Introduction: Strata Casserole, a Great Hangover Breakfast

Picture of Strata Casserole, a Great Hangover Breakfast

Think you can't host a brunch because you want to be drinking late into the night? Can't think of something to make which will be good on the gurgling gut and not be too much to futz with when you're having trouble thinking straight? Strata is just the thing. This casserole, made of egg, bread, roasted tomatoes and ham is delicious and delicate on your alcoholic system. The bread in this breakfast dish is great for soaking up any nasty lingering liquor in your tummy (thats the science!) and can easily be made up to two days in advance, so you can just pop it in the oven and spend the rest of your time hunched over wishing you hadn't had those last couple drinks. My mom makes this every year for our post - Oktoberfest brunch, and every year it makes me feel better. We rate this breakfast dish easy to make, easy to eat!

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Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Picture of Gather Your Ingredients

Gather together these ingredients

1 tsp. plus 1 T. unsalted butter
12 large eggs
11/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup diced baked ham
1 T. minced flat leaf parsley
11/2 tsp. thinly sliced fresh chives
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 oz)
1 pound sourdough bread (boule preferred) crust removed and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup of oven dried tomatoes:
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut in half lengthwise
11/2 tsp. kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Fresh herb sprigs (thyme, rosemary or sage) optional


Step 2: Oven-dry Tomatoes

Picture of Oven-dry Tomatoes

Oven dry tomatoes. This can be done a couple days ahead.

Take:
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut in half lengthwise
11/2 tsp. kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Fresh herb sprigs (thyme, rosemary or sage) optional

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Dry in oven until slightly shriveled but still plump. About 5-6 hours. If not using immediately, store the tomatoes in a sealed container with the herbs, cover with olive oil, and store, covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

If you just don't have time to get this together, you can use sun dried tomatoes. However, although this takes time in the oven, it doesn't take very much actual work time and its WAY cheaper then spending $6.00 a pound for the sun dried tomatoes.

Step 3: Slice Bread

Picture of Slice Bread

Remove crust from bread and chop inside of bread loaf into 1 inch cubes.

Step 4: Mix Batter

Picture of Mix Batter

12 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Step 5: Create Tomato and Ham Mixture

Picture of Create Tomato and Ham Mixture

Dice baked ham into 1/4 inch cubes. Chop oven dried tomatoes. Mix together ham and tomatoes with parsley and chives.

1 cup diced baked ham
1 cup oven dried tomatoes
1 T. minced flat leaf parsley
11/2 tsp. thinly sliced fresh chives

Step 6: Mix It Up!

Picture of Mix It Up!

Grease a 3 qt. Gratin dish, casserole, or 9" x 5" cake pan with 1 tsp. butter.

Scatter 1/2 of the cheese over the bottom of the buttered dish, cover with 1/3 of the bread, and then 1/2 of the tomato mixture. Repeat. Top with a final layer of bread and remaining cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the strata and gently press it down with the back of a large spoon to make sure the top layer is moistened with the custard. Melt the remaining 1 T. of butter and drizzles it over the strata. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Step 7: Bake It. Eat It!

Picture of Bake It.  Eat It!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the strata, uncovered until golden brown and slightly puffed, about 45 to 55 minutes.

Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Comments

macrumpton (author)2015-01-02

I make a similar thing with sun-dried tomatoes and veggie sausage, leaving out the ham and the bread. It is great for any meal.

tgray10 (author)2015-01-01

If you are using meat and dairy together, or if you are using ham, it kind of makes the need for Kosher salt redundant..OY VEY! ✡✡✡✡✡✡ LOL

fluffydragon (author)tgray102015-01-01

Btw, I thought kosher could do meat and dairy together, as long as it didn't come from the same animal, like lamb and cow milk/cheese

tgray10 (author)fluffydragon2015-01-02

According to Halakha and kashrut
(Jewish dietary laws), meat and dairy never even share the same
refrigerator, let alone the same meal within at least 6 hours.

However, yes, I have to agree with you that kosher salt is a superior salt. Kosher salt (usually) doesn't contain iodine or
any other additives. After it is mined, it is allowed to dry naturally,
without any help from refining processes. It is often called the
purest type of salt because its main purpose is to remove other impurities . It has a milder taste and the larger granules make it easier to pinch for sprinkling.
There's my plug for kosher salt, LOL, so I would also go with the kosher
salt.

