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Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

20 November 2012

The Hoydens hope everyone here in the U.S. has a happy Thanksgiving and that our friends and followers elsewhere will forgive us for being quiet this week as we all prepare for--and recover from--this food-centric holiday.

Here’s my favorite dish to prepare. It never fails to make the guests happy, especially if you have a vegetarian or two attending your feast!

MUSHROOM BREAD PUDDING

Ingredients 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 pound assorted wild mushrooms, chopped

1/2 pound cultivated crimini mushrooms, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon (optional)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill (optional)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

5 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

2/3 cup heavy cream

6 cups trimmed and cubed ( 3/4-inch cubes) day-old French or Italian bread (5 to 6 ounces)



INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pan. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet. Add the onion and saute till soft and translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, then the wild and cultivated mushrooms and saute until soft. Increase the heat and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the herbs, salt and pepper, then set aside to cool slightly. Lightly whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the milk and cream, whisking until blended. Add the mushroom mixture and bread cubes. Season again and stir to blend. Bake the puddings for 35-40 minutes, or until the tip of a knife inserted in the middle of a pudding comes out clean. For optimum flavor, serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, wrap puddings in aluminum foil, set in a preheated 325 degrees oven for about 10 minutes, or until hot.

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