I am posting his latest film at the bottom of this post. It's really good and I'd love your opinion about it, if you're game.
For the post this day, I am sharing a Southwestern Strata recipe. It is a perfect brunch recipe!
Strata is an interesting dish. It is supposed to be layers of white bread alternated with layers of cheese, then soaked in a milk mixture and baked. This is the very original version of strata.
Since then the milk mixture has been augmented with eggs to give it a custard-like texture and the the layers now are not so much layers, per say, as additions mixed in.
Mix-ins now can include, vegetables, meats and various types of cheeses. This being a southwestern version, it uses cornbread as the bread (I used the Cornbread Muffin recipe in Everyday Vegan Eats. Delicious!), and a homemade queso fresco (recipe coming this month).
It also includes sauteed peppers, onions and cilantro. I added spiced chorizo chickpeas since there is aquafaba in the batter anyway.
The batter is where it gets interesting. Because I fell in love with the bread pudding recipe in my cookbook Aquafaba [AMAZON], I wanted to make a savory version and this is the result. The aquafaba mixed with psyllium husk (cannot be omitted) and starch, results in a custard.
Mix, let the batter soak into the bread and bake. Serve it with some inspired tomato sauce and dig in.
As promised, here is Mikel's WE-System short film:
In case you missed it, I am hosting a giveaway for The Essential Vegan Travel Guide. My girls used it this summer when traveling in Europe and it is amazing! Go enter the contest or, better yet, pick up a copy! Contest ends December 19.
Serves about 6
1 cup chickpeas
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
6 cups stale cornbread (cut into 1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup crumbled vegan cheese, optional (Kite Hill or Follow Your Heart block is good or use homemade)
6 tablespoons aquafaba**
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups unsweetened plain nondairy milk
1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
1. Preheat the oven to 450-degrees F. Combine the chickpeas, broth, vinegar, oil, chili powder, oregano, cumin, paprika and salt on a baking sheet. Mix well and bake for 15 minutes. Set aside.
2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion to the skillet. Cover and cook until the onion is browning, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Add a splash of broth if the onion is beginning to burn. Using a cover will prevent too much evaporation and help brown the vegetables without oil.
3. Add the aquafaba to a blender. With the blender running on medium speed, add the oil slowly. Add the milk in a steady stream (doesn’t have to be slowly) and the psyllium. Blend for 20 seconds. Add to a large bowl.
4. Add the cornbread, cilantro, cheese (if using) and reserved chickpeas. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes. Add to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish and bake in a 325-degree oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to firm up. Serve.
** Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using.
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