When Jill Silverman Hough told me she has a recipe for a Chanterelle and Grueyre Bread Pudding I begged her to let me share it with our readers. What could be more aphrodisiac than a warm, creamy, savory bread pudding filled with two of my favorite aphrodisiacs? Yes, both chanterelle mushrooms and Gruyere cheese are aphrodisiacs.
Why mushrooms are legendary as aphrodisiacs
A South Pacific legend told of a woman who experienced sexual esctasy from eating wild mushrooms. Scientists suspect the effect comes from a hormone-like compound present in the forest fungus. This compound appears to have some similarity to human neurotransmitters released in females during sexual encounters. (Sorry, guys!) But mushrooms are also considered a great source of zinc, which is considered essential to men’s sexual health so there’s no reason men should miss out.
A good reason to eat more cheese
As for cheese, it’s not only among the most sensual foods, some say the scents of certain cheeses are a turn on. And did you know that cheese helps kill bacteria in your mouth? A cheese eater is the perfect kisser!
A wine pairing tip from Jill
But beyond just the aphrodisiac potential of the ingredients, this is a dish you’re going to want to try! With its simple instructions, it’s one of those dishes you can make in a snap whenever you need a big plate of comfort. And because it comes from Jill’s book 100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy with Wines You Love, this recipe comes with wine pairing tips. Jill recommends serving it with a Chardonnay. And best of all, she suggests pairing the wine with your mood rather than the flavor. Pick a big buttery Chardonnay to echo the creamy indulgence of the savory bread pudding when you need your meal to pamper. And if you feel like something with a little spark, pick a Chardonnay with a crisp, acidic bite to give your meal sensual contrast.
- 3 cups milk low-fat is okay
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons 1/2 stick unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the pan
- 6 ounces Chanterelle mushrooms coarsely sliced (you should have about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 5 large eggs
- 12 ounces crusty artisan French or Italian bread with crusts, cut or torn into 3/4-inch pieces (you should have about 12 cups)
- 8 ounces Gruyère cheese shredded (you should have about 3 cups)
- Optional special equipment: six 1 1/2-cup soufflé molds or ramekins
- Butter a 2-quart casserole dish or six 1 1/2-cup soufflé molds or ramekins. If using 6 molds, arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, rosemary, thyme, sage, and pepper and heat until just shy of simmer¬ing. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mush¬rooms are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the cooled milk mixture. Add the bread, cheese, and mushroom mixture, stirring until well combined. Set aside for 15 minutes, gently stirring occasionally, for the bread to absorb the liquid.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Pour the entire mixture into the prepared casserole dish or soufflé molds. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot.
FOOD + WINE TIP Some Chardonnays have more of a buttery quality, and some are more crisp. Either style works with a rich dish like this one—the buttery wines echo the richness and the crisper ones provide a palate-cleansing contrast.
For more of Jill’s recipes and wine pairing tips, check out 100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy with Wines You Love:
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