Monday, December 31, 2007

Skillet Strata

Before I share this delicious recipe, I wanted to point out that I've added a couple of things to my sidebar. I've added a search feature, so that you can search this blog and I've added a cookbook library. I know I've said that I'm not really big on cookbooks and don't have very many, but I've found that I'm using them more and more lately. I'm also adding labels to my sidebar for any cookbooks I post recipes for.

On to the recipe.....

I got 2 cookbooks for Christmas and one was Cook's Illustrated's The Best 30-Minute Recipe. I had not had a chance to hit the store since we returned from our Christmas trip, so when I flipped through it on Thursday, I was pleased to find a recipe that not only sounded yummy, but we had everything we needed on hand.

I love stratas, but you usually need to plan ahead since most require a soaking period. This recipe intrigued me because it's a strata that does not require an overnight stay in the fridge and because you start it and finish it in the skillet. So not only is it quick, it's a one dish meal - bonus!

The Cook's Illustrated recipe lists several variations to their skillet strata - it was the spinach variation that caught my eye. The recipe calls for 5 slices of quality sandwich bread - we used leftover sourdough scraps.

Digression alert! (Side story: On our way home from Virginia on Wednesday, we stopped at Panera for lunch. Panera serves a piece of sourdough baguette as a side to most of their sandwiches, salads and soups. We often don't have room to eat this yummy bread, so I told everyone to save their bits of leftovers, knowing I'd be able to use them for something - even if it was just to make breadcrumbs. Then this recipe popped up the next day. So, save those scraps of bread - you never know what you might be able to do with them.) End of digression.

Skillet Strata
The other changes I made were to substitute skim milk for whole, sub scallions for onion, cut down on the butter, and to use smoked mozzarella instead of smoked Gouda. No problem. That's the beauty of recipes like these - you can use whatever breads, cheeses, vegetables or meats you have on hand. The cookbook also recommends several variations, leaving out the spinach and using 1 small onion, chopped: sub 1 cup of cheddar for the mozzarella; 4 slices of bacon, omit thyme, use pepperjack cheese and 2 scallions; 8 ounces of sausage and 1 cup Gruyere.

The results were quick and tasty. It's so nice to know that we can have strata on a last minute impulse.


  1. This looks great!

    I'm jealous that you had smoked mozzarella instead of smoked Gouda... I wanted to make mashed potatoes with smoked mozzarella last week and could only find smoked Gouda at the store!

    I'll be sure to try this one!

  2. Elisabeth - I think smoked Gouda would make a good sub for smoked mozzarella.

  3. I just did a strata with Gruyere Cheese and Spicy Italian Sausage. I posted it on my blog. Come take a look if you have a chance and let me know what you think. Love the blog, really love the pictures and the dog is awesome. I have a golden myself.