Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brunch Strata with Arugula & Pear Salad

Prepare ahead brunch strata served with an arugula & pear salad that will wow even your most picky guest! 

Quick and easy how-to video:

Baked Brunch Strata
Perfect for the holiday season; a make ahead brunch dish to wow even the most picky house guest!
4 eggs + 4 egg whites
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
4 cups cubed bread
1 large package spinach wilted (or I box frozen chopped spinach thawed)
1 cup peas
2 cups smoked ham cubed
1 ½ cups Swiss cheese grated
3 slices bacon cooked and crumbles
1 cup mozzarella shredded
Wilt the spinach by placing in microwave safe bowl; cover with cling film.  Poke two holes in the plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool drain by squeezing well.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard pepper and rosemary.  Add the ham and Swiss cheese then the cubed bread and combine well.
Place ½ of the bread mixture in a baking dish, top with spinach then peas.  Cover with remaining bread mixture and pat down with a spatula.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes in preheated 375 oven.  Uncover and top with bacon then mozzarella and return to the oven, uncovered for 20 minutes.  Let rest for 15 minutes prior to serving.

Blue d’Auvergne Cheese & Pear Salad
Serves 6 for Appetizer/Starter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 slices bacon
2 fresh pears
8 ounces arugula
4 ounces Ile De France Blue d’Auvergne cheese

Prepare a vinaigrette by mixing together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Set aside to let the flavors blend.
Set a large frying pan over medium heat.
Cut the bacon into 1 inch slices and put into the hot frying pan.
Sauté the bacon pieces until crisp.
Remove bacon and place on paper towels to drain.
Drain all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease from frying pan.
Core the pears and then cut into ½ inch circular slices.
Sauté pears in remaining bacon grease over medium high heat turning once, until edges are slightly browned.
Remove from the pan let drain on paper towels.
Spread arugula over a large platter and drizzle with ½ of the vinaigrette dressing.
Layer the pear slices over the arugula.
Top with bacon pieces.
Crumble the Ile De France Blue d’Auvergne cheese over the salad.
Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.

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