Wild mushrooms, leeks and a load of aromatics come together in this fabulous side that will transform your holiday table. Prep it early in the day and allow the custard to soak in to the bread then bake just before guests arrive. There's so much flavor here, everyone will return for seconds!
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 Tbl Porcini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup chopped leeks
2 cups, green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 lb assorted fresh mushrooms (such as crimini, button, and stemmed shiitake), thinly sliced
2 tsp Smoked Porcini Shallot Mushroom Blend
2 Tbl chopped fresh tarragon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Madeira
2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups of dense sour dough bread, cubed
2 Tbl Bonnes Herbes
2 Tbl Shallot Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Spray 13x9 baking dish with nonstick spray. Heat Porcini Extra Virgin Olive Oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh leeks and sauté for 5 minutes add the sliced cabbage and cook until lightly caramelized. Move to a bowl. Drizzle in a little additional Porcini Extra Virgin Olive Oil into the skillet and saute the mushrooms to the skillet along with the Smoked Porcini Shallot Mushroom Blend. Sauté until mushrooms are brown, about 8 minutes. Mix in tarragon and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the bowl with the onion mixture and stir to combine.
To the same skillet, add the Madeira*; boil until reduced by half. Using a bowl large enough to hold the mushroom-onion mixture and toasted bread, whisk milk and eggs together. Then whisk in the Madeira, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
For the bread:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Cube bread to make 4 cups and toss on a sheet pan with 2 Tbl Shallot Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Bonnes Herbes. Toast for 10 minutes until slightly crunchy and firm.
In the large bowl with the egg mixture, add the tasted bread and onion- mushroom mixture. Stir to combine. Add in half of the Gruyère and half of the Parmesan cheese. Pour into prepared pan and press a bit to submerge the bread. Cover with foil and chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover and sprinkle remaining Gruyère and Parmesan cheese over bread pudding. Bake uncovered until bread pudding puffs and top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. If the bread pudding is getting too brown but still jiggly in the center, use the foil to tent over the dish until it cooks through.
*A note about the Madeira:
Reducing Madeira (fortified wine) packs some powerful flavor. If you don't have Madeira, any fortified wine will do. You could use Vermouth, Sherry or Port.