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Simple Breakfast Strata

Simple Breakfast StrataThe strata is the ideal make-ahead breakfast or brunch dish. Assemble it the night before to allow the bread layers time to soak up the savory custard. Bake it in the morning while the coffee brews and the table is being set.

Recipe Ingredients:

4 slices dense white or whole grain bread
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano leaves
1/2 cup chopped ham
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 ounces)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Place bread in single layer in greased 8-inch square baking dish.
  2. Beat eggs, milk and thyme in medium bowl until blended; pour over bread. Sprinkle with ham. Refrigerate, covered, at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  4. Remove strata from refrigerator; uncover and let stand while oven heats.
  5. Bake strata in center of 350°F (175°C) oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until puffed, golden and firm in center, about 5 minutes longer.

Makes 4 servings.

Tip: Like its cousins the quiche and bread pudding, the strata has endless variations. It can be made with almost any firm bread, enhanced with vegetables, meat and cheese, and flavored any way you like.

Lighter Option: Recipe can be made with reduced-fat cheese, if desired. Turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled, may also be substituted for Canadian-style bacon.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe): Calories: 278; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 250mg; Total Carbs: 15g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 22g; Sodium: 943mg.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of the American Egg Board.