Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Layers of Flavor in a Strata.

Remember that brined turkey I made and saved the white meat for future use? The future is here!  One recipe my husband loves, simply loves, is Turkey Vegetable Strata.  When we lived in Pennsylvania, my mother would make several trays of this dish just for him; we would freeze the trays for when he felt the desire for it.  Well, she is 2700 miles away in Pennsylvania; we're in Utah, so I needed to make this dish on my own for him; of course I tweaked the recipe.  No, I just can't leave recipes as is; have to keep playing with new ingredients.

Anyway, my husband paid me the most awesome compliment the other day, "Hunny, this strata is so good; it's even better than your mother's."  I was on cloud nine and still climbing; I think the smile on my face was so wide, I dented the walls in the kitchen.

Turkey Vegetable Strata is one of those casserole dishes that takes two days to prepare.  The first day, the body of the casserole needs to rest in the refrigerator, so moisture and flavor can soak into the bread stuffing.  The second day is the baking process and to be truthful, the casserole is even better the next day after that when all the flavors have melded together...but who can wait!?!

Enough teasing, lets get to baking and eating!

Turkey Vegetable Strata


1 medium onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup diced mushrooms
2 Tbsp butter
1 (10 oz) bag herb seasoned, cubed bread stuffing (white or cornbread)
1 (16 oz) bag frozen white corn
1 and 1/2 lbs cooked turkey, white meat, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided in half
2 eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
3 cups milk, divide into 2 cups and 1 cup
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 tsp crushed dry sage



In a 12 inch skillet, melt butter on medium heat; sauté onion, bell pepper and mushrooms for 10 minutes; do not let brown, just soften. 


With nonstick cooking spray, spray a 4 quart baking dish.  In a large mixing bowl, combine cubed bread, corn, turkey, one cup cheese and sautéed vegetables; spread out into sprayed baking dish.


In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, mayonnaise (or yogurt), two cups milk and black pepper until smooth.  Pour evenly over contents in baking dish; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours.


Next day, bread stuffing is moist and double in size.

Next day, preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, mix together soups, sage, one cup milk and one cup cheese till well combined; spread evenly over top of contents in baking dish. 

Bake covered with aluminum foil  for 50 minutes; uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes.  Let casserole rest for 15 minutes before serving.


Makes 12 servings.


Mary Cokenour


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