Total Time: 1 hr
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 10 min
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 24 small or 12 large
Sauteed gourmet mushrooms, buttered bread, cream and cheese make these savory puddings the perfect side dish for any beef or poultry dish. The single-serving presentation will give every guest a perfect mix of crisp, toasted surface and soft, warm interior.
4 cups (1/2-inch) fresh bread cubes (preferably brioche or challah; about 5 ounces)
1 1/2 pounds mixed fresh oyster mushrooms (pearl, blue, gray or king), trimmed
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tb spoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tb spoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tb spoons cup finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tb spoon finely chopped fresh sage
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
4 large eggs
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Equipment: 2 mini-muffin trays or 1 regular muffin tray
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Bake bread cubes in a single layer in a large shallow baking pan until crispy without browning them, about 10 minutes.
Tear or cut mushrooms lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Cook shallot in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until liquid mushrooms give off has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add herbs and garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Whisk together heavy cream, eggs, 1/2 cup of cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Stir in mushrooms and bread cubes until coated well and let stand 10 minutes for bread to absorb some of egg mixture.
Meanwhile, spray muffin trays with cooking oil. Spoon mixture into muffin trays and finish by adding the leftover cheese on top. Bake until firm to the touch and golden brown, 20 to 35 minutes.
Unmold puddings and serve.