This make-ahead Ham and Cheese Strata can save a lot of prep time on Christmas morning.
When dreams of sugarplums have morphed into a living room floor littered with wrapping paper and toys, the last thing you want to do is pull away from the holiday fun to get breakfast on the table. A do-ahead recipe lets you have it both ways.
This easy strata is made by arranging ham and cheese sandwiches in a baking dish, then pouring a mixture of eggs, milk and cheese over them. Top everything with a bit more cheese, then put it in the oven and walk away.
The whole thing can be assembled in about 10 minutes. And even that can be done the night before. Like bread puddings and baked French toast, this strata can be assembled and refrigerated the night before. Pop it into the oven while the presents are being unwrapped.
This recipe also is particularly versatile. If ham and Cheddar aren’t your thing, try cooked turkey breast and Jack cheese, cooked bacon and cream cheese or thinly sliced cooked sausages mozzarella.
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Ham and Cheese Strata
Makes 8 servings
10 slices sandwich bread
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
5 slices deli ham
5 slices deli Cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 package (8-ounce) fresh mozzarella rolled with prosciutto
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Use the bread, mustard, ham and cheese to make 5 sandwiches. Arrange the sandwiches in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. You may need to cut 1 of the sandwiches in half to get them to fit evenly. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, salt, black pepper and Parmesan. Pour the mixture over the sandwiches, then press the bread gently with a fork to help them absorb the liquid.
4. Use a serrated knife to cut the roll of mozzarella and prosciutto into about 15 thin slices. Arrange the slices over the top of the strata. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the strata comes out clean and the strata is lightly browned at the edges. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.