Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Spicy Dutch oven breakfast strata

Classic breakfast strata consists of cubed or torn bread, layered with shredded cheeses and bound together with whisked eggs. Meat and vegetables are optional. The mountain man breakfast is a common Dutch oven strata in camp. 

My first thought was to replicate a breakfast strata that we prepared for Mercy Chefs last week in Middletown, California. (I deployed with Mercy Chefs to Middletown to provide quality meals for victims of the Valley Fire.) I was going to layer scratch buttermilk biscuits, sausage, cheese and eggs into the 10-inch Dutch oven and bake for dinner.

Then I though why not use the beef taquitos from the freezer as the base? So, a layer of taquitos fit in the bottom of the Dutch oven. After spooning my salsa rachera over the taquitos, a mixture of crumbled chorizo with green chiles and onion went over the top. Ten eggs with cheddar and jack cheeses made up the final layer. After baking with charcoal for 35 minutes, we are ready to eat.

Cut the taquitos to fit into the Dutch oven. I began by arranging them in the fashion of a wheel spoke, but quickly realized the taquitos would blend into the final dish. Settle on complete coverage, not presentation in this case.
Mixing the eggs and cheese together gives you the best distribution of the cheese. Don't worry when the chorizo mixture rises to the surface. It's all good!
Let the cooked strata rest for about 10 minutes. Resting allows the proteins and starches to set, making the strata more stable before you cut into it. 

You will need to cut the taquitos to fit in the Dutch oven. Arrange them as desired as they will blend into finished dish.

10-12 frozen beef taquitos
1/2 cup salsa
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
6 ounces pork chorizo, casing removed
10 large eggs
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Lightly oil (or coat with pan spray) a 10-inch Dutch oven. Arrange beef taquitos in the shape of a wheel spoke. Evenly spoon salsa over the taquitos.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and chilies until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chorizo and cook, crumbling with a spoon, until browned. Drain off excess fat.

Meanwhile, crack eggs into a bowl. Add cheddar and jack cheeses and season with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs and cheeses until blended. Evenly pour egg and cheese mixture over taquitos. Place lid on oven.

Bake with coals for 350 degrees until puffed and golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. To serve, cut into 8 pieces. If desired, serve with your favorite hot pepper sauce or salsa and sour cream on the side.

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