Breakfast Is Back

Well, it was a quiet week in my hometown. Really quiet. Not much happened, not much cooking going on because my hubby was traveling all week and I’m usually not motivated enough to cook only for myself, particularly if I can clean scraps out of the fridge by throwing together a salad. Even Top Chef was pretty boring. So, on to the food.

I did make one amazing dish this week — I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to re-commit to the Sunday breakfast. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals, but we skimp on it around here. During the week, breakfast is half a bagel or a hard-boiled egg or yogurt and granola. So last week, I determined to get my act together and get my ass to the grocery store on Saturday so I can make a yummy Sunday breakfast.

The result was a glorious dish called Breakfast Strata. The recipe I used came from The New Best Recipe, and the results were fantastic. If you are not familiar with a strata, it is basically layered bread slices, cheese and some kind of filling, baked in a custard of eggs and cream. It sounds weird, but done right, the strata puffs up beautifully with a nicely browned top, and the ingredients meld together into a heavenly rich concoction. (I am really sorry I didn’t think to take a photo.)

The recipe I used is a bit of a project but worth the time. I had to start the day before making the filling ingredient — spinach and sauteed onions — shredding the cheese and toasting the bread slices. I layered them in the baking dish, seasoned well with salt and peper, and then poured over the mixture of beaten eggs and cream. I covered this with plastic wrap, weighted it down with a bag of flour and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Next morning, I had to let it come to room temperature for 20 minutes, then bake it for an hour. The smells coming out of that oven almost drove us crazy. Finally, I pulled it out of the oven and sliced into it. Wow! You would have been hard-pressed to know that this started out as stale bread slices with a liquid mess of eggs and cream poured over it.

There was one drawback to the recipe, though. I made the whole amount — enough for 6 — but there were only the two of us and one serving was entirely filling. The leftovers didn’t keep very well and had to be thrown out. So next time I will save this recipe for when I have a house of guests and have to pull out an amazing brunch dish to knock their socks off.

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