At the end of the week, I always have an odd assortment of food in my fridge on the verge of expiration. It usually makes me feel guilty. Terribly guilty. Like if I planned better, or something, then I wouldn't have extra cilantro struggling to stay alive in my crisper. And what is up with having an extra 1/2 loaf of delicious farmer's market bread left over? What am I in the zone? In addition to stale bread, veggies are frequent victims: oh my dear lovely shallots, don't feel neglected there, alone in my veggie bowl; it's not you, it's me.
Usually this situation is a clear indicator that I abandoned cooking the meals I originally planned for the week, and went out to eat more than I should have. Yeah, probably.
A strata is the perfect answer for those who want to follow a "waste not, want not" mantra. All you need is some bread and eggs. Cream helps too. The rest is up to you. Who knows, you might even create a recipe that has a repeat invitation to the dinner table.
This strata, my everything but the kitchen sink invention, will have a place in my family cookbook. Who knew waste not, want not could lead to such great tasting things.
1/2 loaf of bread, chopped in cubes (I used Atwater's Olive Bread. Best. Bread. Ever.)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 shallots, sliced
8 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup cream
handful of cilantro, chopped
salt to taste
Cook and chop bacon
Saute shallots in bacon grease
Place both on a paper towel to drain
Mix eggs and cream with a whisk
Place bread cubes, bacon, shallots, and cilantro in a pyrex casserole dish (I used 9x13). Add egg and cream mixture and then top with cheese. Bake at 375 for approximately 40 minutes.