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Blog

Filtering by Tag: Strata

A Soon to Be Lost Art

Lee Manigault

Entertaining children at home is a forgotten art.  Helicopter parents over-schedule their children with soccer, art camps, swim teams; anything so as not to have a moment of down time.  

Recently, one of our first grade friends and fans told us about an incident at school. She was incensed when a classmate took over her job as door monitor and had a solution to end the tyranny. She got her backpack and whacked her classmate over the head! We admire her pluck and verve but could not endorse this tactic as a life long plan and her school and parents certainly did not. When she returned home from school, her parents 'punishment' was to have her sit out the nightly TV program with her sister and to help with evening chores instead.  But guess what?  She loved the extra time with her parents.  We were reminded anew that children don't find house work the chore we do if they can learn and be with their parents.  All children might not love the added chores as much as this budding domestic goddess, but they will enjoy having added responsibility. 

Dean Manigault went to her ex-husband's plantation with her daughter and a friend of hers.  There was no wifi, so all attendees were forced to be 'present'.  It was freezing cold so the children were tasked with keeping the fires stoked and the log piles plentiful.  Dinner was provided by Dean Manigault but breakfast and lunch was the time tested "if you can reach it, you can eat it".  The kids were a bit inventive when left to their own menu choices, but no one starved and the kids reveled in their new autonomy.  In fact, Gigi cracked the spine of the Academy cookbook for the first time ever and created the egg strata all by herself. All the entertainments were "in house" and there was lots of downtime together.  It is so much fun to get young people's perspective on the world today.

EGG STRATA

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

1 sourdough boule sliced 3/4 inch thick

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Thin slices of Gruyere or cheddar, enough to cover bread on bottom of pan

6 eggs

3 cups whole milk

1 pound bulk sausage, browned

 

1.  Grease a 9-by-11 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.  Spread both sides of the bread with the butter.  Layer the bread in the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with the cheese.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.  Pour over the bread, up to a 1/2 inch below the top of the baking dish.  Any more liquid will bubble over when cooking.  Add the sausage.  Cover and refrigerate the strata overnight or for up to 2 days.

3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake the strata until puffy and golden brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour. 


Unstructured time at home is a gift and should be treated as such.  When time is over scheduled outside the home- the domestic skills are left to wither on the vine.  Quiet time together in your own house is not the modern day boogyman.  Quite the opposite.  Revel in before your children are permanently gone and you missed your chance to get to know them and what they can do!

Find creative recipes for everyday & special events

School Night at the Manigault's

Suzanne Pollak

Cooking is Dean Manigault's artist outlet, but yet, she has been cursed with two daughters who don't like to eat her food. Last night's dinner was a roast chicken with a homemade gravy, black rice, haricot vert, and melon and prosciutto. India (15) took one slice of chicken and one string bean and then ate neither. Gigi (12) took several pieces of chicken, a little bit of rice and some beans. She ate a few beans, a bite of rice, and left most of the chicken and gravy. After seven minutes of communal dining they both begged to be excused. Thankfully Dean Manigault has two neighbors who love to come to dinner most nights, because her ego couldn't take the lashing her daughters inflict. 

child.jpg

Since Dean Pollak's children are adults, she knows what works. Her solutions:  Give birth to seven foot sons. Insist that your children participate in a lively sport every day. Only allow carrots and apples for snacks. Any food that they look askance at, announce that the food is just a different kind of chicken, such as, "that's not salmon, that's pink chicken." The final and most useful tip is to enlist the children's help in cooking, starting when they are toddlers and taking over a whole meal by the time they are teenagers. 

Below are a few recipes that may help entice your child to participate at dinner.

FRIED ZUCCHINI

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

1 cup water

2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 pound zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick and 2 inches long

Vegetable oil, fro frying

Salt

 

1.  In a shallow bowl, whisk together the water and flour.  The batter should have the consistency of sour cream.  Adjust your measurements accordingly. 

2.  Into a Dutch oven or stock pot, over high heat, pour enough oil to come 3/4 inch up the side of the pot.  When the oil reaches 375 degrees F, dip the zucchini slices into the batter.  Transfer to the hot oil one handful at a time, so as not to crowd the pan.  Flip a couple of times until the zucchini are golden brown all over.  Your oil must be hot enough so the cooking is finished within 2 to 3 minutes.  

3.  Sprinkle with salt and serve piping hot with homemade mayonnaise or remoulade.


EGG STRATA

Breakfast for Dinner!

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 sourdough boule, sliced 3/4 inch thick

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Thin slices of Gruyere or cheddar, enough to cover the bread on the bottom of the pan

6 eggs

3 cups whole milk

1 pound bulk sausage, browned

 

1.  Grease a 9x11 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.  Spread both sides of the bread with the butter.  Layer the bread in the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with the cheese.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.  Pour over the bread, up to 1/2 inch below the top of the baking dish.  Any more liquid will bubble over when cooking.  Add the sausage.  Cover and refrigerate the strata overnight or for up to 2 days.

3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake the strata until puffy and golden brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

 


Find the Chicken Pie recipe and many more recipes here.