Ham, Asparagus, and Mushroom Bread Pudding

Ham, Asparagus, and Mushroom Bread Pudding
Yields 10
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  1. ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  2. 2 (8-ounce) packages sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  3. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  4. 1 pound croissants, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 large)
  5. ½ cup butter, melted
  6. 3 cups diced ham
  7. 3 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
  8. 1 (1-pound) bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  9. 2 cups milk
  10. 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  11. 1½ teaspoons salt
  12. ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  13. ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  14. 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, melt remaining ¼ cup butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside. In a large bowl, toss croissants with ½ cup melted butter.
  3. Add ham, cheese, asparagus, and mushrooms, tossing to combine.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine milk, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Heat over medium-low heat until milk mixture is barely simmering, stirring frequently. Whisking constantly, slowly add eggs to hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture; let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. Place baking dish in a larger pan. Pour enough hot water into larger pan to reach halfway up sides of baking dish. Bake for 1 hour or until custard is set and bread is golden brown.
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