So I’m way behind on writing up the recipes. Between having company over the weekend, traveling to Dallas on Tuesday, and my laptop having a near fatal meltdown, I’ve had problems finding the time. So let’s travel back in time almost a week. I got up fairly early on Saturday morning before our guests arrived to put together the Breakfast Strata with Spinach and Gruyère. Except I had Havarti with Dill instead of Gruyère. I chose this recipe because it could be made 24 hours in advance. On Sunday morning all I had to do was throw the casserole in the oven and wait for breakfast.
The Saturday prep started by slicing Italian bread and toasting it in a low oven until it was crisp and dry. Then I sautéed shallots in butter, and then adding spinach. The strata is made by layering bread, spinach, and shredded cheese in a square dish. The recipe calls for an 8 inch square dish, but I didn’t have one. I had a 9 inch square dish or an 8 by 11 dish. I went with the 9 inch pan, but after I started building the strata, I realized the bread slices just weren’t fitting right and I was going to have large sections with no bread. So I switched to the rectangular dish and it worked fine. I had intentionally sliced more bread than the recipe called for, so the 8×11 worked out fine. The egg mix which you pour over the strata was egg, reduced white wine, and half and half.
After the strata was put together the recipe calls for weighting it down with a ziploc bag filled with 2 pounds of sugar. I didn’t have quite 2 pounds of sugar, but I used all of what I had. That caused some weird problems later when I needed sugar to make strawberry daiquiris and had to keep opening up my strata weight.
Almost 24 hours later exactly we cooked the strata. It was pretty much awesome. It tasted great, rich but not too rich, cheesy bit not overly cheesy. The bread was scarcely identifiable as such. It was nearly the texture of egg, but with a little better texture.
This is a fantastic recipe and I will totally repeat it if I need to feed a small group for brunch.