Savory Mushroom and Bacon Bread Pudding
Creamy, organic, salty and just a little sweet. It's everything you will ever want in a side dish. Substitute this bread pudding for your usual holiday stuffing recipe and you'll never make the other again.
What you need:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
1/2 cup white wine (can substitute chicken stock)
1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped (I use a mixture)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon rubbed dried sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
5 large eggs
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 cups day-old challah bread, crusts on, torn into cubes
Warm Sage Butter (recipe to follow)
What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with the butter and set aside.
2. Cook Bacon: In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove the bacon to a bowl and set aside.
3. Cook Mushroom Mixture: To the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the wine or stock to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits as you stir. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, shallots, basil, parsley, sage, and thyme. Sauté for 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and browned. Remove from the heat and stir in the bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Finish Bread Pudding Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 3/4 cup of the cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. Stir in the mushroom mixture and transfer the pudding to the prepared baking dish.
5. Bake Bread Pudding: Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese over the top and bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until the pudding is browned and the center has puffed up.
To Serve: Serve warm drizzled with Warm Sage Butter.
Warm Sage Butter
Yields 3/4 cup
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Add the sage and simmer for 3 minutes.
Recipe by Libbie Summers from her book, The Whole Hog Cookbook (Rizzoli)
SHOP THE SCENE:
Napkins: Shiitake Linen Napkin Set