Saturday, December 8, 2012

Savory Turkey and Kale Bread Pudding - or Strata - or Frittata

A Goodbye Autumn Dish

Winter is coming, have you noticed? Today marked the first hailstorm of the season, noisy with a gazillion little white pellets rocketing down from piled stacks of ominous gray clouds. Brrrrrr. I hear the downtown store windows are wonderfully decked out for the holidays, but I'm saving that viewing treat for later in the month. Shopping malls ring with holiday music, even my local groceries rock out the season with carols playing at max volume. Hold on, I'm not ready for this sudden shift from the Fall's laid back pace into the crazy busyness of Christmas. Looming large is the tree decision; fresh, artificial or both? Then there are the lights to deal with, oh joy! Will we visit relatives or celebrate at home with friends? Where are the many boxes of decorations stored How much will I decorate; full-blown throughout the house or tastefully restrained?  Baking, entertaining, shopping, wrapping and mailing presents... aargh! I can still cling stubbornly to the idea of Fall for a few more weeks, but it does feel like Winter has come early.    

"For the Fall of the year is more than three months bounded by 

an equinox and a solstice. It is a summing up without the 
finality of year's end."
- Hal Borland

Sigh, I have to face reality. It's time to toss the gathered leaves, seeds and nuts of Autumn, those fading reminders of the colorful season that ends on December 21. Winter Solstice marks the change in seasons, but I'm still holding on tight to some wonderful memories of this year's Fall events, the vivid colors decorating the neighborhood, the fun activities with friends and family, and months of surprisingly good weather. I'm not yet ready to let go and move on.

On the other hand, I am delighted to move beyond Thanksgiving and the challenge of leftovers. We ate a lot of turkey in various forms, but one last container of turkey lurked in the freezer, testing my creativity and the willingness of RL to consume any more turkey. Okay, fine! ( a favorite phrase that usually means just the opposite) I whipped up a quick something for myself and left him to fix his own lunch. My concoction was somewhere between a savory bread pudding, a chunky frittata and a lumpy pancake. I lean towards the whole Savory Frittata Pancake-Style Bread Pudding title, but I can't say that out loud without laughing. Whatever the label, it was delicious and I relished every bite. I might even make this again on purpose - deli roasted chicken would work quite nicely. What would you name this dish? and what do you do with the odd bits and pieces you find in your fridge and freezer?

SW Savory Turkey, Kale and Everything Bagel Pudding/Frittata/Pancake  
2 eggs
1 scant cup milk or cream
dash of hot sauce (Cajun Sunshine or Green Tabasco recommended)
pinch of nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a few shakes of smokey paprika (pimenton)
1 cup cooked turkey, shredded
1/2 bunch kale, rough chopped or julienned
1 whole wheat Everything Bagel, cubed
handful of shredded cotija or pepper jack cheese
salsa or parsley/green onion/lemon zest gremolata (optional)

Combine the eggs, milk, hot sauce, nutmeg, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium-size bowl and beat to combine. Add the turkey, kale and bagel cubes; toss to mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a greased or buttered pie plate and squish it down a bit. Scatter a handful of cheese over the top and bake at 375 F until heated through and the top crisps and browns a bit, roughly 20-30 minutes. Top with salsa or gremolata or enjoy it as is while you welcome Winter and bid goodbye to Autumn.


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