If cooks were asked to name the vegetables they find most intimidating and time-consuming to prepare, artichokes would surely top the list. Marinated artichoke hearts from Umbria in central Italy solve the problem: No trimming, cooking or choke removal is required.
This savory bread pudding, loaded with sweet squash, is based on a recipe meat master Bruce Aidells's wife, Nancy Oakes, created at her restaurant, Boulevard. It's a great accompaniment to the glazed ham. For a more elegant presentation, Aidells bakes the bread pudding in individual ramekins.
A good loaf of cranberry-nut bread from a bakery has so much flavor that there's no need to trick it up with lots of ingredients. As the pudding bakes, the bread becomes almost custardlike, with a crispy brown top.