Strawberry Strata: A Sensational Brunch Recipe
Strawberry Strata is a delicious brunch creation that meets both of these requirements.
Stratas are kind of like a breakfast bread pudding. And like crepes, they come in both savory and sweet form. For example a savory strata can be made with ingredients like jack cheese, sausage, mushroom, or spinach. A sweet strata can be made with any kind of berry, or if you want to improvise, other sweet toppings as well.
A Strawberry Strata seemed ideal because strawberries are delicious and sweeter than other berries one might consider putting in.
The recipe came from the Giada De Laurentiis section of foodnetwork.com. The level of difficulty for making the strata is easy, but it takes a long time to cook. It would be a great item for Easter brunch because it serves many, is easy to prepare, and the family has time to hunt for Easter eggs while it is in the oven.
Now when you access the recipe online don’t freak out by the area that says total preparation time is 25 hours, that counts overnight time if you want to prepare it the evening before and leave the concoction in the freezer until morning. Don’t do this, because it won’t be as good as freshly made. Preparing the mixture in the morning only takes about twenty minutes anyways, so time shouldn’t be an issue.
Ingredients from the recipe that shouldn’t be alter are: eggs, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, whole milk, honey, and cinnamon. Ingredients that should be altered are the berries and the bread.
The recipe will call for frozen strawberries that have been thawed and drained. However, it’s just as easy to purchase fresh strawberries, which obviously will taste better. Pus, rinsing and slicing them only takes a couple minutes. The other ingredient that should be altered is the kind of bread used in the strata. The recipe asks for a loaf of ciabatta bread, but the dish will come out tastier with a whole loaf of buttermilk white bread. Note: that’s a whole loaf, not sliced.
Before you begin. preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To prepare, mix the cheeses, eggs, milk, strawberries, honey, and cinnamon in a bowl. Then carefully cut the crust off the bread loaf. This takes the most time in the recipe. Then cube the bread and stir it into the rest of the mixture.
The recipe does not ask you to grease the dish, but you should. Use margarine, or butter if you would prefer, to grease the glass casserole dish and then pour the mixture in. Cover the dish with tin foil and cook in the oven for 45 minutes. After that time has passed remove the foil from the dish, increase the oven’s temperature to 400 degrees, and bake for another 30-35 minutes.
When the strata is ready it will turn golden brown and rise in the oven like a soufflé, making it quite impressive-looking. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
At last it will be time to try your delicious and dessert-type creation. I recommend serving some sliced fresh strawberries on the side and a generous helping of whipped cream as well. Then, enjoy! This is a truly wonderful brunch item that you will definitely love.
Reach staff reporter Geanna Crisanta here