Wish Upon A Dish: Ham and Chorizo Strata

February 27, 2011

Ham and Chorizo Strata

I love good casseroles. I am not talking about opening a can of soup, adding noodles, some chopped or canned meat, a few frozen vegetables and cover it with cheese type casseroles. I mean the ones that use good quality ingredients, require a few gourmet steps to bring out the best flavors in those ingredients and the ones that have great taste.

If you are a pork lover, this strata is for you. Full of flavor and meat, it was a great way to use up old bread. I guess you could call it a savory bread pudding.

Downfall of this recipe:
Needs to be refrigerated for at least 4 hours or overnight before baking, so plan accordingly. I did not and had to put it off for another day when I had the time to let it sit for 4 hours.

Ham and Sausage Strata
serves: 6
* 1 baguettes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
* 1 celery rib, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (if using chorizo you may want to halve it)
* 1/3 pound sweet Italian sausages (about 2), casings removed, or, chorizo, cut into dice
* 1/2 pound smoked baked ham, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
* 1 andouille sausage (about 4 ounces), finely diced
* 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1/4 pound Gruyère cheese, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 2 cups chicken stock
* 3/4 cups half-and-half or whole milk

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the bread on a large baking sheet and bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp; shift the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through.
2. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and jalapeño and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 6 minutes. Add the Italian sausages and cook, breaking up any large pieces, until no longer pink, 8 minutes. Stir in the ham, andouille, thyme and salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
3. Add the Gruyère, Parmesan and bread to the meat. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, stock and half-and-half and add to the meat and bread mixture; toss until evenly mixed and moistened. Cover the strata with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 4-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Transfer the strata to the prepared baking dish and smooth the surface. Butter a large sheet of foil and cover the baking dish with it. Bake the strata in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, or until barely set. Remove the foil and bake for 45 minutes longer, or until the strata is bubbling and the top is golden and crusty. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

No comments :