1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
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2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
½ pound fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 generous teaspoon fresh sage leaves (about 4-5 large), minced
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
6 large eggs
3 cups whole or reduced-fat milk
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 loaf (1 pound) rustic artisan bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Butter 12 individual ramekins or a 2½- to 3-quart baking dish.
Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and over with hot water; set aside to hydrate for at least 10 minutes. Drain and chop them coarsely.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions until tender, about 5 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms and saute just until they begin to give off some liquid, about 5 minutes more. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs and chopped dried mushrooms.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Gruyere, and ½ cup parmesan. Whisk in ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add the bread cubes and let soak for about 5-10 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Fold in the mushroom mixture.
Turn the bread pudding into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, until puffed and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 45-60 minutes depending on the size and depth of your baking dish. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.
Cooks note: I use dried porcinis and fresh creminis because they pack a ton of flavor and are readily available, but use any combination of mushrooms you like. Fresh herbs are amazing, but I've also used a teaspoon of dried herbes de Provence instead and liked the results.
Adapted from Christa Resing Colardo of Marin Cooking