Saturday, 22 August 2015

Slow Cooker Strata

I'm a bit behind on my blogging. I just haven't been feeling like writing up my recipes after dinner this week. So now I've got a bit of a backlog. I'll start with the most recent experiment, breakfast this morning, and work my way back through the week.

This recipe makes a huge amount. I mean, I'm not really surprised seeing as the recipe called for a dozen eggs (among other things), but still! Huge! I'd make a few tweaks next time, but overall, this strata was pretty tasty, if large.

Slow Cooker Strata
Slightly adapted from Cook's Country June/July 2015
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
12 oz. breakfast sausage (I used maple flavoured)
2 onions, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced chipotle in adobo + 1 tsp. adobo sauce
2 Tbsp. garlic paste
2 tsp. cumin seeds
14 oz. baguette, cut into 1/2" cubes (this took ~1 1/2 baguettes for me)
2 blocks lactose-free jalapeño cheese, grated (generous 3 c.)
12 large eggs
3 c. half-and-half
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
4 scallions, sliced thin

1. Sauté onion, bell pepper, and sausage, breaking up sausages if you were not able to get bulk sausage meat.
2. Add chipotle, adobo, garlic paste, and cumin seeds and cook for another minute or so.
3. Stir in baguette.
4. Grease slow cooker with butter.
5. Place half of bread mixture in slow cooker. Sprinkle with 1 c. grated cheese. Place remaining bread mixture on top.
6. Beat eggs with half-and half. Add salt and pepper.
7. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Press down on bread to submerge. Top with remaining cheese.
8. Cook on low until internal temperature registers 160F. Let stand, uncovered, for 30 minutes, sprinkle with scallions, and serve.

I think I'd halve the recipe next time, change up the cheese, and add a few more veggies just to round things out a bit.

Smaller Slow Cooker Strata
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
6-8 oz. breakfast sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
227g cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1" lengths (optional)
1 Tbsp. chipotle in adobo + 1 tsp. adobo
1 Tbsp. garlic paste
1 tsp. cumin seeds
7 oz. baguette, cut into 1/2" cubes
2-4 oz. cottage cheese
1 1/2 c. half-and-half
6 large eggs
1/4 tsp. pepper
2-4 oz. mozzarella, grated
2-4 oz. extra-old cheddar, grated
4 scallions, sliced thin

I'd sauté the mushrooms and asparagus with the sausage and other veg. Mix the cottage cheese into the bread mixture. Dump the bread in all at once and then top with a combination of mozzarella and cheddar. (Mozzarella for meltiness, cheddar for flavour.) I've also deliberately excluded the salt in this version because I found the original to be just a bit too salty for my taste. It's easy enough to add a bit more salt at the table if you find it a bit flat without it.

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