Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Strata: a Photo Essay

We have this every Christmas morning, occasionally for Easter brunch or house party breakfast, but typically it's a Christmas thing. (Download with only 1 image at Google Docs.)

• 12 slices bread (I use multi-grain)
• 6 eggs
• 1 lb. bulk sausage (not shown)
• ½ stick unsalted butter (don't melt it yet)
• 2 c. shredded cheese (lowfat okay; don't use fat-free)
• 1 can evaporated skim milk
• ¼ t. dry/ground mustard
• ½ t. salt

Also: 9"x13" glass baking dish, large mixing bowl

strata2_sausageBrown the sausage and break it up well. While it's cooking, follow the next few steps.

Note: you can use other meats, or go meat-free, but may need to adjust the amount of butter used. The original recipe called for ¾-1 stick of butter, plus the amount used to butter the dish, but we've found that it's far too much when using sausage.

strata1_panButter the dish using the amount set aside for the casserole, then melt the remainder.

(I've used this same casserole pan for at least ten Christmases.)

strata4_breadCube the bread & toss it into the large mixing bowl.

(I just got this bowl, and love it!)

strata5_bread&cheeseDrain the sausage and add it and the cheese to the bread.

strata6_toss1Toss the bread, cheese and sausage.

I use my hands because it's not nearly as messy as an upcoming step.

strata7_liquidIn a separate bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add evaporated milk, salt and mustard; mix well.

strata8_addliquidPour the egg mixture over the bread mixture.

strata9_mixThoroughly mix.

Wow, that is a very unflattering angle for my hand (which is fat, but not really shaped like that).

strata10_in panDump mixture into buttered pan and pat mixture into corners.

Then, wash your hands.

strata11_butterPour butter over assembled strata, then cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

strata13_finishedIn the morning, or at least several hours later, preheat oven to 325ยบ and bake for one hour.

strata14_serveWe usually serve it with canned peaches. Not sure why... we just always have.


Anonymous said...

I think I'll have to try that! Thanks for the recipe!

Karen said...

I love your green mixing bowl! Do you remember where you got it?

I found my way to you from Ravelry.

Melissa said...

Karen: Hope you see this! I got the bowl at Meijer. I HAD to have it.