Cheese Strata

This has been served in my house (and my parent’s before that) pretty much every year of my life. It’s traditional for my family to eat Cheese Strata for breakfast on Christmas morning and it took a long time for me to make it any other day. Now I know it’s good for brunch too, any day of the year.

It’s a bread pudding like the Buttered Baguette Bread Pudding, but savoury instead of sweet. You have to have bacon with it too, or don’t even bother to serve it. For the bacon, I stole the method from Ina Garten, who bakes it in the oven instead of frying it in a pan and brushes it with maple syrup part way through the cooking. It’s divine… as it’s bacon + maple syrup, what else would you expect?

Ingredients:

bread

Bread.

grated cheddar

Grated cheddar cheese.

three beaten eggs

Four beaten eggs.

eggs, milk, mustard powder and salt

Eggs, milk, mustard powder and salt.

layers of bread and cheese

Layers of bread and cheese, ready to rest for three hours.

Best way to cook bacon, ever.

bacon

Bacon.

cheese strata

Cheese strata.

Served.

Served.

Cheese Strata
Serves 4 – 6

10 slices white bread, trimmed and buttered
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 cups old cheddar cheese (the older, the better), grated
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2-1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dry mustard

Spread bread with butter. Cut each slice into squares. Butter a two quart casserole dish and make alternate layers of bread and cheese ending with cheese. Beat eggs, add seasonings and milk. Pour over bread mixture and refrigerate overnight or 3-4 hours at least.

Remove from refrigerator about an hour before baking. Bake at 350°F for 40-50 minutes until puffy and golden.

Maple-Roasted Bacon recipe here:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/maple-roasted-bacon-recipe/index.html

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