Tuesday, May 11, 2010

cheesy bacon tomato strata

my friends - real life and virtual - who have kids have been taunting me with stories of breakfasts in bed, of coffee drunk while taking in the bacon smells filling the house, of kiddies invading the bed while their husbands presented them with flowers. it's not that my bed doesn't get invaded. it does, whether i want it or not. but my husband is as ineffectual in the kithchen as the proverbial elephant. he doesn't even like to reheat leftovers, let alone cook from scratch. the only way i'll ever eat breakfast in bed is if i cook it in my sleep. so cook it in my sleep i did.

stratas are very smart dishes, very easy to prepare and so tasty. even people who don't really like eggs enjoy them. plus, the strata is infinetely variable. it's a great way to clean out the fridge. it's slices of bread, layered with meat and/or veggies, then drenched in a milk and eggs mixture, and baked. the trick is you can prepare it the night before and let it sit overnight. the bread will soak up the liquid and bake up wonderfully moist and fluffy. (in a hurry, it still must rest one hour).

4 big slices of bread, or 8 square sandwich slices, day old
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 slices munchee, or provolone, or swiss
5 oz feta, crumbled
4 slices turkey breast, or ham, or salami
1 ts dried oregano
4 slices turkey bacon
salt, pepper

in an 8 inch square dish place two slices of bread - or as many it takes for the bottom of the dish to be completely covered. trim to size if needed. then layer two slices of turkey, two of munchee, half the feta. then arrange one sliced tomato on top and repeat. only this time finish with the munchee on top. beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. mix in the milk and the oregano. pour over the layers. now cover the dish with some aluminum foil, placing it directly on the cheese, and put some weight on it - a pan with a big can or jar, something to keep it pressed. refrigerate overnight.

in the morning, fake a bout of somnambulism and preheat the oven to 350F. uncover the strata, put it in the oven and sneak back to bed. or make coffee and set the table, i'm not forcing you to sleep. after 30 minutes remove from the oven and place the bacon on top, and bake until it's nice and crispy, about 10 minutes more. i did not have turkey bacon, and i had to blot out a lot of excess fat. entirely not recommended before the second coffee cup. so use the turkey bacon and save yourselves the trouble.
do you see how moist it is? it was incredible, light and fluffy, but very, very filling. we had a late breakfast and didn't need anything until dinner. we spent the day working in the garden, mowing and pulling weeds. it's too cold to plant! my tomatoes are ready to go outside, but the outside is not ready for the tomatoes. how lamentable. the best part of it was that zhara kept yelling 'happy mother's day!' because she saw i was getting a kick out of it. that, and all the hugs and kisses.


  1. If it makes you feel any better, Dana, I didn't get breakfast in bed either--my husband is another elephant. And I didn't have your foresight either, which meant I got up and cooked pancakes. (I did get taken out to lunch though. But I'm still making a note to myself for next year: strata!)

  2. I love these sorts of recipes! Thanks Dana. The version we make has cream and prosciutto in it. I didn't get breakfast in bed either. Or anything else for that matter. But someone did clean up the kitchen for me on Sunday, so that counts for something.. :)

  3. nancy,it's okay, we'll make a big production on father's day and they'll feel very guilty
    another great idea for a lazy breakfast is marion cunningham's yeasted waffle. i need to try that asap.

    celia, that must be incredible, with cream and prosciutto! my kitchen was cleaned too, my husband mans the sink voluntarily pretty much all the time. i'll take clean dishes every day over breakfast in bed once a year!!

  4. I love stratas. I am also a mom that didn't get breakfast in bed or get to sleep in. So it goes.

    Adding prosciutto to it sounds delicious too. We like it with turkey sausage, sauteed onion or leeks with red bell pepper. I think I am going to have to put this together tonight so we will have a delicious strata tomorrow for breakfast.

  5. le tue foto Dana mi fanno sentire come sono buone le tue ricette, :)

  6. une recette vraiment délicieuse
    dana pour le fromage blanc c'est presque la même chose que philadelphia sauf qu'il n'est pas trop salé
    personnellement pour ma mousse j'ai utilisé philadelphia et les rare fois ou je prépare le fromage à la maison j'utilise cette recette
    j'espère que j'ai pu t'aider un peu
    bonne soirée

  7. Une recette qui semble absolument délicieuse.
    Les photos sont magnifiques.
    A bientôt.

  8. jamie, i would definetely love onions in there! thanks for stopping by.

    stefania, you're too kind. thank you.

    fimere, merci beaucoup! c'est beatrice, la tartine gourmande qui dit que ce n'est pas la meme chose, a propos d'une tarte au fromage blanc. ce pour ce raison que je veux le preparer, et alors on voyons. je te remercie pour la recette, ca m'aide beacoup!

    nadji, merci beaucoup!

  9. very,very nice!i like very much how you prepared this breakfast!i think that stratas is like a savory bread pudding...very fine presentation,of course,like all of you!

  10. Great idea... I've never made a strata.. always thought it would be great for when we have company.


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