Wild Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding

How good does a savory bread pudding sound right now, in the cold weather we’ve been having in Southern CA?  From the Recipe Collection at Cakebread Cellars, and to be served with their Chardonnay Reserve!

Ingredients:

3/4 loaf

stale country style bread, diced (about 3 quarts)

1 oz.

dried morels

6 oz.

shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and quartered

8 oz.

crimini mushrooms, quartered

6 T.

olive oil

2 cloves

garlic, minced

3 large

leeks

6

eggs

2 c.

milk

2 c.

heavy cream

1/2 tsp.

nutmeg

1/2 c.

Parmesan Reggiano, grated

1 tsp.

fresh thyme, picked

2 T.

flat leaf parsley, chopped

2 T.

butter, soft

1 c.

gruyere cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place the dice bread in a large mixing bowl. Soak the morels in warm water for 15 minutes to soften. Drain, rinse well and cut into  halves or quarters depending on their size. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add half the olive oil and sauté the shiitake and crimini mushrooms until soft. Add the morels and garlic and continue cooking until the mushrooms begin to caramelize. Remove from the heat and pour over the diced bread. Cut the dark green part of the leeks off and discard. Cut the leeks into 2” pieces. Place in a colander, rinse well under cold running water and shake to get rid of as much water as possible. Return the sauté pan to the heat. Add the leeks and the remaining olive oil. Saute over medium to high heat until leeks are tender (but not brown). Remove from the heat and add to the bowl with the mushrooms and bread.

Whisk together the eggs, milk and cream. Add the nutmeg, parmesan cheese, thyme and parsley. Pour over the cubed bread, mushrooms and leeks. Butter the bottom and sides of  casserole dish and pour the bread pudding mixture into it. Scatter the grated Gruyère over top. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about an hour until the top is brown and the custard mixture is set.

Serve with a green salad with a citrus vinagrette dressing.

 

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