Wild Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Bread Pudding
Rough Creek Lodge - Glen Rose, TX
You could call this rich side dish a “stuffing muffin,” but you’d be missing the point. The creamy custard—studded with roasted garlic and fragrant with fresh herbs—that holds together the wild mushrooms and cubes of bread is ethereally light, despite its high butterfat content. Thompson served the individual bread puddings with venison and braised beet tops, but feel free to eat it with just about anything, even alone as a vegetarian entrée.
- 4 medium heads garlic
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for buttering the muffin tin
- 1 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 pound assorted wild mushrooms (morels, porcini, chanterelles), chopped (about 2 cups)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 pound sourdough bread (about 8 slices), cubed with the crusts (4 cups)
Wrap the garlic heads in aluminum foil and set in a 350ºF. oven for about 1 hour until the cloves feel soft. Remove and cool in the foil. Separate the heads into cloves and squeeze each clove at the pointy end to extract the soft garlic center. Chop. You should have 1/2 cup chopped, roasted garlic pulp. Set aside. Keep the oven on.
Meanwhile, heat the 3 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan. Add the minced shallot and sauté for a minute or two until soft. Add the chopped mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the chopped herbs, stir, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream with the eggs until well mixed. Add the chopped garlic and beat to combine. Add the cubed bread and the mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Let sit about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, generously butter 6 to 8 muffin tins (depending on the size). Divide the bread mixture evenly among the muffin tins. Fill any empty tins halfway with water and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and cool. Slide a knife around each bread pudding to loosen and use a small, flexible off-set spatula to unmold.