The Anytime Brunch-Time Strata
- Options for Any Pantry
- Works with any of your favourite fruit
- Bake once and have breakfast all week
- 1 tsp olive oil/vegetable oil/margarine/butter
- 150 – 200 g chopped deli ham (about 3/4 cup) OR 3/4 cup sausage meat, cooked and crumbled*
- 1 small onion, medium dice, fresh or frozen (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup)*
- 1 small bell pepper, any colour, medium dice, fresh or frozen (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup)*
- 4 large eggs ~1 1/4 cups milk, OR unflavoured, dairy-free milk, OR 3/4 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup grated cheese (such as cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, dairy-free, etc), OR 4 individually wrapped process cheese slices*
- pinches salt and pepper
- pinch or two hot chili flakes or 1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)*
- 6 slices bread OR 3 split hamburger buns OR 4 split hot dog buns, OR 2-3 split bagels, etc.- about 3 cups after toasted and cubed (a little more or a little less is fine!)
- about 1/4 cup butter or margarine (enough to spread on all of your toasted bread)
- Grease or line with parchment paper a deep, square 7 x 7 or 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 325 degrees if baking strata right away.
- Scramble-fry diced ham/cooked sausage and diced veggies (if using) in 1 tsp oil in large skillet over medium heat until veggies have softened and ham is lightly golden, about 5 – 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Toast bread and spread some butter/margarine on each slice, then cut the bread into medium cubes and put into prepared baking dish.
- Use slotted spoon to evenly transfer sautéed ham and veggies onto cubed bread.
- Beat eggs in medium bowl, add milk and pinches of salt and pepper. Beat well.
- Pour egg mixture over bread and use back of a fork to gently soak any bread cubes that are sticking out. Sprinkle with chili flakes/hot sauce if using.
- Top evenly with grated cheese (if using). *If substituting wrapped cheese slices, wait until final 10 mins of baking and then place them carefully on top of strata so that they melt but do not burn.
- At this point, you can cover the strata and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
When ready to bake…
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Bake strata in centre of oven, uncovered, for about 50-60 mins/until middle is set *(if using wrapped, individual cheese slices, add cheese for last 10 minutes of baking).
- Cut into portions and serve.
*You can customize this strata any way you like! As long as you keep with the egg, bread and milk portion of the recipe, the add-ins can be altered to suit your preferences and can include items you already have on hand. Try tossing in some spinach or pickled jalapeños! Use some feta, goat cheese or cream cheese instead of the cheddar by reducing to about 1/2 cup and crumbling/spooning on top of strata before baking! Leave the meat out altogether or substitute cooked, crumbled bacon, shredded roast chicken, or even sliced pepperoni. Freeze leftovers in individual servings for a quick meal when you’re short on time!
Delicious and simple sides and accompaniments
- Tomato sauce
- Roasted red peppers
- Sliced avocado, cucumber and tomato salad drizzled with oil and vinegar
- Grapes, berries, or citrus fruit
- Pickled hot peppers
- Spinach salad with sliced mushrooms and bacon with vinaigrette
- Avocado toast! Sliced tomato and avocado/ready-made guacamole on buttered toast
- Hot BBQ baked beans in tomato sauce
- Yogurt parfait! Vanilla (or your favourite) flavoured yogurt topped with granola and chopped fruit
- Sliced apples
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease or line with parchment paper a 7 x 7 or 8 x 8 square, light coloured baking pan.
- Mash 1 large ripe banana in medium microwaveable bowl. To it, add 1 cup milk, 3 Tbsp maple syrup and 1/4 cup butter/margarine. Heat at 30 second intervals until slightly warmed and butter is melted.
- In large bowl, combine 2 pouches any flavour instant oatmeal, 1 1/2 cups pancake mix and 1/4 cup white or brown sugar. Mix well. Add wet ingredients to the dry and combine just until uniformly mixed.
- Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 mins/until knife inserted in centre comes out clean.
- Slice and serve pieces drizzled with warm peanut butter (heat a few Tbsp in microwave 10-20 seconds) or spread with butter and drizzle with maple syrup.
Slice cooled, leftover pieces crossways and spread with peanut butter and jam for a new spin on an old lunchtime fave!