Bread & mushrooms & bacon & cheese & red wine… Just combine everything into a delicious snack resp. dinner meal & enjoy – at once when it’s still bubbling hot or later when the cold left-overs are cut bite-sized.
I got inspired by a recipe from Rachel Allens Irish Coast Cookbook – inspired… of course I encountered some obstacles when analyzing the ingredients & asking myself if my trusted food store had stocked all.
What to do?
Work w/ whatever is available & fits in. So I switched spontaneously from some „original Irish“ to some „original Italian“ ingredients – successfully!
What do we need?
- bacon (from Irish lardons to a mix of Italian & German bacon bits & stripes)
- mushrooms (from wild Irish mushrooms to domesticated mushrooms)
- 1st cheese (from Irish Cheddar to Italian Parmesan)
- Dijon mustard
- stale bread
- wine (from white wine to Italian red wine)
- 2nd cheese (from Irish semi-soft cheese to Italian Asiago)
- fresh thyme leaves.
In a nutshell: There is always a European solution!
We start w/ preheating the oven to 200 °C w/ fan.
We mix the grated Parmesan w/ the mustard in a casserole & add chunks of bread (baguette, ciabatta, toast… whatever is in your breadbasket). Finally we add the red wine – yes: if we’d used white wine the colour wouldn’t have been so „strange“…
After about 10-15 min in oven the cheese-mustard mix is molten & the bread is crispy on the edges.
In the meantime we cut the bacon in pieces & fry it for some minutes until slightly brown. We chop roughly the mushrooms & fry them in the same pan after having removed the bacon bits.
We dice the Asiago cheese & prepare the thyme leaves.
Everything ends on top of the casserole.
… & again put the casserole in the hot oven for another 10-15 min until the cheese is molten & covers everything nicely.
If you haven’t noticed until now: this is a real substantial dish!
Rachel Allen’s cookbook says it’s for 4 people as a dinner: I’d say it’s for 4 very hungry people. Therefore you may think of 6 people for the whole casserole… or a dinner group of 8-10 people having a hearty hot starter…
The casserole should be served at once when coming out of the oven! The cheese is soft & easy, the bacon is soft, the bread is crispy… However, each dish cools down…
I don’t recommend to use this casserole for a buffet (where it hangs around… every now & then a batch taken…).
So: what to do w/ leftovers?
We had some leftovers – of course: we parked them in the fridge & the bread & cheese casserole grew firm. Next day I cut it – cold as it was – in bite-sized pieces: we had a nice happy hour w/ some red wine & these nibbles. Therefore don’t panic if…
The businesswoman with too many office hours thinks
The basic idea is to combine old bread, some leftovers like wine, bacon… w/ cheese & mushrooms… The main task goes to the oven.
I think I could prepare the casserole w/ everything – then it’s only the last 15 min in oven!
(Yes: Rachel Allen says so on her cookbook!)
It’s a mighty dish, but when partitioned in small batches…