Thursday, June 16, 2011

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata

The magazine Cooking Light is offering an amazing deal right now, where if you buy one subscription, you get a second for free. My lovely aunt was kind enough to give me the second subscription and I got my first magazine in the mail this week. Granted, you can see almost everything that is in the magazine online as well. But there is something to be said about seeing the pretty pictures and the recipes in person. Somehow, it gives me a better sense of how the dish will actually turn out. This dinner really did not disappoint. It was easy, delicious and unbelievably hearty. It was a real winner and definitely something I will make again.

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata
Adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped shallots (about 1 large)
  • 1  (10-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried herbes de Provence
  • 1 3/4  cups  non-fat milk
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 4  large eggs
  • 1/3  cup  (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2-3/4  (1-pound) loaf whole wheat or multi-grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese, divided
How It's Done:
First, I cut up the bread. When using bread in any savory recipe, it's usually easier to let the bread be a little stale. This loaf had sat out for a day. It's juts easier to cut. Also, using a serrated knife is a must.

Since my loaf was 22 ounces, rather than the 16 the recipe called for, I discarded the ends of the loaf (or the butt as my family calls it) and then sliced off the bottoms of the slices. Because I was using a multi-grain bread, the crust is a little tougher, so I decided that I wanted to discard the bottoms so there wasn't too much crunchiness.

Then I sautéed the shallots for two minutes. Next, I added the garlic and the artichoke hearts and cooked for another 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, I whisked together the milk, eggs, pepper and salt.

Once the artichokes were done, I added in the herbes de Provence and stirred, then let the mix cool for about ten minutes.

Once the artichoke mix had cooled, I added it to the Parmesan and bread in a huge bowl and then poured in the liquid. I stirred everything together until all bread pieces were covered in liquid and let it sit for 20 minutes.

Then, I spooned about half of the bread mixture into a 8x8 baking dish that I had previously sprayed with cooking spray. I sprinkled half of the goat cheese over the bread, then spooned the rest of the bread mix into the dish. I had to mash it down a little bit as I went to make sure it fit and all of the whole were filled.

I then sprinkled the rest of the goat cheese over the top and baked for 50 minutes at 375.

After 50 minutes, this is what the strata looked like. It was absolutely delicious!

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