You could say this isn’t technically a bread and butter pudding as the only butter used is to grease the baking dish. However it does have plenty of cheese!! I took the idea of this from a recipe I saw online but changed it round. A piece is great for lunch with some salad. I served it the other night as a side dish to go with rotisserie chicken and green salad. I think it’s important to use a good quality bread. You need to season this dish well as the bread absorbs lots of flavour and it’ll seem a bit bland if you don’t. Some blue cheese in the mix also helps that.
2-3 onions, peeled and finely sliced
6 cups of a selection of fresh mushrooms – Portobello, shitake, button, oyster – all sliced
1 packet of streaky bacon, diced (or a piece of speck, pancetta or even ham, diced)
1 cup grated cheese, preferably something with good flavour (make some of it pieces of blue cheese if you like)
½ cup crème fraîche
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
½ cup white wine
Good handful of finely chopped herbs such as parsley, basil, thyme leaves
½ loaf of good quality bread cut into small cubes
Freshly grated nutmeg
Good pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onions. Cook till soft and caramelised. This will take at least 30-40 minutes.
Heat the oven to 180°C.
In another pan while the onions are cooking, heat a little more oil and add the bacon and after 5 minutes add the mushrooms. Cover, reduce the heat and leave while the mushrooms cook. When nearly ready, take off the cover and increase the heat a little. Add the wine and stir. Cook for a minute or two until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the crème fraiche and herbs. Add this mixture to the onions once they’re cooked.
In a large a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk, most of the cheese (leave some for the final topping) and salt and pepper. Add the onion and mushroom mix, bread cubes, cayenne pepper and plenty of nutmeg.
Tip all into a buttered baking dish and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the mixture is set and browned.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: once you’ve mixed everything if the mixture seems too dry then add another beaten egg and a bit more milk.