Today was the ING NYC Marathon, and guess what I did?!
I baked a strata!
(What? You didn’t think I was going to say I ran in it, did you? Really…)
So, the new apartment is on the Marathon route – about halfway along, and our neighbors downstairs invited us to their Marathon Brunch Party. They invite all their friends, hang out between the street and their apartment enjoying Bloody Maries and other brunchy goodness, and cheer on the tens of thousands of admirable marathon runners. They even go an extra mile and put together a rockin’ playlist that they blare out the windows of their apartment. Those runners loved them some AC/DC, I tell ya… It was a great way to be a part of the Marathon and a part of the neighborhood.
So I brought a strata, which is basically a breakfast casserole of eggs, bread, and whatever else you want. I took a recipe from Epicurious.com for a Spinach and Cheese Strata, and modified it to make it a Ham, Cheese, and Spinach Strata.
I bought a chunk of maple-glazed ham at the deli (asked him to slice me the thickest slice he could, which was about a pound), cut off the glazed part (it’s fine if you bake the ham yourself, but deli ham has a funny ‘skin’ on it…), cubed it, and fried it up a little in the pan before sauteeing the spinach. At yesterday’s Farmers Market, I bought a sourdough loaf and a regular ‘peasant’ loaf to mix, as well as fresh spinach to use instead of the called-for box of frozen spinach. I added shallots to the onions, added Fontina to the Gruyere, and substituted 3/4 c of the 2 + 3/4 c of called-for milk with half-and-half.
Put it all together yesterday, put it in the fridge overnight to soak (this is what makes strata strata…), and baked it this morning. It got rave reviews, and I have to say, I enjoyed it so much that I’m insisting I make it for Christmas morning, Big A.
I love putting my new kitchen to good use!
And I love not running a marathon…