Monday, June 20, 2011

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

I recently made this dish for a friend's bridal brunch and was received with rave reviews! I told them I would post it and here it is!!
The beautiful bride was Amanda Valentine (now Holland) and she is a fantastic stylist and clothing designer. You should most definitely check out her delightful creations! Oh! did I mention she made her own wedding dress?? It was amazing!!

So, this dish is so comforting and really you can use any of your favorite fillings. It also pairs wonderfully with a nice salad any time of year.

Please bear with me on the photos until I get a better camera, this one is pretty terrible, but I promise it tastes amazing and they WILL be better soon! Enjoy!

Serving Size: 10-12
1 (1-lb) loaf of good crusty bread
1/4 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 large garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms (crimini, button, portobella, or stemmed shiitake) thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 13x9x2 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.
Cut bottom crust and short ends off the bread and use for something else or feed to the birds. :)
Cut remaining bread into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups loosely packed). 
Place cubes in an over sized bowl and add oil, thyme, rosemary, and garlic; toss to coat.
Spread cubes out on large rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Bake until golden brown and slightly crunchy, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
Return tossed bread cubes to same very large bowl.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions, celery and bell pepper. 
Saute until soft and juices have evaporated, about 15 minutes.
Add sauteed vegetables and parsley to bread cubes.

Whisk heavy cream, eggs, salt and ground pepper in a large bowl. 
Mix custard into bread and vegetables. 
Transfer stuffing to prepared dish and sprinkle cheese over top.

Note: Get a jump start on your meal by doing this the night before. Just cover and refrigerate up to 1 day before.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake uncovered until set and top is golden, about 1 hour. 
Let stand 15 minutes before serving and eat up!

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