Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving and a Twist on Traditional Stuffing!

This year for Thanksgiving, my husband is going to smoke a turkey breast and ham, instead of roasting a traditional whole turkey. (Sorry neighbors, the smoke will be flowing!) Not only does this provide the option of turkey and/or ham, it allows me to use my oven for all the sides and desserts sans turkey! YES! So, while my Thanksgiving feast is straying from tradition, so is the stuffing. I first saw this recipe in the October 2013 issue of Real Simple for "Mushroom and Gruyere Bread Pudding" and just had to try it. After all, it has all my favorite things: mushroom, leeks, and cheese. Mmm! It was so stunningly delicious that I knew I would be making this savory delight again for Thanksgiving! In addition, it allows me to deplete all the random pieces of baguettes that I always have lurking in my freezer! So, why not throw tradition to the wind (along with some smoke), and mix things up with this exceptional recipe!

Mushroom and Gruyere Bread Pudding

Serves 6


2 tablespoons olive oil
4 leeks (white and light green parts only), cut into half-moons (see Techniques for more about leeks.)
10 ounces cremini mushrooms (aka., baby bellas), trimmed and sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 pound country bread, cut into 1" pieces (about 5 cups) (I use crust-less baguettes.)
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing frequently, until the mushrooms are tender, 3-4 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly.

Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the bread, Gruyere, and mushroom mixture and mix to combine.

Transfer to an 8" or other 2 quart baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until the edges are set but the center is slightly wobbly, 20-30 minutes. Uncover and bake until browned, 20-25 minutes more. Sprinkle with the chives before serving.

What else am I serving?

and for dessert:

Traditional Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Ganache Cake (I haven't posted this recipe yet, but will very soon!)

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