Makes:4 to 6 servings
Halfway between a stuffing and a gratin, this dish is difficult to define. Toasted baguette cubes are mixed with sautéed cremini and chanterelle mushrooms and rehydrated porcinis. A creamy sauce made with Cambozola, a cheese that’s like a cross between Camembert and Gorgonzola, is poured over the top, and the whole thing is baked until bubbly. Serve this rich casserole next to a steak or as a vegetarian main dish with a salad.
1 ouncedried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup), broken in half if large
2 cups boiling water
4 ounces French baguette, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for coating the baking dish
1 tablespoonolive oil
8 ounceschanterelle mushrooms, stems trimmed and cut in half
8 ouncescremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and cut in half or quartered if large
1/3 cup small-dice shallot (from about 1 medium shallot)
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 ouncesCambozola cheese, cut into small pieces (rind included)
Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish with butter; set aside.
Place the porcinis in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water over them and let the mushrooms sit until softened, about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread the bread cubes in an even layer on a baking sheet and bake until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
Heat the measured butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until the butter is foaming. Add the chanterelle and cremini mushrooms and cook, stirring rarely, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the shallot and thyme, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rehydrated porcinis to the pan (be careful not to disturb the gritty sediment at the bottom of the bowl) and set the mushroom liquid aside. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots have softened, about 1 minute more.
Add the wine, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and cook until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Scrape the mushroom mixture into the bowl with the toasted bread cubes (reserve the pan), add the egg, and stir to combine. Measure 1/2 cup of the reserved mushroom liquid, being careful not to include the sediment, and discard the remaining liquid. Drizzle the measured liquid into the bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the mushroom-bread mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it into an even layer; set aside.
Return the reserved pan to medium-low heat, add the cream, and bring to a simmer. Whisking constantly, add the cheese 1 piece at a time, letting each piece melt before adding the next. (If you add the cheese too quickly or stop whisking, the sauce may break. If it does break, sprinkle in cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon at a time and add more cream a splash at a time while whisking until the sauce is bubbling, creamy, and smooth again.) Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the mushrooms and bread. Bake until browned and bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.