December 21st, 2011
Have you ever left a baguette in the cupboard, and forgotten it there? For like a week.
I could have knocked someone out with this baguette. But it also served as my inspiration for this delicious Breakfast strata. This breakfast strata is a FANTASTIC option for Christmas morning. You just whip this together sometime on Christmas Eve, wrap it and stick it in the refrigerator over night.
First thing Christmas morning, you just pop this in the oven. And while it bakes for about an hour, you can futz about as parents do, maybe make some Peppermint Hot chocolate, and whip up a batch of snickerdoodle muffins, buttermilk biscuits or scones to accompany the strata?
Then, when the table is set and little (or big) feet have scampered downstairs, you will remove this lovely strata, (sort of a quiche/savory bread pudding hybrid) from the oven. The layers of egg, cream and wonderful chewy bread will be accented with smoky ham, sweet onions and tangy cheddar. I also LOVE to add some minced jalapeno’s- but that all depends on your family’s taste buds.
This was kind of shockingly delicious to me. Like I kind of rushed through the pictures (sorry) cause I just wanted to shovel a fork full in. Then I found myself carrying the plate around with me all over the kitchen while I did other stuff. Then I went back for seconds. I’m considering thirds.
Breakfast Strata, serves 8
1 baguette, stale (about 4-5 cups cubed)
2 cups cream
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 Tbs butter
¼ lb ham, cubed
2 cups cheddar, shredded
*1 Tbs jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
Cube the stale baguette (if the bread is not stale, cube it and lightly toast it to dry it out.) Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and then whisk in the heavy cream. Generously season with Kosher salt.
In a small pan, melt the butter and add the onions. Cook gently until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
In a baking dish, spread the cubed bread out over the pan. Pour the onions over the bread, drizzling the extra butter over the cubed bread. Add the ham, (and the jalapeno’s if using.) Sprinkle the whole surface with the shredded cheddar cheese.
Pour the egg-cream mixture over the dish, letting it sink into the bread.
Cover the dish with tin foil and weight it down in the fridge (like I put a carton of milk side ways on top of it.
Chill the strata in the fridge for a minimum of an hour or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Remove the foil from the Breakfast Strata and bake it at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until the strata is cooked all the way through.
Slice and serve hot!