Though it wasn't always the case, I'd definitely firmly label myself as a morning person.
Not only does the quiet calm of the dawn appeal to me, but my mind is sharp, my attitude is (usually) upbeat, and I attack my to-do list with vigor. These qualities seem to deteriorate as the day goes on, and often by supper time, I have very little motivation at all. That doesn't bode well if I want to eat a home-cooked meal, as I almost always prefer, and I'm sure my very significant other would agree.
I've come up with a few ways to circumvent this potential dinner disaster. For one thing, I've gotten to know my slow cooker pretty well. I simply throw some things inside before I leave for work and something aromatic and delicious is usually waiting for me when I walk in that evening. Another trick is to prepare a casserole in the morning and pop it in the fridge to be removed and baked that night. All the hard work is done in the morning and that means that my brain doesn't necessarily have to be functioning in order for me to get supper on the table in the evening.
This dish falls into the latter category, and it's a perfect example of breakfast for dinner. It makes use of some eggs from my brother's farm (I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again and again--farm-fresh eggs are noticeably superior to those from the grocery store!), crusty Krusteaz Sourdough Bread, crumbly porky sausage, and ooey-gooey cheese. I knew the sourdough bread would be perfect for a strata because it's firm and would absorb the egg and milk mixture wonderfully.
Putting this together took hardly any time at all--I needed about 15 minutes to fry the sausage and about 5 minutes to mix and layer everything into the casserole dish. I covered it with plastic wrap and put it into the fridge at 7 in the am and came home and baked it off at 6 in the pm. (I should note that you do have to bake it a bit longer if you've been refrigerating it for any amount of time.) Voila, (breakfast for) dinner is served!
Sourdough Breakfast Strata
Hands-on prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Number of servings: 12
- 1 loaf Krusteaz Sourdough Bread Mix, prepared as directed on package
- 1 pound breakfast sausage
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 12 ounces (1-1/2 cups) cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
·Heat oven to 350°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
·Cut loaf of prepared sourdough bread into 1-inch cubes.
·In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes; drain well on paper towels.
·Arrange the cubes of bread into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the sausage.
·In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper; carefully pour the mixture over the sausage and bread.
·Sprinkle the cheese and sliced scallions evenly across the top.
·Let the bread absorb the liquid for at least an hour, but you can leave the casserole in the fridge for several hours, if desired.
·Bake the strata until set and golden, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.