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Silky Egg Strata – Girls’ Brunch Style

Rich and silky, this was the perfect egg casserole for our recent Girls’ Brunch.  The cheese is decadent, but sauce is what makes it a strata.  It is definitely worth the extra effort.  This dish easily adapts to other fillings and cheeses and can be made to suit a variety of tastes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 loaf french bread, cubed
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, shredded
  • 4-5 ounces pancetta, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 scallions sliced

Directions

  1. Spread bread cubes in a well buttered 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and drizzle over bread cubes then sprinkle evenly with cheeses.
  2. Fry pancetta in a medium sized frying pan until it is brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels, blotting to remove excess oil and set aside.
  3. Remove some or all of the fat from the frying pan, if desired (I just leave it in! Mmmmm!). Melt remaining butter in pan then add shallots and garlic. Sauté vegetables until lightly browned. Sprinkle flour over garlic mixture and whisk and cook until butter is lightly browned. Whisk in broth and wine and continue whisking until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Mix 1 cup of sauce into beaten eggs stirring until well blended. Then add remaining sauce and stir until combined then add red bell pepper. Pour egg mixture evenly over baking pan making sure to cover all bread cubes and spread vegetables evenly. Sprinkle with pancetta and scallions. Cover and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.
  5. Let strata stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake strata for 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and mixture is set. Serve immediately.

Lightly Adapted from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/creamy-egg-strata-50400000119178/

KT’s Comments

  • Next time I will probably use 3-4 shallots and 3-4 cloves of garlic.
  • You could easily substitute other vegetables. This would be good with sautéed sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
  • No easy way to make this vegan or gluten or lactose free, but you could easily leave out the pancetta and substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth for a vegetarian dish.

Silky Egg Strata - Ready to Bake

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