Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding
Decadent, but so delicious!
- 6 cups bread cubes from a rustic country-style loaf, crusts removed, 1/2-inch dice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (we use Smart Balance, and it's fine)
- 2 oz pancetta, small diced
- 4 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only (about 4 leeks)
- 1-1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed, cut in 1/4-inch slices
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 cup medium or dry sherry
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoon ground pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup minced parsley
- 4 extra large eggs
- 1-1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1-1/2 cup grated Gruyère (6 oz), **divided**
Adapted from barefootcontessa.com
Preheat ove to 350º. Spread the bread cubes out on a sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
While those are toasting, heat the oil and better in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta, and cook for 5 minutes until it begins to brown. Stir in the leeks and cook over medium heat until leeks are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
Stir in the mushrooms, tarragon, sherry, 1 Tablespoon salt, and 1-1/2 teaspoon pepper; cook for another 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, chicken stock, and 1 cup of the Gruyère. Add the bread crumbs and the mushroom mixture, stirring carefully and well to combine. Let the whole thing rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, allowing the bread to absorb the liquid.
If you've turned off the oven, bring it back to 350º.
Stir it all up one more time, and pour it into a lightly greased 2-1/2 to 3-quart baking dish (I use a 13x9x2-inch pan). Sprinkle with the remaining cup of Gruyère, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the custard is set and the top is nicely browned.