Perfect for breakfast, lunch, brunch or even dinner, this savory bread pudding goes together fast and is packed with flavor.
Using eggs, bread, and cheese as a base also makes it relatively inexpensive. Experiment with other breads and/or cheeses for taste variations. The strata can also be baked in a rectangular glass baking dish rather than pie plates if you prefer.
This recipe is included in "Southern Living: The Half-Hour Hostess," from Rebecca Kracke Gordon.
- 7 ciabatta bread slices, 3/4-inch thick
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 cup frozen or refrigerated pre-chopped onion
- 1 package (8 ounces) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend
- 1/2 package (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
- 1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimiento, drained
- Tear the bread into bite-size pieces to equal 6 cups, firmly packed.
- Combine the eggs, whipping cream, half-and-half, onion, Mexican cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, chilies and pimiento in a large bowl. Gently stir in the bread pieces.
- Pour the bread mixture into lightly greased 9-inch-deep pie plates.
- Bake at 425 F for 20 to 22 minutes or until browned and set.
- Serve immediately.
Look for prechopped onion in the refrigerated produce section or frozen in the freezer case.
Regardless of when you are serving this hearty strata, good accompaniments are old standbys that everyone loves. They make for a full-on comfort food meal.
Fry up some crisp bacon or Canadian bacon, add hash browns and toasted English muffins or whole wheat bread. Add some seasonal fruit salad on the side, fresh-squeezed orange juice and rich, steaming coffee, espresso or lattes.
If it's brunch, serve mimosas or bloody marys instead of juice for a little glam and substitute a vegetable casserole for the fruit salad if you'd like a bit more heft.
If you are serving this savory strata for dinner, keep the bacon or Canadian bacon on the menu (everyone loves it). But substitute a rich, cheesy potato casserole for the hash browns and add a green vegetable like steamed green beans or broccoli with simple salt-and-pepper seasoning so the vegetable doesn't compete with the main dish. Or if you'd like to lose a few carbs, omit the potato casserole and serve a rich and filling vegetable and cheese casserole rather than the steamed vegetables.