Canadian bacon, gruyere cheese and spinach come together in this bread pudding from Emeril Lagasse for an easy and delicious make-ahead casserole.
Adapted from Emeril's Test Kitchen.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 ounces Canadian bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound pre-washed baby spinach
- 10 large eggs
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- One 14- to 16-ounce loaf Italian bread, cut into 1½- to 2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
- 1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet. Add Canadian bacon, onion, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon salt, and cook 2 minutes. Add half of the spinach to the pan and cook, stirring as needed, for 1 minute. Add the remaining spinach and cook 1 minute longer, until just wilted. Remove the pan from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, half-and-half, the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg until combined.
Butter a 3-quart baking dish with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add half of the bread, then top with half of the spinach mixture and half of the grated cheese. Repeat the layers. Pour the egg mixture into baking dish and gently submerge the bread. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Bring casserole to room temperature. Bake the casserole uncovered until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes (cook time will vary based on depth of baking dish). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.