Strata or stratta is a delicious casserole dish, like a savoury bread pudding, and very similar to this Brazilian Blender Pie, quiche or frittata, made from a mixture which mainly consists of bread, eggs, milk and cheese. It may also include meat and/or vegetables.
I hate to waste anything, and this is a very simple solution for the leftover bread. You can eat it for brunch, lunch or dinner.
This elegant casserole dish of cubes of bread baked in custard is often a lifesaver on busy days and within 10 minutes you can have it in the oven! You can also assemble it the night before and pop it in the oven as soon as you wake up. I also like it because you can pretty much use whatever you want as a filling. For this one I used cheese and smoked ham but the recipe is pretty flexible so you can play around with different meat and/or sautéed vegetables depending on what you have on hand.
- 1 Egg - (lightly beaten)
- 2 cups Milk
- 1/2 cup Cream - (heavy cream/ whipping cream/half half)
- 2 tbsp Tomato sauce
- 1/2 Onion - (chopped)
- Salt - (optional) to taste
- Black pepper - or Paprika (optional) to taste
- 500 g Bread - (day-old peasant bread, grossly cut into 1-inch cubes)
Filling option with cheese and ham
- 150 g Smoked ham - (coarsely shredded)
- 250 g Mozzarella cheese - (coarsely shredded) Any meltable cheese will work here
- Parmesan cheese - (grated)
- In a Mixing Bowl, Whisk the eggs with the milk, cream and tomato sauce.
- To save time chop the onion using an Electric Chopper. Add chopped onion to egg and milk misture.
- Add the bread to the bowl, using a Silicone Spatula stir gently until the bread is evenly moistened.
- With a Food Processor coarsely shred the smoked baked ham and mozzarella cheese.
- Add the herbs (in this one I used oregano and basil but you can use your favourite ones), mozzarella cheese and smoked ham (or your favourite filling). Stir until well mixed.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Transfer to a casserole dish and top with Grated Parmesan Cheese.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the bread pudding is puffed, set and golden brown all over.
- Be sure to serve warm because it tastes great warm but not cold.
- The unbaked bread pudding can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.
- The baked bread pudding can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 hours and can also be refrigerated overnight or up to 3 days. Reheat at 350°F/180°C before serving, microwave is not recommended.
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