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Turkey bread pudding

Four servings

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.

  • Vintage Thanksgiving Postcard 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°.

  1. 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.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the celery and onions. Cook the vegetables until tender.
  3. Add the turkey and thyme to the vegetables with the salt and pepper, stir to mix everything together, and remove from the heat.
  4. Stir the mushrooms into the skillet and let everything cool.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the milk, mustard, cayenne and eggs in a big bowl. Add the bread and turkey mixture and gently stir everything together.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.