Strata


In my crusade to integrate more vegetables…scratch that. It’s not really a crusade, insomuch as it’s remedial but not really undertaken with what I could honestly call zeal or enthusiasm, thanks so much Merriam Webster.

Take two –  In my earnest but rather poorly executed attempt at getting more vegetables into my diet, I bring you (once again) breakfast strata.

Bacon is a vegetable, right?

So, since my last attempt at breakfast strata was so badly shot (don’t look, it’s painful) thanks to my janky cell phone which I’m reasonably sure was scratched during its manufacture by a saber tooth tiger, or possibly wooly mammoth, I feel okay revisiting it.

Also, this one is revised, based on the ratios of one of my favorite chefs, though he would use heavy cream where I would use whole milk, or at the most, half and half.  His is crazy good, and all that cream suits his bird-like eating habits, however it is maybe a little much for someone like myself who tends to tear gracelessly into food like a bear just out of hibernation.  Yeah, it’s pretty sexy.  #WhyamIstillsingleagain?  I mean I tend not to overindulge (as I’ve discussed before), but the portions I do put on my plate I attack like that food just slapped my grandma. So with hyper-rich food, because I’m a voracious nut, there’s not always time for my body to tell me I’m full before I’m overfull.

I also do try to barely graze certain caloric corners from time to time.  As a frequenter of the beach, the last thing I want is to be staring at my thighs going, “Hey there, excessive amount of heavy cream.  I remember you, questionable decision, how you doing?  You look nice and comfortably settled in…”

Anyway…

Here’s the ratio – can be multipled as needed

for 1-2 servings

2 ounces of bread, or about 1 cup, when cubed
2 eggs
6 1/2 ounces of half and half (or just six, or seven.  Who cares really, you’re not going to ruin it)
3-4 healthy pinches of salt. Healthy. (Just keep in mind that  you are seasoning almost 3/4 lb of food at this point and unless you’re willing to taste raw egg, you will have no idea how seasoned it is until you’re done.)
Freshly ground pepper.
The kitchen sink – for me, this means these usual suspects –

The chicken timer is not an ingredient. He’s just photo-bombing as usual. I’m beginning to suspect he didn’t get enough attention as a child.

Bacon
Tomatoes
Artichoke
Lightly caramelized onions
Rosemary
1-2 ounces of cheese
I had some spinach that I forgot about that I should have thrown in

So first, preheat your oven to 375 and cube your bread.

Stale is best in that it soaks up more liquid, but fresh is fine.

Then add your eggs to your half and half in a big bowl and season them.

This seems like a lot of half and half. It is. Speaking from experience, a creamy bread pudding beats an eggy bread pudding hands down.

Whisk thoroughly together and throw the bread cubes in.

Press down to get all the bread soaked. Let it continue to soak while you prep the other ingredients. Then stir your ingredients into your bread mixture.

Pour into a pan that’s been lightly buttered.

Spinster casserole dish to the rescue once again

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Encroach! (yeah, someone’s been consulting the thesaurus)

I only ate half the pan.  Fact – room temperature breakfast strata is still delicious. So I’ll put it in the fridge and bring it out tomorrow an hour or so before hunger strikes and maybe I’ll just throw that spinach on then.

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