Strata means layers… generally layers of egg-soaked bread and meat of some kind (ham, sausage, bacon) and cheese. It is baked like a casserole.
This is the other very popular strata ( Overnight egg casserole) that I prepared for the Bridal Breakfast that I catered last month. Other Items on the menu were a BROWN SUGAR STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE, Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake, OVERNIGHT SAUSAGE AND EGG BAKE, Overnight Vegetarian Egg Bake, Fresh Fruit Salad, Coffee and Juices.
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I did all of the preparation the day before, so the morning of the breakfast, I just popped the strata’s in the oven so that they would be warm and ready for a beautiful breakfast.
I doubled this recipe since there was a party of 23 people. Martha Stewart’s recipe calls for Canadian Bacon, but I substituted small round ham, the same size as the English Muffin.
Recipe semi-adapted from Everyday Food, May 2006
- Butter, softened (for pan)
- 4 English Muffins, split, toasted
- ½ pound sliced (about 10 slices) small round sliced Ham
- 1¼ cups shredded (5 ounces) sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 8 large eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 1½ tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- Coarse Salt and ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Hot Sauce, such as Tabasco
- Generously Butter a 2-quart shallow baking dish (oval or square); set aside.
- In a baking dish, alternately arrange, cut side down, muffin halves and Ham.
- Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, a pinch of pepper, and hot sauce until combined.
- Pour over English muffins and ham; cover tightly with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Place large pan over strata, place heavy pan on top. ( So all ingredients will be covered in egg mixture, soaked.)
- In the morning, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet; remove plastic wrap.
- Bake until puffed and set in the center (see note below), about 1 hour and 30 minutes. (Tent loosely with foil if strata starts to brown too quickly.)
- Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Let the strata chill 2 hours, and it will be nice and moist. If you leave it overnight in the refrigerator, it will be even more custardy.
- To test to see if it is done, use a sharp knife and insert in center; it should not be jiggly, but should feel firm and the knife should come out clean.
- Arrange the muffin halves and Ham upright for beautiful presentation and easier serving.
- When cutting, you'll be able to see the layers and make sure each portion contains a few pieces of bread and ham.