I’m still here. I haven’t forgotten about this blog and I haven’t stopped cooking either. I’ve just been absent and it’s time for me to do my makeup homework. I would apologize to my readers, but I’m not entirely sure I have any. I mean that in all lightheartedness. This blog has never been about who reads it and who doesn’t, it’s a personal project and a personal commitment. Lately it’s been important for me to remember to just keep moving forward because these past two years surely have been draining. Last year it was the year of layoffs and wedding planning. I can’t think of another combination of words in the same sentence that could evoke more stress. And beyond that it’s been a year of false starts, both internal and external. There’s been those good times too. Like our three week honeymoon to the other side of the world, yet I shouldn’t mention that it left me with three weeks of jet lag. And knowing when I came back from our lovely honeymoon that there was a long list waiting for me. And what’s that saying? Long lists never get done. That could not be more true. So in the spirit of long lists, I will begin posting my back log of what I’ve cooked, starting with a spinach and cheese strata.
This recipe made a lot of food. It was nice and convenient to have around for several mornings of reheating, because cooking in the morning is a chore and usually not something I do. Next time I’ll make sure I have Dijon mustard on hand. The aioli garlic mustard I used instead was not the best addition, otherwise, this one’s a win in my book.
1 10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed, squeeze of all excess liquid, and chopped
1 large finally chopped onion
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)
2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère
1 cup finely grated parmesan
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
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.
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.
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.
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.