Mexican Chorizo Strata

Mexican Chorizo Strata 5517

Thanks to my dislike of Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing (soggy bread, y’all – can’t do it!), I automatically assumed I would dislike bread pudding and strata, especially the savory types. Several years ago I tried dessert bread pudding (similar to this one), in a restaurant in New Orleans, and immediately fell in love. Of course the boozy whiskey sauce didn’t discourage me from loving it, but I’d like to think I would have enjoyed it anyway.

Mexican chorizo strata, before baking 5460

Mexican chorizo strata 5472

After solidifying my taste for sweet bread pudding, I decided earlier this year it was time to tackle the savory. I made and tasted this one, and found myself overjoyed and unable to stop eating it. That really cemented things, and now I’m part of the bona fide I-Love-Savory-Bread-Puddings-and-Stratas Club. I couldn’t wait to make more!

mexican chorizo strata w/ guacamole 5478

And now I’ve made my first strata. (Honestly I’m not sure what the difference between the two is, other than stratas seem to sit longer than bread puddings before you bake them? Feel free to enlighten me in the comment section.)

Mexican Chorizo strata 5485

Mexican chorizo Strata 5493

I had some chorizo sitting around, so I opted to go Mexican with this. This also afforded me a lovely opportunity to use up some Hatch chiles sitting in my freezer, and I’ll always take those opportunities, because 1) who doesn’t love Hatch chiles, and 2) I have a few too many and I desperately need to start whittling down the stash.

Mexican Chorizo Strata 5501

This dish is lovely, and will feed a large crowd. It’s one of the easier meals I’ve put together, too. And leftovers reheat beautifully. I’m not a mom, but if I were, I’m thinking stratas would definitely be in the dinner rotation. They are infinitely adaptable, nutritious (you can of course use whole wheat bread), and can be very kid friendly. Enjoy!

Mexican chorizo strata 5516

{One Year Ago: Cranberry Apple Muffins}

Source: slightly adapted from Week in a Day by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
Olive oil
1 lb. Mexican chorizo, casings removed
3 fresh chiles, either Hatch, poblano or large jalapeno, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
7-8 thick slices of stale white or egg-based bread, cut into large cubes (I can’t imagine why you couldn’t use whole wheat bread here if you wanted)
2 cups milk
8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 large eggs
1 tbs hot sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Guacamole, for serving

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking it into crumbles as it browns. Cook until no traces of pink remain. Add the chiles in and stir to combine. Set aside off the heat.
Grease a 9×13” baking dish, then scatter the bread cubes around in an even layer. Add the cooked chorizo mixture and gently move the bread around to get some of the chorizo down into the nooks and crannies.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, eggs, hot sauce, plus season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the bread and chorizo. Top with the cheese. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Place the strata on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the eggs are set and the top is golden, about 1 hour.
Let rest a few minutes, then slice into squares and serve warm with guacamole on the side.

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