Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bad-for-you-but-oh-so-good Strata

I decided to have a few folks over for brunch this Sunday, just some work people who live in the neighborhood. I wanted to make something but wanted it to be no fuss. Enter: Strata.

This stuff is amazing. You can make it the night before or the morning of. You can put anything in it. It totally rocks.

So I had this big plan that I was going to put the strata together last night and then throw it in the oven this morning. So simple. I could sleep late even.

Of course then we ended up being out stupidly late having dinner with friends on Bainbridge and I drank a bit too much wine. When we got home it was all I could do to flop on the couch and watch Seinfeld. And then I picked a fight about nothing. It was a big flog. No cooking happened.

This morning I bounce out of bed at 7:30 only to realize the time has changed and really it's 6:30. So I roll back over and snooze a bit more, then slowly roll out and start the cooking.

Strata is simple really. The main components are stale (or toasted) bread, eggs, cheese, milk, and filling of some kind. I decided to make spinach, shallot and gruyere on one side and sausage, shallot, mushroom and sage on the other. I made it from this recipe in the New Best Recipe and if you know those recipes you'll know they're really anal. The key things according to them are 1)making sure all the ingredients (other than the milk and egg) are very dry and 2)letting the whole shebang sit for an hour before cooking.

Cool. So I toasted bread and made a layer of it buttered side up. Then put sauteed shallots and spinach on one side, sausage, shallot and mushroom on the other. Layer of cheese, then more buttered up bread, then more filling and cheese. Then white wine (boiled down to concentrate it), half and half, and egg all dumped in. Put saran wrap on top, weight it down with two boxes of kosher salt and let it sit in the fridge for an hour. Then cook at 325 for an hour.

This stuff rocks. It definitely is not for the faint of heart as between the butter and cheese and half and half and sausage I could feel my arteries hardening right there. But it tasted damn good.

And Cobe thought it was good too. He even brought leftovers to work (and this is a boy who never eats leftovers). We ate it with some coffee and satsumas and watched the rain come down outside. It was perfect.

Strata: A

No comments: