by Robert Booz
- BASIC STRATA BASE
- 1 1/2 cups milk, cream, crème fraîche, or some combination thereof (if you are using just milk, make sure it's at least 2%)
- 3 eggs
- 6 cups bread, cut into one-inch cubes (I like to use a country-style bread, or baguette, but anything really works. If it's stale, all the better.)
- Nutmeg, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Oil or butter for the pan
- As much as 3 to 4 cups of the following (in combination)
- Herbs, spices, cheese, mustard,
- Cook or uncooked vegetables (everything from fresh, thinly sliced carrots to canned tomatoes),
- Cooked meats (especially sausage, bacon or ham),
- Whatever else you can think of
- A COMMON STRATA FROM MY KITCHEN
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 cup wilted spinach
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup ham, diced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced and sauteed
In a small bowl whisk together your eggs and dairy; add a pinch of nutmeg, a few turns of black pepper, and salt to taste. This mixture should be on the salty side, let’s say a scant tablespoon. Pour over the bread cubes in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes and as long as overnight. If you are going to let it sit for a while, refrigerate it.
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
Mix in your other ingredients with the bread and custard. Pour it out into a well-greased baking dish and press it in lightly. Bake this in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dish has a golden brown crust on top.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings