Perfect for your morning brunch, this strata is assembled the night before and popped into the oven the next morning. That means that you'll be free to welcome your guests to the party, as the mouthwatering aroma from the oven wafts through the kitchen door!
The basic strata recipe is simple, but guaranteed to please everyone's taste. You can customize it a bit with the addition of any one of these ingredients: diced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, monterey jack cheese, onions--you decide!
7 slices of white bread with crusts removed
2 cups of diced ham
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese; grated
1 dozen eggs
2 cups of milk or half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Spray a 9X13 pan with Pam, then lay the bread slices in the bottom of the pan. Layer the chopped ham on top of the bread followed by the shredded cheese.
With a whisk, beat the eggs and then add the milk, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Pour this over the top of the ham and cheese layer.
Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, remove from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the strata for an hour, or until golden brown on top.
Cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into serving pieces. Top each piece with a sliced tomato.
For a spicier flavor: To add a little south-of-the border taste, add one 4 ounce can of green chilies, drained and chopped and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne.