Apr 14, 2011

Popeye Strata and Country Strong

16-20 (1/2 inch thick slices supermarket French or Italian bread
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened plus extra for the baking dish
3 large shallots
2 12 oz packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup dry white wine
12-16 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded (3-6 cups)
12 large eggs
3 1/2 cups half and half

1.  Adjust 2 oven racks to the upper middle and lower middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Spread the bread out over 2 baking sheets and bake until dry and light golden brown, about 25 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time.  Let the bread cool completely and then spread butter evenly over 1 side of each slice, using 4 tablespoons of th butter.

2.  Meanwhile, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and  cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the spinach and cook until warm, about 2 minutes .  Transfer to a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the wine to the skillet and simmer over medium high heat until reduced to about 1/4 a cup, about 5 minutes, set aside to cool.

3.  Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and tightly fit half of the bread slices, buttered sides up, into a single layer in the dish.  Sprinkle half of the spinach mixture, then a heaping cup of th cheese evenly over the bread slices.  Repeat with the remaining bread slices, spinach mixture, and 1 more cup of the cheese.

4.  Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until combined, then whisk in the reduced wine, half and half, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread layers and sprinkle the remaining cheese over top.

5.  Wrap the strata tightly with Saran wrap, pressing the wrap to the strata, then weigh down.  Refrigerate for 8-24 hours.

6.  Adjust the oven rack to the middle rack and heat oven to 325 degrees.  Unwrap the strata and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.  Bake the strata uncovered until pulled away from the edges and puffed, about an hour to an hour and 20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack before servings.

So, I watched Country Strong last night- who has seen it?  Thoughts?  I felt like half the movie was missing- characterization, what?
Okay, in other news I'm heading to Athens to celebrate Kinger and Chas' nuptials!  Hurrah!  I hope y'all have a glorious weekend!


  1. YUM - thanks for posting! No Country Strong for me yet!

  2. This strata looks deelish, but I'm still drooling over that french toast concoction! I saw Country Strong in the theater and, while I was pretty impressed with Gwynnie, it did seem a little choppy in parts. What I didn't expect was to like the music as much as I did. I've listened to "Give in to Me" approximately 100 times since then. If you get the soundtrack, make sure you get the "alternate" version, with the actors singing.

  3. Um, can you ship me one of those? Yum! Love all the pics lately. Ahh, the showers. So fun, but never ending!


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