Monday, 21 March 2011

Basil Cheese Strata from Lorri at Hennessey House

The other day on The 21st Century Housewife I blogged about our wonderful stay at the beautiful Hennessey House, and promised to share one of their recipes with you. The breakfasts we had at Hennessey House were wonderful, and the lovely cakes, cookies and treats that were always available on the antique sideboard in the dining room were just delicious. Lorri and her team are amazing cooks, and I’m grateful that she is also very generous about sharing her recipes.

The first morning we enjoyed sliced pineapple with a light and beautiful red wine sauce, followed by Eggs Florentine with fried potatoes. We were also offered delicious banana and chocolate chip muffins. The following morning, we began with lightly warmed brown sugar glazed grapefruit with a sherry sauce, followed by Basil Cheese Strata with asparagus, and blueberry muffins. Now I didn’t think I was a huge fan of grapefruit, but believe me, I am now. And as for Lorri’s Basil Cheese Strata, well, as I said yesterday, it is one of the tastiest breakfast dishes I have ever had. The other guests agreed and there were clean plates all round. We were all offered seconds, but the ‘firsts’ had been so generous only one chap accepted - and he cleaned his plate the second time too!

The wonderful thing about this recipe - which is vegetarian if you use vegetarian cheese - is you make it the night before and refrigerate it overnight so that you can cook it the next morning. As you can imagine, Lorri’s recipes are made to serve a number of people, but I don’t think I would be at all upset to have leftovers of this dish, which I am sure tastes very nice re-warmed. I have to say, I loved the asparagus served on the side, it was a wonderful compliment to this delicious dish.

Remember, you need to start the night before! To serve 10 people you need:

2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, chopped
½ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion*
1 - 4 ounce can mushrooms*
2 cups grated Swiss cheese (or use a combination of 1 cup grated Swiss cheese and 1 cup grated cheddar)
10 eggs
1½ cups milk
¼ cup pesto
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon white pepper
8 - 10 slices sourdough French bread, crusts removed
(enough to cover the baking dish in two layers)
*Fresh onions and mushrooms are delicious in this recipe. Sauté in olive oil before placing between layers of bread.

You also need one 9 inch x 13 inch Pyrex baking dish.

Spray the Pyrex baking dish with PAM spray (I will have to grease the pan with butter as I can’t get PAM in England) and arrange one layer of French bread in the bottom of the baking dish. It should be a tight fit, all spaces need to be filled by French bread.

Sprinkle the first layer of bread with the cheese and vegetables, alternating layers of cheese and vegetables. Add the second layer of French bread slices.

In an electric mixer, whisk eggs on high speed until frothy (about 5 minutes). Add the milk, pesto, Tabasco sauce and pepper and mix until well blended.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread.

Cover with foil that has been lightly coated with PAM spray and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 (about 175). Place the foil covered Pyrex dish in the oven and cook for about 1 hour until puffy and lightly browned. Remove the foil during the last few minutes of baking to brown the top of the bread.

Cut in slices to serve.

For more of Lorri’s wonderful recipes, please click here.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds so delectable and light at the same time. I can just taste it....wonderful recipe.


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