I am getting ready to post a brunch menu next week in Lindaraxa's Garden and have been trying to make up my mind as to which of two recipes to try out and post for a cheese strata. They are both so good I decided to split them up in the two blogs. Maybe I will do a city and a country brunch!
What I liked about this recipe is that unlike most other strata recipes that are baked in a long rectangular dish this one can be made in a springform pan and the results are spectacular!
Keep in mind that the strata takes about 1 1/2 hours to bake and some time to rest so plan ahead the day of the brunch..
The recipe is from the Junior League Cookbook of Boca Raton, Savor the Moment, which won a James Beard Award.
1 loaf French bread, cubed
1 pound ham, cubed
1 pound Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 green onions, chopped
15 medium eggs
2 egg yolks
4 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Combine the bread, ham, Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, and green onions in a large bowl. Beat the eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half and mustard in a medium bowl. Pour over the bread mixture and stir until moistened. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or longer.
Stir the mixture and pour into an oiled 10-inch springform pan; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 to 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, covering with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Place on a serving plate, run a knife around it and remove the side of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve. Serves twelve.
If serving on a regular rectangular baking dish, proceed as above but serve right from the pan after letting cool off.