I have not posted a recipe on this space for quite some time. I have been, (sigh) uninspired. I can tell you about it now, because spring fever has hit and I finally feel like cooking again. This recipe was born of necessity- I had done some rather passionless grocery shopping, and had various components in the 'fridge. But it really was the bread that started it all.
I love Billy Bread (though now the bag says Billy's Bakery- so I love them too) and my neighborhood wine shop gets it in fresh every day. Fresh Billy Bread is amazing.
I cannot, even when very determined about it, eat an entire loaf of Billy Bread before it goes stale. But don'tcha just know that stale bread makes fantastic bread pudding?
|This is a weird photo, I know. I am using my phone until I get a real, grown up blogger's camera. Any recommendations?|
Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms, Fennel and Gruyere
1/2- 3/4 loaf of your favorite crusty bread, cubed
2 cups of milk
salt and pepper
1 pint crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 fennel bulb, sliced
italian herbs or rosemary
wedge of gruyere cheese (though it would be good with blue as well)
place cubes of bread in buttered 9x13 inch pan. Wisk milk and eggs together, add salt and pepper and pour over bread. Let stand until all of the egg and milk mixture is absorbed into the bread- about 20 minutes.
While the bread is soaking, heat oil on medium high and brown the mushrooms. Add onion, garlic and fennel, heating until just cooked. Add a bit of white wine to cover the bottom of your pan, and stir to get all of the brown bits off the bottom. Add herbs, salt and pepper and set aside until the bread is ready.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread veggies on top of bread, then grate cheese on top. Cook for 30- 40 minutes, until cheese is melted and maybe a little is browned. Serve along (or on top of) salad with a vinaigrette.
*I think this would be so good with greens, and perhaps with the cheese tossed with the bread before the topping is added. Just a thought- let me know if you try it!