1 loaf of brioche, cubed
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. milk (skim is fine)*
9 eggs1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies (optional)
2 c. + 1 c. (reserved) shredded sharp white cheddar
1 c. freshly grated parm (or an additional cup of cheddar - or another type of your favorite cheese)
4 oz light cream cheese, cubed ((optional))
10 oz. browned breakfast sausage ((optional))
5 strips of applewood smoked bacon, cooked till crisp and chopped ((optional))
Salt & fresh ground pepper about 1/2 t each (or 1 t of McCormick's Montreal Steakhouse blend)
Spray a 9"x13" extra deep baking dish and place about 1/2 to 2/3 of the bread cubes in the dish. Next, crack eggs into a largish mixing bowl, add cream, milk, s&p and whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes making sure to reserve about 1&1/2 c. for later.
Spread green chilies on top of bread. Sprinkle 2 c. of shredded cheese evenly. Lightly press the bread down to aid in absorption of the egg mixture. Top with cream cheese, breakfast sausage and bacon if desired. Cover and refrigerate over night along with remaining egg mixture and cheeses. Bag up the extra bread for use in the morning.**
Preheat oven to 375°. Remove bread pudding from fridge and top with remaining bread, pour reserved egg mixture over the bread and sprinkle remaining cheeses evenly over the top. Sprinkle a bit more s & p.
Bake on middle rack for 45 - 55 minutes - or until the center is firm, cover the bread pudding with foil about halfway through the cooking time and then remove for the last 5 minutes or so. If you see the bread in top is getting dark at any point in the cooking process, loosely cover the dish with a foil tent until cooking is complete.