Wolfgang Puck's WalletPop special: a great homemade meal for under $15

Keeping your family well fed is becoming more of a challenge each day. Not only do you have to take into account what the kids will and won't eat, what's in season, and organic versus non-organic, there's the issue of cost. And according to the Agriculture Department, your grocery bill will climb even higher as the economy starts to recover.

To help, WalletPop will occasionally feature recipes from famous chefs and restaurateurs. The price tag: $15 or less to serve a family of four or more. To kick off the series, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck recommends this hearty but easy to make Southwestern Strata with sausage recipe.Ingredients:

3/4 pound bulk pork or turkey sausage, mild Italian sausage, or chorizo, casings removed
1/2 pound stale rosemary country bread or French bread, cut in 3/4-inch slices
1 garlic clove, cut in half
1 cup grated pepper Jack cheese
6 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh tomato salsa for garnish

1. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add sausage. Saute, breaking it up into bite-size chunks with a wooden spoon until cooked through and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage pieces to paper towels to drain and cool.

2. Oil a 12x10-inch baking or gratin dish. Rub the bread slices with the cut garlic and spread in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle half the cheese over the bread, top with sausage, and finish with remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. You can prepare up to 2 hours ahead.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over bread mixture. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is browned and the mixture is slightly puffed. Serve with salsa on the side.
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