Corn & Chile Strata with Mexican Chorizo-American Southwest

In case you can’t tell or have only recently discovered my blog, I’m on a bit of an eggs kick as only last week  I had made the ubiquitous Mexican dish chilaquiles featuring a  tomatillo (green) salsa. This week I “journeyed” north of Mexico and ventured into the cocinas (kitchens) of the American Southwest, a region home to many culinary influences from Mexico.

I made a corn and chile strata (well I omitted the corn since I can’t eat it) with Mexican chorizo. For anyone not familiar, a strata is a wonderful combination (i.e. a casserole) of eggs, bread, cheese, and other ingredients. It’s a popular (i.e. simple and convenient) brunch dish since one can make it the night before and then bake it the next morning.

Along with some maple glazed bacon I whipped up it was a great Friday night meal. And obviously for any vegetarians out there you can certainly omit the chorizo and have a delicious egg casserole dish at your disposal. For two people it made more then plenty and will serve its role as weeknight leftovers sometime soon.

recipe courtesy of the cookbook Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts by Rick Rodgers
3 poblano chiles
1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for cooking
1 lb. fresh Mexican-style chorizo sausage, casings removed
1 white onion, chopped
2 cups whole milk
8 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Kosher salt
12 slices day-old baguette
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
-Preheat the broiler. Place the chiles on a baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally until blackened on all sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool until easy to handle. Peel off the blackened skin. Discard the stem, seeds, and ribs, and chop the chiles. Transfer to a bowl and add the corn. 
-Meanwhile, in a large, frying pan, heat the 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking it up with the side of a wooden spoon, until it begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 3 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage mixture to paper towels to drain. Discard the fat in the pan. 
-Lightly oil a 3-quart baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, hot pepper sauce, and 3/4 teaspoon salt until combined. Arrange 6 of the bread slices in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared dish, tearing the slices to fit, if needed. Top evenly with half of the chorizo mixture, half of the chile mixture, and half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining bread slices, chorizo and chile mixtures, and cheese. 
-Slowly pour the milk mixture over the layers. Wrap securely in plastic wrap. Press gently on the plastic to submerge the layers in the milk mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. 
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake until the strata puffs and becomes golden brown, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.   


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