Friday, November 13, 2015

Bacon Cheddar and Spinach Strata – We’re Rocking the Breakfast Casserole

For such a simple dish, I sure have a lot of additional info to cover regarding the construction of this beautiful bacon, cheddar, and spinach strata. First of which, is the somewhat unusual name. Whoever invented this recipe apparently thought it looked like layers of rock, known in geological circles as, “strata.”

I guess it sort of does, and probably would a lot more, if we used a deeper dish, and did more layers. Regardless, even with just one layer of filling in the middle, you’ll still be looking at a gorgeous casserole, which should thoroughly impress your brunch guests…bottomless Mimosas or no.

As I mentioned in the video, if you want something a little eggier, a little more quiche-like, just simply increase the amount of egg custard used. As long as your pan is deep enough, you could as much as double the eggs and cream in this.

Speaking of the cream, this is a very rich dish, so you may want to cut the cream with milk. In fact, many people use all milk for this, but I do enjoy the extra butterfat the cream provides. As usual, let your conscience be your guide.

Above and beyond that, this recipe just begs for personalization. I’m not sure what your favorite omelet ingredients are, but I do know they would work in this, and work really well. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 12 portions:
1 pound loaf of day old bread, cubed
12 large eggs
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, milk, or any combination thereof
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
pinch nutmeg
1 pound bacon, sliced and cooked crisp
1 pound fresh spinach, wilted, and squeezed dry (or enough thawed, drained frozen spinach to cover one layer)
12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided (use 1/2 over the first layer of bread, 1/4 over the spinach, and the last 1/4 over the top layer of bread)
- Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes or until set. Then broil for a minute or two to brown the top.

11 comments:

Dan and Hilary said...

Thanks Chef John! I love having breakfast/brunch options for a group!

Looks amazing, never knew what this sorta dish was called. Can't wait to try!

Chris K. said...

I'm the Erik Estrada of my strata.

Erolunai said...

This looks amazing, and I really want to try this! Though I wanted to ask - I've been looking into making and freezing meals ahead of time, to make holidays easier on the family, would this be something you could freeze and take out later to bake?

Phil Lusardi said...

And we shall call it, "breakfast lasagne."

William DiStefano said...

Doing up a ham/onion/red pepper/spinach/cheddar one of these now for Sunday brunch.

smells awesome

Kali Dallas said...

Oh YUM!! Thanks Chef John!

I've been trying to think of a ham/spinach/cheese/alfredo type of casserole and this recipe has given me some new ideas.

Kathleen S said...

Eroulani,
I make a cheese strata every year for Christmas breakfast. Actually, I make 2 because we have lots of visiting relatives and people complain if there are no leftovers the next day.
We always make them mid afternoon the day before. I think the texture is better when it sits at least 24 hours and it takes the pressure off breakfast. All I have to do is let it bake as we open gifts, and it is golden and set about the time we are done.

Andy Zwright said...

Made it tonight but didn't have any spinach. So I sauté a handfull of mushrooms, 1 jalapeño, and a thin slided sweet pepper...... nice!

Scott Macaluso said...

I made a tray of these and brought them in Monday morning to the office. Two days later I got a raise. Coincidence? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
(Chef John, I'll mail you your cut)

rodentraiser said...

In the oven now - yeah, I'm a little behind with the recipes.

But I'm curious...after we mixed the nutmeg and the cream and the eggs, didn't we just throw eggnog into the bread?

LaneyHaney said...

Chef John, pardon me if I missed something, but what size baking dish is that? If I use an 11 X 15 (4.8 qt.), would I need to make any changes in the recipe? Thank you.