CHILI AND CHORIZO STRATA (for eight)
1-1/2 pounds chorizo sausage, casings removed
½ pound sourdough bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (8 cups)
3 cups shredded hot pepper Monterrey Jack cheese (about 8 ounces)
two 4 ounce cans chopped mild green chiles, drained
¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2-3/4 cups whole milk
9 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Saute chorizo in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chorizo to a plate lined with paper towels and drain well.
- Butter a 3-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish. Spread one third of bread cubes in dish and top evenly with one third of chorizo. Sprinkle with one third of chiles, cilantro and cheese. Repeat layering twice, ending with cheese.
- Whisk together milk, eggs, cumin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Pour evenly over strata. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 8 hours to allow bread to absorb custard.
- Let strata stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350*.
- Bake strata, uncovered, until puffed, golden brown and cooked through, about 55 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
NOTE: The strata can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking.
adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, October, 1999