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Corn and Chili Strata with Mexican Chorizo

Strata, a casserole of eggs, bread, cheese and other ingredients, is a busy cook’s secret weapon: The dish can be assembled the night before, then baked the next morning to golden perfection. Use fresh Mexican-style chorizo, not smoked Spanish sausage links, for this Southwestern version, which is studded with mild green chilies and sweet corn.

Ingredients:

  • 3 poblano chilies
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • 1 lb. fresh Mexican-style chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 12 slices day-old baguette, each 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat a broiler.

Place the chilies 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, then chop the chilies. Transfer to a bowl and add the corn.

Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the 1 Tbs. olive oil. 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 chorizo mixture to paper towels to drain.

Lightly oil a 3-quart baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, hot pepper sauce and 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 chili mixture and half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining bread slices, chorizo and chili mixtures and cheese.

Slowly pour the milk mixture over the layers. Cover the baking dish securely with 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 an oven to 350°F.

Uncover the baking dish. Bake until the strata puffs and becomes golden brown, about 1 hour. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve the strata warm. Serves 8 to 10.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers (Weldon Owen, 2011).