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Bittersweet bread pudding

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A holiday dessert

Posted: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

Chef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including designing and developing his all-grilled restaurant concepts, a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers and competed in the Iron Fork competition both years. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season.For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple approach directed toward the home-cook/viewer.His feature on Rising began in August of 2007, and since has become the most anticipated part of the show. During that time Troy has prepare over one thousand of his creative original recipes live on-air and has made several cooking appearances on the night time show, WCCB News Edge. Chef Troy teamed up with The Fresh Market as a sponsor for “Troy’s Everyday Eats" in April of 2011. Troy shops each week at The Fresh Market for the ingredients used on the show, he says, "The Fresh Market sponsorship is something I have pursued for a long time. I love shopping at their markets because everything is always so fresh. They have a large variety of organic and sustainable food options. As a consumer and chef, I couldn't ask for anything more". Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

Pomegranate Blueberry Goat Cheese Bread Pudding

• 1 each-French bread-cut 9 to 10 cups-cut into bite size pieces
• 1 cup pecans, chopped
• 1 pint blueberries
• 5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Custard

• 4 each-eggs, large
• 1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 tablespoon orange zest
• 2 tablespoons pomegranate, molasses or concentrate
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
• 4 cups heavy cream

Sauce: (optional)

• 3/4 stick unsalted butter, 6 tablespoons
• 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
• 3 tablespoons pomegranate, molasses or concentrate

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees with rack in center of oven.

2. Lightly butter or spray a 9 x 13 baking dish and place it into a roasting pan that is larger than baking dish.

3. In a sauce pan, heat heavy cream to warm through over low heat.

4. In a mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, almond extract, orange zest, pomegranate and melted butter until well incorporated.

5. Slowly, while stirring add warm cream a little at a time until all has been incorporated.

6. Place bread cubes in baking dish, scatter pecans, blueberries and goat cheese over top.

7. Pour custard over bread cubes and gently press bread into custard to help soak up custard.

8. Let stand for at least 30 minutes.

9. With baking dish in roasting pan, carefully pour in hot water until half way up the sides of baking dish.

10. Place in oven and bake for one hour.

11. While pudding is baking, melt butter over medium high heat.

12. Add sugar, pomegranate molasses, whisk to combine and cook until slightly thicken.

13. Lower heat to lowest setting and keep warm.

14. To check for doneness, press gently on pudding.

15. If custard rising to top let it bake a little longer until all of the custard is set.

16. Remove from oven and from water bath.

17. Let cool slightly before serving and serve with warm pomegranate sauce drizzled over top.

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