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One might think that, surely, given its popularity, stuffing was a main part of the first Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, we have no clear record of whether or not stuffing was present when the Pilgrims broke bread with the Wampanoag tribe. While records indicate there were many turkeys and waterfowl present, there is no mention of whether or not these birds were stuffed for the meal. However, as Thanksgiving meals became more common over the years, stuffing began to take a much more prominent place at the holiday table. Early Thanksgiving menus from the 19th century list stuffed turkeys and hams as main courses, indicating that by the 1800s, stuffing had come to the forefront of most holiday meals. Today, the holidays in the United States would be considered incomplete without this classic side-dish. Whether it’s the small, spiced bread cubes of New England, or the meaty corn bread dressing of the South, there’s little doubt about whether stuffing will make an appearance at a modern holiday meal. Credit:

Long ago Chef Bracken made the switch from making a traditional Thanksgiving stuffing to savory bread pudding. His belief was that this American classic side dish deserved more love and attention and if made right could be a meal of its own. He’s often had a version of this recipe on the menu in the all the luxury hotels he’s worked in. From Lobster to a Savory Shrimp and Truffle Bread Pudding, he has lots of versions. While you may not want to make this exact

version for the holidays simply removing the shrimp and truffle leaves you with a hearty, rustic and wonderful side to your Thanksgiving Turkey!

Yields about 10 individual, 3 ounce portions

Olive Oil 4 Tbl

Mixed Wild Mushrooms 10 oz.

Shallots 1/2 ea.

Garlic 1/2 t.

Cream 6 oz.

Milk 6 oz.

Chicken Stocks 4 oz

Truffles 2 T. Crushed with the back of a knife

Basil 2 T. Diced

Chives 2 T. Sliced

Tarragon 1 T. Diced

BK Herbs 1 1/2 T.

Brioche 1 lb.

Eggs 2-3 each (depending on the size)

Shrimp 2-3 lb

Chardonnay Sauce 3 cups

Herbs Garnish


  • Saute the mushrooms with the garlic and shallots in half of the olive oil.

  • Once tender add in the cream, milk and stock and bring to a simmer

  • Add the herbs and truffle and season well.

  • Simmer for several more minutes to develop the flavor but do not reduce

  • While simmering, cut the brioche into medium sized cubes

  • Remove from the heat and pour over the brioche and mix well.

  • Allow to set for the bread to soak well.

  • Set aside the bread mixture to work on the shrimp

    • Reserve 20 shrimp with tails

    • Cut the rest into ½ size pieces

  • With the remaining olive oil saute the small pieces of shrimp quickly and season with salt and pepper.

  • Remove from the heat and add to the bread mixture and mix well.

  • Add the eggs and mix well and adjust seasoning one final time.

  • Divide the bread pudding into 10 individual molds that have been rubbed with butter. If you do no have any individual molds of any shape simple place the entire mixture into a baking pan. A cake pan will work well.

  • Cover with foil and place inside of a water bath in a 425 degree oven and bake for 20 - 30 minutes until cooked throughout. Remove from the oven and serve at once.

For Final Assembly:

  • The remaining whole shrimp should be quickly sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper. You can add a few herbs if you desire.

  • To serve simply unmold the bread pudding into the center of a soup plate or if using one large pan simply spoon it out.

  • Arrange the shrimp around or on top of the bread pudding

  • Heat the chardonnay sauce and spoon around the plate

  • Garnish with fresh herbs if desired and serve at once.



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