Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash, Bacon and Onion | BeyondCeliac.org
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Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash, Bacon and Onion

The perfect gluten-free Thanksgiving side dish. 

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

Make this as a side dish for Thanksgiving or use leftover roasted butternut squash or mashed butternut squash and serve with leftover turkey for breakfast or dinner. Bagel, egg and milk mix can be prepared in fridge before Thanksgiving and the rest of ingredients added. This is mild comfort food.

I normally use an Udi’s gluten-free plain bagel, it doesn't disintegrate and doesn't have any funny taste. I do also like Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free plain bagels, which has even more of a roll's softer texture to me. Aldi has gluten-free hamburger rolls that I do like for hamburgers, but haven't tried them for bread pudding. We love Against the Grain tapioca cheese bread, but it was wrong texture to us for bread pudding.

Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 2 plain gluten-free bagels. Cut into tiny cubes about ½ inch square
  • 4 eggs or 1 c (250 ml) gluten-free egg substitute. I normally use 50/50 whole egg and egg substitute 
  • 6-8 slices of Jones Dairy Farm Bacon or Oscar Mayer center cut, both are labeled gluten-free. Or leftover ham. Cut small
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • 1 Tbsp oil (15 ml)
  • 2c (500 ml)  milk, fat free is fine, but cream and whole eggs are wonderful
  • 12 oz (375g) peeled butternut squash, cut into small cubes, no more than 1" square. Or use leftover roasted squash or mashed squash
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) finely scissored green of green onion
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 c (4oz, 125 g) shredded Swiss cheese or Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste. If you used leftover roasted squash or mashed squash be aware of existing salt or fat content
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup added to bread pudding and more to serve. Optional, maple syrup is in most NE fridges
  • 8x8 baking dish

Directions:

1. If you are using raw bacon, then put oil and bacon in saucepan or microwave safe dish and cook bacon until it starts releasing its juices. Add onion, garlic and raw butternut squash, stir, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until onion is soft and squash is just cooked. If using leftover cooked squash, just cook bacon, onion and garlic then stir in leftover cut up butternut squash or mashed squash.

2. Then I like to mix the casserole ingredients in a glass bowl/jug, cover and refrigerate overnight. 

3. In the morning preheat oven to 350*, make sure to spray the 8x8 baking dish as this makes it far easier to clean dish. Stir the bread mix well to make sure bacon/squash is evenly distributed, and then pour into sprayed baking dish.  Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 40-50 minutes.  It will rise, brown and there should be no liquid 'sloshing' around in the middle when it is cooked.  Do not cook above 350*. Photo shows half quantity cooked in 9" pie plate.

Serve with maple syrup, or my hard apple cider gravy (recipe below).

Gluten-Free Hard Apple Cider Gravy

makes about 3 cups (750 ml)

I grew up on what is known as just 'cider' in England; English and Irish brands are now being sold in US and in New England we have quite a few cider makers. Every cider tastes different depending on apple variety used, some are sweet, some dry, some even effervesce (bubble) so every gravy will taste different. I can buy a six pack of Woodchuck Amber Cider for $9.99 in my local store, so quite a reasonable price. With hard apple cider you do need to check that it says gluten-free on bottle or on website. For some unknown reason some cider makers ferment the cider with barley so it's no longer naturally gluten-free. Hard apple cider is definitely alcoholic and goes down very easily so you don't notice the effect of the alcohol when you drink it. I've always drunk hard apple cider in preference to beer and cook with it.

Use this as a different, gluten-free gravy at Thanksgiving, serve with ham, pork, sausages, even fish and with the butternut squash, bacon, onion bread pudding/strata I make. You can make this a few days in advance of Thanksgiving without thickening with cornstarch, refrigerate, then reheat and thicken when you want it. Sauces thickened with corn starch can be quite lumpy when reheated from the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 12 oz (2 x 375ml) bottles or cans of gluten-free hard apple cider
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) neutral oil
  • 3/4 c (180 ml) cream 
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) gluten-free cornstarch (UK cornflour) mixed with 2 tbsp (30ml) water.
  • 1/2 tsp (3 ml) gluten-free chicken stock concentrate, I often use this as a way of adding seasoning not just salt to sauces.
  • fresh pepper
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) chopped fresh parsley plus stalks
  • 4 sage leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1-2 tbsp (15-30 ml) maple syrup, optional if needed

Directions:

1. Gently cook onion and garlic with butter and oil in 1 quart (1 litre) saucepan until very soft and only slightly golden.

2. Add cider, some stalks of parsley and sage leaves and let mix simmer for 10-20 minutes until reduced to about 2 cups (500 ml).  The higher the heat the quicker it reduces so watch that it doesn't boil away to nothing.  This is known as a reduction (really a concentration). Note that if you reduce a salt containing mix the final sauce can be quite salty, if you reduce a cream containing sauce then the fat content per serving will be higher.

3. Add cream and stock concentrate, very light grinding of pepper and simmer for a few minutes.

4. Taste sauce. If too tangy for you or family add maple syrup.  Remove parsley stalks and sage leaves.

5. Add cornstarch slurry, bring to the boil, simmer for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens and raw cornstarch flavor is cooked out.

6. Taste and adjust seasonings, add chopped fresh parsley for color.

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