Recipe: Traveling Murphy’s Spicy Strata

My husband works Saturday so Sunday is our only morning to enjoy a hearty brunch together. We used to enjoy checking out all the local restaurants with their crazy Bloody Mary specials and Eggs Benedict dishes. Recently I have been feeling creative in the kitchen so we started experimenting with brunch using ingredients from the farmers’ markets and neighboring farmers. So here is one of my recipes that was a big hit. Keep in mind this packs quite a bit of heat so make sure you serve this to the right crowd.

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*This dish needs to sit at least two hours but I recommend over night.

Spicy Strata 

Ingredients:
1 T Unsalted Butter
1 tube of Chorizo,  oz
10 Chives, thinly sliced
1/2 Onion, diced
1/2 c Pickled Jalapenos, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/4 c Red Pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 c Cilantro, chopped
4 c Baby Spinach
6 Large Eggs
1 1/2 c Half-and-Half
1 t Kosher Salt
1 t Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 t Cumin
1/2 t Ground Black Pepper
8 Slices of Bread, chopped into cubes (I used gluten-free bread)
4 ounces Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded

Directions:
1) Butter 8-by-8 inch baking dish and set aside.

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2) Cook the chorizo over medium heat until it starts to turn crispy. Then remove the chorizo and put aside for later. Do not rinse the pan.
3) Put the butter in the pan over medium heat and melt it. When the butter is completely melted add the chives, onion, peppered jalapenos, red peppers and cilantro. Let the vegetables saute until they are soft. This took me about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook it down for another 5 minutes. Then set asides the vegetable mixture.
4) In a medium bowl mix the eggs, Half-and-Half, kosher salt, red pepper flakes, cumin and ground black pepper.

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5) Now you start the layers! Put a layer of bread cubes in the bottom of the baking dish. Next put half of the vegetables followed by half of the chorizo. Next pour half of the eggs over everything then add 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat these layers one more time. It is important to make sure all of the bread is covered. You should have 1/3 of the cheese left. Put this cheese in a container or zip lock because you will top the strata in a couple of hours or in the morning.
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6) Cover the dish with plastic wrap and then place two cans (this can be any of they vegetables you have in your cupboard) on top of the dish. This is going to make sure that all of the bread is soaked through with eggs and spices. You will want to let the strata sit in the fridge for at least two hours but I recommend letting it sit over night.

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7) When you are ready to cook the strata take it out of the fridge and let it sit for 20 minutes.
8) Preheat the over to 325 degrees.
9) Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the dish. Then you are ready to bake it!
10) Bake the strata for 40-45 minutes. The edges of the dish will start to puff up and pull away from the sides.

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11) Let the dish sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with cilantro or sour cream/Greek yogurt, as desired.

This is one of our favorite brunch recipes so I hope you like it. Spicy Strata pairs great with a Mimosa or glass of sparkling wine. I do not recommend a Bloody Mary because this dish has enough salt and spice you will need something refreshing to pair with it. Enjoy!

 

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