I must start out by saying that while researching the origin of the Egg Strata dish, I came upon some very interesting definitions for the word Strata: Strata: “A band in Northern California”, Strata: “A form of ownership devised for multi-level apartment blocks.” Strata: “A 1990 Album by Steve Roach and Robert Rich,” I think my mom has that album. Here is my very favorite though, Strata: “A superhero in the DC Universe. She is…incredibly strong and difficult to injure.” Wow. What a comparison to the Egg Strata recipe.
Egg Strata is a wonderful casserole that can feed few or many. It is actually named “Strata” because of it’s layers. It is versatile, quick, easy, and hard to mess up. Most of all, it is absolutely delicious. I promise you, your guests will rave over it.
My mom and I recently threw a wedding shower for my best childhood friend and her husband. I served three different kinds to please all the taste buds in the room. The great thing about this recipe is that once you have the basic recipe down, you have a platform to create all types of flavors.
8 cups firm bread cut in 1 inch cubes (I like Italian bread)
3 cups milk
2 Tb Dijon Mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups grated cheese
2 Tb unsalted butter
Butter a large gratin or casserole dish. Spread 1/3 of bread cubes on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle 1/3 of cheese and 1/3 of any other fillers. Repeat 2 more times ending with cheese. In a large bowl mix eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Beat until smooth. Pour evenly over bread. Cover and chill overnight, (at least 7 hours).
Before baking, let dish sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for about 45-50 minutes. Dish is done when eggs have risen and puffed, top has lightly browned, and the entire top feels firm.
POSSIBLE STRATA FILLERS:
Roasted Garlic+Fried Pancetta+Italian Cheese Blend
Fresh Baby Spinach+Dubliner Cheese
Sauteed Asparagus+Goat Cheese
Here is another hint. If you want to make a Strata, but don’t have time let it sit for 7 hours, unroll a tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls on the bottom of your dish in place of the bread. Lay all your dry ingredients on top of the dough, then pour your egg mixture. Cook at 350 F for about 40-50 minutes. It will be a different texture, and a bit of a sweet flavor, but still a delicious egg dish.