The Art of the Mash Up has become my favorite pastime. They all start the same way with me driving home from work. I call my brother and sister-in-law and simply say , “mash-up?” Nine out of tens times…it’s on like Donkey Kong. Next step is the fridge inventory. We compare ingredients and see just what magic can happen when we combine forces.
Tonight I needed a mash-up. It was a long week and I wanted a night of good food and laughter. Luckily, they wanted the same thing. The three of us all have the same core value that you cannot waste food. You must cook it and try to eat it all before you have to throw it out. Unfortunately, we also have the same core value that leftovers are only good once. These polar opposite sides make for a difficult week when you got too excited at the grocery store. BUT the perfect cure for this situation is always the mash-up!
While it is usually a random hodge podge of a meal, there are a few ingredients that are always a must…bacon, cheese, and wine. We always start our menu planning by identifying the ingredients that need to go. Tonight it was a loaf of stale bread, some left over pasta, some left over roasted vegetables and radishes. So what did we create, salad, a vegetable pasta, and bourbon chocolate bread pudding!
The salad involved radishes, lettuce, and roasted red peppers. The salad dressing was made from the juice that I had pickled okra in. The okra “slime” added a viscosity to the dressing that replaced oil. Nothing fancy but very classic none-the-less.
Our pasta had everything but the kitchen sink in it. This is what happens when you need to clean out the fridge. It had bacon, salami, roasted eggplant, asparagus, peppers, tomato paste, cauliflower, capers, and parsley. It was topped with grated parmesan.
Bourbon Chocolate Bread Pudding:
1/2 stale loaf of bread
1 personal size container of Shamrock Cafe Mocha milk
2 left over chocolate cookies
1/2 bar of dark chocolate
1/4 c of bourbon (or more to taste)
1/2 c milk (may need more depending on how stale the bread is)
Preheat oven to 400. Cut the bread into cubes.Whisk egg, bourbon and 2 milks together. Chop up the chocolate and cookies. Add all of the ingredients together. Let the bread soak up the liquid for about 15 minutes or until soft. You may need to add more liquid depending on how stale the bread is. You dont want it to be soggy, you want some of the texture from the bread to come through. Place the mixture in a pie plate or 9 x9 pan. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the bread starts to crust. Let cool a couple of minutes then transfer to individual dishes. I topped with a bit of honey and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Enjoy!