Thursday, January 28, 2010

Artichoke, Ham and Goat Cheese Strata

The word "strata" is derived from the word "stratum" which means a series of layers. A strata is a great way to use day old bread and works well for any meal. This recipe of the week is a good foundation - you can substitute different meats and cheeses with tasty results.

Artichoke, Ham and Goat Cheese Strata

8 cups 1-inch cubes sourdough bread
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 1/2 cups ham, small dice
12 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained, quartered
4-5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Grease a 9x13-inch glass baking dish.

Place bread cubes evenly in prepared dish and pour milk over the top. Let stand until milk is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with the herbs, ham, artichokes, goat cheese, fontina and Parmesan.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended; add cream, garlic, salt and pepper and whisk until well mixed. Pour egg mixture evenly over ingredients in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake, uncovered, for 1 ¼ hours, until browned and firm in the center. Allow strata to rest at least 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.


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