Breakfast Strata - Featherbed Eggs
- 62 g cornmeal (1/2 cup)
- 62 g Flour - plain (1/2 cup)
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/4 t baking soda
- 3/4 t freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 t Salt (Sea)
- 1/8 t cayenne
- 2/3 c milk (160 mL)
- 1 eggs (large, lightly beaten)
- 3 thinly sliced green onions
- 5 oz shredded cheddar cheese (1.25 cups)
- 2.25 c milk (533 mL)
- 3 eggs (large, lightly beaten)
- 1 t Salt (Sea)
- For serving:
- hot sauce
For the cornbread:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400F/200C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with the baking paper (or parchment, and spray with vegetable oil spray if using parchment).
Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, pepper, salt, and cayenne together in a bowl. Whisk milk and eggs together in a separate bowl. Whisk the wet into the dry until just combined. Pour batter into prepared sheet and spread to cover entire sheet. Bake until lightly browned and edges of cornbread pull away from sides of sheet. Let cornbread cool in sheet on wire rack for 10 minutes.
For the custard:
Oil an 8" square baking dish (or similar size). Tear cornbread into 1" pieces and place in this dish. Add the green onions and 3/4 cup of the cheddar; toss to combine. Whisk milk, eggs, and salt together in a bowl; pour over cornbread mixture. Top casserole with remaining cheddar.
Cover with plastic wrap, weigh down, and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325F. Remove weights from casserole and discard plastic. Bake until lightly browned and center registers 170F, about 50-60 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes. Serve with hot sauce.
Notes from source:
To weigh down the assembled strata so the custard permeates the bread, fill a 1-quart zip-lock back with rice or sugar, and lay on top of the plastic-covered surface.
Most recipes for this cornbread-based strata call for making homemade cornbread, cutting it into cubes, and staling it in the oven before proceeding with the usual strata protocol - mixing the bread with custard and letting it sit overnight. To speed up the process, we bake our cornbread on a rimmed baking sheet, creating a thin, quick-cooking layer of cornbread. The increased surface area also meant that we could eliminate the staling step. To prevent the spices from clumping in the custard, we add them to the cornbread batter instead. Eggs, milk, cheddar cheese, and green onions make for a rich, flavorful base for this make-ahead brunch dish.