WILD MUSHROOM BREAD PUDDING (for eight)
4 cups (1/2 inch) fresh bread cubes (preferably brioche or challah; about 5 ounces)
1-1/2 pounds mixed fresh wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle, cremini and oyster, trimmed and torn or cut into ¼ inch pieces
½ cup finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 cups half and half or whole milk
4 large eggs
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
8 (6 ounce) ramekins
1. Preheat oven to 350* with rack in the middle.
2. Bake bread cubes in 1 layer on large rimmed baking sheet until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
3. Cook shallot in butter in a 12 inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add parsley and garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Whisk together half and half, eggs, cheese, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Stir in mushrooms and bread cubes until well coated and let stand for 10 minutes for bread to absorb egg mixture.
5. Meanwhile, butter ramekins. Put a round of parchment in the bottom of each and butter parchment.
6. Spoon mixture into ramekins and bake on a baking sheet until firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes. Unmold puddings and discard parchment.
NOTE: Mushroom bread pudding can be baked in a buttered 2 quart shallow baking dish (not lined with parchment; do not unmold.)1
Bread cubes can be baked one day ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Pudding can be assembled (but not baked) 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered. If you are serving with a roast beef, bake puddings while beef stands (if needed, meat can stand longer than the usual 20 to 25 minutes.)
from a Gourmet Holiday, 120 All-time Favorite Recipes, special edition, fall winter 2011