Thursday, November 29, 2012

Iron Chef Leftovers Breakfast for Dinner

Question: do you think holidays were invented so we got to play around with leftovers? The answer is no. But damn I get a kick out of it. This year was an extra challenge of what to do with all the damn food in my house, because Matt took off so quick after Thanksgiving. Re-purposing all the sides and appetizers into decent meals that I can slowly chip away at has taken an extra dose of creativity (and sadly, I didn't get creative enough to re-visit green bean casserole... RIP, cream of mushroom-soaked stringies).

But as I stared at the leftover stuffing, so delicious and yet so not appetizing all over again, I had a thought. Stuffing was just a few eggs away from being strata. They were practically cousins, my favorite breakfast dish and carby side. Worst case scenario I end up throwing what would end up in the garbage anyway back in there, and boil up some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Mmmmm, KMaC.

What, now I have no culinary cred? Whatever.

So I opened up the deli drawer and took out every strange odd and end I had from the appetizer round: deli salami sausage, a hunk of Sriracha Cheese Log, sharp cheddar. Mixed in with the stuffing, broken apart slightly in my hand (my stuffing was pretty crumbly, since I'm careful not to get it all soggy and Stove Top-like the first time around). A little garlic salt, some pepper, and into the casserole dish.

When it came out of the oven, a taste tipped me off that it had worked, but it still needed something. One addition to yank the spotlight away from the stuffing's sage, one of the most overpowering herbs you can chiffonade. My solution? A healthy dollop of homemade salsa, and the last of the real sour cream. Back to Light until Christmas... sigh.

Today for lunch I had leftovers of leftovers, which is basically Inception Leftovers. Pow.

Sorry this recipe is written so casually, but now that I'm here cooking by myself my habits have taken on this bizarre primitive forager quality.

Stuffing Strata
3 cups cold leftover stuffing
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup's worth of miscellaneous cheese: goat cheese, cheese ball, shredded cheese, whatever's still hanging around
1/2 cup leftover salami, bacon.... uh, I don't know. You could use turkey if you had to, but that wouldn't be my first choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Salsa and sour cream to garnish

Whisk together the eggs and milk in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the stuffing, breaking up as you stir. Stir in cheese and other leftovers you've collected. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a Pyrex baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 50 minutes, turning once during the baking process. Served topped with salsa and sour cream. Watch American Horror Story: Asylum and get really annoyed about how they decide to turn this season toward. Click over to Jon Stewart and marvel about how he's just turned 50 and still is as sexy as he was when you fell in love with him in 2000 when he was making fun of Al Gore and Stephen Colbert was still his underling. Remember to rinse your plate when you're done.

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