I love brunch.
I also love entertaining.
It follows that I occasionally have the urge to combine the two. And while I sincerely enjoy having company over and cooking a somewhat decent meal for them, there’s only so far that I will go in terms of slaving away over a hot stove before noon.
So when I invited a few girls over to brunch at my apartment over the weekend, you can imagine that I was itching to find some ideas for dishes that were equally delicious and presentable as they were hassle-free.
I chose the breakfast strata as my star of the show. For the uninitiated, it is essentially a frittata with the addition of day-old bread cubes. And to make my dish a bit more special (and let’s be honest, a bit cuter- girls love cute things), I made the strata into individual servings with the use of a muffin tin.
Bacon Mushroom Breakfast Strata
serves 4-6 (makes 12 muffin sized stratas)
6 whole eggs
1 1/3 cup milk of choice (I used skim)
pinch of salt and pepper
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t garlic powder
2 T finely chopped scallion (or chives)
2 cups stale bread, cut into 1/2 in cubes (if bread is not stale, very lightly toast cubes)
3 strips of bacon
2 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
1 cup kale, spinach or Swiss chard (I used a bagged mix)
1/2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, spices and scallion. Whisk until well combined.
3. Place bacon in a skillet over medium heat and cook until crispy. Remove and chop into small pieces.
4. Remove all but 1 teaspoon bacon grease from skillet, raise heat to medium and add mushrooms and greens. Saute until greens are softened and mushrooms are tender and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
5. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and add 1/2 of the bread cubes, then veggies, then bacon and finally egg mixture. Repeat.
6. Distribute cheese evenly over muffin tins.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm and puffed. Let rest 2-3 minutes before gently loosening from tins with a spoon or knife and serving.
There may have been biscuits on the menu, too. Though, I in no way was about to make those from scratch. They came from one of those Grands tubes that you pop open and they were flaky, buttery and glorious.
I have to say, there’s something about putting bread IN your eggs that is special.
Ok, so clearly I love bread.
But it’s cool, we had some other stuff, too. My friend Amber brought over lots of fruit, I cooked up extra bacon and turkey sausage links, and Jenny brought sparkling wine for mimosas.
Fruit is good, mimosas are necessary.
Overall, a nice little brunch with leftovers to spare. You can also make the stratas ahead of time and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Anyone else thinking about what a good sandwich one of those stratas would make on a biscuit? Yeah, that might be happening tonight.