This is like a cheesy, more decadent version of Thanksgiving stuffing
Now that L.A. is finally feeling fall-like, I'm starting to get really excited for Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays of the year, but I don't want to have to wait another month to eat all my favorite Thanksgiving foods. Stuffing (or "dressing" to some people) is usually my favorite part of the meal, and this recipe (adapted from Ina Garten) for leek and mushroom bread pudding is like the best stuffing ever. Bread cubes are tossed with a simple custard made of eggs and milk, sautéed leeks and cremini mushrooms, and parmesan cheese. Then the whole thing is baked until bubbling and brown. It makes a great accompaniment to a roast chicken (or turkey, of course), but would also make a lovely vegetarian meal alongside a green salad. Is mushrooms or leeks aren't your thing, you could easily customize this by adding in other vegetables or even some bacon or sausage.
Note: This recipe is a great way to use leftover stale bread. If your bread is already stale, you can skip the step to toast it in the oven and add it straight to the custard.
- Herbed Ciabatta Stuffing
- Cinnamon Walnut French Toast Bread Pudding
- Homemade Croutons
Savory Leek & Mushroom Bread Pudding:
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a baking dish and set aside.
- Cut 1 loaf of ciabatta bread into bite-size pieces so that you have 3-4 cups of bread cubes. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Let the bread cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 3/4 c. whole milk, 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese, and a large pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add the bread to the custard and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add in 3 diced leeks (white and light green part only) and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft.
- Add in 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for another 30 seconds, then add in 1/2 lb. sliced cremini mushrooms and 2 tbsp. sherry. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Let cool slightly.
- Stir the vegetables into the bread mixture and pour into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle the top with 1/4 c. grated parmesan and place in the oven.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is brown and crispy and the custard sets.
- Let cool slightly, then serve.
Serves four-six (side dish)