breakfast strataYesterday I decided we were in desperate need of a proper weekend. NO work. Zero. Zilch. The last two weekends were quite full, and our only break was Saturday afternoon. The next two weekends (wait, make that three) will be even busier. Next weekend I have a press event (I’ve been invited to try out a new restaurant, trust me, it’s work) and the one after that I will be in Amsterdam with a designer and photographer who are flying in from London for a special photo shoot (more on that later). Halloween weekend will probably be spent writing about the experiences of the weekend before. Geez, I’m in need of a break just writing this!
Anyhow, back to that ‘proper’ weekend, which to me implies comfort food, good wine and lots of couch time with my dog Pastis. The little rat. You won’t believe what he did yesterday, by the way. He went on a barking fest while I was on the phone conducting an important interview. Have you ever heard the bark of a dachshund? Little dogs, major bark.

When hubby came home, we went food shopping for dinner. The three of us decided we wanted a meal of yummy bits n’ pieces: some smoked sausage, ham, a terrine, garlic toasts, olives, hummus, etc. I also got ingredients to make a strata for breakfast. I love the idea of prepping the evening before and then simply having to warm up the oven the next day! Breakfast bakes while I sip cappuccinos! Great, no?
The strata came out really well, and was an excellent way to clear my freezer of leftover bread. I am sharing the recipe with you today and hope you’ll give it a go. Highly recommended if you have people staying over.
But before I sign off, guess what I’m making tomorrow?  Ossobuco and risotto alla milanese! A recipe from the cookbook of the lovely Nicoletta Tavella, Cucina di Casa Mia. I have a beautiful Barolo to serve with that and OH man… I just can’t wait!
Have a happy weekend!

Breakfast Strata
Serves 6

  • 250g bread, cubed
  • 100g smoked ham, sliced
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 8 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 100g grated Gouda, divided
  • 6 eggs
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • fleur de sel and freshly grated pepper

Lightly grease a shallow, oval casserole of about 27cm. Mix the bread, ham, scallions, sndried tomatoes and 3/4 of the cheese in a large bowl and transfer to the dish. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, smoked paprika and salt and pepper. Pour this over the dry ingredients and top with the rest of the cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, take the dish out of the oven while you preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the strata for 50-60 minutes and leave to cool slightly before serving.

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