Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Spinach & Cheese Strata

This is a no fail, 'you've got your crap together' kind of breakfast.
Perfect for visiting family and friends so you can spend time socializing instead of slaving in the ktichen.

Now, I don't know about you, but I've had plenty of strata's in my lifetime. Enough, in fact, to know what I don't want in one = slimy, gooey, slushy, mushy get the picture/texture. And that's why I love this recipe. It's like a fluffy, cheesy omelet w/crispy cheese toast on top.

If you aren't a fan of gruyere, feel free to substitute a sharp, vermont or irish white cheddar. That would be equally delicious. Enjoy!

Spinach and Cheese Strata
Gourmet February 2003
Active time: 30 min
Start to finish: 10 hr (includes chilling)
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

1 (10-oz) package frozen spinach, thawed
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed (1 inch) French or Italian bread (1/2 lb)
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then finely chop.
Cook onion in butter in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in spinach, then remove from heat.

Spread one third of bread cubes in a buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other shallow ceramic baking dish and top evenly with one third of spinach mixture.

Sprinkle with one third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice (ending with cheeses). Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata.

Chill strata, covered with plastic wrap, at least 8 hours (for bread to absorb custard). Preheat oven to 350°F.

Let strata stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes.Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Cooks' note: • Strata can be chilled up to 1 day.Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.


That Girl said...

I love eggs with gruyere and spinach - and I'm a fan of all stratas.

Joelen said...

I'm starring this for a brunch event I'm planning on hosting soon! Looks wonderful!!