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Laura Hunt

Cooking for Couples

Organic Asparagus and Shi-take Bread Pudding

For couples with no cooking experience and for those who enjoy cooking - find out how much fun it is to create a meal together.
The following recipe was contributed by Lisa Wilson, Chef de Cuisine, Blue Heron Catering.
Bread Pudding is one of our favorite dishes whether sweet or savory. It is a great way to use stale, day-old bread and is one of the stars of comfort food.


serve 6

4 tablespoons unsalted organic butter
3 organic leeks, cleaned well and cut into slices 1/2-inch thick (white parts only)
5 large eggs
2 1/4 cups organic whole milk
3/4 cup organic heavy cream
1/2 pound thin, organic asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1/4 pound, shi-take mushrooms, de-stemmed and cut into 1-inch slices
1 pound artisan bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, dried
1/2 pound medium hard gratable artisan cheeses, such as gruyere or cheddar, shredded
1/3 cup mixed chopped fresh organic herbs
Pinch cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 250 degrees {to dry the bread} then raise to 350 degrees

Chef One:
Prep ingredients: Slice the leeks and soak in a deep bowl of water, lifting the leeks off the top of the water, leaving the sand in the bottom. Cube the bread and bake in the 250 degree oven until dry, or use stale bread. Slice mushrooms, cut asparagus, grate cheese, chop herbs.

Chef Two:
In a medium skillet over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, add the leek and cook until tender (about 10 minutes), adding a bit of water as you go. Set aside to cool. Then saut├ę the mushroom slices in two tablespoons of butter until soft and lightly browned.

Chef One:
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add the remaining ingredients, including the leeks, asparagus, and mushrooms, and gently toss them. The mixture should be well coated and somewhat soupy.

Chef Two:
Oil 4-quart souffl├ę dish or a 2-inch deep baking dish. Spread the mixture into the dish, put it on a baking sheet and bake until the top is crusty brown and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean (45 to 60 minutes). if the pudding looks too dark before it is finished, cover it with foil.  Let cool slightly before serving! 

Cook’s notes:

Though wonderful by itself, you could also serve this dish with a lemon aioli
thinned out with a little water. See Tapas Table on this site for a recipe.

Wine Suggestions:
Serve the bread pudding as the centerpiece of a summer luncheon and with it enjoy a chilled glass of Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine.

Bon Appetit!

More Cooking for Couples


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