Savory Mushroom and Bacon Bread Pudding
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon rubbed dried sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 large eggs
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 cups day-old challah bread, crusts on, torn into cubes
- Warm Sage Butter (recipe follows)
- Yields 3/4 cup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with the butter and set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove the bacon to a cutting board and chop. To the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits as you stir. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, shallots, basil, parsley, sage, and thyme. Saute for 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and browned. Remove from the heat and stir in the bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 3/4 cup of the cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.
Stir in the mushroom mixture and transfer the pudding to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese over the top and bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until the pudding is browned and the center has puffed up. Drizzle with Warm Sage Butter before serving
Photograph by Chia Chong (c). Reprinted with permission from The Whole Hog Cookbook, by Libbie Summers, copyright (c) 2011. Published by Rizzoli.