Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

As much as I’m gonna miss summer, I can’t help but be happy about cooking up warm casseroles, holiday squares and hearty soups.  This golden and eggy Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding, with its flecks of vegetables and herbs is EXACTLY why I love the fall.  I could go on about brightly coloured fall leaves, pumpkins, and apple desserts, but in the end, this glorious casserole wins my heart this fall. 

It’s a dish I’ve made plenty of times, always with great results and never disappointing. The only sad thing is, it makes quite a lot, feeding 10-12 people.  Sad only because the only time I make it, is when I have enough company to warrant a casserole of this size.  So, with that being said, it’s perfect for a crowd, and can be prepped up to one day ahead, helping you manage your time when feeding a small army. 

If you’ve never had a savory bread pudding, you must give this glorious Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding a try.  It takes a bit of time to prepare, but worth every minute.  Enjoy!

Recipe source for Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding:  Adapted from Epicurious Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
Print Recipe
Servings
10-12 people
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 70-75 minutes
Servings
10-12 people
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 70-75 minutes
Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
Print Recipe
Servings
10-12 people
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 70-75 minutes
Servings
10-12 people
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 70-75 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375℉ and butter a 13"x9"x2" casserole dish. Slice crust from bread and cut into 1" cubes to yield 10 cups loosely packed cubes. In a large bowl, toss bread with olive oil, thyme, garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread evenly in a single layer on a large baking tray and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden, turning once or twice. Remove from oven and return bread cubes to same large bowl.
  2. Heat butter in a large skillet until foamy. Add celery, onions, green pepper, and mushrooms. Sauté until softened and most of the moisture has been cooked out, about 15 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, whisk together eggs, cream, spinach, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour egg mixture over toasted bread cubes, add sauteed vegetables, parsley and gouda, stir to combine well. Pour into prepared dish, spreading out evenly. Top with grated parmesan cheese, cover and chill for at least an hour (up to one day ahead) to allow bread to absorb the custard.
  4. Preheat oven to 350℉. Bake uncovered for about 60 minutes until set and golden. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 before serving.

Potato Crusted Halibut

Potato Crusted Halibut

Prefer gluten free, but want crispy, golden panfried fish?  Potato Crusted Halibut is a lovely, light entree that’s not only gluten free but a quick and easy weeknight meal that satisfies crispy cravings. 

Potato flakes are a great alternative to bread crumbs or cracker crumbs in most instances.  They fry up crisp just like bread crumbs, are neutral in taste and can take on herbs and spices, letting the flavour of your fish shine.  For this recipe I used thin halibut fillets that cooked up flaky in minutes.  I also served the Potato Crusted Halibut with my Tomato Relish, which is a wonderful, fresh accompaniment.

One of my goals for this blog was to showcase how potato flakes can be used as a coating/breading but also to point out that it’s not limited to fish or breading for that matter.  It can be used most places that bread crumbs are used like breaded chicken cutlets, meatballs, salmon cakes or thickening soup like my Broccoli Cheddar Soup So maybe you’re looking for gluten free, or maybe just want a change? Remember potato flakes are for more than just mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Potato Crusted Halibut:  Compelled To Cook

Potato Crusted Halibut
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
6 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
6 minutes
Potato Crusted Halibut
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
6 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
6 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Pat fish fillets dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Whisk eggs together in a shallow bowl.
  3. Add potato flakes to a separate shallow bowl and season with dried herbs if desired, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.
  4. Heat olive oil in a medium size non stick skillet until hot over medium heat.
  5. Dunk one fish fillet into eggs to coat evenly, then place into potato flakes. Flip to coat evenly on both sides. Add to hot pan and repeat with remaining fish fillets. Panfry for 2-3 minutes per side until golden. Remove from pan and serve immediately with Tomato Relish or your favourite tartar sauce.
Recipe Notes

-Be sure to use potato flakes and not the ground potato meal as typically used for boxed instant mashed potatoes.  I found the potato flakes at my local bulk barn.

-Serve with Tomato Relish

-The thickness of your halibut may vary from mine, which were on the thinner side.  Thicker fillets may require 30-60 seconds more cooking per side.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

By far, one of my favourite classes I took while in culinary school was “Soups & Sauces”.  Along with the five mother sauces, I learned how to make consommé and other traditional soups like Mulligatawny.  But what I learned the most, was the basic skill set that enabled me to make any soup I wanted or turn ingredients that I have on hand into something delicious. The “roux” was a big component to the class, and I remember little of alternate diet considerations.  Hence, with a world trying to cut out, or at least cut back on their gluten intake, I thought it best to skip the roux in this wonderfully thick and delicious Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  

