Hope you are having a terrific Tuesday! Here is a quick dinner I made for myself that is both healthy and indulgent. I added some of my oven roasted chicken (3/4 chopped breast), 2 boiled eggs, and 3 slices of chopped bacon on top of a generous serving of spinach. I topped with a few croutons and a tablespoon or so of dressing.
Ham, Spinach, and Cheese Strata
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
8 slices honey baked ham… deli ham, sausage, or even bacon would be delicious
1-2 packages of frozen spinach or 1 cup cooked fresh spinach- I had some leftover creamed spinach which I used…my girls are not big spinach eaters, so I eased up on what I may normally make for myself.
1 tsp. salt, divided
½ tsp. pepper, divided
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
6-8 cups bread, cubed in to pieces. The girls helped me break apart about 1 1/3 leftover Italian loaves
about 2 cups shredded cheese (whatever you have on hand…I used mild cheddar, mozzarella, and Gruyere)
2/3 cups grated Parmesan
2 1/2 cup milk
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and continue to cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the spinach and ham. Stir to combine, remove from the heat, and set aside.
Spray the inside of a 3 quart baking dish. Layer the bottom of the dish with one third of the bread cubes. Top with one third of the spinach and ham mixture and one third of each of the cheeses. Repeat these layers with the remaining ingredients.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, the remaining ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Whisk together until blended. Pour the mixture evenly over the layered mixture in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Bake uncovered until puffed, golden brown and cooked through about 45 minutes. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.
Happy Thursday my fellow food fanatics! Thanks for supporting me in my culinary adventures in the kitchen. Here is another food win… oven baked tilapia. This fish turns out moist and flaky and has a delicious crunchy parmesan coating that my family loves.
Oven Baked Tilapia
3 large tilapia fillets- almost 1 pound. On sale, it cost less than $6.
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 cups breadcrumbs (plain or Italian will do fine)
1 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoons parmesan
1 teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 450
Set up your 2 stations…
Station 1- milk and egg mixed together
Station 2- breadcrumbs, paprika, parmesan, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Take your fish and dunk in station 1 on both sides well. Then dunk in station 2. Add each piece to a oven safe dish that has been coated with your favorite cooking spray.
Cook for about 12 \minutes- 6 minutes on each side; flip halfway through. This all depends on the thickness of your fish.
I served with pan roasted brown butter squash (brown 3 tablespoons of butter and add squash with salt and pepper), spicy sauteed spinach (bunch of spinach sauteed in olive oil, a tablespoon of both butter and marscapone, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper), and couscous cooked in chicken stock.
Last night, I had a dream I cooked a perfect medium rare Porterhouse and ate the entire steak by myself, but there was no one there to appreciate my feat. So tonight, when I went to Publix to buy dog food, pool snacks, and try to find inspiration for dinner, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. You know how right when you walk in to Publix they have all their sales, which is usually some meats, veggies, and a potato or bread; good meal combinations, right? Well, there it was…a Porterhouse. On sale… A Porterhouse steak on sale. It must be divine intervention, right? A Porterhouse steak for under $10. The universe is telling me to live my dream. Challenge accepted!!!
So, I came home, fed the dog, and fired up my trusty cast iron skillet. I was not going to trust this incredible piece of meat to just any cooking apprentice. No, it has to be the king of all cookware. So once I was sure it was screaming hot, I placed my well salted and peppered steak into the pan. You have to hear that magic sizzle, a culinary symphony for the ears. Now, I like my steak medium rare, as stated per my dream. I kept it on the first side for 6 minutes. Do not touch the steak until the time is up…step away from it. Pour yourself a nice glass of Merlot, Cabernet, Shiraz, or maybe even a nice Chianti. Sip and relax. Then once you have finished about half a glass, you may turn the steak. No grill marks here, just crusty yumminess. Leave it on the second side for 5 minutes and IMMEDIATELY take it off and let it rest for about 10 min or so. That is it! C’est tout’
Total Steak domination!!! Now that I have a blog, I have all the recognition I want…well, if anyone is actually reading my blog.
Yes!!! I did it! I didn’t have a salad, veggie, or potato, but I did eat the end piece of a French baguette. Challenge accomplished!