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An excellent way to feed a large-ish group brunch, with most of the work done the day before! Always a good thing in my opinion! You could serve the strata with oven roasted potatoes** and/or sausage patties or sausages, for a hearty brunch; on the lighter side it would be nice to begin with some fruit, followed by the strata. Depends on how hungry your guests are!
1 ½ cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green onions
¾ lb. mushrooms, sliced thin
3 Tbsp. EVO
2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
2 green bell peppers, cut into thin strips
Italian bread cut into 1” cubes to measure 9 cups (about 1 ½ loaves)**
2 ½ cups coarsely grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese**
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
12 large eggs
3 ½ cups milk (not low fat)
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Tabasco to taste
Heat the EVO in a large skillet over moderately low heat, & sauté the onion, green onions & mushrooms until the onion is softened, add the bell peppers & season with salt & pepper to taste. Cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, for 10 – 15 minutes or until all the liquid the mushrooms have given off evaporates & the peppers are tender. Arrange half the bread cubes in a buttered large shallow (4 ½ quart) baking dish, spread half the vegetable mixture over top, then sprinkle with half the Cheddar & Parmigano. Arrange half the bread cubes in a buttered large shallow (4 ½ quart) baking dish; spread half the vegetable mixture over top; sprinkle with half the cheddar & Parmigano. Arrange the remaining bread cubes over the top, top with the remaining veggies, then sprinkle the remaining cheeses over top.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, Dijon, Tabasco; season with salt & pepper to taste. Pour the mixture over the bread & vegetable layers & chill, covered, overnight. Preheat the oven t0 350F. Remove the strata from the fridge & let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place in the oven & bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the strata is puffed & golden & cooked through. You can test to see if the strata is done by inserting a thin bladed knife into the centre. If it comes out clean, it’s done. Let the strata stand for 10 minutes before serving.
**If you would like to see my recipe for roasted potatoes, please go to Rosemary Roasted Potatoes.