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Old 01-02-2007, 08:35 PM   #1
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Hot Italian Strata needs improvement

I made this as written, for New Year's Eve, and though everyone loved it (me, too!) and ate it all, I just KNOW it can be better.

I would love some critique and help on the what I was disappointed in:

- the top crescent rolls didn't puff up very high, as they would if I'd made them as rolls (maybe too much egg/cheese mixture on the dough?)

- the red peppers were fantastic, but made the filling kinda juicy (chop up the peppers and pat them dry before adding them?)

- I didn't see any point in the eggs; they were invisible in the finished squares

I will include a picture of the strata, before I cut it. The squares were like mini, hot Italian subs. It really did taste great, but what do you think would make it better?



2 pkgs Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/4 lb. boiled ham
1/4 lb. provolone cheese
1/4 lb. Genoa salami
1/4 lb. swiss cheese
1/4 lb. thin pepperoni
1 large jar roasted peppers, drained
3 eggs--beaten with pepper and 3 TBL. grated cheese

-Preheat oven to 350F.
-Line 9X13 pan with one can of crescent rolls. (A pyrex dish works well here)
-Layer meats and cheese in order listed above.
-Follow pepperoni with roasted peppers.
-Reserve about 3 TBL of egg mixure and pour the remaining mixture over the layer of peppers.
-Top peppers and egg with 2nd can of crescent rolls.
-Brush with remaining egg mixture.
-Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes..
-Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown + set.
-Cut into squares.

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Old 01-02-2007, 10:22 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great recipe and would certainly work with it.

Were the jarred pimintos in halves or slices? Would definitely dry and cut into slices, not dice.

Am sure others will come along with the answer but am not sure what the poured in egg is supposed to do.

Just as an idea think some sliced olives would work.

Good luck with it and I think this is really a fine recipe.

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Old 01-02-2007, 11:14 PM   #3
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QSis - I am sending you a recipe via private message because it is a copyrighted recipe. It's the Broccoli/Ham Crescent ring from Pampered Chef.

It seems that the eggs would puff up and give something for everything else to hold to. Ricotta cheese might be good in it's place maybe. In critiquing the recipe, which this is just shooting from the hip since you say it could be improved upon in all likelihood I would think that some fresh crushed garlic would be good and some finely minced onions. Some fresh Italian parsley might give it some brightness.

Anyway - the recipe I'm sending you is just for your enjoyment - and that one, I'm sure can be improved upon too. I put a note at the bottom of how I thought it could be improved and what I subbed one time for the Dijon mustard.

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Old 01-03-2007, 01:16 PM   #4
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QSis, Your Strata looks yummy. Here is one of mine:
1 pound Italian Sausage (hot ,sweet your choice)
1 8 oz can refrigerator crescent dinner rolls
2 cups mozzarella grated cheese
4 beaten eggs
3/4 cup milk
salt and pepper

Crumble and cook sausage in a skillet. Cook medium heat until brown,stirring occassionally. Drain well.

Line bottom of 13 x 9 buttered pan baking dish with crescent rolls. Firmly press perforations to seal. Sprinkle with sausage and cheese. Combine rest of ingredients...beat well. Pour over sausage. Bake 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut in squares and serve.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:53 PM   #5
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This looks really good. I'll have to try it.

You could use puff pastry to replace the crexcent roll dough. Definitely pat the peppers dry. I would cut them into strips before patting dry.

I would use provolone in place of the swiss to keep with the Italian theme.

How about some thinly sliced onion?

Strata traditionally is an egg dish, I believe. Also, it serves to bind the ingredients.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:14 PM   #6
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thanks andy, my brain was stalled trying to figure out what to sub for the cresent rolls dough. But I don't have puff pastry either, any other suggestions? I recently made a killer danish pastry recently, but that was kinda time consuming.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:52 PM   #7
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Looks good, maybe it needs something fresh, like basil or parsley?
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Old 01-10-2007, 10:31 AM   #8
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In with KitchenElf it needs some onion and garlic.I would also be inclined to sautee the peppers,onions and garlic with a bit of Italian Herbs S&P before adding in.
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Old 01-10-2007, 02:05 PM   #9
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You cannot actually omit eggs from a strata..that's what makes it a strata. Roasted peppers should not weep since they are already cooked. I'd suggest the water was from the ham.

Those crescent rolls are redolent with fat. They'll ooze that fat into your strata, as well...which doesn't need any more with all the meats cheeses. You could use sliced italian bread or a good quality white bread in place of the crescent rolls.
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Old 01-10-2007, 02:23 PM   #10
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I would pre-bake a layer of puff pastry for the bottom. Fill it as directed and top with more puff pastry and bake.
But as it looks, I think it looks pretty nice for a strata/stromboli.
I would also add some sauteed onion slices to the mix.

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