There I was, writing you last week’s post, talking wistfully about high oven heat and the wonders it works on root vegetables, and then, without warning or permission, I went ahead and took a wildly sentimental turn.
That doesn’t seem quite fair.
Lucky for you, I find that one of the best things to do after such emotional matters is eat to bread pudding. Well, make it. Then eat it.
I made this a little while back, and then two days after that, I made it again. Which normally isn’t saying much, but if you know me, you know that in matters of making new recipes, to repeat one is to be missing out on another, newer one, entirely. There are just too many things out there I have yet to try.
So take that as an indication of this recipe’s greatness, and then try not to pay much mind to the amounts of egg yolks and cream. It is bread pudding, after all. If it helps, you can blame it all on me – things just got a little too heavy, and sad, and well, the only sensible cure at this juncture is a cream-laden savory bread pudding. Totally understandable.
I will gladly take the blame.
Mushroom Bread Pudding
Adapted from epicurious.com
1 loaf crusty country-style white bread
1/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons butter
1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Cut bottom crust and short ends off bread and discard, or use for toast. Cut remaining bread with crust into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups loosely packed). Place cubes in very large bowl. Add oil, thyme, and garlic; toss to coat. Spread cubes out on large rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and slightly crunchy, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes, depending on your oven. Return toasted bread cubes to same very large bowl.
Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, celery, and bell pepper. Sauté until soft and juices have evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add sautéed vegetables and parsley to bread cubes and lightly mix.
Whisk heavy cream, eggs, salt, and ground pepper in large bowl. Mix custard into bread and vegetables. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Sprinkle cheese over.
Bake stuffing at 350, uncovered, until set and top is golden, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.