We had some friends over this morning (well, no, not this morning–we asked people to come at about noon) for brunch, featuring Jim’s lovely rosemary roasted potatoes and my green chile strata (the recipe for which I invented at about 8:15 p.m. yesterday). Also mimosas and Bloody Marys. It went pretty well, and underscored for me this:
I am a hermit. A sociophobe, an alienated individual, a Unabomber with Smashbox eyeshadow and Laura Mercier lipstick. I can be around people and even enjoy myself, but it is damned hard–draining, really–and a few hours of hanging out with the crew pretty much puts me out of commission for the rest of the day. And it’s not that I don’t like the individual people I’m with–if I didn’t, I think I’d be completely unable to smile and/or talk and/or make mimosas–I just need waaaaaay more breathing room and still small spaces than a working, socializing mom of two is likely to get.
So I’m afraid I come off as sort of a wretched bitch. Can’t be comfortable for my guests. So I’m a failure as a hostess, too. Alas…
Does anyone know of any tiny remote islands for sale? A wee cabin with hi-speed Internet access would be a great selling point.
Green Chile Strata
1 loaf crusty bread (sourdough would be really nice, but all we can get here is that "French" stuff that’s pretty much like hot-dog-bun dough with a hard crust around it)
1 lb Italian sausage
1 largish or 2 smallish onions, chopped
1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 to 1 tsp fennel, if you like
1 can diced tomatoes, well drained
2 4-oz cans green chiles, well drained
1-1/2 cups milk
1 to 2 cups shredded cheese (I used "Mexican 4-Cheese Blend," but you could use a mixture of, say, Jack and Cotija)
Tear bread into roughly bite-sized pieces. Line the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan with a single layer of torn bread.
Brown sausage and onions together; drain; stir in pepper flakes, fennel, tomatoes and chiles and heat briefly. Spoon mixture over bread. Top with another layer of bread.
Beat eggs; stir in milk; salt and pepper generously to taste. Pour over casserole. Push top layer of bread down gently to encourage bread to wick up egg/milk mixture. Cover casserole tightly with aluminum foil; refrigerate overnight.
Remove strata from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Heat oven to 375. Bake 45 minutes, covered; remove foil and bake 10-15 minutes more. Sprinkle with cheese; return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted, or at least hot, because I don’t think Cotija will really melt. Serve forth and enjoy…