Right now, my fridge is a mess. It is so full of a hodge-podge of stuff from my daily staples to who-knows-what hiding in the back corners (for who knows how long). I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to get rid of a few things -- without just chucking them into the trash.
I just so happened to run across a recipe for a Cheese Strata with Ham from my Food Network calendar a few days prior while trying to clean up my desk area a bit. (Are we seeing a common theme here? I think so...) After giving it a quick skim, I realized I could make a few easy substitutions and get to work on the whole cleaning out the fridge business. Of course, by the time I actually looked at the list, I think I ended up buying more ingredients than I got rid of. Ah, such is my luck.
Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Strata
Inspired by: Food Network Kitchens
Inspired by: Food Network Kitchens
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 ounces (1 cup) grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup ham, cooked and diced
6 ounces roasted red peppers, diced
4 ounces (1 cup) goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups baby spinach
1 pound sourdough bread, crust removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Coat a 2 1/2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the next 6 ingredients (through cayenne pepper).
Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese evenly on the bottom of the baking dish. Add a layer of 1/3 of the bread cubes, followed by a layer of 1/2 of the ham, 1/2 of the goat cheese, 1/2 of the red peppers, and 1 cup of the spinach. Repeat with 1/3 of the bread, the remaining ham, goat cheese, red peppers, and spinach. Top with the final 1/3 of the bread at the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
Pour the egg mixture over the top of the dish, then press down with the back of a spoon to ensure all the bread is moistened. Drizzle the melted butter over the top.
Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (and as long as overnight).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover strata and bake for 45 minutes. Cover with foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the strata is slightly puffed, golden brown, and lightly set in the middle. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Prior to making this, neither Adam or I had ever had a strata, so we weren't quite sure what to expect. The original recipe called for the strata to only be baked for 45 minutes followed by a 10 minute rest. Well, it seemed a little jiggly in the middle when I took it out, but as it called for it to be "lightly set", I was thinking it would be okay and firm up a bit in the next 10 minutes. Wrong, it was definitely nice and runny in the center when I cut into it. Bummer. I ended up putting it back in the oven in bouts of 5-10 minutes, until it had been in around an hour and 5 minutes. At that point I gave up and let it just sit to cool off, then stuck it in the fridge to check it out the next day.
After pulling it out the following day, I didn't have very high hopes. However, everything had ended up setting up nicely, no runny eggs, yet everything was still nice and moist even after re-heating. Despite all the hard work I put into this dish, we both agreed that we like the texture of a quiche a little bit better than the strata, so we'll probably be sticking with that from now on.
|Amount per serving|
|Calories 479||Calories from fat 211|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 23.4g||36%|
|Saturated Fat 12.0g||60%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 37.8g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.9g||8%|
|Vitamin A 30%||Vitamin C 62%|
|Calcium 41%||Iron 22%|