Wild mushroom breakfast strata would be a perfect dish for your New Year’s Day brunch. You might have noticed that I dropped off the blogging radar for a few days right around Christmas. Everything was fine – I was just relishing my vacation time, cooking just for the hubby and me, quilting, and reading. I’ve done lots and lots of reading. It’s been glorious. However, with the new year around the corner, I’m ready to get back to sharing my recipes.
I made brioche for Christmas this year. Brioche is an egg-y, buttery, beautiful bread. It turns out that it’s probably easiest to make it with a stand mixer. But since I don’t have one, I risked some shoulder stiffness to hand knead my dough. It was totally worth it. My brioche braid was beautiful, soft, buttery, and amazing for grilled cheese sandwiches and eggnog french toast. However, three days after Christmas, and I still had half a loaf left.
I’ve been thinking a lot about food waste lately. While I’m not likely to make it a full out resolution for the new year, I do want to be more conscientious about leftover food this year. We do compost, but I want to be even more thoughtful. I came to this realization last night as I was yelling for the dog to leave alone the critter that was raiding our compost pile at midnight. Critter got away – could have been a possum, raccoon or vole. Regardless, waking the neighbors at midnight is not cool. We’ll be building a real compost system immediately. And I’m going to be more conscious of the veggies we toss out.
All of this made me want to do something amazing with my brioche leftovers. I opted for a wild mushroom breakfast strata. In addition to the brioche, I had a handful of wild chanterelles in the fridge, along with leftover bacon. The resulting strata is creamy and tastes perfectly decadent. What a great way to start the new year!
- 8 - 9 wild mushrooms or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cups stale bread crumbs (from a sturdy loaf of bread - challah, brioche, etc.) Cut the bread into 1 inch squares to make the bread crumbs.
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3- 4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled into pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick pan. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is lightly caramelized and the mushrooms are soft. Set aside.
- Add the eggs and milk in a bowl and stir.until frothy and combined. Add all but 1/2 cup of the cheese and stir. Lay the bread in a single layer in a 9 x 13 pan. Pour the egg/milk/cheese mixture over the bread and stir until all the bread is coated. Stir in the bacon and onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. (I found just a pinch of salt was more than enough). Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
- Refrigerate the strata for at least thirty minutes. Alternatively, it can be refrigerated overnight. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Broil for 2 minutes to brown the top.
- Serves 6. Enjoy!