Prep 45 mins
Cook 3 hrs
Prepare and refrigerate this cheese Strata several hours ahead of time or overnight. For breakfast, simply add bacon, sausage, or ham to the cheese strata, then pop it in the oven when you wake up, pour some coffee, and sit down to an all-in-one meal. The red pepper (cayenne) gives the strata a "Bite" that gets your heart started! I always add something extra because I do like the "Bite" (Louisiana Hot Sauce)!!
- Toss together bread cubes and melted butter. Place half in a lightly greased 12 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish. Sprinkle half of cheese over bread cubes. Repeat procedure with remaining bread cubes and cheese.
- Combine remaining ingredients except celery leaves; beat well. Pour over cheese layers. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
- Uncover and bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Garnish with celery leaves; serve warm.
This is a really nice base for a recipe. The flavors were good, and I did add meat. The problems were I thought it needed more egg in the custard, and the baking time wasn't quite right. I weighted my strata before a baked it in an attempt to make the custard mixture spread out better, and the bread on the top was still dry. The only moisture it got was from the stuff I poured on it initially. I had to cook it longer because it didn't set right, and the bread that wasn't moist was getting quite browned. It just didn't fluff up. The bread on the bottom was still a bit soggy and the bread on top was crunchy and dried out.
That being said, it did taste good, it just needs more custard. Maybe another egg or two and some more milk and longer cooking time.