Nova Strata with a Luso-Inglês Twist

There are days when you look in the fridge and find nothing but containers full of great leftovers, staring back at you, saying ¨Use Me before I am no good¨.

I cannot bring myself to make something using raw materials when there are still built-in flavor savers screaming to me from my refrigerator shelves.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds leftover meat ( I used shredded chicken and half of a chouriço)
  • 1 pound veggies, sauteed and drained (again I used 2 leftover veggie sides)
  • 1-quart Natas ( that’s Portuguese for half-and-half)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt, several grinds of pepper, and cumin
  • enough bread to cover the bottom of a casserole dish (here I used a rustic bread from Montalegre)
  • 12 ounces any cheese (this batch has Serra de Estrella cheese)
  • butter to precoat the casserole dish

Directions

  1. Whisk half-and-half, eggs, salt, and pepper until smooth. Coat a ceramic baking dish with the butter.
  2. Line bottom with the bread. Scatter meat and veggies over the bread, then pour egg mixture over the top. Be sure to coat the entire surface and then shake the dish a bit to spread evenly.  Cover with foil, then weight down casserole with another dish or cans for at least 15 minutes to submerge ingredients. (Can be refrigerated, just remove at least 30 minutes before baking.)
  3. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven until custard is just set, about 50 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil until cheese on top is spotty brown and puffy, about 5 minutes longer. Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes, then serve immediately.
The bread is better than any pizza crust could wish to be =)

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