Spring has sprung, which means it’s time for beautiful weather, baseball, flowers, and if you are Italian….sweet desserts and egg-tastic meals! In the past few years I have highlighted some of the most traditional Italian Easter dishes – hame pie (pizza rustica), rice pie and Easter bread. This year I’m highlighting two recipes that put an alternative spin on traditional dishes.
This week we’re making Strata, which is an egg-based breakfast meal. Similar to frittata, strata incorporates an egg batter with a choice of fillings including various meats, cheeses and vegetables. Unlike frittata, which is cooked in a deep-dish frying pan on the stove top, strata is baked in a 13×9 baking dish. There is also one additional key ingredient – a nice, crusty loaf of Italian bread, cut up into cubes. Assembly is quite simple. You do a layer of bread. then a layer of fillings, a second layer of bread, then finished up with the egg batter. Once baked, you end up with a hearty, delicious egg casserole that has the texture and consistency of bread pudding. The other beautiful thing about this dish is that you can prepare it up to 12 hours in advance. All you have to do when you wake up is pop it in the oven for an hour. It’s the perfect meal when you’re hosting a breakfast at your house. It leaves you plenty of time to sit, relax and share a cup of coffee with everyone else!
IT’S AN OMELETTE, RIGHT?
This is the question that I get asked constantly about frittata, ham pie and strata. In theory, yes they all can, and often do, share the same ingredients. But that’s where the story ends. An omelette is all about the egg. You simply top it with your choice of ingredients, then fold the egg so that everything is contained inside the fold. I love me a good omelette, but we have the rest of the year for that. This time of year is about incorporating the sweet and spicy meats and the rich and sharp cheeses into the egg batter to make it all one. … Continue Reading