Recipe: Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding with Tarragon Olive Oil

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Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding FeatureLast year we posted a Farro and Pumpernickel Stuffing with Fig Balsamic Caramelized Onions and the year before that was our Apple and Sausage Stuffing recipe – both made with our Wild Mushroom & Sage EVOO.  This time we used our Tarragon EVOO to make this delicious, savory bread pudding adapted from Ina Garten that is perfectly moist inside and crispy on top.  Of course, we chose a ‘make ahead’ recipe to help reduce the kitchen time on the day of the big feast.  This can be prepared and stored for up to 2 days in the fridge.  Pop it in the oven, set the timer and that’s one delicious side dish out of the way.  As the Barefoot Contessa says, once you try this bread pudding, you’ll never go back to stuffing a turkey again!

 

INGREDIENTSMushroom and Leek Bread Pudding Ingredients

  • 6 cups bread cubes (about ½-inch diced) of a rustic country loaf, crusts removed
  • 3 tablespoons Olive This! Tarragon EVOO
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
  • 2 ounces pancetta, small-diced
  • 4 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts (about 4 leeks)
  • 1½ pounds cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and ¼-inch-sliced
  • ¼ cup medium or dry sherry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1½ cups grated Gruyere cheese (6 ounces), divided

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the rack placed in the middle position.Remove crust and cube breadCut the loaf of bread into ½-inch cubes.  Save some time by removing the crust from the loaf before cutting into slices and cubes.  Of course, if you are really in a hurry, you could use store-bought croutons.

 

Brown the bread cubes for Mushroom Leek Bread PuddingTransfer the bread cubes to a sheet pan and spread into an even layer. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes, tossing once during cooking time. Set aside.

 

Chop leek and cremini mushroomsWhile the bread cubes are browning, prepare the leeks and mushrooms.  Slice the leeks in half lengthwise and chop into ¼-inch slices.  Wash cut leeks in a salad spinner to remove any dirt within the layers.  Wipe the mushrooms clean and cut into ¼-inch slices. Set both leeks and mushrooms aside.

 

saute pancetta in taragon EVOO and butterHeat the 3 tablespoons of tarragon EVOO and the 1 tablespoon of butter (if adding) in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add the 2 ounces of diced pancetta and cook until browning begins, about 5 minutes.

 

Cook the chopped leeks with pancettaAdd the 4 cups of leeks to the browned pancetta, stir well and cook over medium heat until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

 

Cook down chopped cremini mushrooms with leeksWhen the leeks are tender, add the 1½ pounds of sliced mushrooms, ¼ cup of sherry, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 1½  teaspoons freshly ground black pepper.  Mix well and cook until most of the liquid evaporates, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in the ½ cup of minced parsley.

 

Prepare stock cheese and cream for mush leek bread puddingWhile the mushroom mixture is cooking down, prepare the custard.  Whisk together the 4 eggs, 1½ cups of heavy cream, 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of the grated Gruyere cheese in a large bowl.

 

Add musroom leek mixture to bread cubes and creamTo the custard, add the bread cubes and mushroom mixture, stirring well to combine everything.

 

Stir mushroom leek bread pudding mixture and let sitLet the mixture sit in the bowl for about 30 minutes at room temperature to let the bread absorb the liquid.  Stir once or twice throughout.

 

Cover mushroom and leek bread pudding with cheeseAfter the ½ hour rest, give it one more stir and transfer to a 2½ to 3 quart gratin dish (about 13 x 9 x 2 inches).  Top with remaining ½ cup of grated Gruyere cheese.  Bake in oven until the custard is set and the bread pudding is puffed and golden brown, about 45-50 minutes.  If making ahead, cover the assembled bread pudding tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.  Bake just before serving.

 

Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding ServingServe hot and enjoy!

 

MAKES 8-10 SERVINGS

Have a comment?  We’d love to hear from you.  Have you tried this dish?  Do you have a variation that you think others will enjoy?  Leave us a comment below (providing your email address is not necessary).

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