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OVERNIGHT SEAFOOD STRATA

Ingredients

1 loaf Italian bread or 2 loaves French bread (1 pound)

3 tablespoons butter

1 large leek, white and light green parts chopped (2 cups)

6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 pound sea scallops, cut in half or quartered if large

½ pound imitation crab meat, broken up with your fingers

1, 10 ounce bag frozen peas, thawed

1, large red bell pepper, chopped

½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups Jarlsberg or Gruyere cheese, shredded

8 Eggland’s Best extra-large eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons lobster base

2 tablespoons chopped parsley to garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the bread into 2” cubes and spread them on a baking sheet.  Toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the bread is toasty but still soft in the center.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat.  Add the leeks and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Add the shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, peas, red pepper, Old Bay, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the pan and cook for 2 minutes tossing to combine until the shrimp just starts to turn pink.  The shrimp and scallops will NOT be cooked through.  This is important and will keep them from overcooking in the casserole.

Spray a 9” x 13” casserole with non-stick spray and place the toasted bread cubes evenly in the bottom. Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheese over the bread.  Top with the seafood mixture, taking care to make sure that all ingredients are evenly distributed.  Top with the remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese.

Combine the eggs, milk, cream, and lobster base in a bowl and whisk until well combined.  Pour This mixture evenly over the top of the casserole and press everything down with your hands to ensure that the bread is all covered with the egg mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove casserole from fridge 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 1 hour or until the casserole is set in the center and there is no visible liquid.  Check at 45 minutes and cover if the casserole is getting very brown on the top.

Let rest for 15-20 minutes before cutting.  Cut into squares, garnish with chopped parsley, and devour!

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