One of my friends swears by the Barefoot Contessa Cookbooks– she loves them. Her Christmas Eve menu consisted of several dishes from the new Ina Garten cookbook Barefoot Contessa Foolproof- 3 pounds of gruyere were involved! This dish was on her menu, and it sounded so good. We ate it on New Year’s Eve with a green salad. It is really rich, I think that I will substitute half and half or whole milk for the heavy cream next time.
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
- 6 cups (1/2-inch-diced) bread cubes from a rustic country loaf, crusts removed
- 2 T good olive oil
- 1 T unsalted butter
- 2 oz pancetta, small-diced
- 4 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts
- 1 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and 1/4-inch-sliced
- 1 T chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/4 cup medium or dry sherry
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (possibly half and half?)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (6 oz), divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a sheet pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, until starting to brown. Stir in the leeks and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the leeks are tender. Stir in the mushrooms, tarragon, sherry, 1 T salt, and 1 1/2 tsp pepper and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, chicken stock, and 1 cup of the Gruyere. Add the bread cubes and mushroom mixture, stirring well to combine. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the bread to absorb the liquid. Stir well and pour into a 13 x 9 x 2 inches gratin dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of Gruyere and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is browned and the custard is set. Serve hot.