Friday, March 4, 2011

onion, fontina, kale panade

Last weekend we made an onion, fontina, and kale panade adapted from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook given to us by my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas one year.  I had seen the recipe on one of my favorite food blogs The Wednesday Chef (my recipe for baked eggs comes from her as well).

The long weekend was the perfect excuse to try something new.  The recipe was 3 pages long in the cookbook, but I figured I had time (for the first time in a while).  I adapted the recipe in a few ways:

  • I cut it in half (seriously 6 cups of onions and 10 cups of bread!) - I'm cooking for two here...
  • I had kale from my CSA instead of chard so I used that (they are similar to me!)
  • I chopped the onions instead of sliced them - my mistake from not reading the recipe closely enough...
getting a the onions golden brown 

wilting the kale 

I assembled the final product in a cast iron Le Creuset Au Gratin baker given to us by Dan and Ginger as a wedding present. It was the perfect tool for the job as the panade had to cook on the stovetop after it was assembled, yet before going into the oven.  I'm not sure that this step was necessary in retrospect, but the recipe said to do it, so I did it.
grated smokey Fontina makes everything better
The layers in my case were (I followed the instructions here): onions, bread, onions, kale, cheese, bread, onions, kale, cheese.

Voila!  The finished product - straight from the oven.  Sorry that the picture is a little redish - I snapped it with my phone quickly before diving straight in. The smell was incredible.  The cookbook called the flavors/aromas unctuous.  It was the perfect word for this savory bread pudding.

The texture was soft on the bottom, and crunchy on top.  Every bit was a little bit different. My hubby had made some slow cooked pot roast the night before, and it was a beautiful compliment to the panade.
dinner time

In about 15 minutes, we managed to eat half of what we had made.  It was that good.  It is definitely one to make again.  The hands on time was about 30 minutes, and the baking time was about 1hr 45 min.  If I had to do it again, I might make more onions, but I'm not sure I'd change a thing - except maybe not cut the recipe in half!

soooooo gooooood

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