Monday, March 18, 2013

recipe: potato & rosemary strata

So many great things happened Saturday. For example: A dog came to hang out in my house.

That's Lily - isn't she sweet? She came to visit after the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Avery ran the race (yay, Avery!), and afterwards she came over to my house for brunch, along with Nathan, Lily and a few other friends.

Here's another shot of Lily, transfixed on a piece of food, no doubt.

The star of the brunch menu was a potato and rosemary strata. Because of the heaping amounts of various dairy products in this strata, I can't give you a first person review of this recipe, but, based on the reaction of everyone else, I'll put this in the "major success" category.

This is an America's Test Kitchen recipe. A couple of Decembers ago, right after Tony and I moved into our house, we hosted a Christmas brunch, and I made an ATK spinach strata, which also was a big success. So I had a lot of confidence going in that the potato and rosemary version would turn out well.

Potato & Rosemary Strata
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

  • 8-10, 1/2-inch slices of French or Italian bread
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 12 ounces medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 ounces (or 1 1/2 cups shredded) cheese - recipe called for fontina, but I used a combo of mozzarella and provolone
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups half and half

Dry out the bread in the oven. Arrange slices on a baking sheet and bake at 225 degrees for about 40 minutes, turning over halfway through. 

When cool, butter one side of each piece, using 2 tablespoons butter.

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Boil potatoes until just tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 4 minutes. Drain.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Add potatoes and cook until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

Add shallots and cook about 1 minute. Add garlic and rosemary and cook 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer potato mixture to medium bowl.

Add wine to skillet and simmer about 3 minutes until wine is reduced to 1/4 cup. Set aside.

Grease 8-inch square baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. 

Arrange half of bread, buttered side up, in a single layer. Sprinkle half of the potato mixture and 1/2 cup cheese.

Top with remaining bread, remaining potato and another 1/2 cup cheese.

In a bowl, whisk eggs, reduced wine, half and half, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.

Pour eggs over bread.

Cover strata with plastic wrap, and weigh down with canned goods.

(As you can see, there are many cans of black eyed peas in my house at any given time.)

Place casserole dish on a baking sheet to mitigate any spillage. (Lesson learned from that Christmas brunch.)

Refrigerate overnight. (Original recipe says to refrigerate anywhere from 1 to 24 hours.

In the morning, remove strata from the fridge and sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes until edges and center are puffed and the edges pull slightly away from the dish. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 9.

By the way, I made this strata to be gluten free, which was very easy. The only gluten-containing ingredient in the recipe is the bread, so I used a loaf of Against the Grain bread gluten-free bread instead, which was a seamless substitute. (Avery picked up the loaf and said she finds it at a specialty grocery store.) No one could tell the difference.

And since I included photos of a dog in this blog post, I'd feel bad if I also didn't include a photo of Victor. (Victor spent the party shut in the second bedroom to avoid any drama. Victor has met exactly two dogs in his life. The dogs see Victor as a new friend and are eager to come up and smell him. Victor sees the dogs as loud, large enemies that want to eat him. Things don't end so well.) So here he is, post-brunch, once the dog has left, sitting on the steps, still looking a tad bit terrified from the commotion.

1 comment:

  1. The strata was definitely a major success!! I'm stealing that recipe. Thanks so much for an amazing brunch!! And Lily absolutely fell in love with your house haha. All my thanks to you, Tony, and Victor.