Ham and Cheese Strata

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My first experience with cheese strata was Sunday brunch at Marie Callender's. It was such a wonderul mix of flavors and textures that I was instantly hooked.

I tried several of the recipes that I found online, and they all seemed dull in comparison. So after much fiddling around, I now have a recipe that I find superior to the original Classic Cheese Strata from Marie Callender's.

There really is no set list of cheeses that I use, I just want a variety of flavors with a bit of bite, as well as some cheeses that melt nicely. It is easy to adjust the heat up or down by adjusting the amount and type of green chiles and the spices.

Servings:
6
Preparation Time:
3 hours
Tools
  • #8 cast iron pan with lid, though a 9 inch casserole should work just fine as well

Ingredients

  • 5 slices of bread (I prefer whole grain for more texture and flavor)
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 3 roasted green chiles, seeds removed and chopped (or 1 small can)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup very sharp white cheddar
  • 1 cup smoked gouda
  • 1 cup shredded Italian 5 cheese blend (yes, the pre-shredded stuff from a packet)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Egg mix

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Cooking Instructions
  1. Either rip up your bread or dice it with a knife. Spread about half the bread one layer deep in your well-seasoned cast iron pan or casserole dish.
  2. Start beating together your egg mix. Start with the eggs and add the ingredients one at a time in order while you continue to beat the mix.
  3. Pour about half the mix over the bread in the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Sprinkle all the feta crumbles over the bread.
  5. Spread about half of the other cheeses over the top. Spread the ham and chiles on the layer of cheese.
  6. Add another layer using the rest of the bread.
  7. Spread out the rest of the cheese and pour the remainder of the egg mix slowly all over the top of this layer.
  8. Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the strata covered for 40 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle the paprika over the top. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes
  10. Remove from the oven. Let rest about 5 minutes, slice and serve.
Notes
This dish reheats very well in a microwave. put it on medium heat and run it about 4-5 minutes.

I have no idea how well it freezes or how long it keeps in the fridge. The logest I've had one last is 2 days before I finished it.

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It should freeze very well...

I make scrambled egg pies (when I have a jumble of left over bits in the fridge to use up) which have a pie crust instead of the bread/egg custard that is in this dish and they freeze just fine. (At least for up to a month. They have never been in the freezer longer than that. :-)

I will have to give this a try next time I have some miscellaneous sourdough pieces left in the freezer.

Du musst ein Fachmann sein -

Du musst ein Fachmann sein - wirklich guter Aufstellungsort, den du hast!

I would use the term

I would use the term "enthusiast" instead of "professional". (If I am reading this correctly.)

Google translated it as

Google translated it as "specialist". I'll see if the language lab at school is open today and see what they say.

pagine piuttosto

pagine piuttosto informative, piacevoli =)

Okay, I had to look this one

Okay, I had to look this one up. I am pretty sure that it is Italian and I do not have any cookbooks in Italian.

Thanks. We try to keep things both fun and informative.