Hello all–I have a dear friend Sue, who is one of those cooks who always sets beautiful (and delicious!) food out on the table. She gave me this recipe 35 years ago and I’ve been making it ever since! It’s a Christmas morning favorite because you make it the day before and in the morning you just pop it into the oven while kids are digging into Santa gifts! An old standby, I think you’d like it too.
1 pound loaf white bread with a soft crust
3 cups grated cheddar (or jack or Swiss)
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound ham, cut to smallish bits*
1 cup chopped red, yellow and/or green bell pepper
Cut the bread into 1″ cubes. Spread them out in a 9″x13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until frothy. Then stir in the cheddar, milk, salt and pepper. Finally add in the ham and pepper bits. Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes and “smoosh” it down slightly.
Cover the strata with foil and refrigerate it over night.
In the morning, take out the strata and let it sit out for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Put it into a 350 degree oven, covered with the foil, for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and cook the strata 25 to 30 minutes more uncovered until it’s nicely browned and cooked through. Enjoy the strata while it’s still puffy, hot from the oven.
*In the place of the ham, you could substitute cooked bacon or breakfast sausage and in the place of the peppers use broccoli, green chilis, mushrooms… It’s a versatile dish that can sustain a lot of flavors!