Easter brunch ideas
Today I invited a friend for brunch. She’s not a big meat eater, and this being a Friday in Lent, I opted for a meatless meal. I’ve had in my files a recipe from “Bon Appétit Magazine” (circa December 1997) for Cheddar Cheese and Red Bell Pepper Strata. A strata is a breakfast casserole made with bread and eggs, while a frittata is a thick egg omelet that contains vegetables, cheese and sometimes meat. For this recipe you’ll need butter, red bell pepper, green onions, white bread, grated sharp cheddar cheese, whole milk, eggs, Dijon mustard, dry mustard, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Early this morning I cooked the green onions and bell pepper. While they were cooking, I lightly buttered five slices of white bread and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces. In a lightly butter casserole, I placed a first layer of bread, followed by half of the grated cheese and half of the vegetable mixture. I repeated the process again. In a medium size bowl, I mixed the eggs with the Dijon mustard, dry mustard, salt and pepper. This was poured over the mixture. Mine sat in the refrigerator until it was time to bake, which is done in a 350° oven for approximately 45 minutes. When the top is brown and the center is set, remove and let it stand 10 minutes before cutting. The recipes serves four to six people. As my husband was joining us, I prepared breakfast sausage I purchased from Palmer’s Quality Meats in Neptune City, NJ. To round out the meal, I also had a fruit salad I purchased at my local food store. Everyone enjoyed the strata. It was light and had lots of flavor from the combination of vegetables and sharp cheddar cheese.
If you are looking for other do ahead recipes for an Easter brunch, may I suggest the following:
If Easter brunch isn’t in your plans, may I recommend a recipe by Genevieve Ko of The New York Times for Honey Ham. From my post of last year regarding this recipe, “it develops a crusty coating, but not too sweet. Oh, my goodness was this fabulous! Everyone loved the ham; it was different and very delicious.”
I am also going to bake some bunny shaped Unfussy Sugar Cookies from food blogger Deb Perelman for my grandchildren.
Cheddar Cheese and Red Bell Pepper Strata
“Bon Appétit Magazine” December 1997
Serves: 4 to 6
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 medium-size red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped green onions5 slices white bread
1-1/2 cups grade sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups whole milk
3 large eggs,
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoo salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 1-1/2 tablespoons butter in a heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper to skillet and sauté until just enter, about 4 minutes. Mix in green onions; sauté 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.
Spread 1-1/2 tablespoons butter thinly on bread. Cut bread into 1/2 pieces. Layer half of bread in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Cover with half of cheese then half of bell pepper mixture. Repeat laying with bread, cheese and bell pepper mixture. Beat milk, eggs, Dijon mustard, dry mustard, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend. Pour over strata.
Bake strata until lightly browned on top and set in center, about 4 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into squares.
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A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.