Friday, September 12, 2008

Wedding Brunch - Pt. I

The morning after brunch has become de rigeur for weddings these days. Partially because weddings are such a huge investment of time and resources and couples want to get as much bang out of the event as possible. Also, because they're just plain fun!

They can range from informal gatherings at home to fully catered banquets. I love to see an eclectic collection of family serving pieces paired with cheery linen and flowers from the wedding reception.

The table below that we designed for VOW Magazine would be great!

Flowers: The New Leaf

Today and tomorrow I'll share some of my menu favorites and recipes for making them:

Ham and Asparagus Strata from the American Egg Board

Ham and Asparagus Strata
(Makes 6 servings)

The savory bread pudding called strata has become one of America’s favorite egg casseroles. Strata means layers and layering is almost all you have to do to make one. Once you’ve poured on the custard, bake or microwave the strata right away or cover and refrigerate it for several hours or even overnight. With a cold mixture, allow a little more cooking time to serve up a quick meal whenever you need it the next day.

Cooking spray

12 to 16 (1/2-inch thick) slices French or Italian bread (about 4 oz.)

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella or Italian blend cheese, divided

1 cup (4 oz.) chopped cooked lean ham, divided

8 ounces fresh asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

6 eggs

1 cup skim or low-fat milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Evenly coat 8-inch square baking dish with spray. Layer half of the bread slices on bottom of dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese, 1/2 cup of the ham and 1 cup of the asparagus pieces. Cover with the remaining bread slices, laying them flat or in a shingled pattern. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, ham and asparagus spears. In medium bowl, beat together eggs, milk, lemon juice and garlic powder. Pour evenly over layers. Cover with plastic wrap.
Microwave on full power 5 minutes. Rotate dish 1/4 turn. Microwave on 50% power, rotating
dish 1/4 turn each 3 to 5 minutes, until thermometer inserted near center reads 160° F and/or knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Conventional oven: Prepare strata as above. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated 350° F oven until thermometer inserted near center reads 160° F and/or knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.

*Stratas and frittatas are great at room temperature.


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