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Ham, Cheese and Spinach Strata

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ lb thinly sliced Black forest ham, cut in wide ribbons
  • 6 cups baby spinach, washed dried and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere
  • 1 cup grated Parmiginao-Reggano
  • 1 baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 9 large eggs
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • A few pinches cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Butter a deep 9- X 13-inch gratin dish.
  2. In a heavy frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add ham and cook lightly. Remove from heat and add spinach, using tongs to incorporate.
  3. Mix cheeses together. Spread one-third of the bread in the gratin dish. Top with one-third of the spinach mixture. Sprinkle with one-third of the cheese. Repeat layering, ending with cheese on top.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, Dijon, dry mustard, salt, nutmeg, cayenne and black pepper. Pour evenly over strata. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F. Uncover strata and bake for 50 minutes or until bread is golden and eggs are set. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Apricot and Cranberry Buttermilk Scones

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup buttermilk, plus 1 tbsp for brushing
  • 1/4 cup rock sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal, leaving a few pea-sized pieces of butter. (You can also do this in a bowl, using a pastry blender.)
  3. Pour into a bowl. Using a fork, stir in apricots and cranberries until mixed throughout. Stir in buttermilk just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  4. Gather dough into a ball until it just holds together. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead briefly. Press into a circle about 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick. Cut into 8 triangles. Transfer triangles to prepared cookie sheet. Brush tops with remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) buttermilk and sprinkle with rock sugar.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Monday, May 7, 2012