4 hours ago
Friday, June 1, 2012
Why do we call a breakfast casserole a STRATA?
The word "strati" in Italian means layers, so I guess that is where the word comes from, because a STRATA is just a fancy name for a breakfast bread pudding.
It's all about the layering in a strata. Bread, veggies, meat, cheese, then the custard.
This is my favorite recipe for a strata. It is so easy, and everyone loves it.
Most recipes call for making the custard and letting the bread cubes soak in it overnight.
Not my recipe. You put it in the oven right away, and 40 minutes later, breakfast is served.
Since I have more spinach than I know what to do with lately, I used fresh, but frozen spinach is just as easy.
Bookmark this for your next brunch (maybe for Father's day?). I made it for mother's day, but forgot to post it.
Here it is.
Stacey's Spinach, Gruyere & Sausage Strata: serves 8
1 baguette, torn into pieces, about 3 cups of bread cubes
1 large onion
3 sausage links, casings removed (I use Italian sausage, but you can use breakfast sausage if you like)
salt & pepper
2 big bunches of fresh spinach, washed and chopped (or 10 oz. package of defrosted frozen spinach, drained well)
2 cups of whole milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup of grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese (you can sub in good Parmesan)
Butter a large 9 x 12 casserole dish.
Lay the bread cubes on the bottom of the dish.
In a large skillet, heat some olive oil and saute your onions w/ sausage pieces, breaking the meat up as you cook it.
Cook about 8 minutes, till the pink is out of the sausage and onions are translucent. At the last minute, add the spinach to the sausage and onion mixture and season with salt & pepper. Cook about a minute or two, until spinach is wilted.
Add the sausage, spinach and cooked onions to the bread in the pan, to make a layer.
Mix the eggs, milk and cheeses together. Season the custard w/ salt & pepper and pour over the ingredients in the casserole dish. Press down with a spatula to soak up everything in the pan.
Place in a 350F oven for 40-45 minutes. Custard will puff up nice and golden.
Let rest 15 minutes before digging in!