Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lobster Bacon and Cheese Strata

Good Wednesday (almost afternoon) foodies! It's definitely fall this week in Chicago, and when this time of year rolls around, we here at Lobster Gram start craving simple comfort foods that warm you body and soul. This recipe is another masterpiece from our Creative Director Nancy, and every delicious ingredient combines beautifully to bake in a nice big cast iron skillet. I am very, very, *VERY* partial to foods prepared in a cast iron skillet. They just taste like home to me. If it's Lobster (the ULTIMATE Lobster Grammer comfort food)and in a cast iron couldn't be better. That is...unless you add hot gooey cheese and crispy apple wood smoked bacon to the delicious equation.
Ahem...excuse the drool :)~
But you see what I'm talking about I'm sure...

and here is the blueprint for this culinary masterpiece. Happy eating foodies!

Lobster, Bacon &?Cheese Strata
Strata is a baked dish that combines chunks of bread with eggs, cream... and the rest is up to your imagination. We let ours run wild in this indulgent lobster-filled version. If Challah bread is unavailable for you, a good substitution is the Hawaiian bread for its slight sweetness and tender, cakier texture.

Lobster, Bacon and Cheese Strata
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 loaf Challah bread, cut into 1” cubes (about 8 cups)
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
5 large eggs
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 oz. goat cheese
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1-1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
3 cups cooked lobster meat, chopped
8 slices apple wood smoked bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a large, ovenproof skillet. In a large bowl, whisk the milk and olive oil until blended. Add the bread cubes, and toss to coat, allowing it to soak up the liquid.
Then, in a small bowl mix the cream, eggs, garlic, shallots, salt, pepper and nutmeg. In a medium bowl, crumble the goat cheese and mix with the Gruyere, Parmesan, sage and thyme.
Line the bottom of the skillet with half of the soaked bread cubes. Top with half of the lobster meat, bacon and cheese mixture. Pour half of the egg mixture over the layers. Repeat layering with the remaining bread, lobster, bacon, cheese mixture and egg mixture. Bake until firm in the center and golden brown, about 1 hour. The strata will puff during baking, but will settle once removed from the oven.

No comments: