Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spinach and Cheddar Strata

The same day I made the muffins  for our tournament team meeting, I also decided to make something else for our brunch.  While muffins are great, they aren't quite filling.  We also happened to have - not exaggerating - about 4 loaves of stale bread sitting out on the counter.  Mark and I have gotten obsessed with Rose32 Cafe in Hardwick; we go as often as we can and buy tons of breads.  They are sooo good, and they do stay fresh fairly long, but a family can only eat so much bread!  We ended up with way too many leftovers loaves going stale on the counter, so I decided to try to find a good way to use them up - and thus I came across Martha Stewart's spinach and cheddar strata.

Talk about an easy brunch item!  You wilt some spinach, and try to press out all the liquid from it.  Then chop up some old bread, and put it with the spinach into ramekins.  Then you mix up eggs, milk and cheese, and pour that mixture over the bread and spinach.  Bake 20 minutes, and you've got brunch!  I was happy with how easy and quick it was; you are eating these in under 30 minutes, which was good since my tournament teammates were waiting and hungry! 

One thing I did which I think made these even more delectable was that I used potato rosemary bread.  The addition of the rosemary flavor to everything else was a great idea. 

In the end, they were very popular!  Christy said she couldn't wait to see the recipe here and try it out herself.  And she had been full when she got here, but she ate it anyway because it was so good ;)  Even Mom liked it, and she doesn't even like spinach.  So: quick, easy, and delicious- what more can you ask for in a breakfast item?


spinach and cheddar strata

from Martha Stewart

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces spinach
3 cups day-old bread cubes (1 inch)
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk (I used 2% and it was fine)
1 1/4 cups grated sharp white cheddar (3 ounces)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add spinach and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain, pressing with a rubber spatula to release as much liquid as possible. Divide bread and spinach among four small, shallow 8-ounce baking dishes.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and 3/4 cup cheese. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Divide mixture evenly among baking dishes and top with 1/2 cup cheese. Set dishes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until set in middle and golden brown on top, 20 to 25 minutes.

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