This gorgeous recipe is brought to you by Mushroom Channel contributor Colleen Levine of the family-friendly food blog Foodie Tots.
I’m sure I’m not alone in appreciating Thanksgiving as a time to indulge in all the unhealthy side dishes we tend to shy away from the rest of the year – after all, most nights of the year it would be unthinkable to have two or more types of potatoes on the table. And I can’t remember the last time I had stuffing outside of a Thanksgiving meal. Though I will confess that during college, my roommates and I would make a chicken dinner, complete with mashed potatoes from a box, gravy from a mix, and Stove Top stuffing, when we were craving home-style comfort foods. Ever since the low-carb diet craze, it seems bread-laden side dishes have become regrettably scarce.
So I decided to bring stuffing back to the dinner table – in the form of a savory mushroom bread pudding. I used two types of mushrooms, maitake and shiitake, and my usual stuffing starters of celery, onion and prosciutto. It’s just a tad “lightened” up by using mushroom broth in place of the usual heavy cream, but still results in a fluffy, luscious bread pudding. I used an American parmesan-style cheese called BellaVitano – if you can’t find it, a blend of parmesan and asiago will do just fine. The finished pudding can be served as a dinner side dish, or make it the main course with a salad on the side. And it works equally as well as a brunch dish, too.
Now I’m not a fan of hiding vegetables from my son, but I have found that vegetables often meet with less resistance when served alongside something familiar. As many preschoolers would be content eating nothing but the bread for dinner, the comforting familiarity of the bread cubes in this just may make the mushrooms go down easier if your little ones are skeptical of them. No guarantees, of course.
Mushroom Bread Pudding
- 1 1-pound loaf whole wheat bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 4 ounces prosciutto, diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups mushroom broth
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is warming up, spread bread cubes in a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven to toast for 10 minutes. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and cook prosciutto until browned. Remove to a bowl, leaving rendered fat in the pan. Add olive oil, celery and onion and cook until vegetables are soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, thyme and paprika, and cook until mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and mushroom broth to combine. Gently fold in toasted bread, the mushroom mixture, prosciutto and cheese. Pour into a lightly oiled 8×13-inch baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes, or until top is golden and pudding appears set. Makes 8 servings.