This past weekend we hosted a Raw Milk/Cow class here on the farm, for which Nigel kindly volunteered me to provide lunch. Don’t get me wrong, cooking for 25 to 40 people is actually a lot of fun but it is a little challenging with our schedules. My greatest joy comes from the opportunity to show off the fabulous food Eatwell produces. Figuring out a menu that is simple enough to blow up for a crowd, works well buffet style, doesn’t require a lot of extra help and in the end watching people experience simple, fresh flavorful food and really loving it, that makes my heart soar.This weekend I used one of the recipes from a recent newsletter, the Winter Slaw. What a beautiful dish that is with our green and red cabbage, some dark color from dark leafy greens and then the beautiful bright orange from the citrus. If you missed that one, no worries, you can find it on the website. The second veg dish was Butternut Squash with Sweet Spices. Now I know squash is not in this week’s box but if anyone is interested in the recipe shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send it to you. The main course was Strata (essentially a savory bread pudding) with Spinach and Gruyere. When we have a crowd to feed here on the farm I often make strata or frittata or quiche as they all are a fabulous way to show off some of Eatwell’s finest, eggs, and produce. In the winter the greens are great and in the summer tomatoes and peppers are exceptionally delicious. Strata makes a fantastic Sunday brunch offering with a light salad and the leftovers are great to take for lunch. This particular recipe comes from Cook’s.
Strata with Spinach and Gruyere- makes one 8 by 8-inch, serving 6
To weigh down the assembled strata a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag filled with about 2 pounds of sugar or rice also works. This recipe doubles easily; use a 9 by 13-inch baking dish greased with only 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and increase the baking time as directed in step 4. Feel free to substitute any good melting cheese, such as Havarti, sharp cheddar, or colby. 8 - 10 slices French bread (1/2-inch thick) 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 1 onion minced (about 1/2 cup) or the leeks from this week’s box 1 bag of Eatwell spinach, washed & chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste I actually used none and it was fine 1/2 cup medium-dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc 6 ounces grated Gruyere Cheese (about 1 1/2 cups) 6 large Eatwell pasture raised eggs
You will want your bread dried out and you can achieve that simply by leaving it out over night or in the oven on a cookie sheet for 40 minutes (turning them over halfway through) at 225 degrees. When cooled, butter slices on one side with 2 tablespoons butter; set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes; add spinach and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is cooked and well combined with the onions. Transfer to medium bowl, try to squeeze out the water from the spinach leaving it in the skillet to cook with the wine. Add wine to skillet, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Butter 8-inch square baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter; arrange half the buttered bread slices, buttered-side up, in single layer in dish. Sprinkle half of spinach mixture, then 1/2 cup grated cheese evenly over bread slices. Arrange remaining bread slices in single layer over cheese; sprinkle remaining spinach mixture and another 1/2 cup cheese evenly over bread. Whisk eggs in medium bowl until combined; whisk in reduced wine, half-and-half, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread layers; cover surface flush with plastic wrap, weigh down (see note, above), and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Remove dish from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Uncover strata and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over surface; bake until both edges and center are puffed and edges have pulled away slightly from sides of dish, 50 to 55 minutes (or about 60 minutes for doubled recipe). Cool on wire rack 5 minutes; serve. Broccoli and Romanesco One of my favorites, particularly using the Romanesco, is to simply break these vegetables down into florets and roast. I use a glass roasting dish, drizzle some good oil and then sprinkle with Eatwell Farm Smoked Chili Salt and shake the pan. Roast at 375 F for about 20 minutes, time depends on how done you like your Broccoli and Romanesco. This is so simple and delicious as a side dish hot or later as a snack. Recipe rewards... Please send us your favorite recipe or cooking tips