As you probably all know by now, brunch is one of my favorite things. It’s just so delicious and simple and filling. And I love that it can be sweet or savory. I feel like it’s so easy to come up with sweet things to make – pancakes, french toast, waffles – but it’s not always quite as easy to come up with something savory. That’s where egg strata comes in. It’s my favorite, easiest, go to savory brunch option. It takes a little preparation time (because you need to leave it in the fridge overnight before you bake it), but it’s absolutely delicious, breaks up all of that sweet, and is really great when reheated if there are any leftovers.
The hardest part of this is that you actually cook it in a water bath, but once you figure that out, you’re golden. I promise to explain it below. It just means that you need another pan that is bigger than a 9×13 casserole dish.
Now, this is not an original recipe, it’s just one that I got from my mother (including her notes to me). When I asked her where it came from, here was the answer I got – “The Bishop’s Bounty is the book where I made the photocopy of the recipe from. It was a book put otgether by the women of New Orleans collecting recipes from the Knights of Columbus wives from all over the USA to be able to sell them to make some money.”
This makes sense, I’m clearly a Louisiana girl at heart.
Egg Strata Recipe
12 to 14 slices of bread – enough to cover the dish in two layers – some brands of bread make small slices and you have to put 3 ½ across from left to right and thereby need 14
1 teaspoon salt
3 ¼ cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar (sharp or mild)
Remove the crust from the bread, lightly butter it, and cut into quarters. Grease (with butter) a 9×13 casserole pan and layer the bread quarters over the bottom. Add another layer of bread quarters. Mix eggs, seasoning, and milk – then add black pepper to taste. Pour the milk mixture over the top of the bread and top it with cheese. Cover the casserole tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. Remove the dish from refrigerator 1 hour before baking. Remove the plastic wrap before baking. Bake in 350 degree oven in a pan of hot water (use a larger pan and just put warm water in it AFTER you already set the eggs in it – that way, it won’t overflow into your strata – you really don’t need very much water – half way up the strata – I use a lasagna pan). Bake for 1 hour or until a knife is inserted near center and comes out clean (it is okay for the knife to be a little wet or watery but not with egg stuck on it) – as long as it is golden, it is probably done – depending on your oven, you can check it sooner – it puffs up when it is done – let it sit in the water for a while so you do not burn yourself removing it from the oven and pan – it poofs down as it cools.
Please enjoy the fact that I always forget to take a picture of the finished product. I think we call that failing. Also, I was very proud of myself that I thought to crack the eggs one at a time into a glass so that if I got a shell in the milk mixture I didn’t need to dig through 3 cups of milk. Sometimes I use my brain.
What are some of your go to brunch dishes? Anything easy that I can add to my list?