe.
Today’s meal simply needed a good side dish to move it into greatness. I started cooking spareribs in my crock pot about noon. Not sure what the side would be, I considered my options. Then I lit on this new recipe I found just yesterday – bread pudding with Italian sausage. This is a great recipe to make early and pull out of the refrigerator just before dinner.
Squash in this lovely bread pudding qualifies it for Weekend Herb Blogging! This week it’s hosted by Meeta at What’s for Lunch Honey? It actually could be a meal in of itself. It is savory and not at all sweet like typical squash recipes. My squash-hating husband loved it. So I guess score one for me and I can put it into my round of side/main dishes with squash.
My secret ingredient is Quince. It is an old world fruit. Some even believe that this is the forbidden fruit of Eden rather than an apple. It is similar enough to the apple that they can be substitutes for each other in cooked recipes. It has a heavenly scent that it spreads throughout your kitchen with a mixture between ripe pineapple, guava, vanilla and so much more. Some even say this is the smell of love – leading to quinces tradition of love, marriage and fertility. So far I am in love with it.
Storage: store one your counter so that your house can experience the glorious smell. The rest should be placed in a plastic bag in the fridge. They will store for several weeks. Don’t worry about bruising, it will not affect the fruit. Peel the skin before use. If the quince becomes soft, it has rotted or is about to rot.
Uses: Use in place of apples. Create jams, preserves, marmalades because of its high pectin level. The pectin level is so high that raw quinces do not taste good.
Flavor Enhancers: cheese, pork, port, orange, cinnamon, lamb
Health Notes: High in vitamin C. A syrup prepared from the fruit may be used as a great addition to drinks when sick.
butternut squash bread pudding with Italian sausage and roasted quince
Chef Todd Gray of Equinox – Washington D.C.
Adapted by StarChefs
Yield: 6 Servings
- 6 cups Brioche bread cubes, 1 inch dice
- 2 cups butternut squash purée
- 2 cups Italian sausage, casing removed (I used turkey with Italian seasoning)
- 2 quince, peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup Parmesan, grated
- 2 teaspoons rosemary, minced
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. In large mixing bowl combine bread cubes and squash purée, set aside. In large pan, cook sausage over medium heat until fat runs out. Add onion and cook 10 minutes. Add to bread squash mixture. Toss quince in olive oil and roast 30 minutes in oven. Remove and add to bread and sausage mixture. Let cool. When mixture has cooled add eggs, Parmesan, rosemary, cream and seasoning. Mix well to combine. Pour into buttered baking dish(at this point I refrigerated it for about 4 hours) and bake about 45 minutes – 1 hour. Remove and sprinkle with additional Parmesan. Serve warm.