Just got back on Sunday from a long road trip to the midwest. Had a great time including a food tour in Chicago! More about that later this week. In the meantime, I needed something quick to feed the family this week and wanted to clear out the fridge and freezer so stratas came to mind!
“Brinner” is quite popular in our house these days (that would be breakfast for dinner for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about). I have to admit that it’s one of my favorites too because it can be quick and easy and everyone enjoys it! I love to make “stratas” for dinner or for breakfast/brunch because you can prepare them ahead of time and you can use up a lot of leftover meat, veggies, and cheese you have around the house! They are also great if you have a lot of company visiting you this summer! You just might not want to tell them you were cleaning out your fridge!
I seemed to have a lot of “Mexican” themed ingredients in my house so decided to make a Mexican Sausage & Cornbread Strata. Ok, now don’t laugh, but we had a huge stash of leftover cornbread muffins from Boston Market (popular takeout spot for us) in our freezer. I could never throw out the leftovers and I to stash them in the freezer because I knew I would think of something someday to use them for! I love these cornbread muffins so not sure how we always seem to have so many extra! You could substitute a good bread or cornbread if you don’t have any Boston Market muffins around. Or you could stop by my house and I’ll give you a few muffins…
I used Jimmy Dean’s reduced fat sausage but you could you any variety of their sausage. The Hot variety would work really well. Be sure to crumble the sausage with a fork or spatula in the pan while it cooks so that it crumbles. When the sausage and onion is cooked through, turn off the heat and carefully stir in the corn, salsa, and cornbread. I liked to use a thick chunky salsa and drain off a lot of the liquid. You can substitute any precooked veggies you have around.
When it’s all mixed together, put the mixture into a 13×9-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and seasoning. Then pour the liquid over the cornbread mixture. Lightly press down on the mixture so that the cornbread starts to soak up the liquid.
Refrigerate the dish for a few hours or overnight. You can prep it all in the morning, refrigerate during the day, then it’s ready to bake for dinner… I mean brinner. If you are making this in a pan that is sensitive to temperature change, let the dish come to room temp before placing it in the oven. During the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle the cheese on top and let it melt and get all bubbly and yummy!
Hope you enjoy brinner as much as we all do!
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|Mexican Sausage & Cornbread Strata||
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 (12-16oz) roll Jimmy Dean Sausage (such as Reduced Fat, Hot, etc)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 cup thick salsa (drain off excess liquid)
- 6 cups cornbread, chopped
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend (or Cheddar or Monterrey Jack) cheese
- Lightly spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and onion to pan. Cook and break up sausage, about 5-7 minutes or until sausage is cooked through and onion is tender.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in corn, salsa, and cornbread until combined. Pour into prepared 13×9-inch baking dish.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in large mixing bowl until well combined. Pour over cornbread mixture. Lightly push down on mixture with a large spatula so that the bread soaks up the liquid. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove strata from refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for a little while oven is preheating (or bring to room temp if pan is sensitive to temp changes).
- Bake strata at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. During last 10-15 minutes of cooking, sprinkle cheese on top of dish to melt.
SNAPPY TIPS: If the salsa you are using has a lot of liquid drain as much liquid as possible or use a little less milk. Garnish with more salsa if desired.
SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: You can use any variety of Jimmy Dean sausage, any variety of shredded cheese, and any (pre-cooked) veggies you have around.
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