Wednesday, October 14, 2015


serves ten

1 loaf challah
8 ounces bacon
2 leeks, white and light green parts halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
pinch dried thyme
pinch dried rosemary
Olive oil
8 ounces maitake mushrooms (also known as hen of the woods)
2 to 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
3 tablespoons butter

Several hours ahead of time, or even the night before, slice the challah. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and let dry at room temperature, turning occasionally. You want it to get stale.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Take out two big frying pans. Set one over medium high heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp, turning once, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Lower the heat to medium, then add the leeks and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until reduced, then throw in the parsley, rosemary, thyme, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, set the second pan over high heat. When hot, film with oil and add half of the maitakes, breaking them up as you go. Don’t stir until the bottoms get crisp, 3 to 4 minutes, then continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have shrunk considerably, are quite browned, and smell amazing. Salt well. Transfer to a large bowl, then add a little moil oil to the pan and cook the second half of the maitakes the same way. Salt again, then add to the bowl.

When it’s done, put the leek and celery mixture in the big bowl too. Cut the stale challah into cubes, and add that too. Break the bacon up into small pieces, and put them in the bowl. Toss to evenly distribute bread, bacon, mushrooms, and leeks, and try to get a bite that has some of each thing, so you can taste for salt, adding more if needed. Scrape into a 9-by-13 casserole pan, and pour 2 cups of stock over the top, then scatter small pieces of butter across the surface. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then uncover the dressing. If it seems dry, add some more of the remaining stock. Return to the oven and bake another 30 minutes, until the top is crispy and brown.

bacon recipe source: Cara, Big Girls Small Kitchen (@BGSK), November 20, 2014

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