Saturday, February 21, 2009

One of My Very Own

I finally did it...

Breakfast casseroles seem to be a dime a dozen... there are hundreds of recipes for them out there, and they are all slightly different. Do you want bread in yours, and if so, what kind of bread do you use, if not, do you add pancake/baking mix; is yours vegetarian or do you add meat and if so, sausage or ham... and on and on... and on.

So with all those options at my fingertips, you'd have thought that I could have found something suitable to serve my out-of-town guests this weekend - but I struggled, really struggled. And finally I decided I was going to have to take matters into my own hands.

Sure in the past I've tweaked a recipe here or there - omitting salt or adding my own seasonings. Nothing we all haven't done before. But this morning I am proud to have served, and incidentally loved, my very own creation - based on a number of different casseroles I found all jumbled together. Turns out they all liked each other a whole lot.

Spinach, Sausage, and Cheese Strata
adapted from The Dinsmore House

1 lb ground sausage of your choice
1 (10-oz) package chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1 ½ cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
cooking spray
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed cheesy rolls (I found mine in the "oops we overbaked" aisle)
2 c shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 c shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 c milk
10 large eggs
2 TBSP Dijon mustard

Brown sausage, breaking it up with a spoon. Add onion and squeeze-dried spinach when sausage is halfway cooked. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, nutmeg and cook while stirring for 1 minute.

Spread half of bread cubes in a coated 3-quart baking dish and top evenly with half of the spinach-sausage mixture. Sprinkle with half of both cheeses. Repeat layering (ending with cheese).

Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard and remaining salt and pepper in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata. Push down on the bread to make sure the egg mixture thoroughly soaks it otherwise the top will turn to toast. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

Let strata stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake strata uncovered in middle rack of oven until puffed and golden brown. Cook through for 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

makes 8 servings

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE breakfast casseroles. Eggs and cheese are two of my best friends. This looks great! I just might have to try it!


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