About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Savory Mushroom & Gruyer Bread Pudding

  My refrigerator happens to be at a tipping point after a week or more of house guests and  entertaining and there are lots of loose ingredients on the verge of extinction.  I simply loath wasted food so I feel inspiration in the possibilities of a stale loaf of French bread.  Most often stale bread and end pieces turn into croutons or bread crumbs but in an innocent conversation with a friend who mentioned bread pudding, I realized I had the perfect combination of past prime ingredients in my refrigerator to make a savory version. I usually reserve bread pudding for a holiday dessert when panetone is available.  It's the right occasion for a rich indulgence but a savory version can stand on it's own as a vegetarian main with a simple salad or it begs to be a side for beef.  Bread, butter, milk, egg and cheese are the base for any other variation you might want to try; spinach, artichoke, broccoli, etc. Your imagination is the best ingredient!

 In a large saute pan melt the butter over medium/low heat and add the mushrooms and shallot. Saute' for a few minutes then add the herbes de Provence. Add the white wine and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool while you prepare the custard.  Butter a 8x12x2 casserole and spread the bread cubes evenly in one layer. 

Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together with the Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.  Then add the milk, cream, and Worcestershire and whisk all together.  Spread the mushroom and shallot mixture over the bread cubes. Slowly pour the custard over the cubed bread and mushrooms to 2/3 depth of the casserole and lightly press down to make sure all bread cubes get soaked. Top with shredded Gruyere and sprinkle with paprika.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours or over night until all the liquid is absorbed into bread cubes. Preheat oven to 350 then bake for 50 mins. or until firm in the middle. Serves 8-12.

4 cups stale cubed (1 1/2 inch)French baguette or other hearty bread
4 tbls butter + 1 tbl for buttering dish
12 oz mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup diced shallot
Herbes de Provence
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 large eggs beaten
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
salt & pepper
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese

1 comment:

  1. Just made this for Christmas one soaked overnight and it was great! Everyone liked it! I tried to follow the recipe exactly and had set out all the ingredients. I used to soaked the delicious bread. Still good. I ended up not having enough liquid to soak the bread and I splashed some 2% milk on top to submerge and it was great!