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 chiles and sweet corn.
Corn and Chile Strata with Mexican Chorizo
3 poblano chiles
1 1/2 cups (9 oz./280 g) fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for cooking
1 lb. (500 g) fresh Mexican-style chorizo sausage, casings removed
1 white onion, chopped
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) whole milk
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
Kosher salt, to taste
12 slices day-old baguette, each 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 inch (12 mm to 2 cm) thick
2 cups (8 oz./250 g) shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat a 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 Tbs. 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 (3-l) baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, hot pepper sauce and 3/4 tsp. 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 an oven to 350°F (180°C). 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. Serves 8 to 10.
Find more great recipes for sunrise specialties in our book Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers.