(This is written by my chef/husband. Much better information that I could ever give you!)
Strata, which literally means layers, is a breakfast casserole and is the perfect thing for winter because we’ve got a lot of holidays coming up. Chances are, we’re going to be doing some entertaining for breakfast. Strata is a nice dish you can make ahead of time and it’s very simple to serve. It works well for brunch or to plate up and serve at breakfast.
For strata, you can use any type of filling that you like. It can be sweet or savory. For this recipe, I chose to use Italian sausage, red pepper and mushrooms. You could also use potatoes, caramelized onions & Gruyere; bacon, cheddar & green onion; or sauteed apples or pears.
Saute the Italian sausage, red bell pepper and mushrooms in a sauté pan with a little butter. When the ingredients are heated through, add white wine and deglaze the pan. Do not cook the filling all the way as it is going to cook more in the oven.
Whisk eggs in medium bowl with half and half, kosher salt and pepper.
Arrange half of the bread in a single layer in an 8×8 inch baking dish. Spread filling and half of the cheese over the bread layer. Cover with another layer of bread.
Pour egg mixture evenly over layers. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh down, refrigerated, for at least an hour, or overnight.
Bake in 350 F oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until the strata has puffed up on the edges and center. Cool slightly before cutting and serving.