Recipe: Strata

Most people who cook have a dish that they took time to learn and make their own. We put ourselves into it and really make it a masterpiece. It becomes that dish that we love to serve people. Strata is that dish for me. It has taken me a few years to get it perfect, but now I can pretty much make it without thinking about it and serve it with such a variety of ingredients that it doesn’t take much for me to whip up.

I make it for brunch or dinner just switching up ingredients. I will have variations on the end of this recipe.

Strata – roasted chicken, red & green bell peppers, mushrooms

1 loaf of French or Italian Bread cubed, crusts on – 6 to 8 cups
9 eggs
2 cups milk or half and half
2 cups cooked meat
2 to 3 cups of vegetables
2 cups cheese
seasonings

In an extra large bowl, place bread, cheese, meat, and vegetables. Using an electric mixer, blend eggs and milk. Pour over bread mixture. Fold until pieces of bread are coated with egg mixture. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Pour mixture into baking pan and either cover and refrigerate until up to 8 hours before cooking or cook right away.

Ingredient Variations
I like to season the vegetables and then mix into bread cubes. 
 

HAM, SWISS, AND ASPARAGUS
Mix 2 cups grated Swiss cheese into the cubed bread. Mix in 1 cup blanched asparagus pieces, 2 cup cubed cooked ham, and 1/2 cup sauteed onions fold into the egg and bread mixture.

CHICKEN or BREAKFAST SAUSAGE, CHEDDAR, BELL PEPPERS, MUSHROOM, AND TOMATO
Sprinkle 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese over the bread cubes. Distribute 1 cup cooked chicken or ground browned breakfast sausage,1 cup sauteed bell peppers, 1 cup sautéed sliced mushrooms, and 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes fold into the egg and bread mixture.

CHICKEN, TOMATOES, SPINACH, CORN, CHILES, AND JACK
Sprinkle 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese over the bread cubes. Distribute 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, 1 cup tomatoes, 1 cup spinach, one 4.5-ounce cans (drained) chopped green chiles, and 1 cup shredded cooked chicken fold into the egg and bread mixture.

breakfast sausage, red peppers, mushrooms
ham and cheese
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