Sunday, September 9, 2012

Uncover the Strata



In my first post this month of September, I featured Vegetable Pastel, a Del Monte Kitchenomics recipe. In that post I mentioned that I experimented on another menu called Strata. I got the recipe from my new recipe book, "The Old Farmer's Everyday Cookbook Almanac," given to me by my eldest daughter, Ayana Grace. I remember mentioning this cookbook in my June 30, 2012 post entitled, "A Legacy from my Mother-in-Law" (click here to view post).

Photo taken from Amazon.com
 Last Sunday, I gave the recipe, Strata, a try. I promised to feature it in another post so here…
Photo of Strata taken from The Old Farmers Everyday Cookbook Almanac
I was intrigued seeing the picture of Strata featured in one whole page of the cookbook. I must confess that the first thing that came to my mind was "stratum = the singular of strata". So I turned to page 13 where the recipe could be found. There, Strata is described as a dish made with crumbled bacon or shrimp, sauteed mushrooms or leeks, and any kind of bread (raisin, whole wheat or rye). It is prepared by making layers of bread cubes arranged alternately with other ingredients in a baking dish so that explains the name Strata.

 As I read through the recipe, I excitedly decided to give it a try because the recipe looked very simple and easy to follow. Besides, I almost had all the ingredients except for the parsley which I had to buy from the grocery.

Ingredients:
14 slices bread, crusts removed
1 cup diced cooked ham
2 cups shredded Swiss or cheddar cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tbps chopped fresh basil or parsley
6 large eggs
3 1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper, to taste


 Steps:
1. Cut the bread into cubes.


2. Generously grease a 13x9-inch baking dish.
3. Make a layer with half of the bread cubes, arrange them so that they cover the bottom of the dish. 


4. Sprinkle the ham, cheese, shallots and basil over the bread. 


 5. Cover with the remaining bread cubes.


 6. Beat the eggs and milk together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
 7. Slowly pour the mixture over the top bread layer, saturating it evenly. 

 8. Cover and refrigerate overnight; the bread will soak up the liquid as the mixture stands.


9. Preheat the oven to 3250F.
10. Uncover the strata and bake for 1 hour, or until puffed and lightly browned.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.

For my own version, I doubled the recipe using Gardenia wheat bread. Then I used parsley because fresh basil was not available at the time. But sorry, I shortcut the process by allowing the mixture to stand only for 4 hours because I was too tired the night before to prepare the dish.

Here's my Strata, fresh from the oven. Hmmm... not the exact result that I expected as my oven ran out of gas just as I was starting to preheat, so I cooked the dish using my oven toaster. I was just too careful not to burn the topmost layer.

My officemates seemed to have liked it so I'm planning to make another one soon.

So there, I have kept my promise. Till the next blog post! :)

Linking to Home Maid and Simple foodie friday, Simple Living and Eating Foodie Friday
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2 comments:

  1. Just wanted you to know that your soup is being featured on foodie friday. I will be pinning and tweeting it this week too. Stop by and get your featured button. Thanks again for joining us.

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    1. Hi Diane, thank you so much for the feature! I sure will grab that precious button!

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