The Sensitive Kitchen

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Morning Strata

This breakfast casserole comes together easily the night before. In fact, not only can you put it together in advance, you are supposed to! In the morning, remove it from the refrigerator and preheat the oven. Then take a quick break from presents to pop it in to bake. Right around the time your family frenzy slows down, and people start asking what's for breakfast, it will be ready.

1 Tbsp each butter and olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced1 large bunch kale, stems removed, cut in chiffonade
6 c stale sourdough bread, cut in 1" cubes
8 eggs2 c milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 c shredded Italian cheese blend (mine has mozzarella, asiago, fontina and provolone)
1/2 c shredded Pecorino Romano or other hard Italian grating cheese

Butter a 9"x13" or deep 10"x10" casserole dish. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to a large (5-quart) bowl. Add mushrooms in batches; cook in a single layer until beginning to give up their liquid, then stir. Remove to bowl. Add 3 tablespoons water; stir to bring up browned bits. When water boils, add kale; cover skillet and cook until wilted. Remove kale to a cutting board; finely chop. Add to bowl along with bread cubes.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add milk; whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over bread-vegetable mixture. Layer ingredients in casserole dish as follows: 1/3 of bread-egg mixture, 1/2 of Italian cheese blend, 1/3 of bread-egg mixture, other 1/2 of Italian cheese blend, final 1/3 of bread-egg mixture, top with Romano. Cover with foil; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight to allow bread to soak up custard.

In the morning, preheat oven to 350. Remove casserole from refrigerator; let stand 30 minutes to allow to come to room temperature. (Reserve foil.) Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, until nicely browned, then cover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until cooked through in the middle. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

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