It was a long weekend, but I still was excited to make a new meal…that is until I realized I forgot the main ingredient in my Strata….
For dinner tonight, I decided to make a Broccoli Rabe Pesto Strata and homemade biscuits. The dinner started off rocky when I realized I did not buy enough basil for the pesto, but thankfully Ryan ran to the store for me and bought more. So, while Ryan was out buying the basil, I started making the biscuits. I was trying to do about three things at once, and not having the basil really threw me off. I got a little flustered and was hurrying to get dinner finished because it was getting late and everyone was hungry. I finished the pesto and even though I didn’t have enough basil, it was pretty good.
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2/3 cup whole milk
Preheat the oven to 450°. Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter.
Ina large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With your fingertips, rub the cold butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, handling it as little as possible. Stir in the milk and blend with a spoon just until all the liquid has been absorbed. With lightly floured hands, work the dough briefly until it barely holds together in a flaky ball.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll or pat the dough out into a round about 1/2 inch thick. With a 2-inch biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out as many rounds as possible. Father up the scraps, work into a cohesive ball, re-roll, and cut out more rounds. do not re-roll the dough more than once, or you will end up with tough biscuits. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Broccoli Rabe, Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella Strata
3/4 lb broccoli rabe, thick stems removed
5 slices sourdough bread, about 1/2 inch thick, crusts removed
1/4 cup pesto
1 1/2 cups shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup heavy double cream
4 large eggs
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and blanch until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain immediately and rinse under cold running water until cool throughout. Gather into a ball and squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop the broccoli rabe coarsely.
Generously grease a 7-by-1 inch or similar-sized baking dish, and place about 2 1/2 slices of the bread in the base, cutting as necessary to make an even layer. Spread the broccoli rabe evenly over the bread. Add the pesto in dollops, spacing them evenly. Scatter with half of the smoked mozzarella and top with the remaining bread, again cutting to fit.
In a large bowl, combine the milk, cream, eggs, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a generous grinding of pepper. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Pour the custard mixture over the bread and use the back of a large, flat spoon to press the bread down into the custard mixture. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Press the bread down into the custard after about 15 minutes, and again just before placing in the oven.
Sprinkle the top within the remaining cheese. Bake until puffed, golden, and crisp, about 45 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.
The biscuits were pretty easy to make and I was happy to just put them aside. I was so excited the pesto turned out (I have never made pesto before), I got a little over zealous and quickly finished the Strata. I put it in the oven and just relaxed. After about 30 minutes I got up to check on the Strata and started to get a little anxiety. I couldn’t figure out why I felt like I did something wrong, so I got out the cookbook and realized….I forgot the egg mixture. The main part of the dish, and I just didn’t make it. The strata was already cooked, but I decided to add the egg mixture with more bread and more cheese and put it back in the oven at a higher temperature for about 20 minutes.
Thankfully, it turned out great! I had redeemed myself in the kitchen and couldn’t believe it actually turned out, and tasted pretty good! My biggest fan, Alyssa, loved it! It’s so nice cooking for her because she just LOVES my food (you’re the best and I’m glad you found your key).
Another day in the kitchen, another adventure, and many more lessons! Excited for another adventure this week…just waiting for my inspiration.