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Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding

by Cathy Pollak
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mushroomleekpuddingIf you make anything new this Fall season, make sure it's this. It would also be an amazing addition to the holiday table because it is so dang fantastic. No one is going to be able to keep their fork out of it.

This dish is so good, my twelve year old requested leftovers for breakfast. Go figure. It's just one of those lingering tastes that leaves you wanting more. It's earthy and decadent and received rave, RAVE reviews from my family.

This recipe came from Food Network's Magazine this month (I love this magazine), but I did change a few things. I used a little more bread, regular butter, bacon instead of pancetta, sage instead of tarragon, white wine instead of sherry and more cheese of course. It was perfect, just perfect.

 

Cremini mushrooms are also a nice choice for this dish. They are a little firmer than the white mushroom, so they hold up better. And, they have a fuller flavor.

I placed the hot mushroom mixture on top of the dried bread cubes to cool slightly before tossing with the egg mixture.

Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding
Recipe from: Inspired by Food Network Magazine | Serves: Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

8 cups bread cubes from a rustic country loaf, 1/2" dice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
4 cups sliced leeks white and green parts (about 4-6 leeks)
1-1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup minced fresh-flat leaf parsley
6 large eggs
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
8 ounces grated Gruyere cheese, divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the bread cubes on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes until dried out and lightly browned. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large 12" skillet saute pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes, until starting to brown. Stir in leeks and cook over medium for 10 minutes, until they are tender. Stir in mushrooms, sage, white wine, 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt and 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook for 12 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Off the heat, stir in the parsley. Pour mixture over bread crumbs on baking tray to cool down slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, chicken stock, and half of the Gruyere cheese. Add the bread cubes and mushroom mixture, stirring well to combine. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid . Stir well and pour into a 3 quart gratin dish (13 x 9). Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is browned and the custard is set. Serve hot.

 

Cathy is currently in the development stages of her vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer forDavis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She lives with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at noblepig.com.

 

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