A question about a recipe: Savory Bread Pudding

If you did not have chevre on hand, but did have some great feta (cow's milk, rather sharp) and some fairly dry ricotta, which would you use instead in this recipe? (Or perhaps you'd use both?) Thanks so much, everyone. ;o)

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Recipe question for: Savory Bread Pudding

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caroline_kuhn
caroline_kuhn April 27, 2012

Savory bread pudding is very versatile, from my experience. However, I would probably use the feta. It has more of a distinctive taste and I think it would incorporate better with your bread pudding. I'm not sure how the ricotta would work, especially if it's quite dry.

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ATG117
ATG117 April 27, 2012

I'd actually go with the ricotta based on the flavor profile. But how dry is dry? Is it ricotta sallata?

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LE BEC FIN
LE BEC FIN April 28, 2012

hmmmm, i can see why you asked this question. it comes dwn to this for me. feta and gruyere? or ricotta and gruyere? the dryness of the ricotta really doesn't matter, does it? because you could add some cream to it and make it moister, yes?

i guess i don't think feta and gruyere go together well. given that, i'd use the ricotta but increase the gruyere to get the more needed flavor punch that the missing chevre would give you.

whenever i do a savory strata-type dish, i keep in mind that it's mostly bread, so it really needs cheese elements that are going to give it punch.

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour April 28, 2012

I'd go feta - I'd want the tang that chevré provides, and I think the feta would better mimic that.

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour April 28, 2012

PS. I hope I'm invited to the fantastic soirée you're obviously having!!!

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames April 30, 2012

It was a brunch, actually, for 18, to welcome new neighbors across the street. Using a second loaf of challah, I also made a somewhat sweet French toast pudding, with pears and the same streusel topping I put on my cowboy coffee cake. It was a great party. ;o)

hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour April 30, 2012

Sounds like a delicious menu! What a lovely way to welcome your new neighbors.

cookinginvictoria
cookinginvictoria April 28, 2012

I would recommend the feta. I've made this bread pudding before and the tang that the chevre provides really adds to the flavor of the dish. A good sharp feta would be an excellent substitution.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames April 30, 2012

Thanks, everyone, for your answers. I ended up taking this into a somewhat different direction, using the feta. I was serving a ham, so I decided to use our local Molinari breakfast sausage instead of prosciutto. I sauteed the links with some slice onions, then cut the sausages into bite-sized pieces. I added a handful of fresh marjoram and another handful of fresh thyme, along with a fistful of Italian parsley and 8 white mushrooms, sliced. I had a whole loaf of challah so I doubled the custard ingredients, sort of, using a combination of cream, half and half and milk. I was short an egg, but didn't worry about it. I toasted the challah as suggested here. I grated about 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg over the whole thing (in a well-buttered 9 x 12 pan). And I topped the dish with a combination of Pecorino Romano and Gruyere. Everyone loved it. I'll probably make it again, and will post the recipe then. ;o)

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LE BEC FIN
LE BEC FIN April 30, 2012

aw, i'm feelin' sooooooo sorry for your guests! not. :-}

kamileon
kamileon May 1, 2012

Ooh, sounds delicious! After I posted this recipe, I made a couple variants on it (chorizo, sharp cheddar and smoked paprika was a family favorite.) It really lends itself to a wide variety of flavors, as long as you get the texture right, so the feta sounds great, nice and creamy. Ricotta might be a bit dry. And the challah is a nice touch.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames May 1, 2012

kamileon, although I don't eat chorizo or paprika, my sons love both. That combination with the sharp cheddar sounds so good! I can't wait to make it for them when they return from college later this month. ;o)

ChefJune
ChefJune May 1, 2012

I agree with Mindy... I don't think I would care for feta with Gruyere. I'd opt for the ricotta and add some cream to replace some of the moisture you've noted is missing. I might also add a couple of tablespoons of a good Dijon mustard to the wet ingredients.

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