By Melissa Clark, The New York Instances
I did not develop up consuming a whole lot of casseroles, and the primary occasion of my household’s vacation breakfast was bagels and lox. So the primary time I got here throughout a breakfast casserole at a Christmas shindig, I used to be skeptical. The place was the Nova and whitefish salad? Or a minimum of the espresso cake and French toast that I related to events till midday.
One chunk of that gold-topped pot, nevertheless, set me straight. Bits of crispy melted cheese speckled the floor, and inside had been creamy, savory bread cubes scattered with sausages and chives, flavored with sage. It jogged my memory a little bit of Thanksgiving stuffing, however tastier, and higher with espresso.
Maybe better of all for our host, it was capable of be absolutely assembled earlier than the New 12 months’s Eve festivities started. The following morning, whereas the morning espresso was brewing, he merely positioned the chilly pan within the sizzling oven. An hour later it was a effervescent, burnt imaginative and prescient on the desk. Really easy, filling and particularly enjoyable after an evening of heavy champagne ingesting, it made me a breakfast casserole from that time on.
The essential formulation is extraordinarily forgiving. So long as you retain the spine of the bread soaked in cream, you’ll be able to garnish it nevertheless you want: sausages, bacon, greens, herbs, various kinds of cheese, no matter you want.
For this layer, I went meatless, choosing a mixture of brown, earthy mushrooms and subtly candy squash. Then I seasoned all of it with sage, which works properly with these winter flavors, and added a pinch of crimson pepper flakes to imitate the burn of a sizzling Italian sausage. For the cheese, I used a traditional mixture of delicate, milky mozzarella and sharp parmesan for richness and depth.
Breakfast casserole recipes name for quite a lot of breads, from feathery brioche to crusty sourdough. The lighter the bread, the extra puffy and ethereal the pot; the denser the bread, the heartier and richer it’s. Right here I went for the medium model, a plain baguette. However be at liberty to make use of no matter bread you have got, so long as it is not too mushy, which may intrude with the creaminess.
Put it collectively prematurely, then bake it when friends come over, whether or not it is for a vacation brunch or brunch, or perhaps a cozy dinner. Simply rebrand it as a vegetable casserole and serve it as a facet dish, or make this beautiful casserole the star.
Mushroom-Butternut Squash Strata
By Melissa Clark
This golden-topped layer has a savory mushroom and butternut squash filling that provides it a fancy, earthy taste. Mozzarella provides a gentle richness, whereas Parmesan provides the whole lot a kick of saltiness and depth. Refrigerate the layer for a minimum of eight hours (and ideally in a single day) earlier than baking. This enables the bread to absorb all of the cream. Then, as soon as it is baked, run it beneath the broiler to crisp up the perimeters and provides it a pleasant pop. It is an important primary dish for a vacation breakfast or meatless dinner, or a hearty grilled hen or fish dish for dinner.
Profitability. 8 to 10 servings
Complete time. 1 1/2 hours, plus chilling
- 3 tablespoons further virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 1 pound blended mushrooms, reminiscent of cremini, white, shiitake, and oyster, minimize into 1-inch items
- Tremendous salt and freshly floor black pepper
- 1 cup chopped shallots (3 to 4 massive shallots)
- 1 1/4 kilos butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped recent sage
- 1/8 teaspoon crimson pepper flakes, extra if wanted
- 8 massive eggs
- 1 1/2 cups entire milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (or use 2 1/4 cups half-and-half as a substitute of milk and cream)
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 12 ounces baguette, minimize into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
1. In a really massive (12-inch) skillet (or Dutch oven), working in batches so the pan does not overcrowd, warmth 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add mushrooms and cook dinner, stirring sometimes, till properly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Switch to a big mixing bowl and season frivolously with salt and pepper.
2. In the identical skillet (no want to scrub), warmth remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add shallots and shredded squash and cook dinner, stirring, till shallots are golden brown and squash is tender, 15 to twenty minutes. (If squash begins to stay to pan, sprinkle with a little bit water.) Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, sage, and a pinch of crimson pepper flakes. Switch the mushrooms to the bowl, tossing gently to mix.
3. Butter the underside and sides of a 9- to 13-inch broiler-safe baking dish.
4. In one other massive bowl, whisk the eggs till clean. Stir within the milk, cream, 1/4 cup Parmesan (save the remaining for the topping), 2 teaspoons salt, crimson pepper flakes, and a beneficiant pinch of black pepper. Stir completely to mix.
5. Stir within the mozzarella, about 2/3 of the squash and mushroom combination, and the bread cubes till properly coated. Pour the bread combination into the ready baking dish in a good layer. Sprinkle remaining pumpkin and mushroom combination on high. Refrigerate, coated, till the bread has absorbed all of the liquid, a minimum of 8 hours or in a single day.
6. When able to bake, preheat oven to 350 levels. Prime slices evenly with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes till set. (It might puff up a bit.) Broil it for 1 to three minutes to brown the highest, watching carefully. Let it relaxation for 10 minutes, then serve it sizzling.
This text initially appeared The New York Instances.
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