Thursday, November 22, 2012

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

To celebrate our friend's wedding the other year, we visited a winery in Osooyoos, Canada. When the waiter appeared at our table to ask if we were ready to order, my two-year-old Jacob loudly exclaimed to him, "we want the duck!" Jacob didn't sit at the table for much longer and I remember chasing him around the mini bell tower amidst freezing gusts of wind.

Somehow, I eventually wrangled him back to the table for just long enough to scarf down my meal. I don't even remember the main course. My meal was completely overshadowed by an incredible mushroom bread pudding.

When we got back to Washington, I was determined to recreate the dish. I reviewed several recipes but none of them looked just right. So I combined some of them to create a close-enough rendition. I thought of this recipe today because it's the perfect dish for Thanksgiving. It's got the texture of everyone's beloved stuffing, but it's so much richer. If you don't mention the mushrooms, I'm sure you can even get the kids to try it!

Mushroom Bread Pudding

1 loaf french bread
1 lb cremini mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
3 Tbs butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups half and half
4 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Slice bread into cubes. Place on baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 7-10 minutes until slighty crunchy or golden brown. (or you can use stale bread)
3. Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
5. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Remove from heat.
6. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add half-and-half and mix to combine. Then season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in mushrooms and bread cubes and mix until well coated.
7. Place everything into a buttered baking dish. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until firm to the touch.

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