Savory Mushroom Challah Pudding

Serves 8-10

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. assorted fresh mushrooms (such as crimini, button and stemmed shiitake), thinly sliced
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms, broken into pieces
2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
12 slices challah or white bread, crusts trimmed
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Spray 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh mushrooms and onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add dried porcini; sauté until mushrooms are brown, about 8 minutes. Mix in tarragon and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to medium bowl.

Whisk milk and eggs in large bowl to blend.

Arrange six bread slices over bottom of prepared dish. Top with mushroom mixture, half of Gruyère, and half of Parmesan cheese. Cover with remaining six bread slices. Drizzle egg mixture over; press gently to submerge bread. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle remaining Gruyère and Parmesan cheese over bread pudding. Bake uncovered until bread pudding puffs and top is golden brown, about 40 minutes.
(Louise Fiszer)