It’s been a busy December, so the blogging has been lacking.  I did however cook many memorable meals this month.  Earlier this month, Beatriz had three of her best friends from law school come visit us.  We went out to eat around town, but before they left we hosted them over for brunch and made a strata.  A strata is a savory bread pudding type dish made with layers of bread (I assume that’s where it gets its name).

I researched some recipes, and adapted a variation.  The recipe was in Oklahoma Tex-Mex style, paying homage to my time at the University of Oklahoma and eating meals hung over at “The Diner” in downtown Norman.  My dish adds cheddar, bacon, Ro-tel, and green onions.

Tony’s OK Strata

6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 bunch of green onions
1 can of Ro-tel green chile and tomatoes (you can use spicy)
10-12 strips of glorious thick cut bacon, 3 tbs reserved bacon fat
1 package of Peppridge Farms thin sliced white bread
salt and pepper to taste
Tabasco to taste

Method: Heat oven to 375.  Place bacon on wire rack and bake until crisp.  Remove from oven and drain bacon.     Reserve a portion of bacon fat for adding to egg mixture.  Chop all but 3 slices of bacon and set aside.  Mix, eggs, milk, cream, bacon fat, Tabasco, and Ro-tel.  Season mixture with salt and pepper.

In a 9 x 13 casserole, layer bread, cheese, green onions, and chopped bacon.  Repeat until you reach top of casserole.  Sprinkle cheese on top along with whole slices of bacon.  Pour egg mixture and let soak.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerate overnight (I did mine 24 hours in advance and it was fine).

An hour before cooking, take the strata out of the refrigerator to get it to room temperature.  Bake in preheated 350 oven until poofy and golden brown, about an hour.  Let cool for about 10-15 minutes.  Slice and serve.


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