Do-ahead egg dishes for the holiday
Make your holiday brunch or dinner a breeze
Make-ahead strata: Easier than souffles, less hands-on than pancakes and more forgiving than omelets, a puffy, moist breakfast strata is an easy dish to make. (Alex Garcia/Chicago Tribune)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper
10 cups of 1-inch bread cubes from dense French or Italian bread
1 cup crumbled queso fresco, salted farmer cheese or ricotta salata
1 cup shredded Chihuahua or Monterey jack cheese
6 large eggs
1 ½ cups skim milk
1 cup half-and-half
Chopped fresh cilantro
Tomato salsa, warmed for serving, optional
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in roasted poblano and red peppers. Cool.
2. Stir chives and cilantro into squash mixture; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Put half of the bread into a well-buttered 3-quart baking dish. Top with half of the squash mixture and half of both cheeses. Repeat to use up remaining bread, squash mixture and cheeses.
3. Whisk eggs in large bowl until frothy. Whisk in milk, half-and-half, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Gently pour all of the egg mixture over bread mixture moistening everything. Cover dish tightly with plastic wrap; press down on the wrap to immerse all bread in the egg mixture. Refrigerate, 4-24 hours.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Let strata sit at room temperature while oven heats. Uncover strata; bake until puffed and top is golden brown, 55-60 minutes. Cool slightly; garnish with cilantro. Serve in squares with warm salsa.
Per serving: 273 calories, 13 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 132 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbohydrates, 14 g protein, 588 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.
Bacon and sausage strata with cheddar
Prep: 30 minutes
Chill: 4 to 24 hours