Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sausage & Cheese Strata

Marc thought this was just OK, I liked it, and Addison LOVED it. She had 3 helpings for dinner (yes, we had breakfast for dinner) and then asked for it for breakfast again the next morning. For that reason alone, I felt it worthy to put on this blog. My only note is that this is a breakfast food, but takes quite a bit of prep, so it definitely needs to be put together the night before.

Sausage & Cheese Strata
(Wondertime magazine, June 2008)

6 English muffins, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, or 8 thick slices of Italian bread, cubed
1/2 pound bulk sausage (or breakfast sausage with the casings removed)
12 ounces Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, grated
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk (any kind)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

At least two hours before you'll be baking the strata, heat oven to 350. On a cookie sheet, in a single layer, bake English muffin or bread cubes for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are dried out and beginning to brown. Turn oven off, remove cubes, and let cool while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

In a skillet, brown and break up sausage and transfer it to paper towels to drain. Brush a 2-quart soufflé or casserole dish with about a tablespoon of the fat from the skillet. In the dish, arrange layers as follows: 1/3 English muffin cubes, 1/3 cheese, all the sausage, 1/3 English muffin cubes, 1/3 cheese, 1/3 English muffin cubes. Press the contents of the dish down firmly.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce; pour mixture over strata. Top the dish with remaining cheese, and drizzle the top with melted butter.

Chill, covered, at least an hour, or overnight.

Let dish stand at room temperature for 45 minutes before you bake it. Heat oven to 350. Bake strata for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until it's golden brown and puffy.

(NOTES: At the last minute I realized I didn't have sausage in my freezer like I thought I did, so I used cooked bacon and diced ham instead. Worked great! I also didn't have cayenne pepper, so I used a dash of tabasco sauce)