corn, cheddar and scallion strata

strata1

A few weeks ago I mentioned that Charles was headed back to school to get his Masters. His classes have since started, and every Wednesday he has to drive down to John Hopkins for one of his classes. I find it incredibly hard to conjure up the motivation to cook a full meal only for myself, and so I usually just graze on nights where he isn’t home. I decided to be proactive last week, and made up this strata when I saw it on a perfectly timed post from Smitten Kitchen. Not only was it full of cheese [something that Charles can’t eat], but it also can be made ahead and frozen. I kept the recipe basically the same, but didn’t really measure out my cheeses [I used my food processor and cut off a big hunk of each to shred] and added a bit of nutmeg for flavoring. I probably ended up with about 1 cup total more cheese, which I have reflected in the recipe below. If you haven’t had a strata before, it is like a combination of mac and cheese and French toast. I found it to be extremely filling, so I was able to get 8 portions out of one recipe. Now on Wednesdays all I have to do is reheat it and pour myself a glass of wine.

strata2

Corn, Cheddar and Scallion Strata

 slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups corn // I used frozen and let them thaw while I assembled the rest of the ingredients
  • 1 ½ cup thinly sliced scallions (both white and green parts)
  • 8 cups whole wheat, country, or French bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  •  2.5 cups coarsely grated sharp cheddar
  • 1.5 cup coarsely grated parmesan
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 ¾ cups milk
  •  Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  •  Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Combine the corn and scallions together in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine the cheese in another bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, gently beat eggs and mayo together, then whisk in the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  5. Spread approximately 1/3 of your bread cubs into the buttered baking dish – it won’t cover the bottom completely, so don’t worry.
  6. Add approximately 1/3 of the corn and scallions, then 1/3 of the cheeses.
  7. Layer bread, corn and cheese.
  8. Repeat the bread and corn, but reserve the cheese.
  9. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the strata. Top with the remaining cheese.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day. [I made it the night before and cooked it when I got home from work the next night]
  11. When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake strata, uncovered, until puffed, golden brown and cooked through, about 45 minutes -1 hour. If it starts browning too quickly before it is cooked all the way through, cover loosely with tin foil for the remainder of the baking time.
  12. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes: It will keep baked in the fridge for up to 4 days or can be cut into pieces and frozen. I found that letting it cool in the fridge firmed it up enough to cut into individual portions, then wrapped those in foil. After they were frozen solid and I didn’t have to worry about them squishing, I moved the foil wrapped packages into a large freezer bag for an extra layer of protection.

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