Monday, September 28, 2009


Delicious! Remember when I got all excited about frittatas and the possibilty of party sized eggs for dinner? This is like that in heaven. I'm trying to make all my own bread here to avoid sesame scares, save money and structure my seemingly endless "down time" -- I'm two for two weeks, more on that later, but the last loaf got stale before I could eat infinity smoked salmon sandwiches from impossibly cheap trader joes salmon. Damn, and now I want more. Anyway, strata! They use up stale bread and are also so filling and delicious, I am now convinced they will become a fixture of my new Californian cookery. Also that you can throw some "what do i do with these veggies?" veggies in the mix, or a not so healthy version with cream and sausage, if you want to go the heart attack be damned church social type route. The NYTimes first gave me the idea here- and this is basically the recipe I used. Lemme break it down for ya.

1 lb fresh (by the way, the la jolla farmers market was described to me as small and it's basically the size of union sq, I guess there's some farmland in between
those strip malls after all) tomatoes
Half a loaf of stale bread or a stale baguette
4 eggs
2 cups milk (skim worked fine)
Molto thyme and basil and garlic
Whatever cheese you have kicking around- I had mozzarella, times guru recommends gruyere

Slice the bread- if it's too hard to get a knife through, soak it in water and wring it out. Holy great recession, batman! Wringing bread??? It works, near with me.

Now toast the bread and rub both sides with a raw clove of garlic. Slice the tomatoes into, uh, slices.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Layer bread and tomatoes in a bakin sheet of pan or what have you, throwing some cheese and the leftover garlic in there, also salt and pepper, naturally.

Beat up the milk and eggs and herbs in a bowl, then pour that on top. Make sure it's all covered and kind of dense, especially if you are weird about eggs. Get all artistic with the top layer of tomatoes, while youre at it.

Pop that baby in the oven for 40-50 minutes, when it's done, it should be custardy and much more than the sum of its parts. My computer is in the shop so photo evidence forthcoming, but I've been chowing down in this for the past 4 meals and I'm ready to go back for a midnight snack... Now.

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