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February 13, 2013

An eggy strata for a romantic breakfast in bed

An eggy strata for a romantic breakfast in bed

(Continued)

There are simpler strata recipes available, but I still love the original I grew up with. It uses more eggs and a mixture of milk and half-and-half for a richer, more quiche-like custard. I don’t use as much bread as many recipes because I like it to literally melt into the other ingredients. This produces a lighter, puffier strata. I do add a bit more bread to my sweet French toast version because I want a breadier result for that version.

Letting the strata rest before baking allows the bread to become saturated by the egg mixture, as well as the other flavors. I like to let it rest overnight. Not only does this produce the creamiest result, it also saves me any trouble in the morning. I just uncover it and pop it in the oven. But if you prefer to make it the day of, plan to let it rest for at least an hour in the refrigerator.

VALENTINE’S DAY

BREAKFAST-IN-BED

EGG STRATA

Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (15 minutes active), plus resting time

Servings: 4

6 eggs

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup half-and-half

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Dash nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

3 slices white sandwich bread, cubed

1 pound sage breakfast sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup finely chopped scallions

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, salt, mustard, nutmeg and white pepper.

In the prepared baking dish, layer half each of the bread, sausage, cheese and scallions, then repeat using the remaining ingredients to create a second layer of each. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the layers, gently pressing with a fork to make sure all of the ingredients are submerged.

Cover the baking dish with foil, crimping the edges tight. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to overnight (longer is better).

When ready to cook, heat the oven to 350 F. Uncover and bake the strata for 1 hour, or until puffy and a knife inserted at the center comes out clean.

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