This is Food Day on the blog, you you know Strata is going to turn out to be edible. Appropriately enough, today’s Google Doodle celebrates Nicolas Steno, the father of stratigraphy (the geological kind).
Strata means layers, and the kind of strata I’m writing about today is another term for “layered casserole”. They’re very good and they’re very easy, which is why I say they rock, although you can make them as complex and difficult as you choose. I’m sure Nero Wolfe and Fritz Brenner would take three days to plan one, a month to gather the ingredients and a week to construct it. And Archie would call it a relapse and get disgusted and quit and …. If you haven’t read any Nero Wolfe mysteries, do so.
ANYWAY, the strata I make has a bread base, an egg-and-milk body and something else. Very versatile. Here’s the one I made the other night:
- two pieces of leftover, stale bread, broken into small pieces
- two eggs, lightly beaten, in a measuring cup
- milk added to bring liquid level up to 1 cup
- spicy brown mustard to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- grated cheese
Butter a small casserole. Put in the bread. Thin the mustard with a little of the egg mixture, then re-combine with the rest of the egg and milk. Add salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Sprinkle on the cheese. Let sit until the liquid is absorbed by the bread. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. [NOTE: The knife should be clean when it goes in, of course.]
Now, you could put a layer of mushrooms, spinach and/or other vegetables over the bread and egg/milk. You could use spices or herbs to vary the flavor. You could do a layer of sausage or ham or bacon or chicken.
You could make a sweet strata by starting out with sweet bread and adding fruit and/or nuts and cinnamon or nutmeg or any favorite spice.
Here’s a link to a collection of strata recipes at AllRecipes.com. Enjoy!
WRITING PROMPT: A character finds something unexpected while digging.