Tomato, Bacon and Mushroom Strata
This recipe adapts easily. Keep the ratio of eggs, milk, and bread the same but be adventurous in substituting whatever meats, vegetables, and cheeses you have on hand.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing baking dish
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 pieces thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup sliced white mushroom caps
½ cup grated Gouda cheese
1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
1 ½ cups whole milk
5 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cubed day-old French bread
Butter an 8-inch by 8-inch glass baking dish. In a small skillet over medium heat melt the two tablespoons of butter. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Spoon the softened onions into a medium bowl and toss with the bacon, tomato, and mushroom slices. Set aside.
Combine the Gouda and Monterey Jack cheese in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, salt, and pepper.
Spread a third of the bread cubes in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a third of the bacon and vegetable mixture and then sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Repeat two more times to create three layers of ingredients. Carefully pour the egg and milk over the ingredients.
Cover the baking dish and refrigerate overnight.
Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Remove the strata from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking to bring it to room temperature. Bake the strata for 45 minutes or until it is golden brown. Serve immediately with a cup of hot coffee and fruit.