For the most part (as in, 99% of the time), I feel really lucky that my husband will eat basically anything I throw at him. He really is a trooper. Even when I cook something knowing full well that it contains one of his disfavored ingredients (such as my beloved kalamata olives), he will usually pick around the offending item with minimal complaining. TL/DR: he rocks.
While this extreme low-maintenance toward food is great 99% of the time, every now and then it kinda-sorta-maybe drives me crazy. This bread pudding is a good example of that one percent. I was really excited about this recipe, since savory bread puddings are almost always a hit with me, and I thought it turned out fantastic. Cheesy, rich, filling, and hearty…all the good things. He too ate it up and agreed it was delicious. Dinner = success. Or so I thought.
The problem came a little later that night, when he was on the phone with his mom. He mentioned that we had just finished dinner, and she asked what we had to eat. His answer: “I don’t know…it was some kind of casserole…with chicken and stuff…it was good.”
Now. While I mildly object to the classification as this dish as a “casserole,” that’s not really the point. The point is — he can’t even tell ham from chicken? Does that seem…like…OK to you guys? Is this some kind of…tastebud disorder…that makes all meat taste the same? Or (as I suspect) is the answer that he would be just as happy eating a bowl of cereal each night instead of all my elaborate recipe experiments?
Whatever. Don’t answer that. Unless you’re a doctor specializing in tastebud disorders, that is. In that case, I would be interested to hear from you in the comments.
And now, “some kind of casserole with chicken and stuff”:
HAM, CHEDDAR, AND ASPARAGUS BREAD PUDDING (adapted from Cooking Light)
8 oz multigrain bread with seeds, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (I bought a big, round loaf at Whole Foods and absolutely, positively did not snack on the rest of it while cooking)
4 stalks asparagus
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
3 green onions, chopped, divided
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
4 oz lower-sodium ham, chopped fine (look for a ham steak in the lunchmeat case)
2 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
sour cream, for topping (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375. Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, turning once. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
2. While bread crumbs toast, heat pot of water to boiling. Add asparagus stalks and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from boiling water and rinse with cold water. Once asparagus has cooled, chop diagonally into one-inch pieces.
3. Combine bread, asparagus, 1/2 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons onions, milk, chicken broth, pepper, and egg yolks in a large bowl. Place egg whites in a small bowl, and beat with a mixer at high speed or a whisk until foamy (about 30 seconds). Gently fold egg whites into bread mixture.
4. Spoon about 1 cup bread mixture into each of 4 (7-ounce) ramekins coated with cooking spray. Divide the remaining cheese and green onions evenly among ramekins. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Top each serving with sour cream, if desired.
So. One of us thought this was delicious and the other one claimed to find it delicious while simultaneously finding it indistinguishable from chicken casserole. That’s all I can tell you, man.