MINNEAPOLIS--The big chill is on the way this weekend...but here's a way to to keep your belly warm with a tasty meal.  Chef, blogger and cookbook author Beth Dooley stopped by KARE11 News@4 with a great Mushroom Bread Pudding recipe.

Here's the recipe:

Serves 4 to 6

3 cups diced bread cubes, crusts removed

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 slice diced ham or salami

2 cups sliced leeks, white and green parts

1 pound mixed cremini and shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons sherry or dry red wine

½ cup chicken or mushroom stock

2 eggs

¾ cup whole milk or half-and-half

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese, divided


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously butter a 1-quart gratin dish or 8 or 9 inch baking pan. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.


Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the ham, leeks, mushrooms and thyme with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften. Cover and continue cooking until the mushrooms release their juices, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the juices have evaporated and there is a film on the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the sherry and stock. Simmer several minutes, then remove and set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, parsley and half of the grated cheese.  Toss in the bread, then the mushroom mixture. Turn into the buttered pan, sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes until the top is browned and the custard is set. Serve hot.