Here in wine country we usually think of grapes when it comes to harvest season, but in Oregon it also means something else – mushrooms. Oregon is rich is earthy flavored things from pinot noir, truffles to mushrooms. Among the incredibly wide range of mushrooms available here, the chanterelle is among the finest and most sought after. This bread pudding works wonderfully as a main course or side dish in a more dramatic meal. A natural for pinot noir, but look for a wine driven more by earth than fruit.
The first time I made this it was a bit dry, so don’t be afraid to add more liquid if necessary. I thought it was better the second time around when it was more moist.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups cleaned and sliced chanterelle mushrooms
1 medium diced onion
6 stalks sliced celery (thin but not too thin)
5 cloves garlic – minced
5 cups cubed, crusty rustic bread a day or two old
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups cream
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat oil in large sauté pan and sauté gently for two minutes; add celery and sauté for two more minutes. Add garlic and toss for one minute and remove from heat.
In a large bowl, bread cubes, chopped herbs, salt and pepper then mix in the mushroom mixture and set aside.
Butter a baking dish.
Wisk the cream, milk, eggs and egg yolks in a bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the bread mixture and mix gently, but completely. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and push down gently.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes, but do not overcook so as not to dry out the egg custard.
Serves 6 as a main course or 12 as a side dish.