Make one recipe and then give variations in notes.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Saute mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and set aside.

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  • Whisk half-and-half, eggs, salt and pepper until smooth. Spray a 9-by-13-inch Pyrex or ceramic baking dish with vegetable cooking spray.

  • Line bottom with 6 slices of bread. Scatter half of the ham, and half of the mushrooms over the bread, then sprinkle with half of the scallions and cheese. Pour 1 cup of egg mixture over the top. Repeat layers with remaining bread, ham, mushrooms, cheese and scallions. Slowly pour remaining egg mixture evenly over top. Cover with plastic wrap, then weight down casserole with 3 16-ounce cans for at least 15 minutes to submerge ingredients. (Can be refrigerated overnight, but return to room temperature before baking.)

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven until custard is just set, about 50 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil until strata is spotty brown and puffy (watch carefully), about 5 minutes longer. Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes, then serve immediately.

VEGETABLE OPTIONS"=:


Bell peppers: Slice and saute in 1 Tb. olive oil. Salt.

Baby spinach: Steam, covered, with 1 Tb. oil and salt until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.

Frozen corn: Thaw and drain.

Asparagus: Cut in 1-inch pieces. Steam, covered, with 1 Tb. oil, salt and 1/3 cup water, 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover and cook off liquid.

MEAT OPTIONS:


Bacon: Cut into 1/2-inch pieces and fry until crisp. Drain well.

Sausage: Fry bulk breakfast or Italian sausage until fully cooked. Drain.

Kielbasa: Thinly slice.

Crab: Pick over pasteurized backfin crab for shell and cartilage.

Copyright 2004 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.

Reviews (84)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/10/2007
I made 5 of these for a family brunch last Sunday. They turned out fantastic and were a definite crowd pleaser. I made 3 with just meats (one each of bacon, sausage, and ham), the other 2 were bacon and sausage with onion and peppers. My personal opinion is that the "kicked up" versions with the veggies were tastier. If you aren't a fan of veggies and want just plain meat, I'd recommend the sausage. It tasted a bit zestier than the bacon or ham. I made these the night before, refrigerated them and just popped them in the oven right from the fridge. They took 1 hour to cook and were beautiful, puffy and done all the way through. This is a new favorite! Read More
(141)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
07/19/2006
This was okay.. the middle of mine did not turn out-was mushy =( The sides were great... Guess I'll try it again. Read More
(5)
98 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 73
  • 4 star values: 21
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
01/10/2007
I made 5 of these for a family brunch last Sunday. They turned out fantastic and were a definite crowd pleaser. I made 3 with just meats (one each of bacon, sausage, and ham), the other 2 were bacon and sausage with onion and peppers. My personal opinion is that the "kicked up" versions with the veggies were tastier. If you aren't a fan of veggies and want just plain meat, I'd recommend the sausage. It tasted a bit zestier than the bacon or ham. I made these the night before, refrigerated them and just popped them in the oven right from the fridge. They took 1 hour to cook and were beautiful, puffy and done all the way through. This is a new favorite! Read More
(141)
Rating: 4 stars
11/06/2007
I had never made strata before and I made three variations for a brunch shower. I thought they were really very tasty. I made one variation with sausage and grated apple one with diced ham and red and yellow bell peppers and a Brie and Veggie one from Southern Cooking. The things I learned (and I am sure that many of you seasoned Strata makers know this) are that you must add extra cook time for extra ingredients. I added about 12 oz of ham and them about two whole bell peppers and this is the only one that did not set. Also yes you do need to let these set. I didn't really plan on that extra time when I put these in the oven so there as a lull in the shower while we waited for them to be ready. The other thing I did a little differently was cut the first layer of bread in half and lay it against the bottom of pan and the second layer I cubed so there was a little texture on the top. Rest of the menu was the "Restaurant Style Cheesy Hash browns" lettuce salad with apples and red onions fresh fruit and apple strudel and lemon blueberry mini muffins. I had many people ask for the recipes! Read More
(76)
Rating: 4 stars
02/25/2008
It was pretty good. However, After 50 minutes of baking and 10 minutes of setting it cool- it's still a little bit liquidy in the middle area. So I baked it for another 15 minutes and let it set for 10 more minutes to let it cool, the middle area became firm. Read More
(65)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/13/2006
This is a versatile and reliable crowd pleaser. I've used many different combinations and Pam's right about the fresh scallions they add a real bright note. I've found that the strata needs to sit a bit longer than the 8-10 minutes in order to really set up for easy cutting. Enjoy! Read More
(62)
Rating: 5 stars
08/21/2007
This is a great basic strata recipe. Start with the basic bread egg milk mixture and add whatever you want! I love to try new ingredients - whatever fresh veggies are in season. I do partially cook raw vegetables by stir frying them to release some of the moisture before baking the strata. Read More
(50)
Rating: 5 stars
05/01/2007
This made the best breakfast casserole I ever tasted!My guests wouldn't stop raving about it! I used another recipe for another one and that one was a flop. This strata has the perfect consistency! I sauteed 2 onions and one green pepper in a little olive oil...then added a pound of turkey sausage. Thanks for a perfect recipe Callie! Read More
(40)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/12/2007
I made this for a big group on a weekend get away and it was a hit! I added asparagus, plum tomatoes (seeded) and field roast vegetarian Applewood 'sausage' and used sharp chedder cheese. Nobody even new the 'sausage' was vegetarian! Served with a fresh fruit salad and sweet bread and it was gobbled up by all! Read More
(29)
Rating: 4 stars
12/06/2006
I liked this recipe because it gave the basic recipe and also gave suggested variations. I use multi-colored peppers and onions. It turned out good. I added 2 tsp of dried mustard and an 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper. Thanks! Read More
(28)
Rating: 5 stars
12/02/2010
Great recipe with unlimited versatility. Only change I have made is substituting 8 bakery croissants for the 12 slices of bread. The butteryness of the croissants adds a whole new level to this recipe. I have found the key to the meat/veggie combo simply being a 2lb total regardless of how many meats of veggies you use. I prefer Sausage Bacon Mushroom and Onion so I use a 1/2 lb of each for 2lbs total. Thank you for sharing this recipe! Read More
(22)
Rating: 3 stars
07/19/2006
This was okay.. the middle of mine did not turn out-was mushy =( The sides were great... Guess I'll try it again. Read More
(5)