Monday, November 20, 2017

Savory Bread Pudding With Mushrooms and Speck

This Thanksgiving, indulge yourself in a thick slice of oven warm, savory bread pudding exploding with flavorful mushroom and speck

What's your favorite holiday side dish?! 
Everyone loves their turkey or ham. We all do. But Thanksgiving would not be the same with just turkey or ham. You've got to have all those other delicious dishes on the side. From healthy green beans, to brussels sprouts. Roasted, mashed or sweet potatoes (...or all three!). You've got to have savory stuffing, corn bread and cranberry sauce.
And how about a thick slice of this savory and moist bread pudding, topped with a crunchy, cheesy top, and filled with flavorful mushroom and tasty speck?!? 
This can be a fun and delicious alternative to your traditional stuffing, or an extra side dish that will surely impress your guests.
And why not?!? It might become your new favorite too!

The secret to make not just a good bread pudding, but an amazingly delicious one is in the bread. What you need is a tasty and delicious loaf of bread, freshly baked or a day old. You can use French or Italian, or your favorite. What YOU CANNOT USE is any of those boxed or packaged bread cubes or dressing mixes!! 
Sorry for the yelling, but you know me. I get a little too passionate about making  recipes from fresh ingredients, especially when they are easy to make, and taste one hundred times better than packaged. 
Anyways, for this recipe all you need to do is slice the bread, drizzle with olive oil and lightly grill both side. And just like I do for bruschetta, brush each slice of bread, on both sides, with garlic. Oh YEAH!! Brushed garlic is the best. Much better than cooked, definitely better than raw. It gives the perfectly garlicky aroma without overpowering the flavor of the dish.
Cut the bread in cubes and let it soak in an egg/milk mixture while you cook the mushrooms. Add speck cut in little strips to the sauteed mushrooms. You can add pancetta or bacon in place of the speck, if you prefer. Or neither if you wish to make it a vegetarian dish.  Add cheese in the middle, Parmesan on top and bake until set in the middle, and crispy on top. 
You can also serve this rich, custard-like stuffing is also a great main-course option for vegetarians at the Thanksgiving table. Or a delicious dish for a light brunch or lunch next to a big green salad. 
Happy Thanksgiving!


YIELD: about 6 to 8 servings
    • Half loaf  (8 oz, 225 gr) of white bread (French, Italian...)
    • three tablespoons of olive oil, divided
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 cups (475 ml) of milk (I used whole milk)
    • 1 lb (450 gr)  of mushrooms (I used white mushrooms), washed and sliced
    • 3.5 oz (100 gr) of speck (or pancetta), sliced thin
    • 2 tablespoons of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
    • 1/2 packed cup (60 gr) of shredded Gruyere cheese
    • 2 tablespoon of  grated Parmesan cheese
    • butter for greasing
    • salt and pepper


TIME: about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Slice the bread in thick slices (about 3/4 in, 2 cm in thickness).
Drizzle with olive oil, and grill both sides.
Brush both sides with a garlic clove.
Cut the bread into cubes.
In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, with the eggs, one teaspoon of salt, and pepper.
Add the bread to the mixture and let soak for at least 15 minutes while you cook the mushrooms.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C )
In a large skillet, saute' the mushroom slices with two tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic (crushed or minced) over medium-high heat.
Saute' until fully cook, it should take about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the speck cut in little strips and the chopped parsley.
Mix the mushrooms into the bread cubes. Add the shredded gruyere cheese and mix.
Grease an 7x10 inch (18x25 cm) baking dish with butter.
Pour the stuffing into the dish. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake stuffing uncovered until set and top is golden, about 45-50 minutes.
Enjoy :)


  1. I call this a strata. Sounds and looks delicious and knowing your recipes it will be delicious.

  2. Oh yum! This sounds like a fabulous side dish!

  3. the pictures are soo fine and you have describe to recipe very well.thanx