Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Bready, Steady, Go!

Pane, Funghi, Feta e Salvia al Forno
Bacon, Mushroom, Feta & Sage Bread Pudding

So I panicked-ok? And over-reacted. And rushed headlong into making this fantastic dish for fear of letting my last 2 King Oyster mushrooms go past their prime. I bought them on Saturday and didn't want to leave them sitting in my fridge for too much longer... but the only problem was- I had no idea what to do with them!

 And of course they would have been fine in the fridge for a couple of days still- but the situation of having the thought set in my head and no real plan of action, forced me to improvise. Being hungry, I needed to think of something fast... really fast! It was cold and I needed something warming a delicious... and so I came up with this! 

I decided to make a version of bread pudding, using a couple of old rolls, plenty of sage, a little onion, bacon and Feta cheese... a good way to use up those bits and pieces for sure! 

I started off by frying a little finely diced bacon in my non-stick pan, with no added fat as usual, long enough for it to give off its own fat and coat the pan enough for me to add the mushrooms. I had cut the mushrooms into relatively thin slices, so that they would cook in a relatively short time and not be sitting in the pan long enough to turn them into rubber :-)

As soon as the mushrooms were lightly coated in the bacon fat and beginning to brown, I added some finely chopped garlic, Spring onion, parsley and of course a good amount of sage... mmm! Suddenly things were smelling pretty wonderful! 

I seasoned with salt, pepper, a little paprika powder and a hint of lime zest and tossed everything until they were nice and golden brown... then deglazed the pan with a good splash of milk- Hissss! 

As soon as the steam had cleared, the milk had taken up all of the great flavor of the bacon, garlic, herbs and of course those mushrooms. I let it simmer for a while, then turned off the heat and turned on the oven full blast...

Next, I took my 2 whole meal rolls, cut them in half and tore them into quarters. Of course you can use regular bread slices too. I laid the bread out in my baking dish and laid some of the mushrooms on top, making sure to spread them out equally. Then more bread to fill the gaps and more mushrooms, until there was a nice, even spread. I then poured the seasoned milk over everything and scattered the bacon, onion and herbs out evenly.... simply. I pressed the bread down a little, so that it would soak up the milk and moisten nicely... and all I needed to do before baking it was to add some crumbled Feta cheese, a light drizzle of olive oil, a light drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of coarsely ground black pepper... and then off it went into hot oven- 375°, for 10-15 minutes. 

When it came out, the bread was moist down below and crispy on top, the mushrooms were steaming and tender, the bacon was crunch and the cheese was toasty and delicious! In other words... that was one nice, simple supper! And another quick and simple idea for one of those Winter nights when you just want to kick-back, get warm and enjoy! So enjoy!


  1. This inspires me—it's like lasagna without the effort! I have some old bread in the kitchen, it's cold and rainy outside and I don't really feel up for major cooking. I think I know what's for dinner tonight...

  2. That's exactly how it was for me Frank! It doesn't always have to be a grand production to taste fantastic! Hope you enjoy it! Best wishes from Francesco! P.S. we should be neighbors!!!