My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stratas for Fun and Easy Brunches

Maybe I got a little carried away with the Baked Lobster Omelet, but it is wonderful. Stratas are much more budget friendly and equally as good.

The word "strata" from the Latin, simply means horizontal layers of any material. In the cooking world, stratas are layers of bread, cheese and other tidbits, covered with a seasoned egg mixture and allowed to mellow in the refrigerator. This works out well for breakfast or brunch. You prepare the strata the night before. The next morning just pop it in the oven. Serve with fresh sliced fruit, hot rolls, muffins or croissants.

Here is one of my favorites. Feel free to create your own.

Chili Relleno Strata
Serves 6

6 slices of white bread (day old is best) lightly buttered
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheeses
1 1/2 cups Jack Cheese
1 4 ounce can diced green chiles, more if you like
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
Salt and pepper to taste (House Seasoning is best)
1 teaspoon cumin seed or powdered cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

Place the bread in a shallow baking pan (11 x 7 1/2 x2-inch or close), buttered side down. Sprinkle the cheddar over the bread. Next sprinkle the Jack over the cheddar and finish with the chilies.

In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the milk and seasonings. Blend well and pour over the bread and cheese layers. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours or overnight. Bake uncovered in a 325 degree oven about 50 minutes.

COOK'S NOTE: This can easily have a 1/2 - 1 cup of your favorite cooked sausage crumbles added.

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