Breadbowling You Over: a recipe-in-progress

When I first started looking up recipes for a mostly-meatless Lent, I came across a post on Rorate Caeli, asking for recipes for fish-free, meatless meals for our Catholic brothers and sisters in England, now that their bishops are encouraging afresh keeping all Fridays meatless. I have been longing to make one of the suggestions (well, several in fact, but there’s one that had been niggling at my brain the most ever since I first saw it), but it didn’t come with a specific recipe and was for something I’d never tasted before. So didn’t get around to it until yesterday. I’d been calling it “the breadbowl thing.” The amazing Aunt Nada suggested Breadbowl Quiche. We’ll call it that for now. What we made needs some tweaking, so if you try this at home, I’m open to any suggestions for improvements.

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Breadbowl Quiche
1 1lb round loaf of bread (double the following ingredients for a 2 lb loaf)
1 c shredded cheese
1 c bite-sized, par-cooked vegetables (such as mushrooms, carrots, onions, broccoli)
2 t dried tarragon
1/2 tsp salt
dash black pepper
3 large eggs
3/4 c milk

Heat oven to 300F. Slice the top off of the loaf and hollow it out, leaving about a 1/2″ inch crust. Cube the top of the loaf and the “innards” you’ve scooped out. Place crust bowl and bread on a large baking sheet and toast in the oven at 300F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set oven temperature to 375F. In a large bowl (one not made of bread), combine bread cubes, cheese, vegetables, tarragon, salt and pepper and toss until ingredients are evently distributed. Return this mixture to the bread bowl. Whisk together eggs and milk in a separate container and slowly pour over the cubed bread. Bake at 375F for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then slice into wedges and serve. Can also be served cold, just like a quiche.

Notes:

  • We did the initial bread toasting for 20 minutes. I think that made the bowl so porous that the rest of the ingredients seeped out and make a bit of a mess. Hence why I’m suggesting halving the toasting time.
  • We did have a lot of bread cube mixture that would not fit into the bread bowl. I dumped that into a microwaveable casserole dish and put that in on high power for 7 minutes, and it turned out nice and soft. That’s what the toddler ate, and it’s what I had for breakfast this morning. I’m wondering if the whole thing could be done in the microwave for a more quiche-y consistency, but I’m not sure if I want to take that risk.
  • For my gluten-sensitive and/or egg-sensitive friends… I’m sorry. I can think of no way around the egg or wheat. I guess you could do a gluten-free loaf and see what happens, but I imagine it can’t be easy to find an unsliced loaf of gluten-free bread.

 

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About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to CatholicMom.com and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at erinmccolecupp.com .

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