by Karin Calloway
Sausage breakfast casserole recipes abound. Most call for cutting white bread into small cubes, then tossing with an egg custard, shredded cheddar cheese and browned breakfast sausage. The dish is always a hit at special weekend or holiday brunches.
I’ve taken the traditional recipe, removed a step or two and added a dash of elegance to the classic. First, instead of cubing the bread, the crusts are simply removed, and then the bread is cut into triangles. This saves about 20 minutes of preparation time.
Second, rather than tossing all of the ingredients together, I like to layer them in a springform pan, creating a pretty round strata. You also could bake the strata in a nine-inch cake pan with three-inch sides, which saves cleanup time since some of the custard invariably drips from the springform pan even when it is tightly wrapped in heavy-duty foil.
The dish is perfect for entertaining, as it feeds a crowd and requires an overnight rest in the refrigerator before baking. Add some muffins, a fruit salad, and good coffee for a memorable morning meal.
Spray a 10-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap outside of pan securely with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Arrange 1/3 of the bread triangles in the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the sausage and the cheese. Top with another layer of bread triangles and the remaining sausage and cheese. Top with a final layer of bread triangles.
- 14 to 16 slices good quality white bread, crust removed and sliced in half diagonally
- 1 pound breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 12 eggs
- 3 cups milk (do not use skim milk)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Whisk eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour over bread. Cover top of pan tightly with heavy-duty foil and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove foil from top of pan. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 11/2 to 2 hours, until strata is cooked through.
Makes 10 servings.