Wild Mushroom Chorizo Bread Pudding
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound assorted wild mushrooms (oyster, shitake, cremini, chanterelles), thickly sliced
2 chorizo sausages, diced and cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 a baguette, cut into 1-inch dice
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (3 ounces)
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add the leeks and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the assorted mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their liquid. Continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the pre-cooked chorizo and season again with salt and pepper (if necessary). Let mixture cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter a baking dish (or 4 separate ramekins). Spread the diced bread in the baking dish and spoon the mushrooms and chorizo mixture on top. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the cream, 1/2 a cup of the Parmesan cheese, the nutmeg and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Pour the custard over the bread mixture. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the custard and let the bread pudding soak for 30 minutes.
3. Discard the plastic wrap. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top of the pudding. Bake for 20 minutes covered with foil, then about 15-25 minutes without the foil (less if using individual ramekins), or until the custard is set and the top is brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
MAKE AHEAD The recipe can be prepared through step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking (important!).