For this new “Brunches at Home” vein of posts I wanted to showcase how I enjoy brunch is a somewhat more personal and often more frugal way in our home. I like to cook and entertain, but am also lucky to have some great people invite me into their special weekend brunches. So I hope these posts will be a snippet of that portion of the brunches I love, with some entertaining tips and recipes to boot.
Like most twenty-something ladies on the interwebs, Pinterest is one of my greatest vices. I can sit and scroll and pin for hours a couple hundred ideas of which only ten may become useful to me one day. Occasionally though it does serve it’s purpose and I’m happy to find a little treat or craft I love and rave about.
This strata is one that not only do I enjoy, but almost everybody else does too. Especially hubby, who gets it as a treat on special occasions.
I first surprised hubby with this on a Valentine’s Day, maybe two years ago, while we living in separate places because he had just gotten a new job but we had yet to sell our condo. The six months we did this made our weekend times together precious, so I usually tried to devote some of my weekdays to cooking/prepping extra food to eat on the weekends or send hubby back home with. This Strata was one of those great recipes because 1. I could make it ahead of time 2. there was a lot and it was 3. easy to send back with hubby and of course 4. it didn’t really have anything my picky-eater hubby didn’t like.
The brilliant Breakfast Lorraine Strata turned out bubbly, bread-y, cheesy and delicious, but the best part to me is still how easy it can be. I usually break up the steps onto different days or over a couple hours the night before so I can watch my shows as I tear bread or chop tomatoes and onions. Having all my mise en place set before I cook just seems to smooth out a lot of cooking kinks as well. I do also find that prechopped ham and pre shredded cheese can save me a good bit of time as well. Sometimes (when its not a special occasion for him) I also put hubby to work on tasks such as cracking eggs.
In all fairness I do love to cook, and have slowly worked on my skills, but if you are looking for a medium level breakfast casserole to challenge yourself, this Strata certainly won’t hurt. As I said almost everyone else also likes it, which always makes a recipe a little easier to try. I have made it for company when they come to visit, for work pitch-ins and even holiday get togethers and the Strata never fails me.
I hope you try this recipe out and enjoy it with some great people. Until next time keep eating and drinking well with those you love.
Today’s Recipe: Breakfast Lorraine Strata
Prep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 85 minutesServings: 12
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- Kosher salt, to taste, plus 1 tsp.
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. (500 g) spinach
- 1 1/2-lb. (750-g) loaf sweet batard, crusts removed, bread cut
into 1-inch (2.5-cm) squares and toasted until dry (about 9
- 8 oz. (250 g) ham, diced
- 6 oz. (185 g) Gruyère cheese, grated
- 10 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml) half-and-half
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
In the same pan over medium heat, warm 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add half of the spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander. Repeat with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. olive oil and spinach. Using a rubber spatula, press out the excess moisture.
In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes, the caramelized onion, spinach, ham and cheese. Transfer to a 4-quart (4-l) baking dish. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, half-and-half, the 1 tsp. salt and pepper, to taste. Pour over the bread mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 16 hours.
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish and cover with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is browned and the strata is cooked through, 40 to 50 minutes more. Serves 12.