Saturday, April 29, 2006

stale bread from doodles

I could never get into the low-carb craze for one simple reason: I'm a sucker for a really good loaf of bread. Of course, even stale bread has an inevitable expiration date; wait too long to put your not-so-fresh bread to use, and mold and other tiny nasties will stake their claim, leaving you with no choice but to chuck the bread in the trash. This is where the freezer comes in handy. If you find yourself with a chunk of stale bread and no immediate use for it, just freeze it for later. Those butt ends of sandwich-style loaves, the ones that have a tendency to get pushed around and ignored until there's not another slice of bread left in the house? Those get added to the frozen stash as well. Just make sure to slice up any bread before you freeze it, as it's a lot easier to do so when the bread's at room temperature than when it's a big frozen block. Keep a ziplock bag in the freezer, freezing extra bread as you accumulate it, and you'll find you may never have to waste a slice of bread again.

Now living in Florida you must beat the mold. Eeeeewwwww gross I know. What I mean is let it get stale but use it before the humidity gets it or do what I have done in the past and let it dry out in the oven.

To participate in Is My blog Burning's food blogging event hosted by An Obsession With Food
the first thing that came to my mind was Tuscan Bread Salad -- Panzanella, although it is not one of my favorites so I decided to pass. I love brunch on Sundays so I thought I would work on a strata…………there are so many whew!!! hard to be original in that area. But this one is an adjusted version that I have made several times…and in several variations……….. if you try it ~ do enjoy!!!



after coming out of the fridge from it’s overnite stay

ASPARAGUS ~ CRAB and CHEESE STRATA
1 lb. fresh asparagus or 1 pkg. frozen asparagus
1 c. shredded crab meat
6 slices ciabatta bread crust on
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar and jack cheese
Butter

EGG MIXTURE:
5 eggs
1 tbls. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. half & half
2 tsp. Onion powder
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
pinch or 2 of red pepper flakes
3/4 c. jack & cheddar cheese, additional

Cut asparagus into 1" pieces, drop into boiling, salted water and cook rapidly for 4 minutes. Drain well. If using frozen asparagus, thaw and drain well. I use blackfin crabmeat from the seafood counter.If using canned crab meat rinse and drain. Fit bread into buttered 7'x11" baking dish. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese over the bread slices and distribute the asparagus and crab meat. Whisk the egg mixture ingredients together until blended. Pour over the layered ingredients, cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Bake, uncovered in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Top with additional 3/4 cup cheese and continue baking to allow cheese to melt for 10 minutes or until center is firm. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Serves 6 to 8....well maybe 4 or 5 if you are really hungry
Serves this with a tossed salad like baby spinach, toasted pine nuts a good dose of salt and pepper leghtly dressed with a very simple vinegarette. And of course a glass of crisp white wine would be perfect.
A good variation would be with ham or bacon, asparagus and use swiss cheese or fontina.

6 comments:

mooncrazy said...

Great brunch dish. I love the tip for freezing bread along the way. Maybe PBE's next topic should be tips.

Laura Rebecca said...

WOW, that sounds good!

Joe said...

I just did a strata with Gruyere Cheese and Spicy Italian Sausage. I posted it on my blog. Come take a look if you have a chance and let me know what you think. Love the blog, really love the pictures. I have a golden myself.

http://cookingquest.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/strata-with-spicy-italian-gruyere/

Thanks,

Joe

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