Christmas Morning Strata
We’re dedicating this week to holiday breakfasts. So much attention gets paid to big dinners but if you’ve got friends or family staying with you over the holidays you need to have it all covered. If you’re hosting a brunch or just need an easy, substantial recipe for Christmas morning, I can’t sing the strata’s praises more enthusiastically. A little prep the night before and all you have to do in the morning is toss it in the oven. When your house is full of an amazing aroma, it’s done! – C.M.
My family was breakfast after presents on Christmas morning family. Ben’s was a presents after a late dinner Christmas eve family. Figuring out how we’re going to do it with our own kids hasn’t been easy. You just don’t know how much you care about these things until someone else wants to do it their stupid way. Kidding. Kidding! We’re in our own groove now with a bit of both and now that I’m almost over my fear of candles on the tree (yeah, not over my fear in the least), I’m starting to love Christmas eve. Staying up late, the anticipation, it’s all pretty great.
And after the kids are in bed, this is what I’ll be making: strata. It’s the perfect Christmas breakfast. You prepare it the night before, put it in the fridge and bake it while you’re opening presents. By the time the paper is cleared up the apartment will smell amazing and breakfast will be ready. We made it recently for brunch with friends and it was a big success. Here Hadden demonstrates how nicely it goes with blueberry pancakes and some fresh fruit.
1 bunch of baby spinach, washed and trimmed
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
glug olive oil
loaf of rustic French or Italian bread, cubed (you may not use the whole loaf)
1 cup Fontina cheese, grated
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
6 to 8 slices of Prosciutto
2 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
pepper to taste
Sautee onion and garlic over medium heat until they begin to soften. Add the spinach and stir to coat in the oil. Allow the spinach to wilt.
Spread one half of the bread cubes on the bottom of a high sided baking dish. Top it with half of the spinach mixture. Add a layer or 3 or 4 pieces of Prosciutto. Sprinkle half the cheese. Repeat.
Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard and pepper. Gently pour egg mixture over the bread. Cover is plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 375 degress. Take the strata out of the fridge while the oven heats up. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until golden. Cut into squares and serve hot (but it’s also excellent cold later on).
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