Cheers!!

spark master (author)tgray102015-01-02

Kosher salt is not better then anything in general. It is iodine free, which for people is better. Some of us can taste it, so it is a flavor changer, but for some (me), can't taste it. In some rare dishes it will stand out, so ANY NON IODISED salt works as well.

AND as you get sick and I believe you can die from lack of iodine (goiter), this is just Kosher people tooting their own horn.

The bigger issue is the rice flour, infinitesimal as it is, that is used as a free flow agent in some salt company mixtures. In theory, during passover, it is possible that this non-tastable item can ferment over time, a nono for passover, and spoil the ritualistic cleanness. While this is silly (to me an agnostic), when I have kosher friends come over I cook kosher style or for two in particular I serve only sealed unopened items that are marked kosher, I give them paper cups and plastic flatware. They appreciate it, they don't care. This respect.

And I have one friend who explained when you look at food if the non kosherness is visible (as in rice flour in salt, not pig vs cow meat), the rule applies. If you need a microscope or hand lens then to see the non kosher component, it is a moot point, if it is good for you...eat it. This was over an argument over vegetables from the garden and washing and bugs. The argument was with members of his temple, who insisted on ludicrous wasting of water to wash thing 5-6 times before us. Fruits and veggies I do 1, leafies 3times Kale is insane I do 1 leaf at a time 3-4 times. I have done kale 4 times and then put in a pot and I still found an odd green thing in the pot a catterpillar. 4 times. leaf by leaf. I gave up now I use prewashed kale.

all this diatribe over kosher salt.... Oy Ve

OH Yeah, Great recipe, I make similar stuff. and breads stuffed with the stuff!!!

Catley (author)fluffydragon2015-01-01

I'm not Jewish, but I used to be a waitress at a summer inn that kept Kosher. They didn't even serve dairy products and meat at the same meal to avoid any contamination (lunch was dairy and dinner, meat). They actually had two separate sets of utensils, pots, and--if I remember right--even dishes, so that meat dishes would not ever be cooked or served in any kind of pot or dish (no matter how well-washed) that had been used for dairy.

fluffydragon (author)tgray102015-01-01

Kosher salt is much better than regular salt - we aren't remotely kosher but I prefer it for all my cooking.

Quinkes (author)2015-01-02

Is that 250 celsius or faranheight?

minerug (author)2008-10-13

Oh btw, is cayenne pepper pronounced 'sye-ann' or 'kay-ann'?

Forkable (author)minerug2008-10-13

I say Kay-ann, but don't take my word for it. Check out the expert at 6:22 into video

Catley (author)Forkable2015-01-01

Wow! The Expert is a real character, isn't he? It was amusing the way he would measure things out with a spoon, and at the last minute also add extra from the bottle!

Catley (author)minerug2015-01-01

LOL. It's interesting to see all these suggestions. Personally, I have always said, "kay-en." Now I'm going to go check a dictionary...Looks like my old Webster's Collegiate favors "Ki(long i)-en" and "Ka(long a, which is how I was saying it in my ignorance--just happened to hit on the right pronunciation)-en".

That said, it is entirely possible that this word, so closely connected with cooking, has different pronunciations depending on where you live.

l8nite (author)minerug2009-10-02

I've always heard it pronounced "Ki-ann" This dish looks and sounds totally delicious! Definately going in my recipe file !

Catley (author)2015-01-01

This looks soooo delicious. For health reasons, we seldom drink alcohol, but this casserole would taste good to anyone, unless they hate one of the ingredients. Copying and saving the recipe for future use!

gladys45 (author)2010-03-05

 how can salt be Kosher? or not Kosher for that matter.......

FrankenPC (author)gladys452011-03-08

Kosher partly means how the facility is prepared for processing. For instance, a kosher preparation facility won't have processed any meat on the same equipment it processes the salt.

robert.a.scheffler (author)2008-09-25

My mother makes something similar to this, she simply calls it Egg Bake. The only real substance in her version is crumbled sausage, cheese & of course the bread. It is amazing with a little steak sauce. And it has always been a favorite when I was hung over. She will still make it when we get together around the holidays. I am going to have to try your method as it looks absolutely delicious. Yum-yum!

ruben782 (author)2008-09-24

Sounds great for a weekend breakfast! But the last thing I wanna do if I have a hangover is cook.

Forkable (author)ruben7822008-09-25

I know! Thats why all you have to do is stick this thing in the oven. It is already made from the day before!

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