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Green Chile Bread Puddings with Avocado Salsa

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Ingredients:

– 5 large eggs – 1 cup Real California whole milk – 2/3 cup Real California heavy cream – 1 teaspoon chili powder – 1/4 teaspoon salt – 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin – 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano – 3/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces) loosely packed coarsely shredded Real California sharp Cheddar cheese – 1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) loosely packed coarsely shredded Real California Monterey Jack cheese – 2 tablespoons canned diced green chiles – 6 1/2 cups trimmed and cubed (3/4 inch) day-old French or Italian bread For the Avocado Salsa: – 1 ripe but firm avocado, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup) – 1/2 cup finely chopped tomato – 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion – 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper – 1 small clove garlic, finely minced – 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro – Fresh lime juice, to taste (about 2 tablespoons) – Salt, to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)

Directions:

Bread Puddings:

1. Adjust oven rack to lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter 12 muffin tin cups, set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and cream to blend thoroughly. Mix in the chili powder, salt, cumin and oregano, then mix in the cheeses and chiles. Add the bread; mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin tin cups.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife blade inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool 5 to 10 minutes. Slide a knife blade around puddings to loosen them; lift out of molds with a small spatula. Serve warm or at room temperature with Avocado Salsa (recipe follows).

Avocado Salsa:

In a large bowl, gently mix all ingredients to blend thoroughly. Serve without delay.

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