This breakfast casserole, or strata, is made with whatever bread you have on hand, along with eggs, ham, and cheddar cheese. The dish takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then it bakes to perfection in about 45 minutes.
Add some green onions or a little red bell pepper for additional color and flavor, or leave it simple. You can use bacon and browned sausage in the dish.
For the casserole pictured, the baking dish was lined with two and one-half split and lightly buttered dinner rolls. You could use split biscuits, English muffins, everyday loaf bread, croissants, even cornbread! Whatever you add, the basic formula remains the same.Take a look at the many possible variations below the recipe instructions.
Just remember this formula: 2 cups of milk and 4 eggs. The rest is up to you!
- 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 4 slices bread (or split biscuits, croissants, dinner rolls, English muffins, etc.)
- 1 1/2 cups ham (diced and cooked)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded, or use cheddar jack or a Mexican blend of cheeses)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- Heat the oven to 350° F (180° C/Gas 4).
- Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.
- Line the baking dish with lightly buttered bread, split biscuits, English muffins, etc. Leave the pieces large or tear them into smaller pieces to fit.
- Sprinkle the diced ham over the bread layer and then sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Whisk until smooth. You can also use a blender to mix the eggs.
- Pour the egg mixture over the layers. Gently press the bread down and let the mixture stand for a few minutes.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. The casserole will be puffed and lightly browned
- Remove to a rack and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Tips and Variations
- Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of thinly sliced green onions over the ham layer.
- Place a layer of tomato slices on top of the ham layer.
- Add a dash of Tabasco or hot sauce to the egg and milk mixture.
- Replace the ham with cooked, crumbled, drained sausage or bacon.
- Replace the ham with diced andouille sausage or mild smoked sausage.
- Add about 1/2 cup of chopped spinach over the bread layer.
- Saute about 1/2 cup of chopped onion and 1/4 cup of chopped bell pepper for "Western" omelet flavors.