Thursday, January 10, 2013

Spicy Strata (Vegetarian)

Spicy Strata (Vegetarian)
(4-6 servings)


1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter & extra for buttering dish
6 medium Scallions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
8 oz. Fresh Asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
6 large Fresh Eggs
1 ½ cups Half & Half
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Ground Cumin
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
½ lb. loaf French Bread, sliced ¾ inch thick
1 ½ cups Shredded Jack Cheese
½ cup Pickled Jalapenos, rinsed & coarsely chopped
½ cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
for garnish, Sour Cream & Avocado slices


Butter an 8x8 baking dish and set aside.  In a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat melt the butter.  When it foams, add scallions and cook until just softened, about one minute.  Add asparagus and cook until bright green and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.  In a large bowl whisk eggs, half & half, salt, cumin and pepper until well combined.  Arrange half of the bread in bottom of prepared dish.  Sprinkle with ½ cup of the cheese and half each of jalapenos, cilantro and asparagus mixture.  Pour over half of egg mixture.  Repeat layering with remaining bread, another ½ cup of the cheese, remaining jalapenos, cilantro and asparagus mixture.  Pour remaining egg mixture over top.  Sprinkle strata with another ¼ cup of the cheese and push to ensure bread is submerged in the egg custard.  Cover with plastic wrap, put a plate and a 1 pound weight on top and place in refrigerator overnight.  Pull strata 20 to 30 minutes before putting oven to come to room temperature.  Top strata with remaining ¼ cup of the cheese and place dish on middle rack in a 325 degree pre-heated oven and bake for about 45 minutes.  Or until puffed and edges pull away slightly.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.  Top with cilantro, sour cream and avocado for garnish.

Note:               You can double recipe and put in a 9x13 inch baking dish if you have a larger crowd.  It will take a little longer baking.  Baking time may be between 1 hour and 1 ¼ hours.  Insert a knife in middle and it should come out clean when done.

Note:               You can adjust the amount of jalapeno pepper up or down to meet your heat threshold if desired.

Ideas for Future Efforts

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