1 large leek, approximately 250g
Knob of unsalted butter
Small white onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
Pinch of sea salt
100g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
500ml whole milk
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 stale loaf, approximately 400g
75g soft blue cheese
75g Serrano ham
Slice the leek into 2cm rounds and place into a saucepan of boiling water. Blanch the leek for 3 minutes to soften. Drain and set aside.
Melt a knob of butter in a casserole dish. Add the sliced onion and sauté for 5 minutes over a medium heat. When softened and beginning to caramelise, add the garlic and thyme to the pan along with a pinch of salt. Continue to fry for a further 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and leek to the pan and remove from the heat.
In a large jug combine the milk, eggs and nutmeg and lightly whisk. Cut or tear the bread into 4cm chunks.
Combine half the bread with the onion and leek mixture in the pan and then dot half the cheese and Serrano ham equally around the pan. Layer up the remaining bread, cheese and ham over the top and pour over the egg mixture.
Allow the bread to soak for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Whilst the bread is soaking preheat the oven to 190˚C/ Gas Mark 5. Bake the bread and butter pudding for 25 - 30 minutes until golden and crispy.
Serve with a green salad or seasonal vegetables.