This lovely strata is the second kind I made for my holiday buffet. I previously posted the sausage red pepper stratas I made. But I love, love, love spinach and mushrooms in omelets and quiches, so this one was for me. And of course whoever wanted to indulge in my favorite combo. I’d be nice and share. Besides, I couldn’t eat 12 jumbo mini stratas by myself!
I make a lot of stratas, but usually make them in regular sized muffin cups. They’re faster to reheat when frozen. I know strata is an Italian concept, probably so named because the ingredients are added in layers (stratas). Other times we call them mini quiches, but quiche doesn’t have the toasted bread cubes that strata does. Mini quiches usually have a crust, unless I’m making the crustless kind. With all the variations I make, maybe I should just call them all “eggy muffins” and avoid confusion?
I still had a bag of Italian bread that I’d cubed and toasted in the oven for the previous batch of stratas, and after spraying 2 6-count jumbo muffin tins with cooking spray, I put a layer of cubes into the cups.
I’d cleaned and sliced 8 ounces of white mushrooms, and had them sautéing in a nonstick skillet with a drizzle of oil. I just wanted them a little less firm, not cooked too much. When they were softened, I layered them in the muffin cups on top of the bread cubes.
I roughly chopped an 8 ounce bag of fresh spinach and tossed that into the skillet with a little oil and some salt. I wanted to wilt it a bit before adding it to the muffin cups.
When the spinach was layered into the cups I divided out a 2 cup bag of shredded cheddar on top, wanting a good amount of cheese in my stratas.
I beat the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and ground mustard until it was frothy, then poured it carefully over the cups, making sure all of the cubes were dampened. I let the pans set for an hour to absorb the liquid, covered them with a final layer of Monterey Jack cheese, then put them into the preheated oven.
I baked the stratas for 30 minutes, peeking to watch them poof up. That’s my favorite part of making the individual stratas and quiches. They look SO good in the oven! I even took a picture to show their impressive poof while still in the oven (don’t look close, it needed cleaning!)
After 30 minutes I removed them from the oven and set them on a rack to cool. As I watched them deflate I took another picture. They still look temptingly edible, but not as pretty and puffy. Oh well.
I let them cool to room temp, then put them into containers and froze them as I had my previous sausage red pepper stratas. On Christmas Eve I moved them to the fridge, where I took them out and heated them wrapped in foil on Christmas morning.
The warm, golden brown stratas with melty cheese were an amazingly easy treat for a holiday breakfast. They are also easy to reheat for a quick breakfast on a regular weekday morning before work. I freeze them individually and they’re ready to microwave and eat. I microwave it for 1 1/2 minutes, cut it in half and heat it another minute. They are melted and perfect.
Mushroom and Spinach Stratas
8 ounces mushrooms
8 ounces spinach
12 large eggs
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
2 cups sharp cheddar; shredded
2 cups monterey jack; shredded
1 loaf white bread; cubed and toasted
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Toast bread cubes and portion out into the 12 jumbo muffin cups.
Saute mushrooms in a nonstick skillet on medium with a drizzle of oil until they begin to soften, then add to the muffin cups.
Wilt lettuce in the same skillet with a little oil and salt, then add it to the muffin cups as the next layer.
Portion out the cheddar cheese among the 12 cups, then add another layer of bread cubes.
Beat together eggs, milk, salt, pepper and ground mustard until foamy. Pour over muffin cups, taking care to cover the top bread cubes with liquid. Fill cups about 3/4 full, then top with the Monterey Jack cheese.
Let pans sit for an hour to absorb the liquid. You could cover and refrigerate overnight at this point if you want to make them fresh in the morning. Otherwise put the pans into the preheated oven for 30 minutes and bake.
Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife. When fully cooled, store in a covered container and refrigerate or freeze until needed.
Reheat in the microwave or covered in foil in a low oven.