A long time ago after my father died, my mom instituted a new Christmas tradition. We went to her house for Christmas breakfast. As a newlywed with another family to visit over the holidays this worked out great for us. We visited my family in the morning and had a great breakfast and then to my in laws for dinner and more presents. Eventually we moved breakfast to my house where I often served something similar to Ellie Krieger’s Breakfast Strata.
A breakfast strata is more or less a savory bread pudding. There’s no rule that says a strata is limited to breakfast as it’s a great choice for anytime of day, but one of the advantages of a breakfast strata is that all the ingredients can be assembled the night before and baked before serving. Another advantage is that you can put just about anything you’d like into your strata and it will most likely be tasty (there are exceptions of course, like being heavy handed with the cumin.)
The recipe is based on Ellie Krieger’s Broccoli Mushroom and Cheese Breakfast Strata with a few changes of course. I didn’t use as many eggs as she did and I also chopped up some leftover bacon. I didn’t have Dijon mustard but a seedy German style mustard along with some plain old yellow mustard made a delicious substitute.
My version serves four and takes about 45 minutes to bake, depending on the size and whether it was held in the fridge before baking.
- 1 regular sized baguette, cut or torn into bite sized pieces
- 10 ounces frozen broccoli, steamed and drained
- 5 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (1 teaspoon dried)
- ¾ cup sliced mushrooms (small can, drained)
- ½ cup cooked bacon slices, chopped
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
- Prepare a 9 x 13" casserole or similar sized baking dish with cooking spray or oil. Steam the broccoli while preparing the baguette and other ingredients.
- Beat the eggs with the milk, mustards, salt, pepper and thyme
- Stir in the vegetables and bread. Mix well to ensure the bread is wet. If it seems too dry, add ¼ cup more milk.
- Mix in about half the cheese then transfer everything to the prepared casserole.
- At this point you could cover the casserole dish with foil and store overnight in the fridge.
- When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Leave the foil on top and bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Continue baking for another 20 - 25 minutes or until the eggs are set and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
I baked my veggie filled breakfast strata right after assembling and took a leisurely shower while it was cooking. The bread cubes poking out of the top crisped up a bit and made a nice topping with the extra cheese. The inside custard is similar to quiche with great flavor from the mustards.
This week is Potluck Week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. Drop by to see what the others in the group have made.
Rick and I wish you and your family all the blessings of the holidays.