Friday, September 17, 2010

Cheese and Bacon Strata

Cheese and Bacon Strata
A strata is a casserole made from bread, eggs, and milk. This is a basic one-layer breakfast strata recipe from Café . A strata can also be made with two layers of bread. I made some alterations to this recipe by using what I had on hand.

3 slices of whole wheat bread
4 large egg whites plus 1 whole large egg or 3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream plus 2 cups skim milk (original recipe: 2 1/2 cups milk)
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Mozzarella cheeses combined
6 bacon strips, fried until brown and crisp, then drained and crumbled

Generously butter one 8 inch square pan. Cut the bread slices to fit the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cheeses over the bread. Whisk eggs together. Add the cream and milk and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour on top of the bread and cheese and let sit for at least an hour at room temperature. It's preferable to do this overnight but I didn't think of making a strata last night! To let this sit overnight, cover the pan with plastic film and place it in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature before baking. Scatter the bacon in top.

Set oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 350˚F. Bake casserole until brown and bubbly about 45 minutes. You may need to cover it with foil to prevent the top from browning too much. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes: The crust puffed up then deflated and once sliced, there was water in the bottom of the pan. It must have been from the egg whites so I just drained off the water. It was delicious served with a sprinkling of fresh scallion and a dollop of hot chili sauce!

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