This is the second savory bread pudding I have posted to my blog. They are basically very similar. The recipe entitled Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding however has more of an Italian bent to it. For example, Parmesan cheese is one of the ingredients.
This recipe is much more consistent with a dish that would be served in Germany. Both savory puddings are delicious and a wonderful addition to any meal where the starch needs to be a key player but not become a participant in a “who’s the star” battle with the meat. (I hate it when food starts fighting right on my dinner plate.)
This dish can also be served as a vegetarian main dish. The mushrooms provide that toothsome mouth feel that is so necessary to a good vegetarian entrée.
So by all means, give this bread pudding a try. The sourdough bread gives the pudding a special tang, and the truffle oil – OMG, it really puts the mushroom flavor over the top. And as you can see, you only need 1 teaspoon of truffle oil to enhance the entire dish. But please do not be tempted to add more because of the old theory that if some is good, more is better. (I have never been an advocate of that practice.) Truffle oil is very potent stuff. It must be treated carefully and with great respect. (Think approaching a yellow jacket’s nest without appropriate head gear!) Or if you need a cooking analogy, using too much thyme. Not a good thing even though thyme is a lovely herb and used in many wonderful recipes.
And I know some culinary arts experts are saying that truffle oil is passé. Or if it simply must be used, it should only be used as a drizzle. Well to these experts I say – fooey! In my opinion you can take many dishes to a new level of deliciousness with the judicious use of a drop or two of this amazing ingredient.
Wonderful drizzled over scrambled eggs, in vinaigrettes, almost any dish with mushrooms, and the most decadent use of all – over popcorn along with a little salt.
So if you don’t already own a bottle of truffle oil, don’t hesitate to get yourself a bottle at your earliest convenience. In my opinion, white truffle oil is great as an ingredient or a drizzle. I tend to use black truffle oil only as a finishing oil, in much the same way I might garnish a dish with a light sprinkling of Fleur de Sel.
- 1 c. very hot water
- ¼ c. chopped dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 T. butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb. coarsely chopped mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, button)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ tsp. kosher salt, div.
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 c. milk
- 1 c. whipping cream
- 3 large eggs, room temp.
- 1 tsp. white truffle oil (Trader Joe’s carries truffle oil certain times of the year or you can purchase on line)
- ¼ tsp. dried thyme
- 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
- 4 c. packed cubed sourdough bread (1 or 2 day old bread is best for this recipe)
Place hot water and dried shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl. Set aside. Melt butter in a medium sized frying pan. Add onion and sauté until soft. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper; cook for one minute. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile combine milk, cream, eggs, truffle oil, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley in a large bowl. Gently fold in bread cubes and set aside. Scoop the reserved mushroom mixture into the bowl with the bread cubes. Drain the re-hydrated shiitake mushrooms and add to the mixture. Stir gently and pour mixture into a lightly buttered pan. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Serve immediately.
Can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until about 30 minutes before baking.