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5 from 1 vote

French Onion Strata

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Author: Emily Clifton, Nerds with Knives

Ingredients

For the Caramelized Onions:

  • 3 tablespoons 45g unsalted butter, plus more for greasing baking dish
  • 3 large Spanish onions about 2 1/2 pounds; 1kg, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 medium cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup 60ml dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup 120ml dry white wine

For the Strata:

  • 1 large Italian or French bread loaf about 1 pound; 450g, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups 830ml half and half or whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 22ml smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon 15ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon 5ml fish sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups 8 ounces grated Gruyère cheese

Instructions

  • For the Caramelized Onions: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat, then add onions, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes, until onions have softened, about 10 minutes. Remove lid and cook, stirring frequently and keeping skillet uncovered, until onions are deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes; if onions threaten to burn at any point, stir in a tablespoon or two of water as needed, and/or lower heat. Add garlic and thyme and cook 1 minute longer. Add sherry and wine and cook until liquid has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, for the Strata: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spread bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until bread is dry but not browned, about 8 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half or milk, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce (if using), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Add dried bread and let soak in custard for at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
  • Butter a 12-inch cast iron skillet or a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and add half of bread. Scatter half of caramelized onions and half of cheese all over. Layer remaining bread on top and scatter remaining onions and cheese over. Drizzle any remaining custard all over, then bake until bread is crisp and custard is just set, about 35 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
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