You might have noticed some minor changes around here lately. Nothing too big of course, but hopefully some small upgrades that will make Shut Up & Cook tick up one more notch on your “Favorite Food Blogs” list. (Incidentally, thank you to all who participated in the giveaway for free tickets to the Best of Seattle Party. All of your blog suggestions and recipe wish lists were such fun to receive).
The biggest change is the addition of a Recipe Index. That’s right folks, a one-stop-shop, all-you-can-eat, everything goes list of each and every recipe I’ve done over the last few years.
Looking through it I feel a mixture of many emotions: Pride (Hot damn, I’ve done some cooking!), embarrassment (Where do I get some of my blog post title ideas?), sadness (Still miss dogs Lucky and Onca every day), and peace (The past years haven’t all been easy, but I truly believe I’m better for them).
For those of you that are new readers, I invite you to take a scroll through the list. Hopefully you’ll find new recipes to fall in love with, or discover old favorites. I felt like I was meeting a dear friend looking through the list, remembering moments and events, and who I was in each. With that, a few of what I think are the best (thank GOODNESS my photos have gotten better…eeesh!):
- Appetizer: Baked Oysters with Garlic Breadcrumbs
- Breakfasts: Crab Cake Eggs Benedict
- Desserts: Molasses Cookies
- Mains: Grilled Pear & Bacon Pizza with Balsamic Reduction
- Pasta: Carbonara Made with Farm Fresh Eggs, Topped with Pork Belly
- Poultry: Chicken Marsala with Cremini Mushrooms and Sage
- Salads: Panzanella Salad with Kalamata Olives, Garbanzo Beans, and Basil
- Sandwiches: Scallop ‘Po Boys with Spicy Remoulade
- Seafood: Seared Sea Scallops on Bacon Polenta Topped with Chanterelles
- Sides: Polenta Gratin with Kale and Cremini Mushrooms
- Soups: Creamy Mushroom Bisque
What I was surprised to find wasn’t on there however, was Strata. This was most odd because I make it at least once a month, and it’s a go-to for a delicious make-ahead brunch food that always feeds and satisfies a crowd. For those of you not familiar with the magic that is a strata, it is essentially a savory bread pudding meets egg custard. Stale bread is diced over which an egg/milk/cream mixture is poured. Any other assortment of ingredients are then added, it sits over night, and you bake it in the morning, resulting in a delicious smelling, beautiful looking, amazing tasting, puffed delight.
Grilled Summer Vegetable Strata
Serves 8 – 10
The beauty of a strata is that you can throw whatever in…here I did grilled summer vegetables as a means to tackle my CSA, but you can do an endless combination of ingredients; think artichoke hearts and goat cheese, mushrooms and chorizo, peppers and sausage…the list could go on, and on, and is limited only by your creativity, and your leftovers.
- 5 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk, cream, half and half, whatever
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 cups stale bread, cubed
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 summer squash, thinly sliced
- Glug olive oil
- 1 bunch kale, washed, and coarsely chopped
- 2 cups semihard cheese, shredded
- 1 cup semisoft cheese, shredded
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Fold in the bread and semihard cheese and set aside.
- Preheat a gas grill on high. Take the zucchini and squash slices and toss with olive oil. Over medium heat, using a grill pan if you have one, cook until softened and grill marks beginning to show and flavor slightly smoky. Remove from grill and coarsely chop.
- Grease a 9×13 inch glass baking dish.
- Pour in half the egg mixture. Top with half the zucchini and squash, half the kale, and half the semisoft cheese. Repeat with remaining egg mixture, vegetables, and cheese.
- Cover with foil and allow to soak in fridge overnight.
- Remove from fridge one hour before cooking and preheat oven to 325.
- Bake for 40 – 45 minutes without foil, rotating halfway through, and returning foil if top getting too brown. Bake until the top of the dish is very brown and the middle is springy. Let the strata cool for 10 minutes before serving.