We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving a couple of weeks back. It was a gorgeous warm and sunny weekend, perfect to sit back and enjoy time as a family and to have great food cook for hours in the oven. This year I didn’t have to make a turkey, but I made a couple of side dishes and dessert. I decided to try this Emeril Lagasse savoury bread pudding and I’m glad I did. It was wonderful – a perfect mix of pillowy bread, crispy edges with hints of thyme, meaty mushrooms and bits of cheese. While I know it wasn’t healthy (look at the amount of cream!), it didn’t feel heavy when eating it. It complemented the turkey really well and keeps well for leftovers. This is a generous recipe, if you are cooking for a smaller group, feel free to half the recipe unless you want to keep on eating it for days to come.
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 1 pound of mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence or Creole Seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup lager beer
- 5 large eggs
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Gouda cheese
- 3/4 cup freshly grated white cheddar cheese
- 3/4 pound stale white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups). I used crusty white bread.
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon fine dried breadcrumbs
- Heat oil in a large deep skillet over high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms are tender and have given off any liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. Add beer to deglaze pan and cook, stirring, until mixture is almost dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper until well combined. Add onion-mushroom mixture and cheeses; stir to combine. Add bread cubes and let stand until liquid is absorbed, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; add bread crumbs, shaking baking dish to coat. Pour egg mixture into baking dish and cover with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil. Transfer to oven and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and continue baking until pudding rises, is firm in the center and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes more. Let cool slightly before serving.
This recipe calls for Smoked Mushrooms. I just added regular mushrooms (cremini and chopped portabella) and it worked fine. I used Emeril's spice mix which I had mixed a large batch already some time ago.