Wish Upon A Dish: Italian Strata Muffins

March 6, 2013

Italian Strata Muffins

The third recipe on my menu plan includes croutons. The Nudge dislikes any crouton, homemade or bagged. I like croutons but eat them so sparingly, making them from scratch is sometimes not doable for one serving so I always have a bag of store bought seasoned croutons in my pantry and I always buy them on sale. Nowadays there are brands of bagged croutons that are made well, so please forgive me but I do have valid reasons why I use them.

First, they never go bad and in a two person family that sometimes is a wonderful thing. They are so hard mold is even scared to go near them.
Second, they come flavored. I always go for the Italian choices. Garlic, Italian but not the cheese ones. I do have my limits.
Third, there are so many uses for them and in a pinch they can save your life. Allow me expound on that last statement.
The best reason.......grind for seasoned bread crumbs. I like to add them with panko.
Add to bean soup for instant Ribollita.
Toss with dressing and add to a salad for a Panzanella. I do not always have a hearty loaf of bread on hand.
Add to soups while simmering to not only thicken, but add flavor.
Use in a savory bread budding (or strata).

Did I do OK? Thanks.

This dish was the perfect use for the bottom of the bag Italian seasoned croutons. I was looking for a healthy alternative for breakfast on the go.
Added to an egg/cream mixture and baked in muffin tins, they are highly transportable, nuke really well and taste great. A cross between a savory french toast and bread pudding, it's ideal for breakfast on the go.
Two muffin stratas are under 300 calories and can be eaten out of hand. I dipped mine in ketchup (do not make a face, ketchup is a free food and I love it with eggs).

To reheat in a microwave, wrap in a napkin or paper towel and microwave for no more than 1 minute. The paper stops the bread from getting rubbery.
Another great Easter Brunch idea, mix in whatever foods you like. Italian Sausage, peppers or asparagus. It's all good.
Prepare the night before and cover and refrigerate, next morning just uncover and bake.

Italian Cheese and Egg Muffin Stratas
makes 6 (2 per serving)

* 1/4 shallot, minced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 25-28 flavored croutons (4-5 croutons per muffin)
* 1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
* 3 eggs
* 1 tablespoon minced ham
* 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 2 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded

1. Prepare a muffin tin with a release spray (I use my Misto with filled with olive oil).
2. Drop enough croutons into each section to cover the bottom.
3. In a microwave safe bowl, add garlic, ham and shallot. Cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
4. Mix eggs, milk, ricotta and parmesan cheeses together, add the microwaved and cooled ingredients, and pour into each muffin section right to the top.
5. Divide the Fontina into 6 piles and top each muffin.
6. If making the night brfore. Cover with plastic wrap and then tightly with foil, place on a cookie sheet and into the fridge.
7. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375° and bake until mixture is set and lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes.
Serve with sliced tomatoes, salsa or ketchup.

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1 comment :

Mary said...

I'd love to make these for my family. They really sound delicious and your recipe makes them very easy to do. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary