Besides having a little too much fun Friday night at a birthday party and paying for the consequences Saturday, this weekend was absolutely amazing. The weather was ideal for a late October weekend - clear sunny skies with temperatures in the 60s. I would say that Chicago could use a few more weekends like this before the impending Chiberia 2.0 falls upon us (Dear God, please don't let it be as worse as they say...). I spent all day Sunday baking with my cousin and getting hooked on The Newsroom, which I have already watched about half of the first season. The other thing preventing me from watching the entire first season in one night was a little thing call work. When you have to wake up at 5:00am to go to work, that doesn't leave much room for me TV binge watching habit.
Before I share this weekend's delicious recipes, I wanted to post a recipe that I've been making for quite a few years. It is a breakfast favorite in my family and it goes without saying that it is a must have in any breakfast or brunch repertoire.
One note before trying this recipe, it does have to be prepped the night before, so don't wake up Saturday morning thinking you can make this for your friends that are coming over at 11:00am for brunch.
If you have not been able to notice over the years, I am a huge advocate for anything breakfast or brunch related. Really, it would be hard for me to pass up any opportunity to eat breakfast food. Ask my roommate, many nights I come home from work and make myself an omelette.
I have some great recipes coming in the next few weeks, along with some media dinner coverage, so be sure to check SMAK everyday at 8:00am for your daily fix!
Bagel Strata with Vegetables Recipe from Williams Sonoma Serves 8 to 10
7 cups diced bagels (3/4-inch cubes) 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 3 Tbs. vegetable oil 6 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 cup diced asparagus (1/2-inch pieces) 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed 6 oz. Italian sausage, crumbled and cooked 6 oz. grated white cheddar cheese 8 eggs 2 cups half-and-half
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- In a bowl, stir together the bagel cubes, melted butter, salt and pepper to coat well. Spread the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake, stirring the cubes several times halfway through, until golden and toasted, about 25 minutes. Let cool.
- In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the oil. Add half of the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with 1 Tbs. of the oil and the remaining mushrooms.
- In the same pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- In a bowl, stir together 6 cups of the bagel cubes, the mushrooms, asparagus, peas, sausage and 4 oz. of the cheese. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. In a bowl, beat together the eggs and half-and-half and pour over the bagel mixture. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- In a food processor, pulse the remaining bagel cubes into coarse crumbs. Remove the plastic wrap from the strata, transfer to the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 oz. cheese and the bagel crumbs, then bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.