This is adapted from a lighter recipe given to the Editor by Robyn White. It is not only ideal for leftover turkey, but also savory enough for serious company and, as a bonus, is nearly foolproof. Easily doubled to serve 8. A favorite in the household of the Editor.
- 1 Tablespoon olive or neutral oil, plus another Tablespoon
- about 2 cups assorted sliced or coarsely chopped mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup onion sliced into thin crescents
- about 1½ cups shredded cooked turkey
- about ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme and a heaped ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme alone
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 1 heaping teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 3 or 4 eggs
- about 4 cups good bread cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar or other hard English cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Put 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers (it should be very hot) add the mushrooms, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the mushrooms wilt and color. Remove the mushrooms.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the celery and onions. Cook the vegetables until tender.
- Add the turkey and thyme to the vegetables with the salt and pepper, stir to mix everything together, and remove from the heat.
- Stir the mushrooms into the skillet and let everything cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk the milk, mustard, cayenne and eggs in a big bowl. Add the bread and turkey mixture and gently stir everything together.
- Grease an 8 x 8 inch or 7 x 11 inch baking dish, or something similar, with unsalted butter, pour in the pudding and sprinkle the dish with the cheese.
- Bake the pudding for about an hour, until it is brown and bubbly, then let it stand so the custard thickens as it cools a little before serving.
- The Editor has been known to serve roast turkey as a pretext for the construction of this pudding.
- Boiled turkey works equally well.
- Although embellishment is entirely unnecessary, cranberry or Cumberland sauce make nice accompaniments, along with pickled walnuts and either leftover gravy from the roasted, or celery sauce from the boiled, bird.