Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bits and Pieces Strata

This is a great dish any time of the year, but particularly good for spring and summer because it is light, yet satisfying.  It is versatile in that it can be made with or without meat, so pleases both the meat eater and vegetarian alike.  It can make a great brunch dish, or serves equally well for a light lunch (cutting it into 6 servings) or a hearty dinner (cutting it into 4).  I refer to this as "Clean Out the Fridge" Strata as I generally make use of what's left in the crisper and meat tray when putting it together.  No matter what combination I put together it has never failed to be delicious.  This is a dish that is tasty and impressive despite its being thrown together with whatever you happen to have on hand, so I love it!
Follow the step-by-step tutorial below and you'll see how easy this dish is to make.  I hope you'll try it, and when you do, let me know what you think.

Bits and Pieces Strata Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 cups chopped vegetables of your choice (mushrooms, onions, scallions, green pepper, red pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeno pepper, leeks, shallots, celery, zucchini, steamed asparagus, blanched broccoli, etc.)
5 slices white bread
2 cups cheese in any combination of your choice
2/3 cup deli ham, sliced into strips (or similarly cut salami, pepperoni, or "coins" of andouille or chorizo) (optional)
2 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons butter thinly on bread. 
 Cut bread into 1/2-inch pieces.
 Layer half of bread in 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish.
 Cover with half of cheese. I had a variety of cheeses left over, so used cheddar, emmental, fontina, and gouda.
 Clean and slice vegetables of your choice.
 Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetables to skillet and saute until just tender, about 4 minutes. Mix in meat, if used; saute 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.
 Cover cheese with half of vegetable/meat mixture.
  Repeat layering with bread, cheese and vegetable mixture.
 For my next layer of cheese, I used up what was left in a package of shredded cheddar and Monterrey Jack.
 Top with remaining vegetable/meat mixture.
 Beat milk, eggs, Dijon mustard, dry mustard, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend.
 Pour over strata.
 I had three slices of bacon left in the fridge, so fried it until crisp and crumbled it over the top.
 Press down on top of strata to ensure all of the bread absorbs the milk/egg mixture.  Let set for 15 minutes.
Bake strata until lightly browned on top and set in center, about 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into squares.


Lynn said...

Looks amazing! I made my very first single serving one the other day, I'll be making it again:@)

Kristen said...

Strattas are wonderful day or night. You combined some great flavors in that one.

Unknown said...

What a great name for your stratta - aren't eggs amazing?

Happy Foodie Friday,

Jane said...

This looks wonderful! My mom used to do the same thing with frittatas...It was always the meal we made when my dad was out for the evening.
Stratas are a mainstay around here...
Jane (artfully graced)