i’ll admit it yet again, i was one of those gals who hated mushrooms without even trying them. i would pick mushroom out of my lasagna and turn up my nose to them at the farmers markets. but then that day where we had them on a road side stand pizza place in napa… my opinion changed. however only until recently did i start actually cooking with them myself. i’ve been obsessed with trying out the new varieties i’ve never seen before at the farmers market. there are different mushroom vendors at holland, fulton and muskegon farmers markets and all have variations in variety. for this recipe i found pink oyster mushrooms. they looked like hunks of coral from the bottom of the ocean but they had a meaty substance to them that tasted like ham. i know it sounds crazy but they really did. you could substitute other oyster varieties or similar like portebello.
i had about half a loaf of sourdough left over from the day before and it got kind of dried out so i thought it would be perfect baked into a strata. the denser/dryer the bread the longer i like to to let the egg mixture soak through. you can even you sandwich bread if you are in a hurry. the best thing about good ol casserole type dishes is that it’s easy to substitute and ad-lib ingredients. so if you don’t have the exact cheese/bread etc that i used feel free to sub in! just as long as you have some kind of bread, some kind of veggie and some kind of egg mixture you can make strata. the only rules here are that there are not rules.
here is what you are going to need.
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 lb of fresh pink oyster mushrooms or like mushroom, washed, dried and chopped if needed
8 cups of dry, cubed bread. i used old sourdough
2.5 cups of milk, i used lowfat
1.5 cups of half and half
6 large eggs
1 cup of chopped chives
2 tbsp of fresh thyme
5 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
2 cups of fontina cheese, shredded
4oz of soft goat cheese
2 cups of parmesan
- preheat oven to 350 and melt butter in a sauté pan. gently sauté until tender. add salt and pepper and set aside to allow to cool.
- in a large bowl soak the bread with the milk. set aside. i let mine sit at least 30 minutes.
- in a separate bowl stir together half and half, eggs, chives, thyme and garlic and goat cheese (crumbled)
- scoop half of the bread mixture with a slotted spoon and layer the bottom of a sprayed or buttered 9×13 baking dish. top with half of the mushrooms, half the cheese and half the herb mixture. repeat until all ingredients are used.
- bake uncovered about 1 hour until golden and slightly puffed up. allow to set 5 minutes and serve.