Mushroom Bread Pudding

Think of this dish as the curveball. It’s a little different, but has a wow factor. It makes a wonderful holiday side that you can make the day before. Try this unexpected savory dish made with brioche.



1. Boil 1 cup of water in small saucepan. Ad the dried porcini mushrooms and soak until softened, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a cutting board and finely chop; set aside. Carefully pour remaining mushroom liquid into a large bowl, leaving any grit.

2. In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter over high. Add fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring until browned, about 8 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Add sage, shallots and chopped porcini, and cook, stirring, until shallot is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add cognac, if using, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

3. In the same pan, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and a big pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. Return the mushroom mixture to the pan and stir to combine with the leeks. Remove from heat.

4. Add eggs to the large bowl with the mushroom liquid, and whisk to blend. Add cream, milk, cayenne, 1 1/2 tsp salt and plenty of black pepper. Whisk thoroughly to combine, then add the Gruyére.

5. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter, then add about 1/4 of the fresh mushroom mixture and arrange in an even layer. Arrange the bread sliced on top in an overlapping pattern. Sprinkle the remaining mushroom mixture over top, tucking it in between the bread slices. Ladle the custard mixture over top, evenly distributing the cheese. Refrigerate, covered, overnight

6. When ready to cook, remove the dish from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Top the pudding with Parmesan and bake for 40-45 minutes until set in the center (it may puff a bit). Run it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown the top, watching carefully. Let sit 10 minutes, then serve warm, topped with additional sage if desired.

7. If you don’t have time to soak overnight, let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Make sure break has absorbed the liquid. Let stand 15 more minutes. Decrease cook time bu 10 to 15 minutes.