Sunday, January 30, 2011

Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Strata

Alright. I'm going to break even with you. This isn't a diet blog. It just can't be. There are too many delightful recipes that use whole milk and butter and goat cheese, and...well, I would feel wrong keeping them to myself. So, just stick by the *everything in moderation* motto, or spend your cookbook reading time on the elliptical, as I am known to do from time to time. This strata is worth it.

My boyfriend's mother found this recipe and kindly shared it with me. The best part about this recipe (besides its rich flavor) is the fact that you can make most of it the night before--in fact, you should. You can pull it out the morning of your brunch, pop it in the oven and enjoy time with your guests, instead of slaving away in the kitchen and missing the whole party. Did I mention it is divine? 

Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Strata

18 slices thick white bread (I use Italian bread)
6 ounces prosciutto, sliced thin
8 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces provolone
1/4 chopped green onions
6 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

5 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are letting the strata sit overnight, obviously save this step until morning.

Crumble goat cheese and shred or tear provolone. Cut all crusts off of the bread. Arrange a layer of bread in a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Evenly spread half of the cheese, onions, basil and prosciutto over the bread layer. On top of this, place another bread layer. Top the second bread layer with the remaining cheese, prosciutto, basil and onions. Cut the rest of the bread into 1/4-inch cubes, and sprinkle the cubes over the top. 

In another bowl, mix eggs, milk, mustard and salt together in a medium bowl. Use a whisk and be sure to break up the yolks and evenly distribute the mustard and salt. Pour the egg mixture into the glass baking dish, making sure to distribute evenly. Use a spatula to press down on the top of bread cubes, making sure they soak up the egg mixture. Melt the butter and drizzle over top.

At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the strata overnight (or for a few hours). Or, if you're serving the strata the same day you make it, let it sit for at least 30 minutes so the bread layers have time to absorb the egg mixture. 

Place the strata in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you refrigerated the strata overnight, bring it to room temperature before popping it in the oven. Cook, uncovered, for about an hour--until the center is set. Remove from oven and preheat broiler. Put the strata under the broiler until the top is golden, this should take 30 seconds to 1 minute. Cut into squares and serve.  Serves 9. 

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