Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays of the year – literally top three! I mean, who doesn’t love spending time with family, loved ones and… lots of food. And as much as I love shopping, the whole Black Friday starting as early as 5pm on Thanksgiving day is NOT something I approve. It just takes away from the true meaning of the holiday, and has everyone preoccupied on the wrong things. Mini rant over.
A couple weeks ago, I was watching the Food Network (best channel ever) and just so happens it was A Barefoot Thanksgiving with Ina Garten and Bobby Flay! Can you imagine the feast you’d indulge in having those two at your dinner party?
As the dynamic duo went back and forth creating delicious dishes that are convenient enough to make ahead of the big day, there was one that caught my eye the most and had my taste buds salivating…
Mmm… Ina Garten’s herb & apple bread pudding. She made it look SO easy to make, and believe it or not it really is as easy as it looks! I decided to test this out on Monday to see if it was Thanksgiving worthy. Yep, stamp of approval!
I love that I was able to prep this entire dish on Sunday and simply pop it in the oven Monday evening. This is the perfect make-ahead side dish (or even meal on it’s own) for those busy bodies out there. And, it looks like I found the perfect dish to bring, pass and share on Thanksgiving.
If it wasn’t already clear enough, I guess you could say I’ve really been in the festive mood… I even broke out the cranberry sauce! Like, look at my plate for crying out loud. No shame, no shame at all.
Kudos to the Barefoot Contessa for coming up with such an indulgent and comforting crowd pleasing dish! The recipe below is half of what Ina had (this serves about 6-8) and has a few minor tweaks and additions of my own 🙂
HERE IS WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
¼ cup sherry
1 tbsp herb blend (rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, majoram, ginger)
Himalayan salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 large eggs
½ cup applesauce
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup organic chicken broth
1 cup shredded Gruyere and Swiss cheese blend
4 cups toasted bread cubes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat butter in a large skillet. Add onion, celery, and apples. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally until tender. Slowly stir in sherry, herbs and seasonings. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, applesauce, heavy cream and chicken broth until well combined. Thoroughly stir in cheese, toasted bread cubes, and vegetable mixture. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
Pour mixture into a 8×11 casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes.
*If you’re making this dish ahead, simply cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, refrigerate and bake the next day!
I served this delicious and comforting dish alongside asiago crostini, herb-blend chicken and a little bit of fresh cranberry sauce!