March 18, 2008

Easter feast...

I'm a big fan of brunch! Something salty, something are a few recipes for the upcoming holiday.

Sausage and Cheese Strata
12 oz hot Italian sausage, casing removed
3 1/2 c (do not use low-fat or nonfat)

8 large eggs
2 t minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
11 slices white sandwich bread (about 1 lb), crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c fresh grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 oz)
1 c (packed) grated mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz)

1/4 c cheddar cheese

Prep: Sauté sausages in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to paper towels and drain well.
Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk milk, eggs, thyme, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend. Add sun-dried tomatoes, sausage, bread, onion and Parmesan cheese and stir to blend. Transfer to prepared dish. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake strata uncovered until puffed and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella and cheddar cheese and bake until mozzarella melts, about 5 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool 5 minutes and serve.

Blueberry Bread Pudding
2 c whole milk
2 c whipping cream
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c granulated sugar
7 eggs
2 T brandy
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 t vanilla extract
8 c cubed challah bread, cubed (can use raisin challah bread instead)
2 c blueberries

Prep: Mix milk, cream, sugars, eggs, brandy, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Add bread cubes and stir lightly until all bread has been moistened. Let soak for 30 minutes. Add blueberries and pour into a buttered 9 x 3 x 12-inch baking dish or in individual ramekin's. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350°F. until golden brown and nicely puffed.

To complete the feast, depending on the size of your group, add any/all of these recipes:
Champagne Punch
Crab cakes with green onion and dill
Garlic roasted potatoes
Glazed ham with pineapple mustard
Shrimp butter toasts
Spinach Salad with oranges and almonds
Strawberries with lemon sugar and lavendar syrup

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