POMEGRANATE CRANBERRY EGGNOG BREAD PUDDING
10 large eggs
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup Pomegranate Cranberry Compote or Sauce (see recipe)
1 cup pecan pieces, toasted and rough chopped
1 cup eggnog
1 1/2 cup half-and-half
10 slices Wheat Montana bread dried to smithereens, broken up into 1/2 inch pieces (about 5 cups)
Bourbon Spiced Cream, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 6-cup (9 1/4 by 5 1/4 by 2 3/4-inch) loaf pan with butter.
Whisk together eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and cranberry sauce until very smooth. Stir in half-and-half. bread and pecans. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the pudding is set in the center, about 55 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.
To serve, cut the pudding into 1-inch thick slices. Top with the Bourbon Spiced cream. Garnish with confectioners' sugar and mint.
FRESH CRANBERRY COMPOTE:
1/2 pound fresh cranberries
1/2 pound pomegranate
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cups water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Put the cranberries, orange and lemon zest, orange and lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups of the water in a medium-size nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/2 cup of water and add to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, then stir constantly until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Yield: 2 cups
BOURBON SPICED CREAM:
1 quart heavy cream
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Beat the cream and bourbon with an electric mixer on high speed in a large mixing bowl for about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat again until the mixture thickens and forms stiff peaks, another 1 to 2 minutes. Yield: 4 cups
SCALLOPED GREEN TOMATOES
Serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 bunch celery, including leaves, coarsely chopped
1 shallot, skin-on, sliced
1/2 small onion, skin-on, sliced
3 peppercorns, crushed with the back of a knife
1 small bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme, plus 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh cream
3 to 4 pounds green tomatoes
Fresh breadcrumbs from 1 baguette
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add celery, shallot, onion, peppercorns, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs, and season with salt; cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft and translucent.
Add cream and bring to a simmer; remove from heat and let steep 15 to 20 minutes. Strain cream into a small container with a spout, gently pressing on solids to extract flavor. Discard solids and set cream aside.
Using remaining tablespoon butter, butter a 9-by-7-inch or 2-quart baking dish; set aside. Using a mandolin, very thinly slice tomatoes into 1/16-inch slices, discarding any irregular or unusable pieces. Layer tomatoes close together and slightly overlapping so that they cover bottom of entire dish; season with salt and pepper. Repeat process, making 5 layers of tomatoes and seasoning between each. Let stand 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Using a second baking dish about the same size as the one containing the tomatoes, press down on surface of tomatoes and drain any liquid that has accumulated in the dish; discard liquid and remove second baking dish.
Top tomatoes with breadcrumbs; do not press down. Evenly pour reserved cream over top so that breadcrumbs are moistened. Transfer to oven and bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown and tomatoes are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Top with fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.
Baking this cornbread dressing from Miller Union chef Steven Satterfield in muffin tins gives each serving crispy, savory edges.
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
3/4 cup chopped pecan pieces
3/4 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 teaspoons fresh finely chopped sage
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 3/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using 2 tablespoons butter, butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin; set aside.
Break cornbread into medium-fine pieces by hand in the pan it was baked in; add cherries and pecans; set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, shallots, sage, and thyme; cook, stirring, until onions are translucent. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer; let simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
Pour vegetable mixture over cornbread and mix to combine; let cool slightly. Stir in eggs and season with salt and pepper.
Using your hands or an ice cream scoop, fill prepared muffin tin with cornbread mixture. Transfer to oven and bake until set, about 40 minutes. Let cool before removing from muffin tins.