Now that we’re into the seventh week of the Dark Days Challenge (DDC), it seems like it’s getting easier to come up with local meals. Participating in the DDC has strengthened our commitment to buying sustainable, organic, local, ethical (SOLE) ingredients so there are more to choose from in the kitchen and pantry. This week I made an egg strata Friday night in order to be organized for an early departure Saturday morning.
The recipe was adapted from a thoughtful gift I received for my birthday from my cousin (Hi Brooke!) who was excited we were getting chickens and gave me an essential book for any chicken farmer called The Good Egg – More than 200 Fresh Approaches from Breakfast to Dessert by Marie Simmons.
A strata is a perfect way to incorporate things that need to be used up. In our case, it was some bread. I’m not in the habit of keeping bread in the refrigerator. Note to self: when you buy bread without preservatives, it needs to be used up quickly or kept in the fridge. I also used up some mushrooms, leeks, milk and Cougar Gold cheese that all needed our attention.
We ate the strata with some canned nectarines I put up in September. These came from Martin Family Orchards from the Mukilteo Farmers’ Market and turned out to be so delicious, I’m definitely doing it again next year.
Here’s the basic recipe for a strata:
Bread- half a loaf cubed, Snohomish Bakery
3 leeks, backyard
1 C. mushrooms, organic (location unknown)
1/2 C. Cougar Gold cheese, WSU
5 eggs, backyard
2 1/2 C. milk, Golden Glen Creamery
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, far
I sautéed the leeks and the mushrooms separately prior to putting them into the strata. I also whisked the eggs and milk together in a medium-sized bowl so they were ready for assembly.
Constructing the strata:
Layer half of the bread on the bottom of a greased 9″ X 11″ baking pan. Spread leeks and mushrooms on top of first bread layer. Crumble cheese over veggies. Finish with second layer of bread, then pour the milk and egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Salt and Pepper. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours, or over night, occasionally pressing down on top layer of bread so the milk and egg mixture will seep through the layers evenly.
Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, or until puffed and browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.