I go through phases with eggs. Some days I like scrambled, other days I like fried, tomorrow, I may like poached. I don’t know the reason, but a different day, a different mood, a different egg. This is normal, right?
The days that I’m plain-old tired of eggs cooked in traditional ways, I try mix it up and do something a little different – and last weekend I was sick of eggs. Most days I would have gone with pancakes, French toast or some other sweet equivalent, but this time I was craving something a little more savory.
Hence, where this awesome strata comes into play.
If you don’t know what a strata is, it’s kind of a cross between a frittata and a soufflé. At its most basic form it’s just an egg casserole made with bread, eggs, and whatever fillings you’re feeling at the moment.
My Mom and I make a variation of this that people go crazy for; I mean people literally swoon over it. No lie. It’s your basic egg casserole — plain old white bread, eggs, cheese, and sausage. While downright delicious, a couple of things deterred me from making my go-to this time.
1. I didn’t have the recipe.
2. I didn’t have the correct ingredients.
What I did have were plenty of other ingredients that would substitute beautifully. I settled on a combination of earthy spinach, salty bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese – a perfect flavor profile according to my taste buds. What resulted was a perfectly light, airy, and oh so delicious strata. I have to say, I was pretty pleased, and you will be too.
Like any bread pudding or stuffing you’ll want to use day old bread, I had an Italian loaf leftover from the night before so that’s what I used.
Combine the bread, onion, cheese, spinach, and bacon together in a large bowl.
Spread evenly in a greased 2 ½ quart casserole dish.
Whisk 5 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk, and salt together in the same bowl you tossed the filling in.
Pour over the bread mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk remaining eggs (3) and milk (1/2 cup) together in a small bowl. Pour over the bread and egg mixture, using your spoon or spatula to ensure the egg spreads evenly over the entire strata and seeps into the cervices. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 4 cups cubed day old Italian bread (about ½- 1 inch cubes)
- 5 pieces bacon (chopped)
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed of any moisture)
- 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (please don't buy the pre-shredded stuff!)
- 8 eggs divided
- 2 cups milk divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Cook bacon in a small sauté pan over medium heat until crispy. Drain on paper towel. Reserve grease. Cook onion in the same pan over a medium heat until soft, about three minutes.
- Mix bread, onion, bacon, spinach, and salt in a large bowl. Spread evenly in a greased 2½ qt casserole dish.
- Mix 5 eggs, 1 ½ cups milk, and salt in the same bowl. Pour over bread mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to bake, remove from fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix remaining eggs (3) and remaining milk (1/2 cup) together. Pour over egg/bread mixture and use a spoon or spatula to make sure the egg is evenly spread and falls into all the cervices.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until puffed and brown.