Savory Bread Pudding

Serves 12

1 large baguette (About 3/4lb.)

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 onions, chopped

2 T. olive oil

1lb. caramelized Country Ham, small dice or crisp fried bacon

4 large eggs

1qt  whole milk

1 t. salt

1t. freshly grated nutmeg

Heirloom Tomatoes—Oven Dried (Slice ¼ inch thick and dry on parchment in oven at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes)

1lb. Capriole Old Kentucky or Mt. St. Francis grated

Preheat broiler

Cut baguette straight through into 1 inch slices and brush both sides with butter.  toast under broiler 3 inches from heat until golden, about 30 seconds each side.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Saute onions in oil over moderately high heat until golden.  Add ham and saute until ham is lightly browned. Whisk eggs in a large bowl and whisk in milk, salt, nutmeg and pepper to taste.  Add toasted bread and toss gently.  transfer saturated bread to 2oz. buttered ramikins. Alternate layers of bread, tomato slices and ham.  Add any remaining egg mixture, and reserve some ham. Sprinkle puddings with cheese and reserved ham.  Bake in middle of oven in a hot water bath 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until custard is set.