Wild Mushroom Bread Puddings

So, here’s my main course choice for Thanksgiving 2011.  I’m a sucker for individual-sized portions, seeing that last year, I chose Vegetarian Pot Pies as my Thanksgiving main course, I’m keeping that theme alive.

How can a vegetarian go wrong with mushrooms?  Savory, meaty, and filling, these guys have stolen my heart this year.  I went crazy at the market, experimenting with all different sorts of mushroom species (and I threw in the usual cremini and buttons to add some familiar flavors as well), and I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed.  This bread pudding (yes, while it’s a bread pudding, and I usually have consistency issues with them) held up very nicely and had a fantastic, savory flavor.  I made several portions of this, and I ate the leftovers as brunch the next morning with a poached egg on top (so you could use the leftovers for brunch the next morning!)  You don’t have to make these in individual ramekins-a usual casserole dish can be substituted instead.  I was a little frugal with the Parmesan cheese here, but I think any kind of mild cheese would do well with this-maybe I will try a Swiss next time.  Either way, this is a filling and satisfying vegetarian substitute (or a great side dish!) for this Thanksgiving.

Wild Mushroom Bread Puddings

Servings: 6 large ramekins or one 2-quart casserole dish

 

Ingredients

4 cups fresh bread, cubed **I used challah from the bakery-it was great!

1 and 1/2 pounds mixed fresh mushrooms (variety of your choice), cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup shallot, finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups half-and-half

4 large eggs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. On a rimmed baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray, spread the bread cubes out evenly, and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes; set aside.

3. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter.

4. Add the shallot, and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is softened, about 3-4 minutes.

5. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have lost most of their liquid, about 15 minutes or so.

6. Add the parsley and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

7. Remove the pan from the heat.

8. In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, and Parmesan.  Add salt and pepper, if desired.

9. Add the cooked mushrooms and bread cubes to the bowl, tossing to coat them thoroughly with the egg mixture.  Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes so that the bread can soak up the egg mixture.

10. Spray the ramekins/casserole generously with cooking spray and spoon the mixture into them.

11. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Serve immediately.

 

Source: Gourmet, December 2007.

 

November 20, 2011 - 5:15 pm

Ann P. - i love mushrooms! those puddings look delicious–I love how you portioned them off for individual servings, too :)

November 20, 2011 - 6:42 pm

Sue/the view from great island - I’m liking the idea of savory bread puddings. Any time shallots and mushrooms and cheese are involved, I’m in heaven.

November 20, 2011 - 8:57 pm

Heidi / foodiecrush - Wow, I would eat that absolutely anytime of the year. And I don’t have an issue with the mush of bread pudding or stuffing, in fact thats what I love about it! You could give a gruyere or fontina a try for some serious goo.

November 20, 2011 - 9:36 pm

Kelsey - Oh wow…these look delicious. My husband and I love mushrooms!

November 20, 2011 - 10:37 pm

elly - These sound so delicious! I am totally a sucker for mushrooms in anything, and I love the cuteness of the individual servings. :)

November 20, 2011 - 11:29 pm

Christin - Wow! Looks amazing! I like Heidi’s suggestion of adding gruyere or fontina. You can’t ever have too much cheese.

November 21, 2011 - 4:28 pm

Stella - Could you substitute skim milk for the half and half? Looks great! I’m going to add it to my holiday menu!

November 21, 2011 - 4:35 pm

srlacy - Hi Stella-

I think you could definitely substitute skim milk-it should thicken up just like the half-and-half, but the texture may not be as creamy. Let me know how it turns out-that would be a great way to cut back on more calories!

November 22, 2011 - 1:49 am

Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen - if this is your entree…. I can’t begin to imagine what your main dish would be like…. oooo…. the suspense is killing me.

November 22, 2011 - 10:14 am

Dara - I LOVE it. What an awesome recipe. I am dying to try this. I linked to it on my site.

November 22, 2011 - 3:28 pm

Beth - These look amazing! I’m definitely on an individually sized portion kick as well. We almost never do a vegetarian entree for Thanksgiving, because all the vegetarians just eat extra sides (really, Thanksgiving is all about mashed potatoes and stuffing for me), but these look really wonderful. I love the idea of having them with a poached egg on top for brunch too.

November 23, 2011 - 1:37 pm

Carol - Oh my goodness, this looks incredible! What a great veg option for Thanksgiving! Someday when I host my own, I’ll definitely try making these.

November 23, 2011 - 4:47 pm

Erik - Fabulous idea, surely going to give it a try..

November 23, 2011 - 6:53 pm

last minute turkey day ideas « three blondes and a tomas - [...] mushroom bread pudding from the curvy carrot [...]

November 27, 2011 - 8:40 am

Pilar - Hello. It´s scrumptions, I love it. But, What do you mean with half and half?. Is it cream?
Thanks from Spain.

November 27, 2011 - 10:21 am

srlacy - Hi Pilar-

Yes, half-and-half is an American type of cream. You can substitute equal parts of milk and cream for the amount if you don’t have access to it. (Or, you could make it with all cream…which would probably taste really really good!)

May 16, 2012 - 8:28 am

Alex - Just made this today with Gruyere and it was wonderful! Thanks!

April 13, 2014 - 9:41 am

Amber - Made this in a large casserole dish last night with fresh ‘shrooms from our market. Ohmygosh, wonderful!!!! :-)

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