Pages

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bread, Cheese and Wine

Really, that's all you need for a terrific meal: bread, cheese and wine. Here's a supremely simple dish that combines all three into one deliciously satisfying meal.

I don't know about you, but I am always tossing leftover hunks of bread into the freezer thinking that I'll find a use for them later. More often than not, I end up throwing them out when they start to look too dried out and freezer burned. While cleaning out the freezer the other day, I found yet another bag of neglected bread pieces - nice chunks of crusty sourdough - and decided I was going to use them, darn it. I ended up using half for this recipe and half for an Italian bread soup from Rachael Ray that I will share with you later.

Drunken Cheesy Bread

I started with a shallow 11 x 7-inch casserole dish and laid the bread cubes in a single layer (a slightly crowded single layer, but I tried to squish them all in there). Next comes a bit of thinly sliced onion - be sure to slice as thinly as possible as the onion does not get sauteed first - and ham (I used some sliced deli ham that we happened to have on hand). Unlike egg-based stratas or bread puddings, this one does not require an overnight soak - you just pour the wine over the bread mixture and you're good to go. I used one of those little 4-pack bottles of white wine which are just shy of 1 cup - these little bottles are great to keep on hand for cooking. The dish is topped off with 6 ounces of shredded cheese - I used Fontina and Asiago. Super simple - the hardest part is shredding the cheese.

Mmmmm....was this good. We got 4 servings out of this, just barely. It looks like a large amount of food when you're dishing it out, but since it is not dense with egg, it actually ends up being fairly light and I wouldn't have minded a bit more or at least some leftovers. Next time I'll increase the quantities and make a 9 x 13-inch pan. I was happy to see that the onions - if you slice them thinly - bake up quite nicely so sauteeing them first truly is not necessary. My first thought was that a bit of proscuitto would be really nice in this dish and of course, just about any variety of cheeses would do well - the type of dish that you can mold to whatever you have on hand.

A big thanks to Elisabeth over at the CLBB for bringing this recipe to light! I see various incarnations of this dish becoming part of our regular rotation.......so many possibilities and potential combinations.........

9 comments:

  1. Wow, what a different kind of dish! I usually throw the leftover bread into my freezer w/ the intention of taking it to the duck pond :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, you got a posting of this up before I did! We ate this so fast when I made it that I didn't get any photos. :) I figured I'd be making it again soon, but I haven't gotten around it yet. I'm glad you liked it as much as I did!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a great idea... I regret to say that I have the similar habit of throwing bread into the freezer, only to find it aeons later. This is a great way to use it up... maybe even BEFORE it gets tossed in the deep freeze :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lori - Hee hee - you can do more with your leftover bread than the duck pond!

    Elisabeth - Oops. I did check your blog and surprised I couldn't find it. :o

    Lo - Now that I have a few stale bread recipes, I hope to not have any more lost bread!

    ReplyDelete
  5. this is my kind of recipe... you can't go wrong with bread, wine and cheese!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This looks like something a cheese lover like myself would really enjoy diving into :).

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's in the oven now. Smells wonderful.
    I used a sharp cheddar that I've recently become addicted to.
    I'll review it later!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The photo is amazing. I have to make this after looking at it. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We food bloggers are passionate about bowls and props aren’t we? I feel your excitement about all the things you can do with 2 pieces of ceramic!!!!!! And this looks spankingly good and healthy too.

    ReplyDelete