I wanted something easy, but hearty and delicious to bring to a brunch. This was all of that. Can be made the night before and baked that morning. This recipe is so versatile, you can substitute any meat or vegetable for what’s in the recipe.
- 8 - 10 slices supermarket French bread (1/2-inch thick) or Italian bread (6 - 7 ounces)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz. bulk breakfast sausage, crumbled
- 3 medium shallots, minced (about ⅓ cup)
- 8 oz. white button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
- ½ very large green bell pepper, diced
- Salt and ground black pepper
- ½ c. medium-dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 6 oz. Monterey Jack cheese , grated (about 1½ cups)
- 6 large eggs
- 1-3/4 c.half-and-half
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 225 degrees. Arrange bread in single layer on large baking sheet and bake until dry and crisp, about 40 minutes, turning slices over halfway through drying time. (Alternatively, leave slices out overnight to dry.) When cooled, butter slices on one side with 2 tablespoons butter; set aside.
- Fry sausage in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking sausage apart with wooden spoon, until sausage has lost raw color and begins to brown, about 4 minutes; add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 1 minute longer. Add mushrooms and peppers to skillet, and cook until mushrooms no longer release liquid and peppers are softened, about 6 minutes; transfer mixture to medium bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add wine to skillet, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until reduced to ¼ cup, 2 to 3 minutes; set aside.
- Butter 8-inch square baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter; arrange half the buttered bread slices, buttered-side up, in single layer in dish. Sprinkle half of sausage mixture, then ½ cup grated cheese evenly over bread slices. Arrange remaining bread slices in single layer over cheese; sprinkle remaining sausage mixture and another ½ cup cheese evenly over bread. Whisk eggs and parsley in medium bowl until combined; whisk in reduced wine, half-and-half, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread layers; cover surface flush with plastic wrap, weigh down (see note, above), and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Remove dish from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Uncover strata and sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheese evenly over surface; bake until both edges and center are puffed and edges have pulled away slightly from sides of dish, 50 to 55 minutes (or about 80 minutes for doubled recipe). Cool on wire rack 5 minutes; serve.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated