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Author Notes: Calling this a strata elevates it from a humdrum casserole, but declaring it an extravaganza makes me think balloons, confetti, and the horn section from Kool and the Gang. I came up with my own "dirt cheap" budget friendly version for this week's contest, using sale items and various kinds of reserved (read: frozen) stale bread. The big splurge here is the five slices of bacon!
"Celebrate, good times, come on!" —Sadassa_Ulna
- 2/3 pound [thawed] sliced stale bread (free? or maybe $1)
- 6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated ($.75 on sale)
- 8 large eggs ($1.34)
- 1/4 pound bacon, about 5 slices ($1)
- 1 "brick" frozen spinach, thawed ($1)
- 2-1/2 cups milk ($.65)
- 1 extremely large onion, diced ($1)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
- Fry the bacon in a large skillet until golden-brown and just starting to get crispy; lift slices out of the pan and drain on paper towels (or some bread slices if you really want to get the most out of the bacon splurge!) Leave the fat in the pan.
- Pour a small amount of the fat into a 9 x 13 (or 3 quart) baking pan and spread around with a paper towel (or a slice of bread if parsimony leads you to do so).
- Saute the onion in the remaining bacon fat (or dispose and use a tablespoon vegetable oil) until soft and golden-brown, allow to cool.
- Break the eggs into a large bowl and beat with a fork; add the milk, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Sift in the mustard and paprika while mixing.
- Squeeze the thawed spinach in your fists to wring out as much moisture as you can. Add to the egg mixture.
- Crumble the bacon (finely) and add to the egg mixture. Cube the bread - including the bacon-y "drainer" slices - and add to the mix.
- Add the cheese reserving about a quarter cup for strewing at the end.
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan and go ahead and strew, you deserve it for being so fiscally responsible!
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes; remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or so until golden.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dirt Cheap Dinner