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How to Save Bread


I'm often tempted to pick up a loaf of crusty artisan-style bread to go with dinner. More often than not, however, the entire loaf can't be finished at one meal and the bread becomes stale overnight.

To avoid wasting such good bread, I store the leftover pieces in the freezer until I have enough to make bread pudding. Sourdough loaves are perfect for savory bread puddings like this one made with crab meat, asparagus and Jack cheese.


Crab and Asparagus Bread Pudding

Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours

1 small bunch asparagus, about 3/4 pound


5 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 cup whipping cream

Freshly ground black pepper

10 (1-inch) thick slices day-old sourdough bread, about

6 ounces cooked crab meat

1 bunch green onions, minced

1/2 pound Jack cheese, grated

* Trim off tough ends of asparagus and discard. Cut asparagus spears diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Blanch in salted boiling water 1 minute. Drain and pat dry.

* Beat eggs, milk, cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste until well combined. Strain through fine strainer.

* Pour 1 cup egg mixture into bottom of 2-quart shallow baking dish. Cover with layer of bread slices, trimming bread if necessary to make even layer. Distribute crab meat and 1/2 of asparagus, 1/2 of onions and 1/2 of cheese over bread. Cover with 1/2 of remaining egg mixture. Repeat with another layer of bread, remaining green onions and remaining asparagus. Cover with remaining egg mixture and remaining cheese. Let stand 10 minutes to allow bread to absorb some of liquid.

* Bake at 350 degrees until center is set and top is slightly browned, about 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

4 servings. Each serving: 786 calories; 1,494 mg sodium; 392 mg cholesterol; 40 grams fat; 60 grams carbohydrates; 45 grams protein; 0.98 gram fiber.

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