Monday, April 13, 2015

Caramalized Onion, Bacon, Cheese and Baby Kale Strata

Before I say good bye to winter, I must share my latest strata (last of the comfort food hopefully?). Remember, I live in New England and while a lot of the country has been enjoying comfortable temperatures, I made this dish 3 days ago when it was hailing on my way home from work. It's a simple fix, and I know you're going to like the caramelized onion/cheese/bacon/kale combo. Oh and the little tang of Dijon mustard is just perfect. Here's what you need to put this little darling together, and you don't have to be having a tough winter to make this, it's a great brunch entrée- hot out of the oven or served at room temp.

End of the Winter Strata
Serves 6

6 slices bacon chopped 1 inch pieces
1 T olive oil
2 medium sized onions chopped
1/2 cup Fontina cheese shredded
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbled
3/4 cup baby kale chopped
8 slices hearty white or Italian bread cut into 1 inch cubes
4 large eggs
1-3/4 cups milk or half and half
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 T unsalted butter melted

Let's do this with pictures. It will help me next year when I'm at my wit's end with cold weather. Yes, that might help!

Sauté bacon in a large pan.

When just about crisp, remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Save 1 T of bacon fat and place back in pan and add 1 T of olive oil. Add your onions and cook on low heat for at least 20-30 minutes.

Add a little salt and pepper if you like. I did. While onions are caramelizing, shred your Fontina cheese and crumble the Gorganzola. Now chop your baby kale, slice your bread, melt butter and prepare your egg custard. In mixing bowl or large measuring cup mix eggs, milk, mustard, salt, pepper and cooled melted butter.

Prepare an 8" x 8' baking dish with cooking spray and layer 4 of the sliced pieces of bread.

Add your cooked bacon, caramelized onions, cheese and kale.

Top with the rest of the sliced bread and add the egg custard. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about an hour.

Since I've been making strata's all winter, I've been reading up on the "setting-up in the fridge" time of this lovely dish, and I am of the belief that 1 -2 hours is all you need. Some say overnight. Sorry- I don't have time for that, and also...I don't think it bakes as well. Yeah, I'm a rebel. But try it my way, I think you'll be happy. So put this little dish of deliciousness in a 325 degree oven and bake for 50-55 minutes. Oh, you can also add a bit more cheese to the top. It is a farewell to winter right? Take a look. Imagine how good it tastes.

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