Ham and Cheese Brioche Pudding

From the wonderful David Tanis in the NY Times. I added the blanched asparagus and roasted red pepper.
This is a good occasion to use up any odds and ends of cheeses. This is perfect for lunch or dinner or even breakfast! I needed to cook this at least another 20+ minutes as I added the other ingredients that contain moisture. The flavor is great.

1 tablespoon butter, for greasing the pan
1 (12-ounce) brioche loaf or smaller brioches, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
6 eggs
4 cups half-and-half or whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
6 ounces thinly sliced ham, cut crosswise into matchsticks (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 ounces grated Gouda or Gruyère cheese (about 4 cups)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 11-by-11-inch baking dish. Fill dish with brioche cubes and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs well. Whisk in half-and-half, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne and scallions. Pour mixture over cubes in baking dish.
Sprinkle ham and cheese on top of mixture, and press down to make sure everything is submerged. Set baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
Transfer baking dish and baking sheet to the middle shelf of the oven, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the dish emerges dry. Let rest for 10 minutes or so before serving.
Tip
If desired, let pudding cool completely and cut into squares or wedges. Then reheat for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

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