What To Do With All This Bread?

 

 I can’t tell you how many times I pick up a loaf of French or Italian bread thinking that with out any trouble what-so-ever that I will be able to polish it off.  Let me tell you that is almost NEVER the case.  I am always left with enough loaves to have bread crumbs for the rest of my life!  Well if you are like me or perhaps just really dig my recipes, than I can maybe help you salvage some of that bread.

The Panzanella Salad has been around for centuries and it stems back to the Italians.  Much like these days, times were tough and people were looking to save where they could.  The Italian culture believed in utilizing every possible food item to the last crumb, just ask my grandfather.  Instead of throwing that old bread away they figured they would spice it up with fresh produce and greens from the garden along with herbs, oils and wine vinegars, which ultimately formed The Panzanella Salad.  

Another popular technique to using old bread is certainly a southern favorite and it comes in the form of pudding.  Now I know how certain regions of the country and cultures are very particular about there indigenous recipes so I will NOT tell you how to make bread pudding.  I will just simply agree with you that it is absolutely delicious and provide you with a potential bread pudding recipe that you may want to make some time.  If you have any food related questions connect with me at facebook.com/chefbillyparisi or at twitter.com/chefbillyparisi.

Panzanella Salad

Vinaigrette:
  • 3 tablespoons of finely diced shallots
  • 1/3 cup of white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of grainy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 tablespoons of chiffonade fresh basil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Salad:
  • 1 loaf of Artisan bread cut into 1″ thick slices
  • olive oil for coating
  • 3 cups of baby arugula
  • 2 tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1/2 julienne sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup of fresh shaved parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Serves 4 to 6
  1. Vinaigrette: In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients and set aside.
  2. Salad: Using a pasty brush, brush each side of the bread with olive oil and place on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until toasted.
  3. Once toasted, cut the bread into 1″ thick chunks.
  4. In a large bowl mix together bread, arugula, tomatoes, onions and 2 to 4 ounces of vinaigrette and mix thoroughly.   Season the salad with salt and pepper

Dried Cherry and Croissant Bread Pudding with Champagne Zabaglione

  • 4 large  croissants
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 cups of dried cherries
  • 1 cup of extra dry champagne
  • whipped cream

Serves 6 to 8

Procedure:

  1. Cut up croissants into 1 inch squares and place them on a sheet pan and place in the oven on 350° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. In the mean time cut the vanilla bean in half long ways and add it to the 2 cups of heavy cream in a pot and scald the mixture on medium-high heat.
  3. Once scalded add to a mixing bowl with 6 egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar and mix well.  Be sure to scrape all the goodness out of the center of the vanilla bean and add to the mixture.
  4. Once the croissants are browned place them in a souffle dish and sprinkle the dried cherries on top.
  5. Next pour in the vanilla bean custard and place souffle dish in a 4 inch half hotel pan.  We are cooking this in a water bath.  Next pour water in the hotel pan filling half of it.
  6. Next, cover the whole thing with tin foil and place in the oven on 350° for 40-60 minutes.
  7. About 10 minutes before the bread pudding is finished, start making the zabaglione.  In a metal bowl on a double boiler on high heat and add in 3 egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar & champagne.  Beat vigorously until thick and foamy.  Takes about 8-10 minutes  which is perfect because when this is done the bread pudding will be finished as well.
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