Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
Savory mushroom bread pudding explodes with the deep, rich flavors of the fruits of the forest. It's a great accompaniment to beef or game dishes and it can be made with rye or white bread. It's great napped with a demiglace, Madeira sauce or other rich, brown gravy.
Makes 6 servings of Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
1 pound cubed day-old rye or hearty white bread
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon butter
1 large finely chopped Shallot
2 pounds assorted chopped mushrooms (shiitake, king trumpet, oyster, cremini)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 t fresh thyme
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
5 large beaten eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour over boiling water. Steep for 30 minutes. Meanhwile, toast the bread cubes in the oven until dry and light golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Butter a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking pan.
Lift the mushrooms out of the water being careful not to disturb the sediment at the bottom. Chop them and set aside. Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat and add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and transfer to the bowl with bread cubes.
Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same skillet and add the chopped fresh mushrooms and garlic. Let cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until golden and any liquid has evaporated. Stir in the chopped reconstituted mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste. When hot, transfer the mushrooms to the bowl of bread crumbs and onions.
Deglaze the pan by adding the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula. Reduce the liquid to about 1/4 cup and add to bread mixture, stirring well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together cream, eggs, salt and pepper to taste. Pour this custard over the bread mixture and combine thoroughly. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and dot the top with remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Bake uncovered 25 minutes. Sprinkle the top with grated cheese and continue to bake, until the top is golden, the pudding is swollen and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes more.