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Turkey Tips
Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding
Sam Hayward, Fore Street-Portland, ME
Adapted by StarChefs

This can replace a bread stuffing on the menu. Some species of wild mushrooms, such as the late-fall oyster mushroom, are foraged in Maine right into December. You may also use cultivated varieties, such as maiitakes or portobellos, or reconstituted dried porcini. We use a dense, artisanal sourdough bread made for us by Standard Baking Company in Portland, and the proportions in the recipe apply to their loaf. Breads from other bakeries may differ in density or size. The desired consistency of the bread pudding is similar to a very moist stuffing, and the amount of liquid added to the toasted bread should be adjusted to achieve it. --SH

  • 1 large day-old loaf unsweetened European style sourdough bread
  • up to 12 ounces good extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound wild or exotic mushrooms, fresh or reconstituted dry, cleaned and trimmed
  • (if the mushrooms are large, slice them coarsely)
  • 1 cup dry white wine or dry-style hard cider
  • 4 cups rich poultry stock (turkey, duck, or chicken)
  • kosher salt and fresh-milled black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups washed cool-weather pot-herbs (such as mizuna or small beet greens)

Remove most of the crust from the bread. Pull the bread into 1 to 2-inch pieces. Sprinkle on enough olive oil to lightly moisten, and toss to distribute the oil evenly. Toast the bread pieces lightly in a hot oven.

Lightly coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil. Add the sliced onion and the crushed garlic, cover, and cook over moderate flame until wilted and soft. Uncover, add the mushrooms, increase the flame, and continue cooking until the onions are caramelized and the mushrooms are tender. Add the wine or cider, boil up, and add the poultry stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the flame, and simmer five minutes. Add the greens and stir until wilted. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and adjust the seasonings. Arrange the toasted bread pieces in a heavy ceramic baking dish. Pour the hot onion mixture over the bread pieces, toss gently, cover loosely with foil, and sprinkle with more olive oil to taste. Bake in a 375º F oven twenty to thirty minutes. You may remove the foil during the last ten minutes of cooking to achieve some browning.