It’s gettin’ to be marathon time in fit and healthy Austin, Texas. The area in which Jennifer and Anne-Charlotte reside is a major section of the Austin marathon, so pretty much the whole damn neighborhood gets shut down and cut off from the rest of the world for a few hours on a Sunday. This is a drag if you’re completely out of food or need to go to the hospital because you’ve sliced off your thumb (just put a band-aid on it until afternoon) but awesome if you like to look at masochistic people running by your house. In fact, watching parties abound on the blocks along the racecourse.
Luscious Pastry holds a deep, abiding admiration and respect for these marathon athletes, because they provide us with an excuse to start drinking before 9am. The party continues until well after noon, when the close to death but brave stragglers drag past. These persevering souls tend to receive the most uninhibited, if somewhat slurred, cheering of the day.
We attend a yearly marathon-watching soiree at a friend’s house, and Luscious never shows up empty-handed. After all, marathon watchers need a hearty breakfast to help them meet the physically demanding, grueling challenge of drinking bloody marys all morning while shouting and waving at total strangers. This crazy delicious breakfast casserole is the perfect padding for all that vodka, and is also super easy to make the night before. It’s not low-fat or healthy, but anybody who’s really worried about that is probably running sprints right now, not reading the Luscious Pastry blog. Some slightly white trash store-bought rolls are the foundation of the dish and speed preparation. Time is of the essence when you have to get up early the next day to stand along the marathon route holding a sign that says “DON’T YOU THINK YOU’VE ALREADY RUN FAR ENOUGH?”
Ham & Jalapeño Bread Pudding
18 King’s Hawaiian Rolls. Yeah, we know, real classy. (But all that sugar or corn syrup or whatever it is in the rolls balances beautifully with the salty ham.)
2 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar
6 oz good ham, chopped. (The better the ham, the better this will be, so we’re not talkin’ lunch meat here)
5 large eggs
1 cup milk and ¾ cup cream.
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
2 large fresh jalapeños, seeds removed, sliced.
2 Tbsp butter, in pieces
This is so fast… on your mark, get set, go! Butter a 9 x 13 pan. Tear the rolls into roughly 2” pieces. Place half the bread pieces in the bottom of the pan, cover with the chopped ham and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Cover with remaining bread pieces. Beat the eggs with the milk, cream, onion powder, salt and pepper, and pour over the bread mixture. Top with an additional ½ cup cheese and jalapeño slices. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the casserole so the eggs mixture permeates the bread, and the wrap touches the top of the casserole. Refrigerate overnight–– or for at least 6 hours. Even if you get home from the honytonk at 2am, you should still be good.
The next morning, preheat oven to 360º. Remove plastic wrap and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes, then uncover. Top with butter pieces and remaining cheese, and place under broiler for 3-4 minutes more. Pin a paper number to your shirt and give yourself a medal, it’s bloody mary time.(Y’all we can’t talk about marathons without our thoughts turning to last year’s tragedy in Boston. We were shocked and saddened for the victims, and incredibly impressed by the spirt of the city of Boston.)