My first time making and tasting spinach strata. One day, I saw a cooking show at createtv channel, and they showed this recipe. Actually, they showed it for christmas dinner, and I thought to make it for our Christmas dinner, but since I cooked loads of foods already, so I cancelled it.
Now, few days after Christmas and our Christmas leftover are all gone. I was thinking it is the time to make spinach strata. Since I know my hubby doesn't really like spinach, so I thought this dish is the perfect dish to force him eating the spinach ;).
So, here I am experimanting spinach strata recipe. I added chopped bacon to add some extra bacon-kick on the strata. The result......It is so good! Good taste and good smell which were exposed our appetite :).
My hubby liked it so much. The first time he heard there is spinach in this dish, he showed me 'eww-ie' face, but after he tasted it, he said, "This is really good hun. I like it". :)
So, let's make it for our loved ones who dislike spinach, I guarantee they will love spinach ;).
Spinach Strata with Bacon and Cheese
2 packages fresh baby spinach
1 cup bacon, cut into 1-in width
1 1/2 cups (or 1 large) finely chopped onion
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed (1 inch) French or Italian whole wheat bread
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Boil spinach in boiling water until the spinach changes into dark green color. Drain it from the water. Rinse it with cold water. Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then finely chop.
Cook bacon in olive oil in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until almost brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in onion, stirring until soft. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in spinach, then remove from heat.
Spread one third of bread cubes in a buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other shallow ceramic baking dish and top evenly with one third of spinach mixture. Sprinkle with one third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice (ending with cheeses).
Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata. Chill strata, covered with plastic wrap, at least 8 hours (for bread to absorb custard).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Let strata stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
This time, I made the famous Christmas beverage in US which is eggnog. I knew there is a drink called eggnog since I was a kid, of course from movies ;). Then, I wondered how's the taste?
Once I moved to US, for some reason, I forgot about eggnog. Until, last thanksgiving my MIL bought 2 carts of eggnog and that was my first experience with eggnog :).
When I tasted it for the very first time, honestly, I didn't really like it. But then, after few drinks, I started to like it.
That's why this Christmas I tried to make homemade eggnog....and...voila...it tasted alot better than the one my MIL bought at store. Why? Because I can control the sugar. So, the sweetness of this homemade eggnog is just right for my hubby and me.
Some eggnogs are using alcohol, but mine, I omitted the alcohol. It's alot healthier, don't you think?
Lots of people posted the same eggnog's recipe in the internet, so I don't who invented this recipe. But the important thing is this eggnog is good :)
Don't worry, the process is not hard at all. The thing you should keep in mind is cook the milk-egg mixture over low heat and keep stirring it constantly. Then, the rest is just a piece-of-cake ;). Do you dare to try?
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tbsps dark rum
In large saucepan, beat together eggs and sugar. Stir in the milk.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film and reaches 145 F and is held there for 3 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in whipping cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and rum.
Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. Serve garnished with whipped cream and nutmeg.
Another appetizer on our Christmas dinner this year. My Christmas soup has kielbasa sausage, bacon, celery and potatoes. Its really different than the other soups I ever made.
This soup is more likely western-kind-soup which is thick soup. I looked around in the internet and I found lots of christmas soup's recipe, until I decided to make my own Christmas Soup. And fortunately it tasted really good, tasty and tangy. My hubby and I loved it :).
1 lb kielbasa sausage (or you can use italian sausage)
1/2 lb bacon
8 large red potatoes, peeled and diced
7 stalks western celery, thinly sliced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
1-1/2 tbsps italian seasoning
1 tbsps oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt, sugar and blackpepper, to taste
Minced fresh parsley for garnishing
In a 5-quarts saucepan, boil the potatoes and celery over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, in a teflon skillet, fry bacon in olive oil until the bacon is almost crispy. Drain the bacon from the grease. Using the same skillet with bacon's grease, fry the sausage. Drain the sausage from the skillet, thinly slice it and set aside. Put the onion on the skillet immediately. Caramelized the onion. Set aside.
Scoope about half of the potatoes into prepared blender. Blend it until smooth and sticky. Then, put it back into the saucepan.
Transfer the onion and the oil into the boiling potatoes, stir it well. Add in sausages, bacon, italian seasoning, oregano, thyme and rosemary. Season it with salt, sugar and blackpepper, to taste.
Pour in heavy cream, stir it well and boil it for 2 minutes. Serve it hot and garnish it with minced fresh parsley.
After I baked broccoli, bacon and cheese potatoes as side dish for many times, this time I chose herb-baked potatoes for the Christmas side dish.
Surprisingly the potatoes came out good! It is tangy, zesty and sweet. My hubby really liked it, so do I :). Plus, the preparations are alot easier and more simple than the broccoli, bacon and cheese baked potatoes.
Again, I made up my own recipe for this herb-baked potatoes ;)
1 lb new potatoes
2 tbsps olive oil
2.5 tbsps herbs de provance
1 tbsp oregano
1.5 tbsps thyme
1 tbsp dill
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tbsp salt (you can add more salt if you like salty)
1 tbsp blackpepper
Preheat the oven into 350F.
Wash the new potatoes until clean. Then dry and wipe it with paper towel. Spread the potatoes in an 8-in baking dish evenly. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, fold it until the potatoes are coated with olive oil. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, mix herbs de provance, oregano, thyme, dill and italian seasoning. Sprinkle it onto the potatoes. Cover the baking dish with alumunium foil.
Bake it for 30 minutes. Then, uncover the potatoes. Continue to bake it for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and tender. Serve it immediately.
This was one of our Christmas appetizer. For the first time, I ate devil's egg at MIL's house on thanksgiving last year. Actually my sister-in-law who made it. On my first bite of devil's egg I liked it already.
So, this Christmas I tried to make homemade devil's egg. Also, I found the egg's platter. This plate is really helpful to make the shape of the eggs are nice.
The recipe is made by me based on the taste that I remember from my sister-in-law's devil's egg.
12 large eggs, hard boiled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsps mustard
5 tbsps sweet relish
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps lemon juice
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
Fresh parsley for garnishing
Hard boiled the eggs one day before, then keep it in the refrigerator. The refrigerated hard-boiled eggs are alot easier to cut. Then halved it lengthwise.
Scoope out the yolks and transfer it to a small bowl. Add in mayonnaise, mustard, sweet relish, sugar, salt, cayenne powder and lemon juice, mash it with a fork. Fold it until thoroughly mixed. (don't forget to taste it and you can add more ingredients as your desire)
Place the halved hard-boiled white eggs on the platter. Fill the white egg's cavities with the yolks' mixture. Garnish it with fresh parsley. Serve it cold.