Sunday, May 9, 2010

Class Notes: Saturday Planning for Simple Cooking ... Bread Recipes

Saturday Planning for Simple Cooking with Sue Walker
Easy Strata
This is another one of those assemble the night before breakfasts.
  • 1 pound each of prepared meat and vegetable (optional) OR 1 pound each of 2 prepared vegetables (optional)
  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper
  • 12 slices fluffy white bread or whatever is on hand
  • 12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

Directions: Saute mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt, and set aside. Whisk half-and-half, eggs, salt and pepper until smooth. Spray a 9 x 13 inch Pyrex or ceramic baking dish with vegetable cooking spray.

Line bottom with 6 slices of bread. Scatter half of the ham, and half of the mushrooms over the bread, then sprinkle with half of the scallions and cheese. Pour 1 cup of egg mixture over the top. Repeat layers with remaining bread, ham, mushrooms, cheese and scallions. Slowly pour remaining egg mixture evenly over top. Cover with plastic wrap, then weigh down casserole with (3) 16 ounce cans for at least 15 minutes to submerge ingredients. (Can be refrigerated overnight, but return to room temperature before baking.)

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven until custard is just set, about 50 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil until strata is spotty brown and puffy (watch carefully), about 5 minutes longer. Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes, then serve immediately.

Blueberry Strata

This is wonderful with croissants. It makes a nice bread pudding type dessert too.


  • cooking spray
  • 1 loaf French bread, cubed...or whatever bread is available
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups milk

Blueberry syrup:

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Directions: Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place 1/2 of the bread cubes in dish; top with 1 1/2 cups blueberries. Scatter cream cheese over berries. Cover with remaining bread cubes. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, maple syrup, and milk. Pour egg mixture over bread in pan. Cover and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake strata, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes. While strata is baking, prepare the blueberry syrup. Combine sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; cook for 5 minute. Pour in remaining 1 1/2 cups blueberries; continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Serve warm over slices of the strata.

Garlic Croutons

These are great with leftover chicken or salmon in a Caesar salad


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 (3/4 inch thick) slices French bread, cut into cubes

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add bread cubes, and toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp and dry. Check frequently to prevent burning.