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Beechwood Breakfast Strata

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The breakfast strata is an excellent dish for anyone who has houseguests because it is prepared the night before and just needs to bake in the morning. Incidentally, it also makes a good supper dish.

8 ounces pork sausage, crumbled
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Seasoned toast points or rounds (about 8 ounces to cover baking dish)
1 1/2 cups 2 percent milk
1/2 pound ricotta cheese, park skim, at room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 pounds Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup broccoli, broken into small florets and steamed lightly
2 cups chopped green onions (green part only)

In a skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage for 4 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with black pepper, if needed. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Spray a 15X10-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with seasoned toast points or rounds. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine milk and ricotta cheese. Whisk in flour, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, a little at a time, and whisk until fully incorporated. Stir in the sausage/mushroom mixture, grated cheeses, broccoli and green onions. Pour into the prepared pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight or for at least 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove mixture from refrigerator, uncover and bake for about 60 minutes or until golden brown and the center only slightly jiggles and the rest of the mixture is set. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.