Marilou's make-ahead breakfast bake is a cinch, particularly when leftover ham is used. Chock-full of peppers, onions and cheese, the eye-opener makes an ideal contribution to brunch buffets and is a great way to start the day.
- 2 medium onions, quartered and sliced
- 3/4 cup each julienned green and sweet red pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1-1/2 cups diced fully cooked ham (3/4 pound)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a large skillet, saute onions and peppers in oil. Place half of the bread cubes in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the onion mixture, ham and cheese. Repeat layers.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over bread mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Colorful Ham Strata in Quick Cooking January/February 2003, p16
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