Friday, January 1, 2010

Spinach and Cheese Strata

I wanted to make this recipe as soon as I saw it on Smitten Kitchen.  I was not disappointed by it.  I accidentally ended up going a little light on the spinach, but it was still a delicious way to start the New Year.  I substituted fresh baby spinach for the frozen stuff.  I used 2/3 of a French baguette, which wasn't exactly 8 cups, but seemed to work out more or less.  Recipe below exactly as it appeared originally (except for the usage of grams!).

Spinach and Cheese Strata (from Smitten Kitchen) (from Gourmet)


1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed, squeeze of all excess liquid, and chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread in 1-inch cubes (1/2 lb)
170g coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
55g finely grated parmesan (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1. Sauté onion in butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and nutmeg and continue cooking for one minute. Stir in spinach, remove from heat and set aside.
2. Spread one third of the bread cubes in a well-buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other ceramic baking dish. Top with one-third of bread cubes,one-third of spinach mixture and one-third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice with remaining bread, spinach and cheese.
3. Whisk eggs, milk, mustard and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata. Cover with plastic wrap and chill strata for eat least 8 hours or up to a day.
4. The next day, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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