This post is all about layering.
First, with Fred:
Yesterday at Tammy & Matthias’ house we watched a recent episode of the Daily Show where they called in Fred Schneider of the B52’s to guest voice some segments of the audiobook version of Scott McClellan’s Bush Administration exposé. Then today I stumbled across this excellent mashup involving two bands of yesteryear I rather dig. Take a listen:
Secondly, the recipe
Leek, Sun-dried Tomato and Brie Strata
1 lb. leeks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
5 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (we used Grana Padano)
6-8 thick* slices firm white sandwich, Italian, or French bread, preferably one day old (we used a baguette)
12 oil-packed sund-dried tomato halves, drained, patted dry, and quartered
8 ounces (300 g before de-rinding) Brie, rind removed
This first part is for those who don’t yet know their way around leeks and getting the sand out of them. If you’ve done this before, skip to the next paragraph.
Trim root ends from leeks. Trim off darkest green tops. Peel off and discard any wilted or discolored outer leaves. Halve or quarter leeks lengthwise. Rise leeks well under cold water. Place in a bowl and fill with cold water. Repeat process at least twice to remove any sand from between layer, drain and pat dry. Cut into thin slices; yield should be about 4 cups.
Lightly coat a 9-inch (square) baking dish with some butter and set aside. Melt remaining butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt to taste and a grinding of pepper, remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until foamy. Whisk in milk until blended. Add Parmy goodness, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grinding of pepper.
To assemble strata use half of bread slice to make a single layer in prepared baking dish, cutting them, if necessary to fit tightly. Spoon leeks evenly over bread. Distribute sun-dried tomatoes evenly over leeks and top with brie. Use remaining bread slices to make a second layer, once again cutting to fit, if necessary. Pour egg mixture evenly over top of strata, using a spatula to ress on bread so liquid is evenly absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours, or overnight. Preheat over to 350°F. Uncover strata and bake until puffed and browned, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 12*.