Spinach-Shiitake Bread Puddings
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 25 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1 leek, white and tender green, cut into 2-inch julienne strips
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps coarsely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- One 5-ounce bag baby spinach
- One 1-pound round loaf of sourdough bread, crusts removed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the shallots and leek and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 7 minutes; transfer to a large bowl.
- Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Add the spinach and cook, tossing, until wilted, about 1 minute. Add the spinach to the mushrooms with the bread, Swiss cheese and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and toss.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl. In a saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a boil, then gradually whisk into the eggs. Stir the custard into the bread and let stand, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter eight 3/4-cup ramekins and set them on a baking sheet. Spoon the pudding into the ramekins and bake for 20 minutes, or until browned. Let cool for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler. Turn the bread puddings out onto an ovenproof platter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan and broil for about 30 seconds, or until golden. Serve hot.
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