When our family sits down for breakfast on days when this do-ahead dish is on the menu, I can relax and join them. I like to serve it with fresh fruit and homemade rolls. Plus, it adds a nice touch to a celebration brunch.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened, divided
- 12 to 16 slices day-old bread, crusts removed
- 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups sliced onions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2-1/2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Using 1/4 cup butter, spread one side of each bread slice with butter. Place half of the bread, butter side down, in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
- In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms and onions in remaining butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon half of the mushroom mixture over bread in prepared pan. Top with half of the sausage and cheese. Layer with the remaining bread, mushroom mixture, sausage and cheese. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, Dijon mustard, nutmeg and ground mustard. Pour over cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, covered, at 350° for 50 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with parsley. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Italian Sausage Strata in Country Woman March/April 2003, p29
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