1 pound sweet or spicy pork sausage (remove from pork casings)
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (reserve 1 tablespoon butter to grease 9-x-13-inch baking pan or dish)
½ loaf (about 9 slices) white sandwich bread, crust removed; cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large croissants, diced into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces thinly sliced baby portobello mushrooms
1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups shredded Parmesan cheese (reserve ½ cup Parmesan for topping bread pudding)
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
*optional ½ teaspoon red crushed pepper (for spicier version)
- In a non-stick pan, on medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and brown and cook sausage until cooked through and browned; about 8 to 10 mins. *a wooden spoon works best for breaking apart sausage in pan.
- Once sausage is cooked, using slotted spoon, remove sausage and set aside until later.
- Add onion, garlic, thyme and optional crushed red pepper; sauté until slightly browned about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add olive oil to pan, sliced mushrooms, and a pinch kosher salt. Sauté mushrooms until cooked, tender and caramelized, about 7 to 9 mins.
- Add chicken stock to pan and reduce until almost dry; about reduced to a ¼. Remove pan from stove.
- Allow mushrooms and sausage to cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl add diced white bread, diced croissants, mushrooms, sausage, 1 ½ cup cheddar cheese, 1 cup Parmesan cheese and parsley (in that order). Fold everything together with a rubber spatula. Once everything is mixed and incorporated together, pour contents into greased 9-x-13-inch baking pan/dish. Spread out evenly into baking pan/dish and smooth/flatten surface with a rubber spatula.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, salt and black pepper until well incorporated; pour mixture evenly over contents in baking pan/dish.
- Cover baking pan/dish with plastic wrap and place in fridge 2 to 3 hours to allow bread to absorb egg/milk mixture and flavors to set in bread/croissant mix.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Use reserved ½ cup Parmesan to top evenly on bread pudding.
- Bake in oven 45 mins to 1 hour until bread pudding is puffed up, golden brown, cooked through and caramelized; allow it to rest for 10 mins to allow time for it to firm up. (*optional garnish chopped fresh herbs and grated Parmesan).
A Food Network and TV personality, Chef David Rose serves as a brand ambassador for a number of national brands and is the founder and creator of the TLC Experience (Tastings. Libations. Cigars). He is currently working with Nissan USA as a TITAN Truck Ambassador, Camacho Cigars and their Camacho Tailgate domination campaign and with The Georgia Power & The Georgia Power Customer Resource Center on their digital chef series.