Friday, January 1, 2010
New Year's (Game) Day Brunch
Look people, this is no time for sleeping in. Oh no. There are bowl games to be watched. Specifically, there is the Northwestern vs. Auburn Outback Bowl. We've been following Northwestern all season via the Big Ten Channel. For anyone else who has had the Big Ten channel experience, you must be familiar with the 8 BILLION ADS FOR QUESO.* These ads remind us that without queso, we will not be able to get our game day started. Every week this is a concern for Ryan. He wants Northwestern to win** and therefore wants our game day started, however he's pretty scared of the idea of microwaving Ro*tel and Velveeta for 5 minutes. Having a mother born in Georgia, I share none of these fears and would be up for the queso challenge. Though I think we both agree though that today's 11am kickoff is a bit early for queso***. So I've promised brunch. I'm making a strata from my brand-new Bon Appetit cookbook.
It's got cheese and jalapenos, so I'm hoping it will be a suitable substitute.
*yes, I'm aware that true queso is made with real cheeses and purportedly delicious. That's not what we're discussing here.
**clearly there is no link between our personal consumption of Rotel/Velveeta queso and Northwestern's performance if they made it to a bowl game.
***if Northwestern loses today, it is possible it will be blamed on the lack of queso.
GAME DAY CHEESE STRATA
1 cup milk
salt and pepper (maybe 1 t salt and 1 t pepper?)
1 C grated Monterey Jack cheese tightly packed (I used a few T of cheddar in there, I would have used more but we're almost out of cheddar)
3 T sliced green onion (I used 2 scallions)
2 t chopped jalapenos
2 cups white bread, cubed (about 3 slices) - I couldn't get real bread from the bakery last night because they were closed, and rather than use regular white bread I bought Pepperidge Farms dinner rolls. I used three, first cut them in half and then in smaller cubes. I hope they're dense enough to not become total mush.
Preheat your oven to 400F. Lightly butter a 9" pie plate. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk and salt and pepper. Add the cheese, onion and jalapeno and and stir well. Toss the bread cubes into the mixture and and when they are coated, transfer to your pie dish. Make sure everything is evenly distributed and then press gently on the bread to help it absorb the custard. Let it sit a few minutes, pressing down again if necessary to help the bread soak up the liquid. When you feel the bread has soaked up what it can (maybe 3-5 minutes) put it into the hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and the top is crusty. Slice and serve with salsa. It is very floppy coming out of the pan, so a sturdy spatula would be helpful.