It’s still thickened up a little, but I opted to use potato flakes instead of the traditional roux.  By doing so, I’ve not only cut out the gluten but used less fat, with wonderful results.  It’s also relatively healthy, as there’s minimal added fat and milk is used instead of cream.  Trust me, you won’t be missing a thing with the hints of oregano and mustard. Thick, creamy, loaded with broccoli and swirled with cheddar cheese, Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a must to make this fall. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Broccoli Cheddar Soup:  Compelled To Cook

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 5 minutes
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut stems off broccoli, cutting very close to the flowerettes. Separate flowerettes into small pieces. Set aside 3 cups of flowerettes. Using a vegetable peeler, lightly peel the thick skin from the thicker stem pieces, discard skin. Chop stems, along with any remaining flowerettes into 1/2" chunks.
  2. In a medium pot, heat butter over medium heat until foamy. Add shallots and garlic, cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped broccoli, 3 cups chicken broth and oregano. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until very tender, 15-20 minutes. Stir in potato flakes and Dijon mustard. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Using a blender or submersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Return to pot, add milk and broccoli flowerettes. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook covered until flowerettes are tender, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Adjust thickness with more broth if needed. Stir in cheese. Serve immediately garnished with additional cheese if desired.
Recipe Notes

-recipe yields 5 1/2- 6 cups.

-for vegetarian option, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

-if serving to guests, cook and cool 1 cup of flowerettes separately. Stir into soup to warm just before adding cheese.  This provides wonderful colour and freshness.

Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips

Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips

With food feasting holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I find myself thinking about side dishes and how having plenty of options makes meal planning easier.  Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips is one of my personal favourites, as it’s not only delicious but simple and a good pairing most anything.

Don’t let the parsnips fool you either, they’re wonderful in combination with the carrots and the honey helps to bring out their natural sweetness and highlights their earthy flavour. Additionally, these amazing Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips hold up well both in texture and colour for serving, giving you time to breathe as you rush to get everything on the table.

Recipe source for Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips:  Compelled To Cook

Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
8-10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
8-10 minutes
Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
8-10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 25 minutes
Cook Time
8-10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Peel and trim carrots and parsnips. Cut into 2" lengths and then slice a small amount from one side to allow the piece to sit flat. Slice a small amount off remaining 3 sides to square up the piece (see note). Cut into 1/4" slices and then cut each slice into 1/4" batons.
  2. Heat butter in a medium skillet until foamy, add garlic and sauté for 30-60 seconds, stirring once or twice. Add in carrots and parsnips, stir to coat with butter and garlic. Add water, cover and cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  3. Remove cover and increase heat to high to evaporate any left over water and allow the vegetables to finish cooking, about 3-4 minutes ( they will start to caramelize slightly).
  4. Once they are cooked to your liking, remove from heat and stir in honey, parsley, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

-if using salted butter, adjust additional salt to taste.

-the 2" sections do not need to be perfectly square as that much trimming creates a lot of waste. What is important, is to make sure they are similar in size for even cooking.

Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup

Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup

I’m getting older you know!  But the benefit of this, is the chance to have a party.  So that’s just what my husband did for me this year on my recent birthday.   Along with my extra year of age, I also received many wonderful gifts that day.  One of which was a Mexican food basket that contained great items such as fresh tomatillos, corn husks and chipotle peppers in adobo. But the one ingredient that really got my attention was the dried hibiscus flowers.  I knew right away that I wanted to use this product for a blog post and set to work on making a lovely, richly infused Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup.

 

Dried hibiscus is just that, hibiscus flowers that have been dried, and probably most common for making tea.  When steeped, it has the most amazing deep purplish- red colour and tart berry like taste.  Perfect for beverages, hot or cold, jams, and sauces.  Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup is slightly tart and fruity with a hint of sweetness.  It’s amazing on pancakes, ice cream, cake, yogurt and fruit.  A little thicker than a simple syrup, but go on and stir it into a vodka cocktail, champagne or punch as well.  That’s if it makes it past the pancakes and ice cream of course…..enjoy!

Recipe source for Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup:  Compelled To Cook

Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 1/2 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 1/2 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 90 minutes
Strawberry Hibiscus Syrup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 1/2 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 1/2 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30-35 minutes 90 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan bring water to a simmer. Add dried hibiscus and bring back to a boil, stirring to soak all the hibiscus. Turn off heat and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, allowing hibiscus to drain naturally without squeezing or pushing on it.
  2. Return liquid to the pot and add frozen strawberries along with any juice and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to a steady boil and allow to cook, uncovered for 15-20 minutes, mashing berries with a fork or back of a wooden spoon to help them break down.
  3. Mix cornstarch with 1 tbsp cold water until dissolved. Add to syrup, stirring constantly until mixture is fully combined and has returned to a boil. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and allow to cool to room temperature, then cool completely in the refrigerator to reach full thickness.
  4. Pour into sealable jars or airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Will keep refrigerated for 2-3 weeks well sealed.
Recipe Notes

-Yields approximately 2 1/2 cups of syrup.